20Q with Adam Miller

Feb 7, 2020 by

Twenty things you (probably) didn’t know about Destiny 2 and Telltale’s The Walking Dead Writer and Narrative Designer, Adam Miller.

 

1. My first job was… I was a part time photographer for my local newspaper, The Acorn, in Calabasas, Ca. I did about four jobs before they never called me again. I was a photographer as a hobby, but mostly nature and portrait. Trying to get action shots of local goings on around town was not something that meshed well with my then undiagnosed anxiety or my lack of self confidence at the time, but I still had a lot of fun doing it!

2. If I wasn’t a writer, I would likely be… I’ve always joked I’d be living in the woods as a lumberjack, which makes little sense because I’m a short small man. But I do have good upper body strength… haha. In all honesty, I’d either be a nat geo photographer and world traveler, or a political aide.

3. I collect… Ugh. These days I try not to collect much. I hate clutter. But I have an extensive collection of old video games and amiibos. And since I’m currently at Bungie, a lot of exclusive Destiny stuff related to the titles I have shipped. I also collect pop culture art- I have a HUGE collection of Breaking Bad prints, some marvel prints, LOST prints, and more.

4. My favorite word is… “Shornt.” A Michael Scott word meaning “won’t.”

5. I’m a big fan of… WAS a big fan of the show Lost. Also Green Arrow and Assassin’s Creed. Growing up I was a huge fan of LotR and still am. I’m also a gigantic history fan. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast is amazing. And I’m also fascinated by cults and serial killers. Listened to lots of Last Podcast on the Left. Adore those guys.

6. The single best piece of (writing related) advice I have ever gotten… Two pieces: One actually came from one of my best friends who is a lawyer these days. He commented on the way I wrote dialogue early on, where I started a lot of it with “Well…” and “So…” He explained to me that as long as my dialogue felt unconfident and hesitant of itself, my characters would always come off the same way, even if I didn’t intend for that to be the case. Second best piece- “Great ideas loosely held.” Rewriting and rethinking is a way of life in my line of work. If you can’t be versatile and amenable, you probably won’t be successful as a writer.

7. I have always wanted to… Skydive, but I am absolutely frightened of doing so. I’ve also always wanted to watch The Wire and Twin Peaks, but I feel like I missed my window.

8. The best thing I have ever read, (but did not write) is… The Seinfeld 9/11 spec script that went around the internet a couple years ago. It’s absolutely perfect.

9. People often tell me that I… Look like Elijah Wood. Or at least they used to. Also that I have a tendency to cut people off during conversation. Working on that one.

10. I really think that my best work (published or not) is… I’m SUPER proud of the narrative we built and the character we created for the Black Armory expansion in Destiny 2. I built the character based on my own and a friend of mine’s experiences with anxiety and built their relationship with the player around helping them manage and overcome said anxiety. I think we were super successful, and the character was a hit.

11. I find inspiration in… To be honest, my personal life and my relationships with people and my connection to the world and the environment. Inspiration comes for me when I care about the life I’ve built. I want to share it with the world.

12. The best thing about being a professional writer is… The best thing is: You get to be super vulnerable emotionally in your work that you know people will see. It’s incredibly cathartic to put yourself out there and see others connect with you through your work.

13. I spend way too much time… Browsing netflix. Choice paralysis.

14. The funniest person in my cell phone is… Probably my friends Iain and Gordon. We’ve been best friends for years and are the only ones in my life who have seen and engaged with every level of my sense of humor, even the darkest weirdest levels… haha.

15. It really bothers me when… Richard Kelly makes movies.

16. The worst thing about being a professional writer is… It’s incredibly painful to dive into your head so often so deeply, and leaves me exhausted all the time. And it’s even worse when you put yourself into your work and it doesn’t connect with the world. Which is okay, because not everything an artist does is going to connect with others. But you always hope it will.

17. One mistake that most aspiring writers make is… Overconfidence in your work. Don’t be a one person army. Let your peers see your work and give you feedback. Humility will only make you a stronger writer. (Also, characters, first and foremost. Big plots are cool but they mean nothing without emotionally relatable characters)

18. If I knew the apocalypse was coming in 24 hours, I’d… Probably not SFW. :)

19. The three websites I visit most often are… Wikipedia, Kotaku, and ugh, Twitter.

20. You’d be surprised to know that I… Have five tattoos, three of which are related to my favorite pieces of media mentioned above. They’re meant to remind me of the things that inspired me to be a writer, so that even on my worst days the things I love live with me.

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