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Co/Create Winner Profile: Writer Aaron Arm

Cover image for Co/Create Winner Profile: Writer Aaron Arm

Growing up, Aaron Arm harbored a deep passion for writing and literature. After graduating from Ithaca College with an English and Journalism degree, he channeled these passions into educating young minds, serving as an English teacher for over a decade, primarily in the Ithaca City School District of New York.

In addition to his teaching experience, Aaron also has professional experience as a technical writer, editor and copywriter.

But fiction, particularly science fiction, always held a special place in his heart. Drawing inspiration from literary greats like Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury in his adolescence, and later, visionary filmmakers such as Denis Villeneuve and Alex Garland, Aaron steadily honed his craft and paved his way in the world of fiction. His dedication bore fruit this past July with the release of his debut sci-fi novel, The Artifice of Eternity, through Cosmic Egg Books.

In Aaron, we saw the quintessential creator we hope to champion with Co-Create - immensely talented individuals with high ambitions, held back by the unfair constraints created by the creative industry’s power players and gatekeepers.

When our team created DBRIS (DBRIS.net for more info), it was apparent that the organization needed a “face.” A character at the top of the organization to provide reality and depth to the fictional entity. We decided to let the community fill in that gap in the form of a Co/Create, fielding submissions for character profiles for an original “International Director of DBRIS” character.

The assignment was to build an original character using our character building treatment template, detailing the character’s upbringing and life story, how they became associated with the organization, why they believe in Disco Ball Theory, and what they hope to accomplish as they continue to amplify their mission. The selected submission would then work with our creative team to turn their treatment into a 1-2k word in-character piece of prose which would be heavily involved with future storylines.

Aaron's Creative Process

Aaron’s core approach was to intertwine the goals and mission of the organization of DBRIS with the specific, personal motivations of the character of Alethea. As outlined by Aaron, Alethea Mattis’ life was marred by the mysterious disappearance of her father under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. This set her off on a winding path, taking her away from her trajectory towards a medical degree after uncovering her father’s long-standing research into Disco Ball Theory and association with DBRIS. Her journey into the depths of Disco Ball Theory and up the ranks of DBRIS represent not just a quest for knowledge, but a deep-seated need to reconnect with her lost father. Her loss instilled in her a dispassionate outlook towards dealing with skeptics of Disco Ball Theory and a razor-sharp focus on her mission, preventing her from developing any serious romantic relationships and causing her to maintain a distance with her coworkers.

To get a sense of Aaron's process and how he went about building the core attributes for the character of Alethea Mattis, take a look at Aaron's original character building worksheet he submitted to the "International Director of DBRIS Character" Co/Create:

Aaron's Co-Creation

Below is Aaron's completed Co-Creation - a letter from Alethea Mattis to the rest of the DBRIS organization - which he worked with our creative team to craft from his initial character building worksheet submission:

Looking Ahead

Aaron's letter will be featured at a key moment in one of the first few chapters of THE DISCO BALL experience, and the character of Alethea Mattis will continue to show up at future junctures of THE DISCO BALL experience.


To learn more about Aaron’s background, view his past work as a technical and fiction writer, and read his blog on the craft of storytelling and writing, visit https://www.aaronharm.com/.

You can view Aaron's submission to the "International Director of DBRIS Character" Co/Create here:

To learn more about Co/Create and view all the current Co/Create opportunities, visit Story.co/create.

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