Saturday, February 28, 2015

February, 2015 RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-up

Taking a break from alphabetical dungeon dressings to wrap up this month's Blog Carnival, "How and Where I Write"

I received entries from eight individual bloggers, and Lowell Francis and Terl Ober both contributed multiple entries. Thanks to all for sharing - I really appreciate the responses.

First of all, a common theme seemed to run through most of the entries was not so much 'how' people write, but 'when.'  It's most illustrative of many of our middle-aged lives, full of work, family, other pursuits, and annoying cats.  I've read in other writing essays and guides of the importance of finding time "In-between."  In-between job tasks, picking up the kids, while waiting for the bus, etc. The difference in attitude of, "I only have 15 minutes..." and "I have 15 minutes!"

Terl Ober, I think, wins the dubious prize for this, with work, graduate classes, and seven kids... His goal? 15 minutes a day. But his second entry demonstrates his drive and creative use of time in finding that precious time, even writing while at the treadmill. Hats off to you, man, and thanks for the 30 minutes...

James Introcaso also writes during his available time wedged in between work, podcasting, freelancing, relationship, exercise, etc.  His writing gets pounded out during commutes, lunch breaks, etc. He calls it writing on a schedule, but perhaps more accurately - writing within a schedule. He also gets points for an affinity for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Phill Nicols also writes among the responsibilities of fatherhood and how his writing schedule, too, is shaped by the schedules of school and holidays.  He also makes a personal schedule for his writing days, to stay on task, and to track progress on projects.

Mark at Creative Mountain Games is more succinct on his process in finding that time and space to write. WRITE EVERYWHERE! The tools are there, be it a notebook, a smartphone, or a computer.  We are no longer ever more than a arm's-length away from a way to record that idea.

Speaking of which, General Tangent talked about the evolution of the tools throughout his writing life - notepads, typewriters, old word processors, mini-cassette recorders.  Because there is nothing worse than getting an idea, and not having a method to get it recorded some way, lest it wanders off among all the other thoughts of the day.

Samuel Van Der Wall also shared a bit of his personal writing and blogging history. Within his story he made a note of his projects status: "Completed, In Progress, and Shelved." Shelved - ideas are saved, not quite in progress, or gelled, even, but not discarded, for they may be of later use.

Both Terl (above) and Phill Nichols emphasized the importance of outlining for their writing projects. Phill goes on to break down his outline and revision process for different writing needs - blogging, short fiction, and gaming prep.

Book Scorpion talked of game prepping - mostly with the mindset of having names and places in mind to allow freedom and consistency while improv-ing through a game.  And, most importantly, having a second set of eye/ears to bounce ideas off as she thinks of plots, transitions and hooks.

And the research prize goes to Lowell Francis, for putting together two surveys to get a better understanding on the time and  priorities of game prep among his readers.  The first focused on session prep, and the second expanded into campaign prep. He received about 400 responses between the two surveys, and they are illustrative of the effort people put into their preparations.

Thanks also to Johnn Four at for taking over the carnival a few months back.

And step on over to visit Mark at Creative Mountain Games to talk about the March theme, "Best GM Ever!"

And if anyone is curious, here's how I wrote this post:
Max says, 'Hi."

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