We Need to Talk

This post may contain spoilers for readers not caught up through the story.

So, about that last chapter.  Let me preface this by reminding everyone that this story was never supposed to see the light of the internet.  It was something I was writing for myself and I had no intention of sharing it with anyone. Ever.

And now, a confession. Back in August I mentioned that I had been writing about Elspeth since November 2011.  But that’s not entirely true.  The truth is that I’ve been writing about Elspeth (although her name has not always been Elspeth) since 2007, when I finished my Oblivion story.  Back then I planned an original sequel that I intended to set in Skyrim.  I wrote out some plot ideas and sketched out the main characters but soon life and dissertations and weddings and baby-having got in the way and I put the story aside for a while.  When I found out that the new Elder Scrolls game would be taking place in Skyrim, I was ecstatic and immediately began thinking about my story again.

When I sat down to play for the first time, I had a very clear sense of my character, her personality, her moral compass, and so forth.  As I wrote her story, I started to flesh out the the plot I had already planned with details from the game.  Eventually, quests and characters from the game started working their way into the story even though they clashed terribly with the canon.  But since I wasn’t showing anyone, I basically wrote like this:

Because I wasn’t going to show anyone ever.  So it didn’t matter.

Then sometime in April, I decided to start the blog.  I went back through my story and figured out how fit Elspeth into the canon.  In doing so I changed a lot of things:  her name, her history, her personality, her family.

But there were some things, such as her ancestry, that were immutable.  I can’t emphasize this enough. I have known her for so long and there are some things about her that are just true.  When I was playing the game, it never occurred to me that it would ever make me uncomfortable.  Skyrim’s hero is Dragonborn.  Mine is a Septim.  It makes perfect sense and yet, it seems strange to put it out there.

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to write this post.  At first, I felt the need to explain–even apologize–for my creative decision but…fuck that.  Just, fuck that.  People are going to read or they aren’t.  But writing this post helped me put some things into perspective and I do like to share the creative process, so there is that.  Also, that gif. is the reason the internet exists and I seldom have a chance to use it.

I don’t like to make promises regarding my story but I will tell you this much.  What has been revealed here was not added as a cute way to turn Elspeth into a paragon.  Nor is it going to be a simple way to resolve the quests in Skyrim in a more satisfactory manner.  If Elspeth gains anything from this, she will earn it.  And it’s going to hurt.  A lot.

Pruzah Sul,


Post Script:  I still have all my notes and drafts from the original story.  If anyone is interested in how my characters related to each other in that story, let me know.  Some of it is quite…amusing.  In particular, Lydia’s role.


18 thoughts on “We Need to Talk

  1. Vahkiin

    Holy sweet globs. That is the most amazing gif. ever. This is so a notorious “what the fuck ever” face of mine when the Mr. annoys me. Not even kidding. He calls it the Chris Farley (like in Tommy Boy when he does ‘fat man little coat’)

  2. Pyrelle

    Honestly had you not said anything at all about having written it in 2007 or followed it up with this I would have never known because the pieces just fit for me and I could follow everything that was going on and able to connect it to what is happening now in your story.

    1. Elspeth Aurilie Post author

      Well that’s good to know. The 2007 bit was mostly creative process stuff. I really wanted you guys who read and comment regularly to know how long I’ve been thinking about this story.

  3. adantur

    Is that complainer the one who moaned about you starting with the main quest or something? I do my Googling =P It sounds like you’ve put so much effort into your writing with all your notes and charts and such and it really does show upon reading. I like to hear about the creative process writers go through as I struggle with that myself, partly because I’m chronically lazy and like to just write and partly because I like to know just how you come up with this stuff! The only note-taking I do is on my crappy samsung when someone pops into my head while out and about. I’m venturing into essay length (again!) hehe.

    1. Elspeth Aurilie Post author

      “Is that complainer the one who moaned about you starting with the main quest or something?”

      At ff.net? The complaint about me starting off with a verbatim telling of the game was somewhat fair…I mean, I sort of did that on purpose. But obviously, my story does not stick to a verbatim retelling so, whatever.

      But yeah, that would be the complainer I’m talking about. That individual has since challenged my geek cred. Apparently, if you’ve never played D&D you shouldn’t be writing about Skyrim.

      1. adantur

        What the hell?! I remember thinking that a lot of Skyrim fan-fiction starts with a verbatim re-telling of the game, because you can’t really get away from the first cutscene, perhaps if he’d read on a chapter of two…

        About the D&D thing I can’t even begin to express how both erroneous and downright ridiculous that is, not to mention hilarious. This guy is a serious troll (first time I’ve ever used the term) has he at least written something that’s up to his ‘lofty’ geek standards?

        P.S. I have played D&D, only a couple of games but hey, at least I don’t have to now tear my blog down and go back to being a norm!

      2. Elspeth Aurilie Post author

        This particular commenter has gone on to read more and likes to point out stupid crap. I just ignore her/him. S/he’s written a Pokemon story but I’ve never read it nor do I intend to.

      3. adantur

        I had a look and I don’t understand, one line pointing out what you think is a flaw in a story is not a review, if I had someone like that polluting my comments section I’d be irked to say the least.

      4. David

        WOOOT? If some one rights about a dragonborn, the most logical way is too start off helgen! or, you can skip it, and then skip a great way to define your characters treat early on. Cowardly, or survivalist? scheming, or simply careful? Brave, or down right idiotic? the way they can handle the situation, and the little changes you can bring to a scene is just a sign of better story telling. you work with existent things, and then turn it in to your own, unique style.

        and wtf that’s shit about D&D? That’s like saying all gamers must have played legends of zelda because it’s the BEST GAME EVAR!!!111 (fun thing, they do say that quite a lot, those Njeeeerrrrks. a nerd and a jerk, you know, a NJerk.). I never played D&D in my entire life, and I am a nerd, if nothing else 😛

      5. Elspeth Aurilie Post author

        It was one of those point s/he corrected something in my story and was all OMG HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW THAT DIDN’T YOU PLAY D&D WTF?

        I took it as a way of challenging my geek cred, like I should have known better. Meh.

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