Grand announcement, we are looking for new writers to be in the Forbidden Love team!
Forum post link: http://skyrimromance.com/forums/topic/writing-auditions/
Now for the preamble. A lot have you have likely seen the beta testing video commentaries I did with @osushibri, they were ridiculously fun and an insight to our behind-the-scenes. Or you may have seen the team joking around in chat, there you see the fun side, the ridiculous sense of humour and the camaraderie and friendship the team has. One side of what you’ll be signing up for so to speak.
As the head writer of the project you’ll go through me most of the time. I love goofing off and chatting as much as anyone but when it comes to writing, my standards are high. Professional writing has been what I’ve grown up around and I take this project as seriously as if it was something to be sold. The quality of the writing will be nothing short of the highest it can be.
Scary growling aside, these are the things to note about Forbidden Love:
- There can be no new characters. Not anything beyond a brief encounter. Each member of Cael’s village is more dynamic and has more lines than any Skyrim NPC, if you want to utilise them in your writing you will have to learn them.
- This is not a rewriting of Skyrim Romance Mod’s format. Think of Forbidden Love as a DLC rather than a mod, because it is that big. New items are involved, a sprawling worldspace created by us is just beyond Skyrim’s borders, the lore and backgrounds we have created are deep elaborations of Bethesda’s and there will be many side quests and features to accompany the main quest-line.
- Also unlike SRM, there is no description except for special circumstances. Our voice actors are simply tremendous and I intend on utilising them to the full rather than being half read like a book, which might not be in the narrative style everyone likes to read. I treat this as an extension of Skyrim, something added to its universe rather than radically changing it, and so we go by the standards Bethesda set with their format.
- Coming from SRM, you may be under the assumption that romance is the most important and the only thing we focus on. That is not true. Story and character is THE most important thing of this project. Romance is simply the theme, far more happens beyond the player’s romantic interactions with Cael.
- Nothing can be written like it would be in a novel. It must be in the style of a script, as demonstrated at the bottom of this post.
With those details out of the way, we need you to answer these questions in your audition:
How much time are you able to give to this project?
Why do you want to join this project?
What do you feel is your strong suit in writing?
Will you speak out if you feel someone else’s writing doesn’t fit?
What is your past experience in writing?
Audition: How It Works
Here’s how the auditions will work, I will write the start of a scene and establish the characters you can utilise. Your audition will be to write the middle and end of that scene.
The way (dialogue) scripts for Skyrim work is that the Dragonborn (the player) can only participate in conversations with ONE character at a time. This involves the game’s dialogue box popping up which is defined in a script by having [Open dialogue] and [Close/End dialogue] at the start and end of the conversation you’re writing.
Three personalities for the Dragonborn must always be present in dialogue choices. 1) is the friendly/helpful/kind option, I always imagine this to be a sweet human, 2) is the witty, sarcastic or silly option, like a sharp-tongued Dark Elf, 3) is the aggressive/rude/blunt option, I think of this one as an Orc.
You can have up to 13 dialogue choices, which can be utilised to ask Cael something about the current situation that doesn’t advance the conversation. Such as option 4 demonstrated here:
Cael: Say hello.
1) DB: Hello.
2) DB: Goodbye.
3) DB: No.
4) DB: Why should I say hello?
1) Cael: Good to know you will follow a Chieftain’s orders.
2) Cael: Stop contradicting me, we are not a Beatles song.
3) Cael: What am I going to do with you? *sigh*
4) Cael: It is an example for AlassinSane’s audition explanations. [loop back to previous options]
Dialogue between the DB and another character goes in the format of each dialogue choice being a response to one thing said by Cael (for example) but in different attitudes. Cael has a unique response to each attitude but must talk about the same thing throughout all of them so the DB can have another 3 attitude responses for what he just said.
For example, in this Cael will always mention the mage no matter what his reaction so the player can respond to it with either 3 attitudes in the next set. In the second set he will be cured no matter what the attitude so he can respond in kind and the scene resolves:
Cael: I like big butts and I cannot-
1) DB: Are you feeling OK?
2) DB: LIE AND YOU OTHER BROTHERS CAN’T DENY
3) DB: *slap Cael*
1) Cael: I think I have been touched by that mage we passed. I need you to- YOU OTHER BROTHERS CAN’T DENY
2) Cael: WHEN A GIRL WALKS IN WITH AN ITTY BITTY WAIST AND– [weakly] help me…foul spell…
3) Cael: *cough* Thank you, that mage we passed must have thrown a curse our way. But next time, perhaps don’t hit so IN YO FACE AND YOU GET FEEEEELINGS
1) DB: I have a spare potion, take it! (give Cure Magic Potion)
2) DB: But your singing voice is so beautiful!
3) DB: *slap Cael hard*
1) Cael: Ahhh, thank you. Perhaps we should keep away from the roads for the rest of our journey?
