Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Back Into Writing

Truth be told, gaming got me into reading and into writing.  The first things I ever wrote, on my own without the barrel of a loaded grade book at my head, were adventures for my friends to explore.  Sure they were basic graph paper dungeons full of ninety degree angles and room randomly plotted.  Sure there may have been four blink dogs in one room, Tiamat in the next and seven ogres at the end of the hall.  Did it make sense, nah, but holy frick'n shit was it fun.  Friends had fun.  I had a beat up old briefcase with manilla folders holding my adventures.  When we wanted to game they could pick which adventure they wanted to go through and off we went, rolling dice and never asking if it made sense. 

Game writing I've been doing.  Writing adventures and a campaign I've been doing.  But I want to get back to writing fiction.  I used to write short stories all the time.  When you're a college kid who has no money, doesn't drink and lives alone in the country writing was one of cheapest ways to entertain yourself. 

There is a difference between writing for a game and writing fiction.  But there is lot in common.  Use one to strengthen the other. 

Right off I can think of creating characters for your story compared to creating NPCs for your game.  Needing to make some interesting ones the players will remember. 

Creating a setting for the story and for the adventure.  If done correctly can add another dimension to your story or game.  Think of all the incredible places in fiction and in gaming that have been created.  Think of a book you've read and thought I would love to adventure through that world.  Or went through and adventure and wanted to know more about the setting.  I know in my yester year of gaming I always wanted to know what Acererak's story about how he went about building the tomb of horrors.

And developing a plot.  These two are very different to me when I create a story or an adventure.  For a story you fill out the details and drive the story by using the plot.  In gaming you let the players drive the story, but it may follow a completely different plot than you expect.  While the players may not have taken on the undead army invading the town, they may have decided break the damn up the river and flood the town and washing the undead into the sea.  Why not?

I enjoy writing in both mediums immensely and need to get back to writing more fiction (don't worry I won't bore you with them).  I am toying with the idea of joining NaNoWriMo this year to get me kick started again.  I know when I'm trying to improve my writing in one area it will improve in other areas.  I want to write better adventures.  I want to write better stories.  And I want to have fun doing it.  I don't mind the struggle and frustration that comes with it, that's the fun of it. 


  1. Good deal. And I have your original manuscript from the first time you finished NaNo. Good luck and have fun with this round.


  2. This is exactly what I am doing. The reason I stepped back from gaming is really because it was not 'doing it' for me. I picked up a book (I have always loved reading and dreamt of being an author) and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have always thought of gaming, while enjoyable, was merely a stepping stone to writing. Now, I am just forcing myself to put my money where my mouth is.

    I wish you good luck and look forward to reading what you produce.

  3. the barrel of a loaded grade book at my head
    Yeah, they give us a license to carry one of those as soon as we become teachers. :)

    As for writing fiction -- go for it, Tim! I think it's a great idea. I agree that the shift from gaming to fiction would be far easier than to just start writing fiction cold. Certainly not automatic, but you definitely would seem to have a lot of foundational skills in place to begin with.

  4. This is exciting...even just to think about.

    Let me know if you need help with those pesky commas.

  5. I suppose that writing a rule for a wargame is different than writing a story... I'm not a wargamer, but I know that some write battle-reports like if they were stories ! amazing sometimes !
    Spooky has a book, you want to write a story: that could be nice to read all of that !!

    I'm trying to write a story too but in a different way: I use figures and sceneries for the illustrations....
    (could be read on my second blog :
    that's in french with an own "poor" english translation !)
    I know that it's difficult to write a story even if you have the ideas (in my case, I don't know if they are good or not, I don't care, but for sure it's fun and full of lessons!)

    Go on !!

  6. Happy writing, my friend! I'm going through my own personal shift in focus from the hobby to a time of personal development. Roleplaying has always been, and always will be, an inspirational activity and has taught me much. But there are other things that require my attention these days, so for the time being I need to step back a bit. So, I can relate!

  7. Well, you know, Libram Mysterium Volume II will be open for submissions some time in the new year... if that isn't incentive, I don't know what is!

  8. Having read chunks from both the Manors and Knowledge I say go for it