I love achievements. I enjoy being able to admire all my badges, symbols, points and trophies. There’s something immensely satisfying about seeing these icons, the way they flaunt and display all your hard work and dedication. I don’t care if it’s a star sticker next to my name for perfect attendance, a boy scout badge for helping the elderly, or an overwhelming stock of Trophies and Gamerpoints, I love Achievements.
Video games did help push these achievements into the spotlight for me though. Gone were the days of dusty save files crowded on cramped memory cards. I now had an entire bulletin board posting my success, one pushpin at a time. It was all archived and showcased in one place.
Then, I thought about writing a novel. What achievements could I acquire for that? It’d be inspirational to see my writing status in a simliar fashion to my favored video games. I could strive for the greyed out icons, their conditions plainly visible; and the reward just as tangible.
The beginning would be all the easy stuff you got just for trying the game. “You Claimed the Title of (Writer)!” and “Thought of your First Character!” come to mind. First few hours gives mild nods to your progress. “Wrote 1 Chapter!” and “Started a Conflict!” spring up.
Once you get going you will always have those consistent Achievements for accumulating so much time spent with the project. “Completed 5 (10, 25, 50) Chapters!” and “10,000 (50,000; 100,000) Written Words” are obvious choices. Optional Achievements will start to show up, ones not directly associated with completing the game. These could include:
“Wrote the Perfect Metaphor!”
“Successfully Executed Foreshadowing!”
“Used a Plot Twist!”
“Introduced a Conflict!”
Towards the end we would tie up loose ends on our Achievements, filling in anything we were missing. These might be “Completed a Major Character Arc!” or “The Hero Triumphed!” for a winning battle scene. You may be able to kill off a villian, “Evil Vanquished!” and fill in the final numbers for the completion Achievements.
Beating the game (novel) would always simultaneously award a few Achievements. “You Wrote a Novel!” and “Check Off DRAFT 1!”
Of course, there is always postgame content, and just because you wrote a novel, it doesn’t mean you are done. You’ll need a few last Achievements to complete the list.
“Revised: Completed a Revision!”
“Create a Hype!”
“It’s in your Hands Now!” (Become Published)
“Owner of Renown!”
“Mastered Job Title: Author!”
Once you’ve perfected your game, got the best weapons, beat the hardest bosses, and found all the secrets… well there’s always more games. There’s always more books to be written. Obtain old Achievements in new ways, or go for the new ones, it will never be completely the same.
What Achievements would you get for your writing? Let me know!