A huge part of every great story is the world it takes place in. A story isn’t a story without it’s setting, and it’s hard to envision one without being able to place characters or cities, mark journeys across vast lands, or place actions into an environmental context. Readers will always rely on their imagination when visiting another world for the first time, but wouldn’t it be great to give them all the tools necessary to imagine that world exactly how you do? If you know how to flesh out this brand new world, then you can bring it to life just as easily – for this reason, it’s important to think of the world itself as just another character in the story. And every character needs depth and a rich background.
Let’s all be real for a second. If there’s anything roleplayers love to do besides roleplay, it’s read about roleplaying. There’s just something about other people acknowledging our weird little hobby and knowing that we, and our tight circle of friends, aren’t the only ones that do it – not only that, but seeing the sheer diversity of people that do it. Reading the opinions of people far outside our own online social circles gives us insight to what people who play in different genres think and it makes us truly realize how vast, and common, the hobby actually is. Not only does it allow us to validate our weird little hobby, but it encourages us to empathize with other people regarding certain issues in our respective roleplaying communities. Reading about roleplaying can help expand your knowledge of writing tactics and social approaches to subjects you might not have known how to handle. It’s also a great time waster, and can get the creative juices flowing – especially, and unfortunately, if you aren’t currently in a roleplay.
Compared to most high-profile hobbies that are shared on the internet, play-by-post roleplaying is a very niche market for writers. Not only is this a subset of roleplaying, which in itself is a clandestine pastime often presumed to take on an fetishistic nature, but it is also a subset of hobby writing. A hobby that, if someone is to engage in, is rarely shared with the public let alone friends and family. Combine these two crafts and you come out with a highly secretive community of people who love to write stories together, but you’d never know it unless someone was comfortable enough to share or you yourself are one of these people participating in an online roleplaying forum. So, if the term ‘play-by-post roleplaying’ is completely new to you, that’s why.
The truth is, there is nothing weird, fetishy, or shameful about play-by-post roleplaying and for how little people know of it, the online roleplaying community is surprisingly massive. And old. It has evolved, and to this day is still growing and changing. It’s a pivotal gateway into the world of writing, and I feel like it’s crucial to talk about. At the very least, I’d like to give you a rundown of play-by-post roleplaying and how it got its legs; more importantly, how it has influenced writers who roleplay online as a hobby.
Sometimes, when you want to write, all you need is a pen and paper. Or a smartphone. You tap out your first few words and if you’re lucky, you can write until you’ve exhausted either your mind or your hand, all with a nice neat little story that you have effortlessly composed. For some people, it really is that easy, but for most of us? Not so much.
The truth is that it takes a lot more than sitting down and just writing away. Some people need a push in the right direction to get started, others need to refresh their memory on the expansive selection of literary devices they can use, and everybody needs to whip out a thesaurus every now and then. Don’t feel ashamed to admit that you get stumped in the middle of writing something. And especially don’t feel ashamed when you realize you know absolutely nothing about what you’re writing about, how to write it, or simply the writing community and industry as a whole.
Someone that you’ve never heard of, and probably has very little to no bearing on your life in any way whatsoever. And that’s okay.
I’d like to kick off this blog by first and foremost putting real life person behind the text. I’m a complete stranger that likes to write – about everything. Mostly, I like to write stories. I like to write about places I’ve never been to, and places that I see every day. I like to write about landscapes and pieces of architecture, and trees and flowers and animals. I like to write about characters and develop them from someone you see in passing to someone you know intimately, more deeply than they know themselves. Sometimes, I like to write about writing. This blog is mostly about that.