Thursday, July 28, 2011

Personal Thursdays: What Role-playing Games Meant to Me


I started role-playing on October 20, 1999 during my senior year of high school. At the time I was in love with all things Phantom of the Opera and joined several Yahoo Groups with “phans” of the book and musical. Then I stumbled across a group where I could play as a character in Leroux’s world. It opened my eyes to many possibilities. I created characters, plotlines, and began to write.

I had been a very reluctant writer before that point. You should’ve seen my abysmal English grades, but I found with role-playing I had an outlet for my active imagination.

I slowly shifted from Phantom of the Opera and a few other musicals, including the Scarlet Pimpernel to Harry Potter. This is where I hit my stride. I role-played in JK Rowling’s world until July 16, 2011. For ten years I spent with other HP fans until I realized I didn’t have the time any more to devote to role-playing.

Yes, just a couple weeks ago, I quit it. I met wonderful friends and learned so much. It’s sometimes hard to believe it’s over.

I spent over nine years writing for RPGs and fan fiction until I wrote my first novel. In my almost twelve years of role-playing, I probably wrote several million words. There were some days, especially in those early years, that I wrote 5,000-10,000 words a day. I think the most posts I wrote in a night are over 100.

If it weren’t for role-playing, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. I needed those years to grow and mature as a writer. Mimicking other writers helped me learn and become my own writer.

I wouldn’t change that time for the world.

Has anyone else role-played? If so, how did it help you grow as a writer?

7 comments:

Tessa Conte said...

I never did much role-playing in a formal sense, though my friends and I used to spend days and days designing worlds we eventually wanted to play in. We never really did, though - the setup was the more exiting part of the exercise.

I'm still a bit like that with my writing. The plotting, the worldbuilding, that fascinates me, even the writing of individual scenes - it's the putting-it-all-together that gets to me!

T.x

Cats! said...

I didn't roleplay, but I played a MMORPG called FFXI for about 8 years on and off. So much typing! I loved it, but like you, I ran out of time to do it. I still miss it.

Christine Rains said...

Ah, I miss those days of role-playing too. They did help me grow as a writer. I could try out different styles and genres. I learned a lot about myself as a writer and about how freaky some fans could be about certain details even in RPG worlds! *LOL*

Michael Offutt said...

I played Dungeons and Dragons. It is a lot of fun if you have the time.

Lynda R Young said...

I did a little role playing because a boyfriend was into it. It was a whole lot of fun. D&D, ShadowRealms, and a few others. I never wrote any.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I've never done any role-playing, but it sounds so cool and imaginative. I can see how it would be good fertilizer for future novel-writing!

C. N. Nevets said...

I have done roleplaying games for much of my life, and I think that's where my writing gets its sense of atmosphere, back-story, and voice. Honestly, I think virtually everything that is good about my writing comes from my experiences roleplaying.