Writing from the Gamerverse: Plot

Plot. For me, this is the hardest part of writing. Yup, I can come up with plot points, but mostly what I do is design interesting characters and artfully drape them around the room, letting them spout elgiac stanzas. Or crack jokes. Whichever.

Yet, when I run a role playing game, I am expected to plot. I come up with a great many points to throw toward my players. I am particularly good at the SUBPLOT, which isn’t the main action, but usually involves interaction with characters played particularly by the GM, and I throw them into quests and battles from time to time. However, with a random element known as dice, sometimes the outcomes of those encounters are beyond my control (ie, it’s not the way I would write it.)

Yet, I do get bonus plotting points from my players. I will throw two of them a problem to solve, and their interaction is like really good improv theater. And sometimes, they will solve a plot point with a much more clever thing than I would have thought of, or that random element of the dice will make something truly interesting happen (as Bryon put it in a game we were playing a couple of weekends back, something went “horribly right.”) So, I am also in debt to the players for making my gming look stronger than it is.

Here, I have to reiterate that it’s not appropriate to write fiction based in gaming as a transcript. If something clever happen and you can use it, you should. But you should also feel free to rewrite. After all, you are using your game for inspiration, not letting the game dictate your content.

In closing, then, I guess what I appreciate the most about writing from the gamerverse is that I have a lot of improve partners who help me look at a story from a variety of angles, which help me get a different perspective on story, and help me make a story stronger than I could, revising on my own.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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