You may be tired of hearing about blogging challenges. Perhaps your head experiences dull throbs when you contemplate taking part in them. I understand. That’s why I’ve taken pains to be sensitive to your sensibilities and refrain from talking about this Blaugust in April thing that I’m doing starting tomorrow. It’s called the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s as simple as writing a post every day – with Sundays off – themed around the sequential letters of the alphabet.
Lots of different blogs are participating: over 1500 of them as of this writing. So when you read the comments sections of popular gaming news sites and see “blogging is dead” and “I don’t care about blogging, therefore nobody does,” you can take definitive comfort in the fact that the people publishing those comments are breathtakingly unaware of the world around them.
I’m combining this challenge with the rules of another April blogging activity created by Pizza Maid called ARPil. As I understand it, this is designed to be an avenue for her to flesh out the RP back story of her main character in Final Fantasy 14; others are invited to do the same by answering thirty questions about their character. Having recently written a longish introductory back story for my character in The Secret World, this strikes me as the perfect opportunity to do likewise for Liling.
I’ll be answering questions out of order and as the mood strikes me; some April posts may be on whatever topic I feel like writing about. Unstructured blogging is what I’m all about. I’ve taken to calling my style of writing fragments of consciousness: snapshots, moments, events singled out and recalled without the need for reference to history or the larger context. My English degree is in linguistics rather than literature, so I’m not too terribly worried about the preferred nomenclature. If it helps you to compare this to the stream of consciousness style of some established historical authors, then by all means do so – I personally wouldn’t dream of comparing myself to any of them, however.
Fragments of consciousness are essentially what the story-telling mechanisms of The Secret World comprise. It is up to you navigate the abstract, cryptic messages provided. The intoxicating part of this is that you, as a co-protagonist in this multi-user shared hallucination, may not be here to save the world. Throughout April, I’ll be exploring who Liling is and perhaps why she is navigating the messed up parts of the world. This is important to me for several reasons: first, it gives me a reason to continue writing and writing fiction, at that; second, writing a back story has finally connected me with my character and made me care about her role in the world such that I actually paid a month’s subscription yesterday – the first time I’ve done so in over a year of playing the game; and third, it helps me to refrain from disappearing off the face of the online world altogether, a temptation that reappears with annoying frequency.
I’ll be starting tomorrow with the letter A, writing about whatever the whims of the day may bring. If you’d like to participate, you can sign up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge here and/or you can contact Pizza Maid about participating in ARPil here.