Spiraling into Shadow – SPECIAL Q&A

March 9, 2018 in Most Recent, Spiraling into Shadow

Hello everyone! Today is a very special day. In honor of 20 whole chapters of Spiraling into Shadow, I’m doing something a little different: a Q&A! To kick things off, I asked my buddy and Duelist extraordinaire (as well as occasional Excel addict) Miss Mora Misthead* to whip up a few questions for me to answer. That being said… let’s get started!
1. What got you into writing fanfiction? Do you write other things as well?
Good question! Growing up, playing pretend with my older sister was one of the staples of my childhood; even in my crafting Bionicle figures from scratch or organizing my Thomas & Friends train sets juuuuuust right, I was always keen on telling stories of my own. Fully immersing myself in fantasy worlds–whether they be from video games, books, TV shows, or movies–it’s honestly part of what makes me me.
I DO do a ton of other writing! I’ve done poetry, editorials, reviews, short stories… my main passion is screenwriting, though. I’ve actually had a TV show in the works for over 4 years now… in concept, of course. But making my dreams reality? That’s all I could ever ask for.


2. What’s your personal favorite chapter of Spiraling into Shadow?
Oof. First a good question, now a tough one… not pulling any punches, I see. XD

Before I start, I want to clarify something: James? Yeah. He’s me. The things he deals with inside and outside his head? Yeah, I’ll never get into a Death-Match with a spider god any time soon, but I’ve fought my fair share of demons, believe me. The hardest part is telling yourself in that moment that it’s going to get better, even when your head is screaming that it won’t. Give yourself time and you will emerge from Shadow, but stronger than ever. Believe me.

…Wow, that didn’t get way off-topic and insanely deep at all… sorry. Back to the question!
I don’t have a specific chapter that I can point to as my definite favorite, but I CAN definitely talk about why it was insanely fun to write. Using the pre-existing characters of Wizard101 to add to the story–and even add to themselves–has been a blast. Whether it be shaping Cyrus Drake as a hesitant but compassionate personality, Baba Yaga as a sadistic yet caring grandmother, Dark Shepherd as a sassy companion, Lydia Greyrose being the “proper” grandma who always taught you etiquette… I’ve always found that kind of thing to be a blast, especially when you realize halfway through writing something just how well what you thought up clicks into the mold you’ve made. And if you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Spider… well, let’s just say I’m saving that for later. 😉


3. Do you plan your stories in advance? If so, how detailed is your plan?
I first started writing Spiraling into Shadow as a bit of a personal project, something I could return to if I ever needed an outlet. Fast-forward a few months or so, and I’d written over 7 chapters before I thought to myself, “Hey, if I’m going to be writing about a video game I love so much, why not be a part of the community I’d followed for years?” I’d tried my hand at writing for the Duelist101 community years and years back, but as I eased back into the community writing the Spiral Notebook series I knew for a fact that this was the place to share my content. So here we are.
In terms of storyline, I never really knew how or where I was going to take the series. Like I mentioned earlier, Spiraling into Shadow started out as a place to vent; encapsulating my dark frustrations within my work was really the point of it rather than a cohesive narrative. Eventually, though, my writing instincts kicked in, and I began to ask the vital storytelling question: What happens now?
After that, I started going with the flow. I drew inspiration from the game and its characters, shaping the main story into a much more personal narrative. This newfound sense of direction initially made ideas shoot out left and right: What if James and Spider were friends? What if James and Mellori were into one another? What implications would all those make in the story? I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote, and soon Chapter 12 was finished.
Here’s a tip for all you writers out there: Whenever you run into a creative roadblock (which I’ve done plenty of times, believe me), take a look at the road you’ve ridden so far. (Heh, I just realized “ridden” sounds like “written”… deep.) Take what you know and make something new. Think about what kids of things the characters in your story would do going forward, or how they would react to certain events. Allow the story to branch out, because who knows? That branch might produce some really great fruit.
4. Who are your favorite authors? Have they influenced your writing style?
I have a lot of favorite authors–William Shakespeare, S.E. Hinton, J.K. Rowling, Edgar Allen Poe, Harper Lee, Laurie Halse Andersen… the most influential writer for me by far, though, was definitely Rick Riordan. His colloquial and surprisingly humane manner of expressing narrative always stuck with me; I still read his books to this day.
5. Why do you write every chapter in a different style? I love these, but what are you trying to achieve?
Writing the same way over and over again… it gets boring. There are only so many ways to say “said,” yeah? As a general rule of thumb, I don’t write things I don’t find interesting; shaking up the format keeps it interesting. Plus… I just like dialogue, okay?!

I now turn the questions to you, O viewer. Leave a comment below asking a question, and I guarantee I will get to it. Until then… Earthwalker OUT!


6 responses to Spiraling into Shadow – SPECIAL Q&A

  1. Similar to Dawny’s question actually.. I get that James is you, but who are Travis and Paige? Are they based on anyone?

    • Similar to Dawny’s answer… XD

      Paige Icebreeze was the avatar my older sister used when she played Wizard101 years and years ago. Travis was an avatar I created when I opted to try out Myth, but really didn’t find my groove.

  2. Oh, #5 is such a misthead question :p

    On a curious note, who’s your favorite character you’ve added? Whether it’s their attitude or skill set, what attracts you to them? Are there characters you’ve based on yourself or friends?

    • My favorite character? Yeah, that goes to Grandfather Spider. As for why… look forward to that soon. 😉

      Like I said in the article, yes, James is based off of me. Paige was the avatar my older sister used during her brief time with the games years and years ago. Travis was a short attempt at starting a Myth account, but eventually I just stopped playing as him. I dunno, I guess I just really wasn’t into the game at the time.
      Katie was based off an old (online) friend of mine, one I would play the game with for hours on end. She really was one of my closest friends growing up, even though I didn’t even know her real name. I’m pretty sure she’s deleted her account by now, though. 🙁

      Also, Isaac Jadebreeze in Chapter 12 was based off my old friend’s avatar. He was the one who got me into the game in the first place; although he doesn’t play anymore, he still deserved a shoutout.

      • Only after commenting on your article I realized my blindness: James is your protagonist, named after your Life wizard. I hoped this would go unnoticed, but oh well.

        Great job drawing on characters from your past, did you give them a personality of their own -unique to the character- or did you draw from your friends?

        • Paige’s personality is indeed based off my older sister’s. Even more so as the story unfolds, as you’ll soon see… eventually. No spoilers.

          Regarding James, the “happy” personality he supposedly had prior to Katie’s murder is taken directly from my time in the Spiral. Regardless of who I’m talking to, I always try to put smiles on people’s faces, whether it be through heals, wittiness, or just general warmth. Katie was the same way, which was one of the reasons why we got along so well for so many years. While frustration and cynicism bogged me down more times than I can count, it also allowed me to grow as a person… I plan on continuing to reflect that maturity as James continues to grow throughout the story.

          Travis was initially just going to be the happy-go-lucky optimist, a foil to James’s hardened cynicism. However, as James moved on and got back into his sassy groove, Travis grew to be a little wiser himself, as is evident in these past few chapters. You’ll definitely see more of his wisdom later on.

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