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Writers Interview: Teineeva

Tags: #Karver  #Teineeva  #Interview 
  • December 7, 2016

    It's been few months since last Interview and I thought it's precisely the right time to do anyone. And this time I decided to talk with someone who is currently writing top notch Fallout story. Popular Fallout story! And it's our resident lizard...Teineeva. So let´s get to it. 

     

    Hey, Teineeva. Been some time since I did this, so I might not be as sharp as always, but I'll do my best. I usually start this with something easy, so how about you tell us little something about yourself, hm? Like if you like redheads or just girls with scales, stuff like that.

    Well I do in fact like Redheads, the rare trait probably makes it exotic. The opposite can be said about girls with scales though. I’m into rare and exotic traits but I’m pretty sure we should class it as interspecies or bestiality if the girl has scales, right? Anyway, not into it.

    Oh, you meant general information? Well in that case let’s see: I’m a 19 year old student and follow a bachelor degree plant sciences course at the University of Wageningen (If you’ve never heard of it, don’t be surprised I didn’t either until I went there). I’m in my second year now and hope to finish it somewhere next year (yeah like that’s gonna happen).

    I have always been Dutch on paper, but was born in South America, and spent the decade before my studies in France, where the rest of my family still lives (the rest of the time I spent in the Netherlands, mostly that is). As a consequence I don’t feel very patriotic towards any country right now and feel like I’m an odd mixture of both Dutch and French. I do really enjoy a good glass of wine and some fresh Foie gras, so I might have taken a bit to the French state of affairs.

    In my free time I like to write, play the obligatory video games and walk in the forest and the floodplains around town. I am a big fan of animals and considered myself to be a decent horse rider until I had to stop due to an injury a few years ago. Don’t be afraid I healed but I just never took the time to get back to it. The same counts for archery, which while I’m not any good, I certainly enjoy doing.

    I also love being surrounded by nature. Forests, plains, rolling hills, rivers, dunes, swamps, you name it. I will absolutely love being there. Nature is also the main inspiration for some of my writing, not only because the imagery is fantastic but because it allows me to brainstorm in peace. The only other place I can do that is under the shower at my parent’s place, must have something to do with the molds or the paint falling off the ceiling…

    Huh. A nature guy who likes redhead lizards. And archery? Man, I love archery. Have 45lbs recurve bow myself. My dream is to get one of those modern compound bows one day.

    But enough about bows, we’re here to talk about writing, your writing. The Streets of Boston. But before we get to that I would like to ask about your writing in general. When did you start writing? And what was it about? Heh, how terrible it was in comparison to what you write these days? How much do you think you improved?

    As a kid I always liked telling stories and often spun tall tales when I found that reality was boring, and while my handwriting and spelling sucked, I spent most of my primary school years hidden in my little “story book”, where I would write down these tall tales whenever I had some spare time. But to be honest those were nothing more than the scribblings of a child with maybe a bit too much of an imagination, and a tendancy to “lie”’, I still call it embellishing but what have you.

    I first started to write something that had a bit of a higher quality standard when I was 14, I believe. I was a guild leader on a bit of an obscure french MMO, and when the guild started to grow I set up a site where we could discuss official stuff, RP, Guild contests and much more. In the end the site didn’t catch on for the guild and attracted maybe about 5 to 6 active members, but I didn’t mind too much as we had a good time regardless. It was here that I first posted any of my writing. It was a series of short stories I called the “Journal d’un Aventurier”. Yep I wrote in French. They would tell stories of events we had RPed with the guild. I just wanted to share an experience I had loved, and that’s what I did.

    The series caught on rather quickly, despite it’s horrible quality, and I, as a cocky fourteen year old (or fifteen by that time), decided I would make the next step. So I started my longest, slowest, and biggest project yet: an original production. At first I wrote in french, and actually managed to get a good 50 pages into it. But after I translated my first chapter for a friend who couldn’t read french, and doubled it’s content in the process, I discovered I was way more at ease with the english language than I was with the french, at least as far as writing was concerned. So I scrapped everything and started rewriting the events in english. Well we’re almost five years in now and I still haven’t managed to settle on a plot, the story has seen about ten first and second chapters and still doesn’t count more than 30 pages.

