For November, Triple Crit is taking the reigns for the RPG Blog Carnival, and their topic of choice is about how the writing process affects, or is affected by the game. I have stated in previous blogs how little I actually write down when I’m GMing. This has lead to a separate writing project stalling pretty much completely. When I ran a long campaign that I recently considering turning into a published adventure, it was very hard indeed to get down in words the choices that the players made, as I had so little to do with most of them. This is because I ran a lot of the game on the fly, and knew that if I had stuff written down I could end up getting bogged down in following my own plot. I think I would like to get back round to the project once I have a bit more writing experience under my belt, but at the moment I have a few other projects up my sleeve that are taking up time, and have a higher chance of baring fruit, creatively and when it comes to them seeing the light of day.
Today then, I want to talk about writing done as a player. In the balance of things I think I have spent more time on the player’s side of the screen, and this has done me a lot of favours when it comes to GMing. I tend to run the kind of game I would like to play, and people seem to respond to that in a highly positive way. When I’m playing a character that I can sink my teeth into, the notes I take during play – that usually exist only as a reminder of names and places to me as a player – end up being the basis for longer prose pieces that I write up just for the fun of it. Until recently, I never entertained any idea of them seeing print in any format other than a thread on a forum. But right now, with the blog and a few other writing projects, my confidence as a writer is growing. A big obstacle to publishing adventures from a game though is that you own so little of the intellectual property you’re writing about.
If I was to include any of the adventure, the GM takes credit for creating the basic plot. If I write about a published game world, all of that belongs to other people. Even the other player characters were the creation of other minds. My latest shot at this though could actually work. A couple of friends of mine are in the final stages of writing their own system and game world, and have given me permission to use characters/places/kitchen sink from the world they have created. I need to get the rest of the players on board to letting me put words in their character’s mouths, as one thing i didn’t do was record the session to recreate the conversations verbatim.
This here is what I’m currently thinking about turning into a real bit of writing. Please don’t judge it too harshly, as it was written just for fun. The character who narrates this is actually illiterate. The idea eventually became he was telling the story to journalist after the end of the adventure. Within a few months of game play, it became pretty obvious that we were involved in something big, and that people would want to know what actually happened.
As a bit of practice I have in mind a basic little story of the character’s past, his time spent in the army. This way I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes and the other players can take a look at what I’ve got and see if they’re comfortable with me writing about their creations. For now, this little tease will have to do, but I promise to share anything I write up with all of you.