Create the world… Create the characters… then sit back and watch the whole thing unfurl. This is my method of writing a fictional story.
I was watching Sword & Laser’s Interview with George R.R Martin when a question was posed about his character creation. Essentially he was asked if he made his characters and knew what was going to happen to them or does he just create them and let them run wild on their own. His answer to this was essentially it’s a little of both. He then proceeded to say how Lady Stark in particular was a very difficult lady always wanting to go on her own.
This idea of the characters being vibrate and alive intrigues me. I’ve always been one to say that to create a story all you need is the right place, the right people everything else is secondary.
Now of course before I start getting bombarded with e-mails and messages about this, I want to make something clear. I am NOT saying this is the best way to write a story, truthfully there is no definitive BEST way to write. This is just how I prefer it, and generally I find myself more engaged in the story if I can get behind the characters presented… even if the story is a bit cliché or stale.
Game of Thrones is a very good example of my opinion. We’ve seen variations of this story all through the decades in fantasy. It’s a low-magic sword and steel kind of fantasy setting. The political intrigue is slightly innovative but it really isn’t anything too out of the ordinary.
The reason it’s such a hit with me, both literal and on television is the world Martin has created. The Wall in the North, Eddard Stark, Tyrion Lannister, The Greyjoys and their belief structure, The various gods and religions believed in each region…. Did I mention Tyrion Lannister??
I thought it would be easy for me to run a table top RPG of World Of Darkness because essentially this kind of story telling is exact for this kind of game. I created my world and my characters, while the guys made their characters and entered the world we were going to see where things went naturally.
I’m starting to lose touch with my ambition to continue the game. However with that being said I still think the world I’ve created has some value. Right now it’s too fragile to stand on its own has a fictitious city since it is basically St. John’s (save for some major differences), but with some refinement and adding some more ideals to the fold I think it could very well be worth writing about.
I think this city is going to be tweaked in the coming days and weeks.
Anyway, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the creation of characters. I’ve always said that writing has been the one skill and interest that have stayed consistent in my life. So I think I am actually going to write something, giving myself one year. Let’s see if I can make something of this “skill.”
The thought of creating this world has me fairly excited and unlike the WoD game I can decide the pacing. With all the time I get at work free from distraction it should be no problem to find the time to write and read and build my world and characters.
Wish me luck..