    When I joined the vault, I wasn’t interested in writing at first, my project had left me frustrated to no end and I wasn’t in for another ride. But I did take an interest in the writer’s discuss pages and after I weighed in for a bit I was contacted by our good and gracious wolf-lizard who over time managed to convince me that I should write on the site. So when the dragon week turned it’s head around I wrote a short called “Preparations”, it should still be around somewhere. Sotek’s vile poison had been planted; I enjoyed writing again. And soon, Veils of Jhunal was born out of the frustration that came from my OP. And not long there after so was Streets of Boston.

    When I look back at the journey now, I still cringe and smile when I go through my old texts, which I do mostly to fend off the afore mentioned frustration. I cringe because it’s absolutely horrible, but I smile out of pride as it shows the path I have followed and the progress I have made. And let me tell you, progress has been made!

    Ha, Sotek’s poison. That lizard really is poisonous. Really interesting that you are more comfortable writing in English than in French.

    But let’s get to the subject while we are here. Streets of Boston. Wow! Have you noticed that it is pretty much the only Fallout story going on right now? And, more importantly, popular? What’s the reason, hm? What do you think?

    Wait, what I’m the only one? Well that explains everything. No wonder it’s popular when there’s no competition. Come on people, I need to know if people really like Streets of Boston, get some competition going will you?!

    In all seriousness, I think one of the reasons SoB is so popular is because it shows a different face of the Commonwealth, one without a hero. It is a Commonwealth free of the player’s intervention, but where recognizeable events take place and familiar faces live (and die).

    Or maybe it is just the style, when I started the story I wanted to create a style similar to the old “Noire” detective movies and stories from the 40’s and 50’s. However, instead of following the charming P.I or the possibly corrupt cop, we follow the man who is on the other end of the spectrum; the maffia boss. Whether I succeeded in doing so is a whole different story but I like what came out of it.

    But who knows, maybe it’s just that people appreciate my, as our gracious host Lissette put it; Big story-telling balls!

    For those who haven’t read it yet, Streets of Boston are about a guy, mob boss from 2077, Pre-War who gets serum of immortatily from Cabbot (which you can meet in FO4) and then spends 200 years in his personal vault. Alone. For 200 years. And then he gets out, little bit insane.

    Why don’t you take it from here, Teineeva? Tell us something about your protagonist(s), how that serum works and how does the events of FO4 work with all this. Do you follow them or rather re-write them?

    Sure Karver. First of all Simon is as you mentioned a pre-war mob boss who managed to get his hands on an immortality serum and is now out on the wasteland hoping to rebuild his lost empire. However he is not the only one to try and do that and eventually interests will clash. I already showed one of the factions that is going to become important in the near future but who knows, perhaps we will see some others?

    Simon is a bit of a strange fellow, and between the wine, the old music and the fancy cigars he could even be seen as endearing to some. I reached a point recently where I actually believed some of my readers had forgotten who or what he was. I put an end to that real quick, if you catch my drift.

    So far I haven’t really plotted out how the serum works exactly, the game doesn’t really inform you about it, all we know is that eventually Simon is going to run out of the stuff, sooner rather than later. And when he does, he will come across a seizable obstacle. Remember the other powers I just mentioned; keep those in mind.

    As you might have guessed by now, I walk the fine line between rewriting and repeating. The Commonwealth Simon lives in is very different from the one we play in. First of all, we’re dead. And by we, I mean the sole survivor. So where there would usually be a hero to set events in motion until those events eventually lead to the destruction of at least one faction; we find ourselves in a world where the people of the commonwealth will have to do without that hero. However that doesn’t mean events aren’t set in motion regardless. There will be a certain degree of luck, some unexpected encounters and a whole set of new factions who will help to push things in favour of progress, where that progress will lead however, is up to debate.

