Writing Wars: Chapter Two

By Raelynn de la Cruz, Chasen Fayeghi, Jordan Knowles, Nathan Lachner, Charis Nixon, and Haley Reineman

Planet Ebsco

Luke Skywriter’s idea wouldn’t stop squirming and making incomprehensible noises. His idea was strong and seemed to be sustainable, but he knew he needed to learn more about his idea if he was to finish his quest and become a Writing Master.

Skywriter felt a familiar pull on his gut, “The Force,” he thought.

It had been so long since he had felt it, but he could sense it now stronger than ever. It was pulling him back to his ship. A hologram from his Writing Master, Obi Wan Composition, was waiting for him when he arrived.

“Luke, I am sending this to you in hopes that your quest is moving forward. There is some resistance here in the Council. It seems that there is a new organization rising up against the Writers. They call themselves ‘The Doubt.’ Please be wary of their presence as we are unsure of the reach they have. As for your quest, I am hoping you have caught your idea—they are hard to find sometimes and capturing one is a great accomplishment. Now you must learn more about your idea on Planet Ebsco. It’s a utopian planet. You won’t find anything there unless you are concise and specific with what you are looking for. You’ll find Planet Ebsco already in your navigation in the Metonymy Falcon. Be strong young Skywriter. You can do this. May the Writing Force be with you.”

The hologram cut out. The idea of The Doubt sent shivers down Skywriter’s spine. Nevertheless, he continued his quest. He selected Planet Ebsco from his navigation and immediately felt the numbing and pulling sensation of going into light speed.

As the Metonymy Falcon slowed to orbit Planet Ebsco, Skywriter looked out the window at a fantastical sight. The entire city was chrome and clean, nothing out of place anywhere. He landed, exited his ship, and began making his way to the immense, silver tower in the middle of the city. Upon his entry, he saw a service desk at the back of the room titled “The Search Bar”and decided to make his way there. A robotic-looking woman appeared out of nowhere.

“Can I help you?” asked a voice that didn’t quite seem human.

“Yes! How do I find more information on my idea?”

“Well, it depends on what you want to know. But the Search Bar is the right place to discover where you need to go. Our systems are very picky, which can make searching tricky. You must be very specific with what you want to know. If you aren’t, you will have no information with you when you go or you’ll be overwhelmed with information. Follow me, and I will show you the way. I can feel the Force within you—don’t dismay.”

Overwhelmed, Skywriter followed the woman to a massive elevator, stepped in, and began his search. The elevator slowly made its way up.

“Please insert your idea,” a voice boomed from the elevator, startling Skywriter.

An opening appeared in the wall of the elevator. Flustered, Luke pulled the idea from his bag and put it into the opening. A screen lit up on the elevator, “Is everything reliable?” it read, with three locks below the question.

Unsure of how to proceed Luke muttered, “Not everything is reliable. What if it hasn’t been reviewed by others? ”

The first lock opened. He must have done something right! He continued to think aloud,
“If the information is too old, it won’t be relevant anymore or may contain misinformation.”

Another lock unlatched. Luke struggled to think of more concerns. He sat down cross-legged and contemplated what else might make an idea unreliable.

“Incomplete information is always dangerous, so just reading an abstract is never good enough. The people who write abstracts are also not always the people who wrote the article, so the information isn’t always accurate. The introduction, results, and conclusions are sections with the most reliable information. However, the abstract is good place to start.”

The final lock unlatched and the door opened. Skywriter looked at the room overwhelmed with the volume of information. Inside the room were thousands of computer screens, each with a different article on it.

The booming voice returned, “Pick the the correct articles, and you will have completed the tasks.”

Skywriter scanned the different screens. He stepped back for a moment and closed his eyes. There it was again. That pull he had felt earlier—the Force had returned. It pulled him toward a computer screen that had another article on it. That’s when he noticed the date; it was published within the last five years, and it was peer-reviewed. He read and annotated the abstract to get an overview of the article and proceeded to the introduction, results, and conclusion. It was a good match, so he selected his first article. He repeated this two more times, looking for the criteria he had established. Once he found the last article, a tray flew out of the wall on a mechanical arm. It was the three articles he had selected, all relevant to his idea.

The voice boomed a final time, “Congratulations, you have completed your Ebsco tasks. You may think the worst is over, but there are more challenges to come. Now you must travel to Planet Drafting and create your thesis statement and develop supporting ideas. Planet Drafting is a difficult place, and it is easy to get lost and never find your way back again. I wish you luck young Skywriter—you will need it.”

And with that a large door opened leading outside. Luke stepped out, more confident but still anxious to continue his journey to Planet Drafting.

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