Knock, knock.

Is this thing on?  Yikes, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Over a year.  Real life carried me away a bit; I have always been an introvert, but recent changes at the day job have meant I’ve had to be far more socially forward than an I prefer to be, and that really showed me how much of an introvert I am.  I came home wanting to do nothing but shut down and play video games, watch TV, or otherwise do something brainless.  I continued to submit to markets and pick at projects, but without much heart.

But sometimes it’s weird things that lead to good ones.  My sister got me into co-op gaming through Mass Effect’s multiplayer mode, and from there I got sucked into MMOs, specifically The Secret World which I, personally, think is a marvelous MMO for writers.  The story is just wonderful and interesting and strong, the world building quite lovely.  But more than that, it got me to be good friends with Liz Neering, who dragged me into another form of social gaming–a shared world horror RP. Think journal-based, written-word collaborative storytelling.

(Tangent: To be honest, I was hesitant at first to talk about the RP as there is a kind of stigma around it, similar to that of fanfiction (yes, there’s bad fanfic.  But there’s also some fucking amazing fanfic that’s as good as or better than published work, and it’s not as small a proportion as detractors suggest).  But then I figured–we’re all geeks here, and many of us are geek ladies, and it’s high time to be proud of our geek-and-predominantly-lady diversions. (isn’t it funny, though, how so many female-dominated fannish activities are openly mocked?  But that is a rant for another time.)  We are creating, and as Wil Wheaton says (and I have long believed) “Get excited and make things!”)

RP is a wonderful diversion for writers, I think; cooperatively written scenes done in tiny bits with another person, it can be both infuriatingly out of control and wonderfully, creatively chaotic.  You might think that I learned a lot about characterization during that experience but to be honest, I actually learned most about plot.  And I learned that I’m not as bad at plotting as I think.  It’s very easy, in RP, to have scenes that are nothing but two characters chit-chatting, and it became a fun game for me to try to think of ways for my scenes to be more than that.  And then, because Liz and I had become moderators of our little RP, to think of ways for the entire game to be more than that, to engage and interest the players. 

I’m telling you that story for two reasons–one, the RP recharged my love of writing and restored the creative energy that work had sucked wholly from me. And two, because our RP was filled with people who were passionate and talented and interested in writing fiction. 

So on a whim, Liz and I asked them if they’d be interested in playing around with doing a little self-published fiction project.  Something to experiment with and to further explore our shared world and writing.  And several of the members said yes. 

From that grew a little anthology that we will be releasing this Halloween, and that I will talk more about soon.  But I am absolutely excited for it.  And more than anything, I am glad to be writing and revising and editing again.  It feels good.  Even when it’s infuriating, it feels good. 

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  1. *POUNCE*

  2. So excited for this anthology… Also, total agreement on RP – writing with others in that format is fantastic for improving dialogue skills, plotting, everything. I can’t wait to read this one!


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