Last week, I got a message from a RedLine editorial assistant. Would I be interested in working on a series about E-sports?
I happened to be on the treadmill when the message came through but I hopped off and ran upstairs. “E-sports?” I asked my son who was playing CS:GO. (As was explained to me, that stands for Counter Strike: Global Offense. “It’s an acronym, Mom.”)
Anyway, I bugged the boy. “E-sports?” He looked over his shoulder at me. “What about them?”
“Does that mean FIFA-type games or professional gaming?”
“Professional gaming. Why?” I showed him the list of possible topics and he pointed to the first one on the list. “That would be the best match for you.” I quickly dashed off a reply and got back on the treadmill.
Write what I know? I could follow that advice but it would be pretty lean around here. Instead, I adapt it to write what I’m willing to research. It doesn’t hurt that I have an enthusiastic gamer in the house. And I do play a handful of games — mostly various versions of Call of Duty.
I know about gaming as a hobby but professional gaming? There are tournaments. You can win prize money. You can gain sponsors. I can name a handful of games but that’s about it. Two days ago I didn’t even know that South Korea is the Hollywood of professional gaming.
How do you proceed when you aren’t writing what you know? With research of course. So far I have 3 sources and 5 pages of notes. This isn’t a particularly long book — less than 4000 words — but I’m going to need a lot more information. I have about 6 more online articles to read, 3 print articles from the library and two books to pick up. Research is, not surprisingly, key.
But just in case I am taken in by a faulty bit of information, I’ve got a consultant lined up. His grandfather asked if he was getting a consulting fee. “Nah, but she’ll take me out to dinner.” Giving birth to your consultant certainly has its benefits.