Tim Gayda is a British writer who told us that he has written a lot of short stories in the past, and attended creative writing courses to develop his talents, but The White Maledict, included in the Tales from the Frontier Elite anthology, will be his first published story.
Tim, we’ve harassed all authors thus far by making them tell us their favourite past Elite title and whether there is a ship in the originals that you especially liked and would love to see in Elite: Dangerous?
Although I like the scale and depth of the sequels, the original Elite is still my favourite – partly for nostalgic reasons, but also because it was such a revolutionary game for its time, which in my opinion is still perfectly playable today. The definitive version of Elite for me has to be Arc Elite on the Acorn Archimedes. In Arc Elite there was more life to the universe, with squads of Viper police ships flying to battle with pirates or ships mining ore from asteroids and any number of minor events that made Arc Elite so special and believable when compared to other versions.
My favourite ship is the Krait, as it’s fast, sleek and mean. It has a really cool design and reminds me of the Star Wars films, which I imagine is where the inspiration for its design came from originally.
How about the upcoming Elite: Dangerous? What do you consider to be the most exciting part of it, based on what you’ve seen so far?
I’m really excited about the possibility of exploring the universe in multiplayer and being able to fight, trade and explore alongside friends. Interacting with real people and joining factions will make the universe seem more lively, diverse and unpredictable. I’m hoping that the universe in Elite: Dangerous can be altered considerably by the players, changing the boundaries of faction controlled space and also being able to influence things like the economy and conflicts on a galactic scale appeals to me greatly.
Tim, your story has been read and commented on by your fellow authors and it is soon going to Fantastic Books Publishing for the professional editing rounds. How do you feel about the story now?
I’m quite happy with the story so far, and I’m currently working on the third draft based on the comments my fellow authors have provided me with. This was a very useful part of the writing process for me, as reading other peoples’ comments on my story helped to highlight issues that I was unaware of. This means I can now make improvements in terms of plot and characterisation, along with technical issues regarding perspective and structure. Even at this stage I keep getting new ideas to improve and develop the plot, whilst learning more about how to engage the reader effectively, so it really is a constantly evolving process for me.
What kinds of problems did you encounter during the writing process that you did not foresee?
The main problem was ensuring that the story was consistent with the Elite universe, and that the technology fits with what the developers have in mind, as the information we get from Frontier alters from time to time, which means we have to modify our stories to fit with new details about the Elite: Dangerous universe. The process has involved doing a lot of research into Sci-Fi writing in general, and also reading loads of documents specifically related to the Elite universe, and work out what background details to include in my story in order to bring it to life.
Another issue I had was ensuring that all aspects of the plot connected logically and consistently, as there were details that I just couldn’t fit together for a long time. It’s always tricky writing the first draft because you have a strong idea of what you want to write about, but you have to work out how to convey the story in an accessible and entertaining way.