Monday, May 25, 2015

Me, Myself, and Monday! 5/25/15

It's time for another Me, Myself, and Monday! During this weekly feature, I talk about...myself! Let's begin with a favorite question.

On almost every author interview or in-person event that I've been to, I've been asked, "Where do you get your ideas?"

I love Mr Stephen King's response on this issue in his book On Writing, where he mentions (paraphrase) that a writer basically sits with a pad of paper and a pencil, then stares off into space. To the layman, he says, this looks remarkably like goofing off.

But that's not the way it works for me. I get my ideas from gaming.

See, I'm an avid RPG player (that's roleplaying game, for those of you not in the know). I've been reading since before I could remember, but they were my first real introduction to telling stories. I was always roped in as the DM/GM (Dungeon/game master), entertaining my friends by making things up. I had to think on my feet, too, because as anyone who's ever played knows, it's pure folly to assume that the player characters are going to follow your well-laid plan. Oh, no! They'll kill the damsel they were supposed to save, or run off in the opposite direction from the dragon's lair you spent a week preparing for.

And you have to adapt.

I really think that these experiences are what formed both my writing style and the types of things I enjoy writing. I make no bones about the fact that I'm an "organic" writer, someone who eschews plotting his story in favor of running with what the characters do. I decide on a protagonist, an antagonist, and what their central point of conflict is...and boom! There we go! I don't know who any of the supporting characters are going to be or what any of their idiosyncracies are. I find those out during the story.

So I have to thank gaming for giving me the mental flexibility to write this way. I get to be the first reader, now, thrilled by the story as I discover it within myself. I enjoy the hell out of it, and wouldn't do it any other way.

What about you? Tell us something about yourself in the comments, or link to a post about yourself. Happy Monday!

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