It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted something up here. I’ve been busy with real life, and a host of gaming, and all the rest. But there are still things I want to share.
I like musicals. A lot. I love the music and songs. I love the stories – and the inspiration they provide for my games. A particular line from “La Vie Boheme” -Rent has been bouncing around in my brain today:
To days of inspiration
Playing hookey, making
Something out of nothing
The need to express-
I don’t know why this line resonates today in particular, but I find it a most apt description of my creative process. Writing LAPRs and Tabletops is a creative art, not so different from writing a novel or a screenplay I imagine. There are days, when sometimes is just buzzing in my head, that won’t let me concentrate on anything else.
To days of inspiration, Playing hookey – At first, it is the most maddening thing in the world. The desperate need to write, to create, overwhelms everything else and it is borderline impossible to concentrate on anything else. But no thoughts have materialized yet. I don’t know what I’m writing, just that I’ll have something to write soon. Sometimes it’s manageable because I’m only working on one game. The buzzing potential of an idea almost certainly relates to that project, and if I contemplate it long enough, the new ideas will coalesce. Sometimes, like now, it is nigh impossible. I’m technically writing/working on 3 one-shot larps, 1 campaign larp, 1 campaign tabletop, 1 one-shot tabletop, and beginning preparations to run at least 3, probably 5 games in the next 4 months. I have no idea what the incessant buzzing is about.
Making something out of nothing – My favorite time is once the ideas coalesce from the swirling mists of potential into ideas and concepts that can be implemented. I love the art of iteration and improvement. I like considering how this new idea shed unexpected light on the hows and whys of old ideas. There are a lot of “wait, that makes Leia whose sister?” kind of moments. I’ve heard many authors talk about their characters having their own ideas about a story, and arguing with them, or waiting for them to make their mind up. I feel kind of that way about the worlds I create. I’m not so much creating something new, as revealing something that was already there. New ideas are tested like puzzle pieces, for whether they fit in the existing framework or not. It sometimes feels like sifting through sand looking for gold, and other times it feels like I’m rolling marbles in random directions, searching for local minima in space-time.
The need to express – Once the world has been defined, the edges marked, and plot and characters sketched in fair detail, there remains all the nitty gritty of finishing up the game. This is, as is probably expected, the hardest part. I rarely have motivation problems – I want to finish, I just don’t always know how. I find the plot holes, and places where I wrote myself into corners, and I can’t always see the way out. Here is where I most appreciate having people to bounce ideas off of, whether a co-gm, or a person who won’t be playing for some reason.
To communicate – And then, once something is created, it must be shared. And so follows a period of production, in which I run the game for people.
And when it is all done, all I want to do is sleep. For like a week.