How Dungeons and Dragons let me Write my Fantasy Novel

Photo by Cederic X on Unsplash

I am a huge fantasy nerd. I know people say that ironically or after watching Lord of Rings for the first time, which is chill. That, however, isn’t me. I love the lore, the character backstories, and the epic history of the worlds. I’m one of the many in the obscure Game of Thrones Reddit threads talking about theories, backstories and so on.

And I embrace it, baby.

Being so invested in world-building, you bet I have tried writing my own stories. I have fresh concepts, compelling characters, a dynamic world, and political system, all of the boxes checked for a Game of Thrones version 2.0 basically.

I, however, do not have the strength for novel writing. I’m getting better, sure, but at the moment, any words I throw to paper will probably not be seeing the light of day.

It’s depressing honestly, to have such grand concepts and ideas but have them fall flat on blank space, never to be seen. The thing is, all of my ideas could probably fit into one or two pages, and at the end of it I know that a novel needs depth, and as I said, I’m not there yet.

So here we are in the same boat (maybe, I don’t know you), you have these neat ideas, and you want to see them come alive but lack the medium to convey them?

My friend my advice to you is, start a cool-ass Dungeons and Dragons game.

Photo by Clint Bustrillos on Unsplash

Okay picture this, your close friends come over, you all crack a couple of beers and sit around the table. You stand up, and for the next four hours, you read your fantasy novel.

And your friends are INVESTED.

They heed on every single word, ask for additional descriptions of people and places; some even take notes throughout the reading.

This experience is what it’s like to have the game Dungeons and Dragons represent your world. Sure, you aren’t reaching millions with your ideas, and there aren’t hundreds of fan theories about where your main character originates from, but how important is that? Your friends will be the people you talk about it with anyway, and I can promise you they will want to talk about it.

When you interact with your friends, you watch your world come alive in ways you wouldn’t have dreamed. You get to view interactions with certain characters, find out whether they are loved or hated. You get to see how your friends would react in precarious moral situations as well. The most memorable moments in these games come from nothing more than throwing an unfamiliar situation in front of your players in the world you’ve created.

Write out every detail or leave parts of your writing with intentional gaps for the session to fill. Either way, if you are looking to start a fantasy novel but lack the writing enthusiasm, this is where you should turn to.

I used to shun my love for worldbuilding and fantasy. I mean, really, it’s a nerdy thing to talk about with people. I never brought my passion up to family, other friends, or even in my relationship. With my last girlfriend, I didn’t tell her until we were almost two years into the relationship that I loved fantasy writing.

Wild and pretty silly, I was so embarrassed I couldn’t tell the person I loved I played Dungeons & Dragons.

Anyway, one day soon after, my mind just shifted. I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was that made me view it differently. All I know is that one day I became comfortable talking about my passion for fantasy writing and since then I have embraced my grand ideas to their fullest.

So go forth, welcome your ideas, write up a game and kill a couple of players characters while you’re at it!

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