Thoughts for Thursday
Continuing with questions you’ve asked,
Fitz posits: What genres do you find the most interesting to write setting or adventures for? And what resources do you use to find inspiration for those genres?
My short response: As you can tell from our product catalog, I like writing for a broad spectrum of genres. Each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to development. For example, RunePunk allows for a broad spectrum of creativity, but everything must be created from whole cloth as ScatterPoint is a unique space. On the other hand, Agents of Oblivion is based upon the real world (albeit, quite modified) which allows for a different, sort of focus. The world is constantly changing, so there can be the very real and, ultimately, unavoidable deviation from what is real. As for inspiration, anything at all is grist for the mill. A news article, a television show, a video game, a book, a website, or a conversation can be the kernel for an idea of some sort. Whether it gets developed, however, is another question altogether.
Let me expound a bit further today: I enjoy stringing one word after the other and the common thread of what I enjoy writing is adventure. Thematically, everything I write has elements of adventure, so despite the fact the trappings and challenges may (and do) change, I still am cleaving to my favorite love. When I write straight fictional pieces, I can explore character development and those sorts of things, things I rarely get to touch when I’m writing adventures. What all these adventures and guidebooks we’ve been recently releasing have really allowed me to do is refine my plotting technique and narrative description ability. When we were on a panel, Shane Hensley asked if there were any genres I wouldn’t touch, and I thought about it a moment, and I responded that I couldn’t think of any I wouldn’t. However, that doesn’t mean they would all be economically viable, so there has to be love for the setting in there as well.
RunePunk is one of my favorite settings to write about for multiple reasons. It’s the one that put Reality Blurs on the map and it’s where I learned a lot about the industry. I got to blunder and fumble along and now, more polished, I approach it again and get to refine some of the elements which I overlooked or weren’t able to explore to the extent I’m able to do now. I always had planned to do guidebooks for RunePunk, but never made the time to do. I constantly allowed other projects to get in the way and I was immensely gratified to see so many people out there clamoring for more materials. This really blew my mind and made me more excited than ever to get to work. Additionally, I get to revisit steampunk, something I’ve long loved, but before it became as hip and cool as it has become, so I’m excited especially to see what the reception will be to a rebooted RunePunk! Do I love all our settings? Of course, but they are all in good shape. I am also elated and excited to write more Cthulhu material. Getting the license to develop Realms of Cthulhu for Savage Worlds was a a dream come true! I’m looking forward to diving back into Echo of Dead Leaves more than anything. It is intimidating and daunting and really stretches my ability. It is the most complex plotting I’ve ever done for a project and the playtesting has gone fantastically.
When it comes to resources, it’s no secret that I’m well read, but I do enjoy doing research. More than anything, I read a lot of non-fiction when I’m diving into most projects as truth is often stranger than fiction. I like tracking down obscure facts or interesting bits of information and integrate them into my development process on some level. Lately, I’ve been drawn to lots of books on physics and dark matter. I’m Zen-like in my reading. If something catches my attention, I go with it, and figure my mind, like my body, knows when it needs certain bits of nourishment. Grab any history book and you cannot help but find something you can apply to your work. Humanity is strange, wonderful and beautiful, dangerous and tragic, and is full of so many stories to be shared. I try to add my voice to this song through my works.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!