On the chalkboard at the front of the class was the inspirational picture; it seemed "normal" enough. There was a car on the side of an empty road, a family outside of the car, and a police officer speaking to them. The whole group was standing by the rear of the vehicle with the trunk closed. My first thoughts were about my lack of enthusiasm over this mundane scene were were required to write about for 20 minutes. As my dissatisfaction grew, I suddenly knew what I was to do. If the teacher was going to make me write then I was going to make the teacher read something that she would not like.
I weaved a tale about a a rental car that the parents had picked up. Actually, there had been a problem with their reserved car and the rental place let them use this other car but they had to take it right at that moment. They had gotten pulled over because the car matched the description of a car used by a serial killer that was on the loose. The cop had asked them to open the trunk and there was a boat load of money and a body inside! Put simply, my story was over the top and I knew it. I turned it in at the end of class with the satisfaction that I had showed her (the teacher) what would happen every time she asked us to write.
This continued all year long. She would put a picture on the chalkboard and I would come up with some outlandish story to go along with it. I was - and still am - an 80s slasher movie fan so there was plenty of that type of stuff plus aliens, leprechauns, and all sorts other strangeness. I expected her to say something but she never did. At the end of the year it was revealed that the creative writing notebooks were a part of our grade but not in the traditional sense. If any of us were in the position where we were close to the next higher grade for the class then the notebook would come into play. Basically, if you participated then you would be considered for the higher grade but if you did not participate then you could forget about it. That is how I finally "got it" when it comes to writing.
What was the purpose of all of that and how does it relate to role playing games? The purpose was to do something different for post 100 and look back at how I started writing. I have written a lot of stuff since that time. I definitely know that writing is a skill that needs to be trained. Some people have a natural gift for it and others have to train on it pretty intensely to get some results. I seem to be at a comfortable spot on writing. I can generally come up with an idea and just run it through my head for a bit and then start writing. I make no claims of grandeur or expertise, just that I am comfortable with writing.
The second part of the question was how does this relate to role playing games? The most direct connection is that I happen to write about role playing games in this blog. Some of the subjects - presented in no particular order - that I plan to write about in 2012 include:
- Complete my read through and do an actual play report over Perilous Journeys.
- Participate in the A to Z April Challenge.
- Continued development of the 2D6 role playing system.
- Complete my read through and do an actual play report over Adventures in Fantasy.
- Actual play report over Far Trek.
- Continued development of the games from The Old Gaming Notebook.
- Continued development of my campaign world.
- Assisting Eric at Back to the Dungeon! complete the Classic Fantasy Role Playing Game.
- A look at any new products I may purchase in the coming year.
- Miscellaneous jibber jabber.