    So Simon isn’t the only protagonist. Later in story you focused on Minutemen, some Eric Asher if I’m not mistaken? I think that your approach - writing Minutemen chapters through Asher’s logs - is very interesting idea. It really lends itself to the vibe of Fallout. What can we expect from Minutemen? They have to eventually clash with Simon right?

    Oh they will. But first they still have a long way to go. Instead of the previous minutemen infrastructure just disappearing, like they did in game, the commonwealth in Streets of Boston will be full of ex-minutemen splinter factions. They do not agree with each other and might need the steady hand of the general to be reunited under the minutemen flag.

    Whether Eric Asher will be that general is a whole different question. What I will tell is that the Sanctuary Militia will eventually grow into one of the more powerful forces in the commonwealth. And will wrestle control of the entire North of the map, eventually booting out any and all other factions; raiders, mutants, and mercs. I think you can start connecting the dots now.

    So there’s a long way to go. I myself am quite curious about that whole Simon, Valentine, Winter relationship and how that will play out, but I understand that would mean spoilers.

    So instead, we can go back to writing in general. Writers-block. That’s pretty much the anti-christ around here. How do you deal with it? Any advice for others?

    Well I gather my belongings, throw them on a big heap, take some gasoline, a lamb and a lighter. A few hours of sacrificial barbecueing, chanting and ritual dancing later, the inspiration will be flowing free again.

    In all seriousness, that would probably work even less than slamming your head into a wall. I actually participate in something that could be called “Chronic Procrastinaters Anonymous” (did I mention, I’m a messed up individual?). And well I recently came across some general life advice that I think might fit our particular needs here on the site.

    I’ll be paraphrasing it a bit and translate it into writer’s terms, but basically it said: Don’t wait for inspiration to get to work, just get to it and put your words on paper, inspiration will come, but don’t wait for it. I have recently started a similar strategy where I’ll just sit down and write, usually one session amounts to one chapter of SoB (not just in length, this is how I write the motherfuckers). So yeah, I guess this worked for me.

    Another thing is to go outside. I know, it’s horrible isn’t it? There’s a whole world outside filled with inspiration, in liquide, gazeous, and solid forms: It’s called planet Earth. Go outside and explore, go down an alley you would normally only walk by, enter a shady bar (not too shady, I don’t want you to get stabbed) or if you have some nature available go enjoy it. Or better yet, try getting lost a bit. You’ll be back with tons of energy and if you then apply what I mentioned earlier you’ll be able to fill pages as if you were Lissette. I suggest you start by describing whatever you discovered with the best of your abilities then just put your characters in and see what happens.

    Go outside. Good advice. I’ll just add: Don’t take your precious other half with you. Hehehe

    Speaking of Lissette...heh. It’s a running gag now, right? “I pulled of a Lissette” means that you wrote really long chapter. But what do you prefer? You have lot to tell and write long chapters or do you prefer short bursts of awesomeness? And what’s your preference when you read something? Short or long?

    Well it depends on what I’m writing, or mor” specifically where it goes. If I want to post something on the site I’ll make sure it isn’t too long, has a nice cliffhanger-ish ending and make sure it’s easy to digest. It’s more of a calculated move than it is a preference, and as I mentioned before most of the stuff on the vault is written in one short burst of awesomeness. When I’m writing something that doesn’t go to the site, I just make the chapters as long as I want them to be. My OP has two chapters I’m happy with right now, one of twelve pages the other of four, why? Well the first just needed that many pages, the other did not.

    When I read something the same works as with when I write my OP, if the entire chapter feels engaging then why would you need to cut it short? While it is indeed becoming a bit of a running gag, Lissette tends to execute long chapters flawlessly, so why would she need to cut them short?

