And so it begins… Camp NaNo Update #1

As you may know, today was the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo, the penultimate writing challenge (the ultimate being NaNoWriMo in November). Unlike NaNo prime, Camp NaNo advocates for a more flexible challenge, allowing users to set their own word count, revise previous work, and write something other than a novel. As I may have mentioned, I’ll be spending this month working on my adapted screenplay, Dragon Age: The Fifth Blight. I’m really excited for this project because I absolutely love the video game, Dragon Age: Origins.

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That’s right, David Gaider. I know you read my previous posts where I voiced my distaste for your books. So if you’re reading this, please note that Dragon Age: Origins is my all-time favorite video game. I love the world, the lore, the characters, the story, the setting, everything. Well, maybe not as much love for the Fade and the Deep Roads, but can you really blame me for that?

Now, as much as I love the source material, writing an adaptation of this game is a lot more difficult than I initially expected. Even though all the plot and world-building was already done for me, I realized early on in the planning stage that I would have to make a lot of difficult decisions regarding what part of the game would make it into my screenplay and how each part would be presented. Because the two media are so different, it’s impossible to perfectly replicate the experience between them. And I wouldn’t want to, anyway. In addition to accurately representing the Dragon Age: Origins experience, I want to add something to it that you wouldn’t get from the game.

So far, the most difficult part of planning this adaptation has been developing the protagonist. Since the game uses a player-created protagonist with one of six origin stories, there are so many different directions this character can take. I had to be very thoughtful about choosing a character who would best complement the main plot and the other characters. I wanted this character to make sense in the world and in the film medium, but I didn’t want them to be too expected. The result is a character that I’m increasingly more proud to write (though one that I’m sure BioWare would never agree to adapt, and that’s okay).

As Camp goes on, I’ll likely share more about this project. In the meantime, I’m 696 words in and off to a good start.

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