Friday, December 17, 2010

I NEED to tell a story

For the longest time, years in fact, when I had to list my hobbies I would always include reading and writing. I suppose in some ways, writing has been a hobby. For one year of my life I actually got paid to write video game reviews, and my previous post has a link to a lot of writing that I have done this year. So I do like to write, and it is an activity that I do engage in. However, when I listed "writing" as a hobby I usually meant fiction writing-that is something I do not do all that much.

I am not the greatest writer of fiction, but I do enjoy crafting a story. However, I have a really hard time writing if I do not have an audience. I know that good writers write for the sake of writing, but I have a hard time doing that. For me to find the motivation to sit down and write anything I need to know that someone other than me is going to read it.

I really have the desire to write for a couple of reasons. First, one of my life goals is to participate in national novel writing month. If I am going to do that, I need practice. Second, reading a youth ministry book about the importance of story, has reminded me of all the fun that I had with role playing games. Way back when I played RPGs I was the GM and I think I was not to bad at it. I liked being the GM because I got to create these interactive stories that the players experienced. For the past 10 years or so I have really being able to create stories. Given my current life circumstances the odds of me ever playing a RPG, much less run one, are fairly low. Given that, here is my plan on how to be more serious about writing and have fun creating stories.

Starting in January I am going to create a new blog, that is going to be for a serial story. My plan is every two weeks (twice a month) to add to the story. Of course, there will probably be months (and looking ahead, June is one of those months), where I might fall short. Hopefully, I will actually have people reading this story who will help keep me accountable.

So the question is what story do I want to tell. There are three genres that I would be most interested in exploring, and I would love feedback as to which one to go with:

1. Space Opera
Being a huge Star Wars fan, of course I want to tell stories set in space that involve big starships fighting it out and rebels fighting an evil empire. Well actually, I would probably avoid rebels and empires because it does not get more cliche than that. As I think about this genre, I probably would focus on spaceships and the fighting they then get into. One of things that I find most appealing about this game is that creativity can feed creativity. A game that I really like, Warcosm, is all about space opera spaceship battles. The game is a little free form in the creating of ships and scenearios. Thus, what I write I can then actually play and what I play I can write. This connection may help motivate me to stick with the writing process for the entire year.

2. High Fantasy
As I blogged about a couple of years ago, when I was in elementary school I created a fantasy world called Giam. From time to time, I have come back to this world. The advantage to going this way is I already have the beginnings of a story idea that date back to about 2003. The basic idea is a pair of siblings are destined to be the ones to stand against a tyrant, and the story is them coming to terms with the call in their life. A couple of the details are there, but the story is not very fleshed out, which means a serial story where I make it up as I go along anyway might be the way to finally tell this story. The only hesitation, is that fantasy worlds in general are highly derivative and not all that original. However, it is all for fun anyway so that may not matter.

3. Pulp Adventure
I really like the idea of pulp adventure. The most well known example of this type of story today is probably Indiana Jones. It is also a genre I have never really written in. However, I think it would be a lot of fun. I have an idea for a Private Investigator/Adventurer who travels the world in his plane and gets into all kinds of trouble and adventures. That sentence is all I have to go. I think writing these kind of stories would be fun, but my lack of experience with the genre and under-developed idea might make it harder for me to see it through.

So any suggestions?


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