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What really goes into making an article?

by Nathan - September 25, 2002

A lot of people have been asking me the same question, and I'm really getting sick of it: "Hey Nathan, how do you come up with the high-calibre NinjaCulture articles you write?"

You should know right now that this is a complete lie, and nobody asks me this at all. But I'm assuming that this is because eveyrone's too shy to approach me. Don't be! Just because I'm famous well-known involved with a website doesn't mean I'm not approachable!

But I digress. Regardless of whether or not you're afraid of meeting me in public, you too probably wonder how I come up with articles. Well, I may not ever have mentioned this to anyone, but the last time I wrote an article, I took the liberty of making a small documentary on the side about the creation process. And by 'documentary' I of course mean 'series of webcam pictures'. Enjoy!

1.)The Basic Idea

The Basic Idea can come to me at any time. I can be walking down the street, or standing in line, or high on mescaline; ideas care not for timing. They just arrive, and I've learned to pay attention when they do. This time, I am playing computer games when it hits me.

fig.1: By jove, what a grand idea! Glad I thought of it, what what!

Normally it is a good idea to quickly jot down ideas you have for future reference. 95% of the time I will forgo this, telling myself that "I'll definitely remember it later." I continue playing video games.

2.)Incentive Time

Days pass. During those days I often remind myself to write the article, and yet at the same time I will tell myself that "I'm pretty busy" and "Andrew hasn't really written anything either" so I'm okay for a little while longer. The latter is often a lie; as you may have noticed, Andrew tends put up two or three articles in the time it takes me to write just one.

I like to think it's my attention to quality, not quantity, that makes up for this difference. Anyway, I'm often hard at work on something beneficial to mankind as a whole...

fig.2: I conclude my glasses are possessed by tiny glass-demons!

...when Andrew will angrily message me and tell me to freaking update the site already. This is generally done in just such a fashion;

fig.3: You heard the man! A round of applause for matte paintings!

If you could hear him saying that out loud, you'd know it was in the tone he generally reserves for those times he's about to stab me in the face.

fig.4: Don't worry folks, he'll be fine!

3.)Article Time!

Since I like to avoid being stabbed in the face, I tell him that I'll start work on the article immediately. And to tell the truth I almost always do. Or at least, I try to. Remember when I thought of The Idea, and didn't write it down? That comes back now to haunt me, in a big way.

For you see, my memory is about three hours long, tops. And so even though I tell myself that I'll remember the Idea when I want to write about it, I never do; on top of that, I never seem to remember that I can't remember anything worth a damn. It's a vicious cycle.

I generally spend some time lollygagging about and finally give up to go play some Super Metroid or something.

fig.5: Super Metroid rocks.

4.)Article Time - Part Two

Very often it is during this time of gleeful distraction that I will have a second Idea. This idea is generally not as good as my first. Now technically I can't remember the first idea but somehow it just seems like that one would have been better.

By this time it is night and only a precious few hours remain for me to get some actual sleep. No time for sleep, I says! The Site Must Be Updated!

Incidentally, since I always take a cam picture after I'm done updating everything else, my webcam pictures are often taken at odd times of the day.

5.)The End Result!

I've finished the article, uploaded everything, and updated my webcam picture. Now it's time to sit back and bask in the glow of yet another literary triumph.

Or, it's time to sleepily bask in the flicker of a delirious article about getting rid of corpses. Either way, it's done.

And that's my creative process. I hope you found this at least as informative as a brochure on Home Mortgages, or one of those creepy Jack Chick tracts.

-e-mail: monster-0@alucentral.ca

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