That being the case, then I have not been a writer these past couple of months.
The last time I posted, I was taking an online course to start and finish an RPG product in 30 days. Well, those thirty days came and went, and I failed to meet my goal. The product I had started on was to be a series of loosely connected encounters using the Honor + Intrigue system by Basic Action Games. What I had neglected to realize was I have never written adventures for someone else to run and what I came up with was, basically, garbage. I have run adventures for years and run several that my players talk about even today, but jotting notes for something I have in mind and trying to set things out for another person to run are two different skill sets.
The instructor looked over what I had written at that point (the middle of October and half way through the course) and suggested since I was attempting two hurdles at once—first-time adventure writing and the 30-day course—that I take a break from the class and bone up on my adventure writing skills then return when I felt ready. My slot would be still be open. I thanked him and spent the next two weeks scouring the house for “canned adventure” modules as well as picking up a few on clearance at my local game store.
I’ve read adventure modules before—I would never attempt something I had no knowledge of going into—and generally preferred coming up with my own material. Most adventures I’d read in the past have a linear, railroading, quality to them, and I wanted to avoid that in my own writing. Unfortunately, what I came up with for the RPG course was both railroading and written “fluff” first, descriptive but very limiting in what the Game Master could do. I spent a couple of weeks writing an adventure and hated the work, both the writing and the process.1
By the middle of November, I decided to take a break. I seldom do much writing during the holidays anyway and felt a need to clear my head. I helped the kids out with projects at school. We played video games. The kids decorated the house for Christmas. I avoided writing. And typically in the past whenever I stopped writing for more than a couple of weeks, my subconscious would nag me back to the keyboard or at least put pen to paper.
This time, nothing.
OK, I’ll admit that on December 31, 2013, I sat down at the keyboard and planned to write an end-of-year blog post but five words into it I thought, “Forget it,” and shut down the computer. Then, two nights ago, I woke up with that animal part of my back brain telling me to start writing again.
Now I just need to figure out what project to begin (again).
1I’m unsure if the distaste came from the actual writing or my current role-play funk. One reason for jumping into the RPG course was to shake myself from that state of mind, but it persists.