I have come upon a serious stash of old Dragon Magazines and I’ve been browsing them for nostalgia. I had a small epiphany.
I have ended up copying and filing a LOT of those old Dragon articles. They just fit into so much of my research for my next story (and a couple of my past ones!)
It made me think of the many friends I have who are or were role players and the many of those who were pretty good GMs. They designed campaigns (in whatever game, whether it be AD&D, Star Frontiers or GURPS!) and lead us through amazing adventures.
If you have experience doing this, and you did better than ok, why aren’t you writing?
If you’ve ever run a campaign, played a character with skill or designed a campaign for your group, you’ve got the chops to write a decent story.
The skills overlap:
– a good RPGer creates real and interesting characters and guides them through exciting situations
– a good DM goes beyond the written campaign material and fleshes it out, creating an environment with depth and a gripping plot for his players to experience.
– a game designer creates worlds, gives it life with details and plots that will allow characters to develop.
These are all amazing skills that one uses when writing a story. My next story will be another attempt as something I’ve been trying to get on paper for over 20 years now and it’s an epic fantasy. This is an ambitious undertaking because it’s very hard to get an epic fantasy right. I follow in the footsteps of giants and legends.
The articles I’ve been running into that give advice on world creation, creature mentality and campaign plotting all can be translated directly into writing the perfect story. I’ve been wresting with world creation currently and it’s been a huge help to read about monetary systems and their effects on society and how the backdrop of war/conflicts affects character development and backstory. I’ve got a 10 page article on medieval castle design which will come in handy as well as several articles on how to create a believable pantheon of gods for a campaign (which is tremendously helping with my divine characters in the story).
So, get out your old magazines, notes and charts. Get out your adventuring journals and dust them off! Go write!
And take a minute to chuckle at the memory of anyone that ever told you your gaming time was wasted.
As it happens, I am a crappy GM. I lack the flexibility and spontaneity it takes to navigate through player decisions that come out of left field. I like writing fiction better: at least the characters are under my control for the most part, and when they aren’t I can take my time figuring out what I’m going to do about it. 😉
Well no one said the opposite was necessarily true, and in your case, I know first hand!
Awesomesauce zombies anyone?
BTW, I was going to bring up the massive stack of Dragon mags when I saw you next (since you’d be one of the few I know who might be interested in perusing)
Sounds great! Might you be coming next Monday? (It’s a work/school night, so if you can’t I understand, but it would be awesome if you did)