<< Definition Confusion | Main | Flying (Observations On...) >>

December 23, 2004

Lunchtime Poll #6 - Novelization

"Why are people who are role-playing for the creativity of it not writing novels instead?"

There are several good answers, starting with Li's own, but I'd add this, which is something of a combination of points already made...

Many gamers (myself included) would be severely flawed writers. I, for example, am terrible at physical descriptions (I don't think visually; if I had to write for a living, maybe I should script radio dramas or something, though I bet that doesn't pay too well these days) and only moderately good at integrating episodes into a broader plot. As such, a novel I would write would be pretty sorry stuff.

But when I'm gaming, even heavily narrative-focused gaming such as most PBEM play, I get to ride on other people's work. They can do the parts of writing they do well, I can focus on the parts I do well, and if we don't mesh with any degree of smoothness or if it's painfully obvious who wrote each paragraph, who cares? It's writing for the fun of character/story creation/exploration, and not necessarily for anyone not part of it to ever see.

Which isn't to say I don't try to put some flourish in for the other players and lurkers... Just that I neither demand of myself nor expect of others an individual degree of the writer's skill set anywhere close to where I'd put the bar for serious novel-writing.

Posted by ghoul at December 23, 2004 11:19 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I don't see that one or the other needs to be mutually exclusive. I see good roleplay work as a pump-primer for writing -- even, or especially, unrelated work -- and vice versa.

Posted by: Doyce at December 25, 2004 01:08 AM

When role-playing, you have constant feedback from other people, so you can pace things accordingly. With a novel, that's not so automatic.

Posted by: just john at December 26, 2004 03:37 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?