Writing Bit by Bit

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.

Manticore, a monster our players fought in a recent game
Manticore, a monster our players fought in a recent game

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.

By Alex

Web Developer and Fitness Coach in Louisville, KY

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