2) Cael: A ROUND THING IN YO FACE, YOU GET Feeeeeeeeeelingss… I think… It is over. Thank the Gods. [amused and suggestive] And do not think I will forget your enthusiasm in this any time soon, Dragonborn.
3) Cael: *dizzy sound* Well, I believe that worked. Next time, how about we skip the slaps and go for the potions? We are not in our tent anymore. *chuckle*
Dialogue between other characters must not last too long because the player will be just standing there with no ability to skip it or do anything. If it goes over 20 lines, it’s too long.
Dialogue choices for the Dragonborn is limited to 80 characters, everyone else is limited to 149 per line. I advise you write your audition in Google Docs first so you can check it as you go along and simply paste it into a new topic to submit.
Your Audition Characters:
In image order: Eoran, Eshne, Anu, Robin, Alar and Helvi.
Eoran is a High Elf who has jumped from sides of more wars than any mortal alive can count. He is exceptionally intelligent and more well spoken than any of the characters but he is also quite reserved.
Eshne is the wise-woman of the village and has been like Cael’s aunt since he was born. She is the closest thing he has to his late parents and is his link to their pasts and traditions. She is the one who everyone will listen to without question, even the Chief himself to some degree.
Anu is Cael’s best friend since childhood. He is an affectionate goof who gets along with everyone but his responsibilities and fighting skills are amongst the most feared in the village. If Cael died, nobody would question this loyal ginger being the one who took his place.
Robin is Cael’s sister, two weeks older than him and adopted as a baby. She is the village’s deadly assassin but is like the sweet little sister of all of them who uses her innocent front to deliver sass and jokes nobody expects. Alar is her frequent partner in crime, Anu is her oldest friend and Helvi is one of her two best friends. Her protectiveness of her family and dislike of change leads her to being distrustful of every person who tries to change them. She likes everything the way it is and it takes a lot to make her warm up to people, but after that she is the most loyal friend you could ever have.
Alar is the functioning alcoholic comic relief of the village, but that doesn’t sit well with everyone. He is a former bandit who joined the Forsworn after being targeted by the Jarl of Markarth. He has a thick Scottish accent and is always the one making awful puns, lewd jokes, finding innuendo in everything and making sarcastic quips. The more serious characters do not approve of him but have come to begrudgingly allow his existence.
Helvi is a sly but brutal warrior with an enthusiasm for blood and Daedra. She is the best marksman in the village and has complete disregard for anyone who is not above her in rank. Anyone who comments on her green skin is an instant enemy and Alar, with all his jokes, is practically a nemesis. She has respect for her comrades but only Robin and Aileen have her friendship.
The Dragonborn is returning from a hunt with Cael when they come across a scene outside the wooden pike gates of Cael’s village, next to the elk stables. Five of Cael’s villagers are present and so is a complete stranger in Forsworn and leather attire. The villagers are Eshne, Anu, Alar, Robin and Helvi.
Anu and Helvi came this way on their patrol of the village borders, Robin and Alar were likely out there for mischievous purposes and Eshne was gathering herbs from behind the stables.
The stranger is Eoran and the DB and Cael are romantically involved, but not married. Cael ends up accepting Eoran into his village but how this happens is up to you.
Note: This scene will never occur in Forbidden Love and is not how Eoran actually became a Forsworn. It is only for audition purposes.
[Dialogue triggers as all
Eoran: Perhaps your chieftain will find it wiser to open your doors for me.
Alar: [whining] Don’t let him in, Chief, he just wants to detain all of our booze and report us to the…what were they, Robin? Fall more?
Robin: Yeah, THALMOR. If the rumours are to be believed then they’re the ones who tried to wipe us out. And I always believe those rumours.
Cole: So is it true then? This guy is the ancient guy who killed like…like… EVERYONE?! *grinning* Woah!
Cael: What is going on here? Who is this?
Anu: It’s Eoran, that half elf we keep hearing so much about. His camp just got slaughtered and who’s the nearest village? Lucky us!
Helvi: I have heard of the half-breed’s prowess but he is a trespasser caught on our borders. A patrol is a patrol, Chief, we are not an orphanage to take in every straggler.
Eoran: Can I not tell my own tale?
Alar: Nah, we don’t like how you look down at us.
Eshne: I can vouch for this man. He fought for my father and generations before him. Eoran is as much an unsung hero as your father, Cael.
Alar: Still think he’s gonna steal the booze.
Eoran: I have fought on sides of too many wars that I wish I did not remember, but the Forsworn cause is the only one I have ever felt tied to. It was my mother’s. Booze is the last thing on my mind, little bandit.
Alar: Oho, now I’ve been called a lot of things but “little” ain’t one of them!
Eoran: I am sure the sheep agree, bandit. What I offer to you, Chief Rudahan, is experience on the field beyond even what the Hagravens can provide. I could have gone to any other village but I hear you are the only one with a level head these days.
Cael: Very well, but yours is not the only opinion I must hear. The Dragonborn has saved this village to the point that she is as much a part of it as I am.
Cael: Well? What do you think of our guest’s proposition?