Last week was Turkey week and it seems everyone got the week off from writing at PopMatters. It was Desert Bus so I was cool with this. So this post comes a week later than planned. Also, my review of the game went up today.
I mention them together, because they were really written together. I had two word documents open at the same time and when I got stuck on one I moved to the other to get my ideas down. My head was a swirling mass of things I wanted to say, but they all weren’t compatible with one another. Some were review thoughts, some were the thesis about an artist thoughts and some worked with both and had to make a choice. In fact, the first paragraph of each piece ended up switching word documents.
Really the division came down to what I was trying to write the review as or rather how I viewed what the content of a review should be. A review is a piece of criticism there to answer one question: is it worth my time? There are many ways to do this, but this very broad question is, to me, what a review is supposed to answer. It came down to a balance of what I wanted to say about the game and what would best inform someone wanting to know if it was worth their time. Maybe I got a little too focused on it by giving the play time of the game and yet I feel this is very important information for something as variable as video game length.
The other challenge was trying to figure out how to describe The Unfinished Swan without going off into long tangents of the game’s deeper meaning. Those musings would eventually become the essay. This was a real challenge just in the effort it took to make sure I conveyed myself properly.
Likewise with my essay, I found myself floundering. Up until I read the published version I was really unhappy with it. I had also been up for over 24 hours when I finished writing and editing it. I thought it a mess, but I could do no better at that moment. If fact, I thought this was going to be a piece I ended up rewriting. Perhaps in multiple sections with far more detail and information rather than a broad structural analysis. However, it looks like Mr. Williams managed to clean it up nicely, thought I can’t be sure what exactly he changed, but I know he changed stuff. I feel like an entire paragraph is missing and it’s the better for it.
If it did turn out as badly as I feared, I could have always shrugged it off as an esoteric writing excercise to show the game’s unfinished nature, by being unfinished itself. I’m so glad I don’t have to say that. So, please go read my essay and my review.