It’s fair to say I underestimated the difficulty of writing campaigns for my Dungeons and Dragons group. Going through a pre-written module was simple enough and it provided a good outline for the sort of information I’d need. Having DM’d that adventure with success, I thought I knew enough about the game to prepare a good story.
Having blogged everyday for 17 weeks straight, I figured I also knew how to write consistently. Inching forward bit by bit in hopes of making something bigger seemed like a habit I already formed.
Between knowing DnD and having a writing habit, I was totally prepared. Boy was I wrong.
Writing in short-form blog posts and publishing them for that quick endorphin rush is so much easier than writing for a long-form project. Sure, it’s still writing a small amount everyday – but making all that little work fit into the puzzle of a larger arc? Ugh, it’s beyond frustrating.
Every little bit that I add to the story is some of the hardest writing I’ve ever done. I sit there tensing up over why I can’t find a way to connect one scene to another. I write up non-player characters, dungeon crawls, and antagonist monologues all to delete them minutes later. Each session is a workout in my mind.
And you couldn’t pay me to stop. Writing for these games has brought how I think of storytelling to a new level. It’s made me appreciate my reading more too. Most importantly, it makes me proud to present my work to my friends at each game. Working through a module, I was playing ‘not to screw it up,’ and now I’m playing to make what’s in my head come to life.
Bit by bit, my writing will get better.