In the build up to our new issue, Fantasy, we get to know our latest group of writers, their wider work and what games they love, and of course their experiences of writing for Five out of Ten. Pledge to support our Patreon and get the new issue as soon as it’s released!
Ana Valens is a freelance games critic and trans cultural writer. Her features in Issue 18 are entitled ‘A Transitioning Medium – Breaking Down Trans Literature in Gaming’ and ‘Please Select Your Female Character’.
How did you get started as a writer?
Oh gosh, awhile ago. Most of my early writing was journalistic or editorial work at my alma mater, Rutgers University. Then I moved onto games criticism for sites like Gamemoir and FemHype, and here I am today.
What inspired you to write your features for Five out of Ten?
I pitched Five Out of Ten during a very difficult stage of my life. I came out of that period wanting to share stories about trans women in gaming, and I wanted to discuss why we write and create the stories that we do.
What is your favourite part of your Five out of Ten features?
It’s great to sit down with some of my favourite games and talk about what their game design does, why it’s important to me, and how it relates to the world outside of videogaming. As players, we don’t always get the opportunity to discuss that; but when we do, it’s incredible.
What do you do when you’re not writing about videogames?
I read, write, and play a lot. I just finished reading through Casey Plett’s A Safe Girl to Love, and I’m still caught up in that world. I love the creative energy that a good book gives you as a writer.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Research. If you sit down and carefully consider your subject matter, or prod yourself to find info that takes you into a new direction, you’ll start to work through your block.
What advice would you give to other aspiring video game writers?
Don’t settle, and don’t just pitch about videogames to games sites. I’ve written about folks in games for places like The Toast and Bitch Media. If you have an interesting story to share, editors will listen.