Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Writing Conversation Part 7 and Final

I'm going to cover the last two points that Mac made in his very thoughtful and helpful comment from a while back.

Mac wrote:

6. If you do want to create a complete world/universe with loads of detail, maybe you’re pursuing the wrong avenue. How about finding some players and you become the “DM” of your own designed and flushed out world. I bet you can find players on the Internet, and there are numerous game systems already made that you could use. Keep notes on the adventures that you run, and then turn them into written sci-fi stories?

7. Life is short, be sure to spend time doing what you love.

The main problem with #6 as Mac should know better than most is that players very often do not do what you expect or want (see today's pic).

Role Playing Games are often described as cooperative story telling.  I HATE cooperative story telling.  I mean that I don't like those exercises (or games) where one person starts a story and then hands it off to the next person and it goes around the room with everyone telling part.  This is not exactly what RPGs are because it is more of a give and take, but the point stands.

When I write or tell stories I want complete control.  The only one I want to influence me when I tell stories is the characters themselves.

It is a fault of mine, I know.  Almost exclusively I cannot use story ideas from others.  When someone says, "You know what you should write about, you should write about..." I just simply cannot write that story.  There is something in me that shuts down when I get intended input.  I can take random input, in fact that's often how I work, but when someone deliberately suggests something I have a very difficult time taking that and working with it.

This is not to say I don't like RPGs.  I do, but it is from the other side.  I like being able to influence someone else's story.  That's something in my makeup as well.  When I experience someone doing something and I think I could do it too, or do it better, I have a very strong drive to jump in and do it.

Actually RPGs are great because I use their material all the time to do world building and character building.  That was always my favorite part of playing RPGs when I did.  I use that material, but I'm reluctant to hand what I have built over to someone else.

I know that often the group is greater than the sum of the parts and I could get things from group input that I never could on my own, but if I am unable to use that material no matter how good it is, simply because it came from someone else, then what good is it to me.

On the other, and final hand, I do find great inspiration from doing the opposite of what people tell me.  If they say that you can't tell a story a certain way then I want to tell it that way.  I remember at least two times in school that I wrote papers exactly on the subjects that were forbidden by the teacher.  The first was when my professor said that we could not write a paper on museums on Mars and the second one was when I had to design a camping program and we were told not to base it on Elvis.

So, thank you so much Mac.  You made many comments and observations that I did not agree with, at least at first blush.  It made me think, it made me write.  You helped me do one of the many many things I love and life is far far too short.  Thank you very much.

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