So there it is, 62 chapters, 350,000 words, or roughly 750 printed pages. (If you haven’t begun The Song of Deirdre yet, you can start here.)
When I began this project two years ago, I had several questions (spoiler warning!):
- Could I get fictional characters moving about and speaking in a convincing manner?
- Could I make the world of a video game come to life on the page?
- Could I make it equally entertaining both for those who had played Skyrim and for those had never played video games at all?
- Could I write a convincing female character (whatever the hell that means)?
- Could I avoid making her what Anita Sarkeesian calls a “Ms. Male Character” (essentially a male character with a few superficial feminine markers)?
- Could I write the whole thing as a first-person memoir and sustain reader interest?
- Could I wrestle the random quest lines of Skyrim into a coherent plot with enough narrative tension to keep readers clicking “next chapter”?
- Could I manage four main narrative arcs and a couple of smaller ones?
- Could I rise above the inherent heterosexism of a straight man writing a lesbian character if I focused hard enough on developing her relationship and did so in what I think of as a feminist and LGBTQ+ -friendly way?