    However if it feels like a drag or if there are places you are considering closing the page/book/file, then I think it would have been better if it’s short. I think my preference for short posts on the vault may be related to that: I don’t want you guys to feel bored when going through streets; it is supposed to be a very interesting adventure after all.

    Trust me, no one would be bored.

    Do you have some prefered style of writing? Some favourite authors and their books?

    Well to be honest I have been writing both Streets of Boston and my original in first person lately and it kind of grew on me. It was definitely strange to get back to third person for Ledger Codex (name soon to be revealed :p). But in the end I don’t think I have a preference, I can’t write in omniscient though. I want my characters to have secrets, to have some of their emotions hidden beneath the veil of a different perception and omniscient makes that a bit hard. It might also mean I just suck at it.

    And no I don’t really have a favourite author, or a favourite book. In general one could say I love Fantasy and Sci-fi (post apocalyptic stories are great too as long as they have some originality). And that when the occasion presents itself I like a good detective. But that’s about it.

    First and third person perspectives are quite popular these days and I get you, I can't write in omniscient either. I like the limiting view of one character.

    Also, I wanted to ask. In Streets of Boston...what locations can we expect? I mean, Boston is quite big and I think that story shouldn't be limited by game borders. Is there a chance we might see something else than Commonwealth? Maybe little bit of DC Wasteland?

    I doubt we’ll be seeing anything other than the Commonwealth for quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see the story cover other areas, especially since it’s stupid to believe the borders of the Commonwealth Provisional Government will follow the perfect square of the map borders as it’s limits.

    However as my knowledge of US geography and Topography is very limited I doubt we’ll be seeing anything other than areas from the DLC or previous games. And even then it’s not something I can be certain of as I would need a reason for the story to develop into that area. I will not add gimmicky story elements just to show off what happened to DC for example (it doesn’t help I never actually finished FO3), however if the occasion presents itself I will jump at it.

    Heh, yeah, it's hard to write about US when you aren't in US. By the way, what are your favourite...parts...to write? Introspection? Combat? Interactions? Where is your strength and weakness?

    Oh that would be difficult to answer. I certainly like to write introspection, but on the other hand there is nothing more satisfying than nailing a dialogue or a combat scene…

    I would say my strengths lies in writing introspection; scenes where the character is alone with his thoughts can be the most uplifting, restoring or most unsettling passages in a text. I would like to refer to the Vault passages from SoB for a nice example.

    And while I wouldn’t really call it my weakness I believe I can still improve a lot in regards to how I do dialogue. Sometimes I manage to get something that feels really organic but on other days that is a lot harder to do. The worst situation here is when I have to make a dialogue with characters I haven’t created myself, whether it are characters from the games themselves or characters other writers made. I will get absolutely crazy about wanting to get them just right.

    Combat on the other hand is a bit more of a hit or miss for me. Usually I don’t post the misses though. I have actually yet to try a real gunfight in SoB so that will be very interesting, never done any of those.

    I'm definitely looking forward to good gunfight! I think we could slowly wrap this up, but still have one question. You've been talking about “Ledger Codex” recently. What can you hint?

    You cheeky bastard, you know what it is. You’re my goddamn proofreader. But alright, I’ll shed some light on the subject for everyone else; Todd Howard style.

    So, we have reached a point where we can say for certain that ledger codex will not be coming out anytime soon, hell we don’t even know what it is yet. We still have a lot of other projects that are going to be done first, like an extra arc to SoB or maybe even Veils. Blablabla.

    No one gives a shit about my planning. All I can say is that it will concern a namesake lizard, an orc and a lot of stupid bets.

    Ha! Let the ga...BETS begin! Thank you for your time, mate. Ladies and gentlemen…

     

    Teineeva!

     

     

  • Member
    December 26, 2016

    Nice interview guys! I really need to set aside some time to read SoB!!! Sounds awesome. :)

  • Member
    April 4

    Hehe. He wants competition, he'll get competition.