A recent post on bringing dialogue to life did more than expected: It brought our readers to life in the comment section in ways we never expected.
It all began with a response to the post on embellishing dialogue with action. Melissa Donovan dropped a comment that what we seasoned gamers refer to as “In Character”, or IC for short. She took our fiction scene example and continued it.
From that point on, everyone who passed by our post that day followed in kind, filling up the comment section with scenes, actions and words that did more than contribute to the conversation – they brought a story to life.
I was pleased. I scrolled through the comments to read the story unfolding. James was right in the thick, playing along with our readers. I whipped off an email to him that read, “They’re gaming already, and they don’t even know it. This is perfect.”
What Was So Great About that Moment?
I’ll tell you. For some time, James and I have been working non-stop on a top-secret project to set the blogosphere afire.
It all began a few months ago with the idea to branch out into fiction writing on our blog. We used to love playing role-playing games (in fact, that’s how we met), and we missed having that escape from reality in our lives. Co-authoring the novel wasn’t enough. Writing our advice on fiction wasn’t enough.
We wanted that spark of playtime back – and we were going to create it.
You may have seen other creative writing blogs attempt collaborative writing. Each author contributes a little to a never-ending story. Experienced as I was with role-playing games, the efforts I noticed were noble, but they lacked true potential.
I’m a veteran play-by-post gamer and so is James. A blog isn’t the right format for supporting an unfolding collaborative story. We knew a better way – and as old game masters, we knew how to make it happen.
A Way of Escaping Reality
For many people, role-playing games, collaborative creative fiction and writing novels are all ways of escaping the monotonous routine of everyday lives. In fact, reading a book or watching a movie achieves the same goal – for a while, we escape reality and revel in the potential of imagination.
When we realized the number of aspiring fiction writers that would enjoy what we’d already grown to love, we set to work.
But we had to be sneaky. We had to test the waters and drop hints. We had to prepare people for our plans. Not everyone has a warm feeling when they think of role-playing games – and almost all the perceptions come from lack of knowledge.
Gaming isn’t for geeks. Gaming isn’t for the dreamers or the eccentric. People in high-profile jobs working in places like IBM and Nike are closet gamers. Regular folk who enjoy a good story are gamers. Friends who get together enjoy tabletop board games all the time, and then they go back to their regular lives the day after.
There’s nothing weird or silly about it. A role-playing game is simply interacting creatively with others. There’s no strange dress code or behavior required. It’s just people letting loose with some fun fiction.
After a few posts on fiction writing, we realized that we had a whole group of potential gamers on our hands. They may not have known it themselves, but they revealed it in this post, where everyone let loose to have some fun through creative writing.
Are You Ready?
Our readers were gaming in our comment section – and they didn’t even realize it. They each responded to comments left by others with fictional action and dialogue that made everyone wait eagerly for the next comment to come. It’s like anticipating the turn of the virtual page of the novel to see what happens next.
Sure, the gaming was a little rough around the edges and some etiquette rules were broken, but all that was missing was a little polish and a little know-how. The potential was there. The creativity was high. The moment was perfect.
We’re making the final touches to our new role-playing game boards, where creative fiction meets gaming. We’re building up the information you need and a place to play.
Are you ready? All you need is to think up a character that you can let loose and bring to life through your writing. In a modern day setting, we’ll help you escape reality and find freedom to play. It’s a wonderful break from the day and there’s no huge commitment required.
But we warn you – it’s addictive. You’ll always want to turn the page to see what happens next. You’ll fall in love with your character and you’ll look forward to that break in the day when you can post. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll bite your nails.
Oh yes. You’ll have the time of your life.
Of course, we’ll have a new blog to go along with the game. We’ll share tips on playing, setting up scenes, enhancing your characters… just about everything you need to know.
We’ll be releasing the launch date soon, so stay tuned and start thinking. And we’ll be looking forward to escaping from reality along with you.