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10 Gaming Tricks for Writing

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by wordwalker, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    I'm working on a speech for a gaming convention (Strategicon, in Los Angeles) and I've settled on the following ways that role-playing, boardgames, and so on have helped me to write:

    1. Latch onto the joy of being someone else-- although it's many someones here.
    2. Keep the conflict in mind, especially why the villain is so dangerous.
    3. Be clear what's at stake, whether it's making readers care about the rescuee or the options the reward unlocks, or that the events can create or finish an enemy or friend.
    4. Make it clear the MCs can lose a given fight, with real consequences but not all being killed out of the story.
    5. Catch the readers up in why the MCs choose one way and why that's thrilling, trying to put them in the MC's head about why it has to be that way.
    6. Give the other characters their own "turns" to make honest choices, from supporting characters to villains with real sense-- and capture how each of them reacts to the others to keep the plot changing.
    7. Pick details that draw the reader into those choices, involving them in the choices step by step.
    8. Watch how other players work out their moves (to organize writing an action) and how they talk (it's a chance to study dialog); description is the thing gamers have to learn for themselves.
    9. Remember how games should keep things focused, maybe stopping to talk about other things but trying not to bog down; build that "am I losing them?" sense.
    10. It all comes down to other people, being willing to show the writing to them and learn from them and their different tastes.

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