Methods to my madness

Good morning everyone (or afternoon or evening depending on where you are and when you are reading this),

I just wanted to touch base and let you all know what I have been up to. I recently changed jobs within my company and have been swamped in training so have not been putting much time or effort into my books, but I feel like I am almost ready to get back into it. Now I just have to remember how.

I had an internet radio show interview once where the interviewer asked my about my method to writing. I will share it with you now, but not for wholly unselfish reasons. I figure if I start writing it down, then it will come back to me. 🙂

So, I am not a planner. Yes I will work on some character names and descriptions and approximate roles to my books, but beyond that I prefer to work more organically. I have a premise of what I would like to see happen in my books but they do not always work out that way. Once I start writing, my characters take on a life of their own. They lead the story. I have had many characters die who I had intended keeping around for a while or strange love interests that were never intended. It really comes down to my mood while I am writing and just where the story takes me.

What happens when the story doesn’t take me anywhere? When it begs for micromanagement or at least some direction? That’s when I step away from the pages and move toward the table top and some dice or to some online version of the same. Some of my best stories were based on role playing games (RPG) such as Dark and Shattered Lands, which is text based RPG (also called a MUD) . I kick off some scenarios and the players react to them and soon enough, a story is writing itself.

This go round, there aren’t currently any MUDs out there that have what I need for the multi-genre adventure that I am wanting to write. No, this one will have to go to the table top. I will be gathering up some friends and even a few strangers from a few game boards (need to make it unpredictable) and hammer out the characters and storyline by actually playing it out. This adds the benefit of multiple perspectives, and way unpredictable outcomes. Right now I do have to do some planning however. I need to create a whole world, as I never know where the players will wind up or what direction they will take. NPCs (non-player characters), Towns, kingdoms, jungles, monsters, demographics, landmarks, abilities, etc. There is a lot that goes into creating a world for your story to come to life in. I’ve enlisted my teenage son to help me get a map in order. I gave him some very vague direction so it will be awesome to see what he comes up with. Once I have a map, then I can really begin.

I will let you know how the process goes and may even introduce you to a few of our characters and/or some excerpts of the story, or area descriptions. So stay tuned and as always, I welcome any discussion you may want to have regarding my methods or anything else really. I love meeting new people and geeking out with them so feel free to reach out.

Until next time,

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