The hubby and I just returned from the Origins 2013 Game Fair in
and I'm writing this while still
recuperating from five days of frantic fun gaming and being on various writing
panels. We go there every year for our wedding anniversary and have a grand old
time – leading me to make some observations about the wonderful gaming
community and how a gamer is more of a writer and reader than many might think. Columbus, Ohio
If you've ever played a role-playing game you know the man who runs the game, or the GM, is following a pre-designed set of instructions created to run the characters through a scenario. Most of the time these are designed by a company but many GM's take the time to create their own campaign scenario – which is a heck of a lot of writing! They must create the conflict, guide the characters and have a resolution at the end, be it good or bad. And during all this there's a good chance that the characters will literally take charge of the story (played by other people in the group) and take the story elsewhere.
To writers: Sound familiar? *laughs*
A good GM knows how to nudge the characters back onto the chosen path and to resolve the dilemma with a minimum of problems but just enough to give the players a good game. If your players walk away with a good feeling you've done a great job as a GM.
Or an author.
On the other side of the coin – as a player you don't want to be dragged down a path that you don't want to go, as many readers might feel when an author skips a logical step in order to get you to a certain resolution or setting without reason. A good GM will allow you to wander off the beaten path at times but will gently guide you back onto the well-trod path in order to get you to where he/she needs you to be – finishing the adventure and resolving the conflict.
That isn't to say that some characters/players won't be lost along the way. Take too many risks, go too far off the trail and you might end up sitting on the sidelines. But if you play your cards right, follow the bread crumbs and have a wee bit o'luck with the dice you can have a wonderful adventure and walk away from the table feeling much better for the time spent.
Sound familiar? *grins*
It was also the first week after "Family Pride" released and helped me deal with new release jitters - mostly checking my Amazon ranking every hour. As well I got to hand out postcards advertising not only the "Blood of the Pride" series but also Carina Press! Some fans who discovered my writing last year came back to visit and it was great to see them again along with making some new ones.
All in all it was a great convention and I got to meet some other faboo authors along with some wonderful budding writers who I hoped I encouraged to keep on writing and working towards their goals. I always come away from these conventions feeling reinvigorated and encouraged when I see the wonderful imaginations at work creating new worlds and new realities along with fresh minds seeking not only to entertain but to have a darned good amount of fun along the way.
And for those of you who have never considered taking up gaming, be it board or role-playing – why not check it out?