Writers & Roleplayers, Part 3

Writers & Roleplayers: Pitfalls, Hindrances, & Bad Habits

So in my previous post as well as in my brief history lesson, I had a lot of good to say about roleplaying. One might even call it “gushing.”

I definitely stand by everything I said, but nothing is all good. I mentioned before that those who have condemned roleplaying have their points. As much as I love it, I’ve also got to be honest. As much wonderful experience that I’ve gotten, I’ve also picked up my fair share of bad habits.

Now that I’ve defended probably my favorite pastime, it’s time to dig into the dark underbelly.

Let’s start off gently, shall we? Continue reading

Writers & Roleplayers, Part 2

Writers & Roleplayers : The Benefits of Collaborative Storytelling

I mentioned in my introduction that roleplaying, or any form of collaborative storytelling, often gets a lot of flack from the writing community. I’ve seen it painted as an exercise in infantilism that will hobble a writer’s ability by miring it into strict amateurism. That it’s a childish game at best, a crutch at worst.

Really, I find any writer taking a high horse on “playing pretend,” as so many are quick to call it, hilariously hypocritical. At the end of the day, every writer is just playing with dolls in a world of make-believe and transcribing the events. It doesn’t really matter if we fancy it up by calling the components “characters” and “setting.” It is what it is.

Sort of demystifies the whole process a little, doesn’t it?

That said, I don’t really see what’s so very different about inviting a friend and telling them to bring their dolls along so you can play together. There are a lot of benefits to adding another perspective to your writing; if there weren’t, there’d be no advice concerning beta-readers, critiques, or editors.

But what does bringing someone (or multiple people) along do to benefit your writing? Well, in no particular order, let’s begin.

Continue reading

Writers & Roleplayers, Part 1

Writers & Roleplayers: A Little History

Dungeons & Dragons passed its 40th Anniversary just last year. Although I’m willing to bet that human beings have been “roleplaying” as a form of entertainment in one way or another since the dawn of time, D&D certainly brought it to the mainstream consciousness in a way that it hadn’t ever been before.

If anyone is at all familiar with the fantasy genre, I’m sure you’re well and truly familiar with the surge in books that were quite blatantly the writer’s D&D campaign that they thought was too cool not to share. But I’m not going to talk about that here.

No, in those four decades, a lot has changed in the world of roleplay—and one of the biggest catalysts to those changes has been none other than the internet.

Continue reading

Author Interview: Hector Kopczynski

I was luck enough to be interviewed by Sarah Moll. Interesting questions, and a lot of fun. Be sure to check her and her blog out!

Million Words

HeraldryWelcome to the fourth in a series of author interviews. Today I’m talking to Hector Kopczynski about sexuality and gender in writing, building a truly foreign fantasy world, and reading with a critical eye. Hector is currently working on both an epic fantasy project and a gritty spy thriller.

Sarah: Currently you’re working on two very different projects. One is a slow-paced, deliberate, and elaborate fantasy, with much focus on world-building, the other so far is a spy thriller. Are there common threads that run through both? Is it hard to switch between them?

Hector: By and large, I don’t see a lot of similarity between most of my works. I actively focus on developing a specific style, cadence, and atmosphere unique to each piece. Not just in characters, their particular speech patterns, or in point of view, but as far down to the bones and foundation of the story as I…

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