It’s been close to a year that I fully got into playing Dungeons and Dragons. It’s been a lot less than that since I took up the role as a Dungeon Master.
In this role, I basically give the players a situation, e.g. they are hired as guards by a merchant to escort him and her goods to the next trade city, and they play out tue scenarios as they wish. Of course, this situations are part of modules and hard-cover campaigns so mostly everything is scripted.
As a player, I’ve had really good DMs. They manage to bring the world to life with a couple of words and it’s so easy to imagine everything that’s happening in the scene and round by round. It’s flawless how they can paint so vivid images. As a DM (dungeon master), I know I will never be able to do that.
It’s not like I’m putting myself done or anything. I just know that that’s never going to be me. I won’t be able to paint vivid worlds with the spoken word, I plan to do this through the written world.
Lately, I’ve been hyper aware of how I described an environment/scene to my players. They rely on me for information and it’s my job to provide it to them. This is similar to writing a story. The readers need information, not only to comprehend what’s going on but also to imagine the world you’ve built in your head.
This has helped me in my writing because describing the situation or environment in speech tells me that maybe I’ve forgotten to include sensory details or perhaps one social interaction didn’t go so smoothly.
By taking note on all of this, writing and describing things has gotten easier. I’m aware of what I’m missing and try to include everything I can. Of course, I do this in moderation. Personally, I don’t like to bog down my readers with so much description. I try to only include all the necessary information.
While I haven’t exactly perfected all of this and I have a long way to go, I’m going to keep learning. I believe as a writer that there’s always something new to learn. Perhaps one writing style doesn’t fit a genre or theme. The beauty of it is that I can try new things and figure out what works with the story I want to write.
This week has been full of headaches and too much drama. Valentine’s Day was nice. I stayed home and played WoW (World of Warcraft) with my fiancé. Granted, running D&D campaigns has been a good hobby and a stress reliever. Playing Savage Worlds (ETU) has also been great too. Come to think of it, I have a lot of things to be thankful for. I just need to remember that there’s more good than bad.
Speaking of good, I learned something very useful. While it is a little embarrassing to say this, I will say it anyways. I finally learned how to make an em dash in Word while only using my keyboard (CTRL+ALT+ -). Somehow, I feel like I should have known this shortcut but didn’t. At least, now I know.
I have also been going through Sarah’s edits of the 8k words I sent her, and it’s been very helpful. One of my goals this year is to send Clan of Ash agents by the summer. While I have more agents to research, I’m looking forward to it.
The rewrite of Crimson Queen is going well. There’s a scene that can go in two different directions and I think I made my decision. I’m going with the easier approach as to why my main character is alive and nobody knows about this. Plus, this approach also adds to the conflict later on and the risk factor goes up. There’s always a present danger of my main character being found out.
While I still have a lot to do, I’m steadily working towards my goal even if it’s a little bit at a time.
After a very long month, I was finally able to sent out my 8k words to Sarah from Lopt & Cropt. At the end of last year, I entered a contest on the blog, A Writer’s Path. I was the winner of said contest and having 8k words edited by a professional was one of the prizes.
Sarah provided a free sample edit before I sent over the 8k words. Thanks to her wonderful feedback, I got a broader feel and sense to my story (Clan of Ash). While I planned to send my 8k words to her immediately after her initial edit of 15-20 pages of my manuscript, I didn’t. Instead, I focused on NaNoWriMo which is where I wrote Clan of Blood, the sequel to Clan of Ash. Let me tell you, that broadened my view of the story even more.
In essence, this caused me to look back at the 8k words I was going to send Sarah. I ended up rewriting almost the entirety of those 8k words with a few exception. I did copy pasted a couple of sentences here and there the plot for those scenes stayed the same. They were just rewritten in a better way. I even discovered a minor plot hole that I fixed right up. That being said, I have to make a couple of more changes down the line but I already have a few ideas on how to remedy that.
Even as I wait for Sarah’s response, my work doesn’t stop. While I didn’t make any new year’s resolution, I did make goals for myself. One of those goals is to completely finish rewriting Crimson Queen. Slowly but surely, I will.