Monday, July 31, 2017

Dungeons and Dragons, "Writing is a Skill"

Standard Introduction
            I have been writing about Dungeons and Dragons semi-regularly this year and in the course of writing those I found a 30-day blog challenge.  As I have done those a couple times before it seemed remiss not to jump on this one.
            If you want here is a link to my 30-day challenge on Disney Movies, here is a link to my 30-day challenge on Video Games, and here is a comically out of date 30-day challenge on Movies (it is old and the writing is rubbish).

Day 31- The Challenge
            Why do I bother with these 30-day challenges?  A few years back I set out to write 1,000,000 words to follow the adage, “The first million words are practice”.  I hoped to improve my writing thru practice.  More importantly it could not just be practice that only I would read or would only appeal to my own whims, you do not improve by writing something down and letting it mold in the basement, unless you are Emily Dickinson.
            To improve as a writer (or for anyone to improve as a writer) it is important to be able to respond to prompts, produce lots of content in a short period of time, and be willing to put one’s work out into the world for people to scowl at.  I managed to write more than 34,000 words in July, that is not bad for a hobbyist.
            I also set a goal to have a blog entry for every calendar day, 30-day blog challenges provide me with an excuse to sew up a month that previously had a lot of days with no entries (October is now the one with the most holes) so that I can bang out material and have a blog entry to post for everyday of the year allowing me to psychically stroke myself with a repost each time Facebook says, “Here are your memories”.
            Filling in the calendar is a pointless goal, but one that encouraged me to keep blogging and keep driving toward my goal of a million words.

We didn't start the fire.

30 days of Dungeons and Dragons
            Why “Dungeons and Dragons”?  Because it is a hobby I have been doing for more than 15 years, I was already writing about it every week or so, and there actually aren’t too many writing prompts in the 30-day challenge format.  I was kind of shocked by that.  Once you get past the big ones of “Movies” and “Video Games” things get real niche.
            I had to heavily workshop my Disney Challenge which had too many asinine prompts, and even this blog challenge had a lot of “What?”  Who gives a shit about “Favorite Energy Type”?  And what value is there in discussing my “Favorite Non-Magic Item”?  Those are just meaningless.
            “I like Fire!”
            “I like Chairs!”
            “How about we do the best of both worlds?”
            “What an intriguing idea.  What do we do?”
            “We just have to light some chairs on fire!”
This is the original list of blog prompts that contains a lot of what I would consider junk.
Nothing to be ashamed of, it is hard to come up with topics, especially 30 of them.
Below is the list of titles as they ultimately became.
My altered list is what I would recommend using if you plan to write your own blog series.

Some Context, Days 1-4

Favorite Character Stuff, Days 5-11
My Favorite Group of Characters” (“Favorite Character You Haven’t Played”)
Some Ideas for Player Characters” (“A Character You Want to Play in the Future”)

Favorite Monsters, Days 12-21
My Favorite Animals” (“Favorite Animals/Vermin”)
My Favorite Fiends” (“Favorite Evil Outsiders”)
Celestials” (“Favorite Good Outsider”)
Best Evil Fantasy Races” (“Favorite Humanoids/Giants”)
Dragons” (“Favorite Dragon”)
Creatures of Nature” (“Favorite Fey/Elementals/Plants”)
Legions of the Undead” (“Favorite Undead”)
My Favorite Monster” (also has "Favorite Dice" as bonus sub entry)

Best Miscellaneous, Days 22-26
Locations and Dungeons” (Favorite)
Puzzles and Traps” (Favorite)
Cursed Items” (Favorite)
Magic Items and Technology” (“Favorite Magic Item”)
Some Talk of Spells” (“Favorite Spell”)

Best Experiences, Days 27-30
Best 3e Adventure” (“Favorite Adventure”)
Random Poetry Interlude” (was supposed to be “Best Experience as a Player”)
Best Game Running Experience” (was supposed to be “Best Experience as a GM”)

Coming in the Future
            While I did manage to write out a number of topics on DnD and close out many of my thoughts this stuff, there is always more to talk about with this hobby.  Like I said, I was writing an almost weekly blog about Dungeons and Dragons before this 30-day thing, and will probably continue with that.  Along with writing about other topics, I actually have some other stuff in mind related to several horrible things happening in the world right now.
            If you liked my stuff, please follow me on social media so that you can occasionally step in and read my ramblings.  I hope this was entertaining and gives some insight into why I write.  Please try to further your own writing by putting yourself out there more.  People will be harsh (there is lots of poor writing on the internet and people like to put it down), but hopefully some of that harshness comes from a place that is constructive and hopeful, a place that wants to critique in hopes of improving people’s work and not just scaring off newbies.
            Go on and have fun.


            If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter (click that link to follow me), Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

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