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Thoughts on writing your life

I was reading some blog reading this morning as I woke up with the normal laziness of creating fantasy stories in real time for 11 solid hours. Many of you would call that Exalted gaming, but it really is about creating a story constantly. I don't plan my adventures. At the best, I have a rough idea of what is going on and then just tell 3-7 players to "be your character." In the 10-12 hour gaming sessions that I play, you cannot plan that well. If you have a straight plot, they'll avoid it or do something you don't plan. If you have an idea of how they can defeat some bad guy, they'll find another way. Instead, I create my worlds by knowing their state, then seeing how things respond, plan, or react around that.

Last night's adventure was a lot of fun. I only had a half crew of three players, but I flat out said I wouldn't lower the adventure or make it easier. We ended up going with a little side adventure to recover one of the player's armor. Instead of just getting armor, it ended up being possessed by a cranky ghost of someone another player killed in a different life, and triggering one of the characters to bowl forward into the "you will probably die if you do this alone" plot. Three hours layer, we managed to finish one major plot that ran for nearly a year in an appropriate dramatic action, defeated the big nasty guy who nearly did kill them, and somehow managed to get that poignant change of heart when a PC begrudgingly gained respect for an NPC who was cruel to her as a child. Oh, and fired up a betrothal subplot that involves the all-powerful Dragon-Blooded being a second wife to a mortal.

In other words, it was a fantastic night of creating stories. That is one thing I like about gaming. You don't have complete control over your characters. You have these gamers who don't know what you have in mind and, frankly, they are going to do what they think is right. You can only create the story and let them shine. I found that I also write novels that way. I'm a linear spiral writer because I don't plan plots. I create characters and worlds. Then, I put energy and thought into the character's motivations and personalities that I can figure out how they respond. Sometimes they surprise me, sometimes they go in different directions, but they are built up using experiences and processes instead of "and then they defeat the bad guy."

Interestingly, I've been told that I don't run adventures in my gaming group. I run novels. Uteck actually said that--it was like being in a novel you didn't have to read. Kind of important since, well, he doesn't read fast and it is something we all tease him about.

Well, that all said, it wasn't what I was planning on writing about. I was browsing the web this morning when I came across this blog post. It's one of the cruxes I guess, of the path I want to take. As a writer, I should view my blog, this blog, as a marketing tool. Ideally, I'd have one separate blog for writing and one for programming. Maybe one "real life". At least, that is what it sounds like. I mean, I write about rejections of submissions (though I'll be glad to call it "passed" instead of "rejection"). I write about the pain of writing and the desires to succeed. Hell, I apparently do everything I'm not suppose to.

Well, baring one thing: I'm pretty sure I don't talk trash or really complain about editors, writers, or agents I don't have. Um, one exception: the publisher that went out of business, only gave me only royalty check a year late, and didn't even tell me they closed up shop until I found out two years later. That one hurt, and while I don't talk about it, it comes up on occasion. My brother who reads this blog is actually a balance there, he reminds me not to complain too much and that is a struggle. I do complain a bit, but I'm trying not to. It's part of life, the up and downs.

Personally, I want to know about the pain in other's people lives. It isn't the good times that define someone. It isn't winning the lottery, the day they get married, or even when they get a 4.0 for college. The truely wonderful parts of life is setting how they climb back up after a divorce, being sick, losing their job. It is that climb from the bottom, wherever it may be, that is the most powerful story I can see. I don't like perfect people. I don't like people who can do no wrong and have everything. Fluffy and I both judge movies and books on that criteria. If you read my reviews, you'll see that I mention it. I don't want perfect. Perfection is boring. Struggle is the story. I want characters to fall. I want to see how they got to some point, shivering in the alley and considering ending it all, then surviving to rise up again, to fight and crawl their way back and succeed.

That is one reason I like Paksenarrion so much. If there is one book, a single book that I have held as my role model above all others, that is it. It is a story of a fall from grace and succeeding despite everything. I love that book with a passion. Don't care for the ones that followed it, but I love that book.

So, I always try to complain less, but I don't think I'll stop talking about the rejections when I get them. Even if it is just in passing. I do cherish the good rejection letters, because they make me a better writer. Yeah, it means that my path of being a writer is harder, but you know what? I'd rather read a story of struggle that eventually leads to success than a blog about someone who just magically appears published, shining with the holy halo of triumph.

No one says your own life can't be your novel.