Today, I am running a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. I’ve worked on a few bits and pieces to prepare for it, my stomach is is tight with nerves, and I’m worried I’ll disappoint my friends. I’m doing it anyway —
Hold on a minute! This is a writing blog. Not a pop culture nerdy game blog! Why are you talking about Dungeons & Dragons?!
My friends, Dungeons & Dragons, involves a heavy writing aspect! The game is the highlight of what I’ll be doing in terms of creativity this week, and today, I would like to discuss that. Let’s begin!
What is Dungeons & Dragons?
Dungeons & Dragons has existed in many forms, from the standard edition, to a board game and even a video game! The standard edition can also come in various forms. You can sit around a table with a group of friends, or play over the internet using a service such as Discord. In simple terms, Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game where one person – the Dungeon Master – allows adventurers to embark on epic quests, gather loot and earn experience points. One of the key things about Dungeons & Dragons that has always stood out to me, is the freedom of choice allowed to other players. The restrictions video games possess no longer exist, and therefore, you’re free to be whoever you want. You can be a brave knight, a cunning mage, or even a simple beggar on the street.
The Dungeon Master does everything, from telling the story, to engaging the players, and leading their quest to wherever their vision might take them.
But back to my niche!
Why is Dungeons & Dragons good for writers?
For me, as a writer, playing Dungeons & Dragons is an excellent way to improve my craft. An important aspect involved is world creation, and in this week, before our game, I’ve been doing just that: creating my world. I’ve spent hours with paper to pen, coming up with ideas from city names, to religion and how culture works. You’re creating a fantasy world, and to engage the players you want that fantasy world to be real. You’re writing a story, but instead of the arduous process of publication, and waiting for others to have a read, you’ll be telling it live.
Dungeons & Dragon’s isn’t easy to master. There are a lot of rules, minor details and blindsides you will have to be aware of. However, from a writing perspective it also allows a window of creativity. You must improvise, too! A player can ask you anything, and you need to be ready to prepare an excellent answer. Hesitation can break immersion, uncertainty can ruin a game. As Dungeon Master, your job is to take players to the world you created and sell that world to them. It’s their desire to live in it as an escape to the actual world. You should make it a good one.
As a writer, doesn’t that sound tempting?
Nerdy pop culture aside, all budding writers, in particular those in the fantasy niche, should give Dungeons & Dragons a try. The game can be inspirational, and with the pressure of having to impress other players, it helps you think on the fly. It’s also an excellent way to come up with ideas for your story! I can guarantee novels exist based on people’s D&D campaigns.
The Potential for Publication
When you’re playing D&D, the outside world need not know you are. Say you’ve written an excellent story, a believable world, and your adventurers – your friends – are making decisions that are interesting. Why not compile your adventure into a short story? Of course, ask your friend’s permission first. You don’t have to say it’s based on Dungeons and Dragons; you don’t have to copy it word for word. The chances are, it won’t be a best-seller (not to shoot you down or anything), but it’s a splendid avenue to self-publish some work. You’ve had an excellent adventure with friends or family. Why not share it? Or even just for yourself, finish some writing prompts!
It’s fun. More so during these trying times, when there’s much uncertainty. Are you ever you lost for ideas for your fantasy novel? If you want to explore creative avenues, and are unsure where to start, try a D&D campaign. Many places online exist, where you will find other players! Why not check out some public Discord rooms? As an upcoming writer, I recommend it!
That’s all I have for D&D today! I understand this is pushing the boundaries of my niche, yet I’m hoping to inspire people to give it a go. If you’re a writer unaware of its potential, try it out! If you’re suffering from writer’s block, you never know it could be your solution! Or if you just want a break, but with a desire to keep your creative juices flowing, Dungeons and Dragons is the answer!
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Further to that, have you played Dungeons and Dragons yourself? Comment below on your thoughts and experiences on how it helped your writing!
I hope I see you in a game soon, adventurers!