Happy D2D-versary/Reflection Two: Beginnings

I can’t believe it, but today marks one year since I first started posting Dust to Dust on this blog. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing at the time, but I am so grateful I started this journey and got to share this story with everyone!

Joining the world of SimLit has opened my eyes to my own creativity and imagination, introduced me to other amazing works of SimLit, and has helped me meet so many amazing people who I now consider friends!

I will always be grateful for 7/11/15 and for everything Dust to Dust has given me.

This is so silly, but I’d like to give a special shoutout to Lucas, Evelyn, Mel, Krysti, and all the other characters from this story. They truly had lives of their own and I miss them every day ❤ But they live on forever in my heart and my mind 🙂

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of D2D, I am officially bringing back reflections, and will hopefully have them to share with you for the rest of the summer. Enjoy!

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Reflection Two: Beginnings

Some people may not realize this, but I actually played through the entire story of Dust to Dust before I ever wrote anything!

As I’d mentioned in my first reflection, I never really wrote any sim stories down before, just played them for myself. When I started my Dust to Dust save file, I had no intention at all to write it as a story.

A few hours into my gameplay, when Lucas was a teen, I took the first ever screenshot from my save (which never appeared in my story… Here it is!)

07-05-15_8-35 PM

Ah, young love 😛

Anyway, sometime around this point, I started to play around with the idea of actually writing this story. I’d vaguely heard of SimLit before, and had peeked at a story or two. The more I thought about the “story” I’d planned for my new save file, the more I started to think “Hmm… Maybe I could write this!” I used to love writing, and hadn’t written anything major in years. It was the beginning of the summer and I had a few months free. So why not?

I aged Lucas back down to a child (including his poor brown hair, thanks to that perfect patio hair glitch!) and started my “story” over again… This time screenshotting as I went!

07-05-15_10-34 PM

The original version of the “Lucas confesses his feelings for Evelyn in the hot tub” scene. Note the full garden in the background hahaha this was because I’d already played through the entire story at this point 😛

My plan was to play through the storyline first, take some screenshots as I played, and THEN write. As I played, unexpected things started happening, and I started changing and developing my plot more and more. I figured out I would need to go back and re-do/add a TON more pictures. I will talk about this later in future reflection posts!

The best example of this. Lucas happens to run into Grimmy at the park! Seriously like half of my plot came from this chance meeting. Thank you, random dead townie. Your sacrifice helped my story :P

The best example of this. Lucas happens to run into Grimmy at the park! Seriously like half of my plot came from this chance meeting. Thank you, random dead townie. Your sacrifice helped my story 😛

Anyway, let’s talk a tiny bit about the very beginning of this story.

Though cliche, I felt like the best way to begin the story was by having a family move into a new home. Why else would their house suddenly be haunted? When I had to figure out Lucas and Evelyn’s first meeting, I quickly decided that having him try to run away late at night made the most sense. It all tied together kind of well. The family was in a new home, their kid was homesick and wanted to leave, the discovery of a ghost in his backyard made him want to stay.

07-05-15_10-36 PM

The first shot I ever took of Lucas with Evelyn’s grave. Note that the walls are down in the background. I was such a terrible screenshotter back then. Look how far I’ve come haha!

Because I was going the “imaginary friend” route, I had to make sure that Lucas was the only one who could see Evelyn, and that they became best friends. When developing their personalities, I made sure that they meshed well together. The friendship (and eventual romance) had to feel genuine… but the friendship more than anything, as that is the true heart of this story.

Looking back, I do wish I’d spent some more time on Lucas’ childhood years. I almost used those first 7-8 chapters as a prelude of sorts to the rest of the story. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I think I would have spent more time on Lucas’ childhood and how their friendship developed in the first place.

But as soon as the seeds were in place — their friendship, and Lucas’ desire to bring her back to life — I was ready to move on to the teen years, where the romance would begin!

More on that in the next reflection 😉 Thank you for reading! 😀

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5 Responses to Happy D2D-versary/Reflection Two: Beginnings

  1. Hailey says:

    ” If I had the chance to do it all over again, I think I would have spent more time on Lucas’ childhood and how their friendship developed in the first place.”

    Who’s to say that you can’t? 🙂 Perhaps that could be one of your “extras” to come–do some bonus chapters that include snippets from Lucas’s childhood! Things that might have happened in the background, but we didn’t get to see. It’s your blog, darlin! You can do whatever you want with it! ❤ …although I am taking the liberty of speaking for all your fans when I say that we would definitely love to see more of Lucas and Evelyn's "formative" years!

    Love your stories, everything that you write. I hope you're having a restful, well-deserved summer!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. julyvee94 says:

    Hahaha thank you random townie for your sacrifice! Loved these insights into your process 🙂 I think I never played a story without writing it down. maybe I should it would make just playing more fun 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Senna says:

    Bless that random dead townie. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, it was so great to read these Reflections. I’m glad you decided to write them, because I’m always curious about the behind-the-scenes process that writers go through. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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