- Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Pen and Paper: How Writing Helped My Roleplaying
Well, last week I talked about how RPGs have helped me write, and this week, as per the suggestion of Joe Nelson, I'm gonna be doing a flipside of that post. I'm going to talk about how writing has helped my roleplaying.
A Humble Start
Well, I figure I should start with exploring exactly how my writing and roleplaying merged at first. I'd initially been doing a little bit of story-writing, back when I considered half a college-ruled page to be a substantial chapter. Note: this was back in the fifth grade. Boy, did I ever not know what was what. A few years later, I found myself running/playing in a freeform roleplaying game based off of The Lord of the Rings, and that was fun. It helped open my eyes to the idea of pulling a story together, even when different players have their own ideas on what is happening. I felt a sense of accomplishment for finishing it, and making all the story make sense, somewhat, even given the crazy plot elements that some players threw in.
From there, I graduated to a site called the "LOTR Plaza", which featured roleplaying of a far higher caliber. They had divided up the board into "kingdoms", each kingdom named after a fictional realm of Middle-Earth. I joined on with Gondor's Rangers, which was the organization dedicated to roleplaying in that kingdom. And when I talk "roleplaying", I mean trained, structured, finessed roleplaying. I started as a Trainee, and then made my way up the ranks until I made Squire, apprenticing under a seasoned RPer in "training sessions". This was where I really got to kick in writing technique, and think about how writing impacted my roleplaying.
After that, I branched out into tabletop roleplaying, and, well, it went onward from there.
Getting More Specific
There's a few things that writing has helped me with, particularly in the area of GameMastering. I've learned a lot about strong characterization, and also dialogue. If you can wrap something up in a concise, to-the-point manner, you can convey it strongly to players. I've also learned that when characters take strong actions and shake up the plot, it's one of the best things that can happen to the story.
I've also just learned a lot about textual structure, which helps a lot in play-by-post. There's a certain flow that you adapt to in writing, and a lot of textual cues that you can give to a reader. That particularly helps when I'm trying to evoke a specific mood in a game post, picking and choosing details to include.
What About You?
If you're a writer, how does it help your roleplaying? Sound off in the comments!
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