And speaking of Mass Effect … here’s a look at another of my ongoing, just-for-fun/providing-free-samples projects. This one is titled Freelancers, which I was inspired to start after Mass Effect 2 caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. The first game was an epic space opera, but the second focused mainly on the characters, which I really liked. The “bigger picture” won’t matter nearly as much to your readers if you don’t populate the story with characters they care about, and I grew quite attached to most of the characters in this game.
Yet when I started getting ideas for playing around in the Mass Effect setting, it was mostly my own original characters. So I decided to pick a rather minor character from the game to use as way into the story, and then create a bunch of my own characters, and just turn them loose in the setting and see what happened. Then, when Mass Effect 3 was released and turned out to be … not a very good game at all, story-wise, especially the ending (I’m not getting into it here; just Google “Mass Effect 3 ending” and grab some popcorn ;), I started getting ideas on how to write a more satisfying conclusion to the epic. Which is something a lot of people have done.
I wanted to try writing a story that was more satisfying to me, personally, than what I got from the final game, and just see if I could pull it off. And rather than starting up a whole new story, I decided to use the one I’d already been writing, and add my new ideas to it. Twenty-four chapters and over 107,000 words long, and still going strong – and packed with a variety of human and alien characters (many of them total smartasses), action, drama, and lots of humor. It’s probably one of the most fun stories I’ve worked on, and is, in fact, one of my works that a reader compared to Firefly.