In the time that I have been writing for TC, I have tried to push myself as a gamer. I enjoy many different facets of the hobby so if I have had a good opportunity to make myself a better GM or a better player, I have tried to take it. One part of the hobby that has gotten my attention recently has been the writing side of things, namely, adventures.
A few weeks back, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea: Since I’m already planning to run a bunch of sessions at KantCon and other cons this summer, why don’t I just take some extra time and write up the adventures formally. Who knows? Maybe I could get them published and make a few bucks to help subsidize my convention-going habit. The idea felt good, so I contacted a few companies, got some approval for the idea and sat down to write.
Then I realized that writing an adventure is fucking hard.
My brilliant idea failed to take into account the fact that, when writing adventures in the past, I have never, ever just sat down and written things out in their entirety, especially not with enough attention to detail to allow someone else to run the adventure based on what I have written. Adventures have always been 1 part pre-planning, 3 parts on-the-fly idea creation and 7 parts oh-crap-I-need-an-idea-and-the-game-is-in-three-hours. Working to get all of the setting bits and all of the character bits and all of the story bits lined up before I have even rolled die one is an intimidating thought. In fact, it’s downright paralyzing.
Enter: The Mindripper.
The hardest part about writing an adventure is bringing out the ideas and laying them down on paper before you think you’re ready to do so. It’s like they’re waiting there in their safe, warm places, incubating, waiting for their shells to harden before they get passed down the neural pathways that see them spilling onto the printed page. The Mindripper takes them and wrenches them out of their soft places and lets you gaze in awe at their half-formed glory right in the seconds before you being poking and prodding them into their final shape.
Now, if the Mindripper were really a physical object, this entire process might be a hell of a lot easier. But it’s not. The Mindripper is no more and no less than the willingness to suck for a while before you make it all good again. I know that I can craft fun adventures; I have done so numerous times in the past. I have to be disciplined enough to send my mind down the pathways that are usually reserved for game sessions and find the inspiration that makes it homes there naturally. What comes out of those initial jags of inspiration might be crap warmed over, but it’s a place to start. And if you’re lucky, what you end up digging out looks more like a mucky diamond that just needs to be cut and polished.
That’s my challenge to myself, and to anyone else that thinks they would like to write an adventure, or anyone else, really: develop the discipline to just do it. Find a way to pull those little knots of idea gristle out of your brain and put them down somewhere. Sometimes, it will be easy. Other times will feel like you’re trying to pull your gonads up through your cerebral cortex. But do it.
My hope is to someday see something that I wrote be published for consumption by other gamers. To do that, I need to work. So I’ma get to it.
[tags]rpg, rpgs, role playing games, books, writing, publishing, adventures[/tags