In the build up to our new issue, Lost and Found, 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!
Edward Bals is a freelance wordsmith whose words have appeared in PC Gamer, GamesRadar, Zam and more. When he’s not busy being overly critical or looking for the hottest new take he’s probably on Twitter as @EdwardBals.
How did you get started as a writer?
I got my first gig interviewing Karla Zimonja of Fullbright for Gadgette off the back of some blog posts which I used as writing samples. Being published opened the doors to other places, since my pitches now had that as a writing sample.
What inspired you to write your features for Five out of Ten?
I’d always liked the ethos of Five out of Ten, and their articles seem to blend readability with deep thinking. Also, all my favourite writers have been in these pages at one time or another so I thought it would be something of an achievement to get in here.
What is your favourite part of your Five out of Ten features?
The fact that I’ve managed to get some incoherent gripes that I’ve had with videogames into something readable and well argued. The fact that they both came to similar conclusions is a happy coincidence, quite different to the articles I had in mind before I started writing them. Essentially if you’re going do story, do story well. Learn from the mistakes of what came before and make something stronger.
What do you do when you’re not writing about videogames?
A strange assortment of odd jobs, trying to hold together some semblance of a life. Which, funnily enough, usually ends up with me either playing videogames or reading about them.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Editing is usually the worst time for me, when I can get locked into a cycle of staring despondently at the lines on the screen which used to be words. If I catch myself in time I usually head outside to get some fresh air, have a walk and think about something else. On my return I’m usually able to get something done. If that doesn’t work then I play videogames. It’s all part of the research.
What are you going to write for us next time?
Probably some think piece on No Man’s Sky, I don’t think anyone’s done one of those yet.
Where will you be five years from now?
Immersed in a fully haptic VR rig doing something mundane like slicing virtual vegetables while enjoying the strong narrative that lies behind why I’m slicing vegetables.
What’s your favourite game?
A tough one! The rose tinted youthful part of my brain is shouting Dark Chronicle, but adult me would probably say Journey or Dark Souls.
What advice would you give to other aspiring video game writers?
Pitch! If you’ve got interesting ideas and can put together a sentence then someone will take a shot on you. After that you’ll have that all important published writing sample, and from there it’ll snowball. Pretty soon you’ll be the Editor sat in the big chair. At least, I think that’s how it works.
Where can we find more of your work? (please supply a link to your website)