People from all walks of life would gather around the fire pit, or huddle in their shelters and dwellings sharing stories. Some of these were of their culture, some were from their
Our ancestors gathered around the open fire or hearth in the darkest depths of their dwellings and used stories to pass on their culture to the next generation. The stories would help explain abstract concepts like religion or the ways of nature, or the stories would tell the tribe or the village the latest news from faraway lands.
At its root, storytelling is about sharing experiences. We use storytelling every day. When we come home from work, we have plenty of anecdotes from the office to share with family members. When we talk with friends down at the local bar or over a restaurant dinner, we trade experiences in the form of stories.
Storytelling is an art form, though. Everyone can do it; few can do it well.
Today’s stories come in many different forms. Most stories are written down in books or presented in movies. It’s mostly a one-person experience. But over the last several years, the art of storytelling is experiencing a revival through role-playing games.
Storytelling and Role-Playing Games
A good storyteller uses everything available at his or her disposal. In a tabletop or live-action role-playing game, props are key to a good game. There is mood music, handouts and other aspects of the sessions that make a story come to life with items the players can see and feel.
In a play-by-post creative roleplaying game like Escaping Reality, your written words have to paint a vivid picture able to interest players, draw them in and keep them coming back for more.
“Show, don’t tell” is more applicable to creative writing gaming than in any other situation.
Some tips to be a good story teller
One of the most difficult elements of creative rpgs is leaving these hints behind without beating the player or the reader over the head with them. You may desperately want to show readers to notice this or that, but you can only drop in subtle hints here and there to create an effective story. You have to learn how to set the right mood and keep everyone on track.
Realize that it’s okay if the story get off track. There’s nothing wrong with sacrificing your plot, your ideas or your plans if something better presents itself spontaneously. Just roll with it and see where the story goes.
Storytelling is an intricate dance of give and take. Once you learn a little about the steps and understand where to place your feet, you’ll be dancing your story in no time.