Let’s start things off by taking a look at an art piece I got for my current main roleplay character, Lady Fallynn Iceblood. This artist, MizunoSuzuka, created this image when I commissioned her based on the description of my character. Now, in game, Fallynn doesn’t have wings–she doesn’t even have them in the roleplay story I’m in. No, it’s just for a fun concept, really, and to depict a little bit of symbolism: The Blood Queen.
This post isn’t about dear Fallynn, though, as much as I adore her. No, it’s about how she, and all of my other characters, have helped me improve my novel writing. People don’t take roleplay seriously sometimes and call it “just for children”, but in reality, it’s so much more. These improv pieces of writing help build story and imagination, along with seasoning a writer on other writing styles in the moment as well.
Not only that, but the fast-paced atmosphere of roleplaying has actually skyrocketed my typing speed. I’m a bit insane, admittedly, and play multiple characters at once when roleplaying on World of Warcraft. I tab between two characters and type out a paragraph or two in the span of roughly a minute. My typing speed is 85 words per minute! No, seriously, I’m not even kidding. Now, why can’t I pump out novels faster, though? That’s a matter of my muse misbehaving, there. Sometimes even those with the fastest typing speed can’t write a bloody word if their muse isn’t cooperating!
Anyway, I roleplay primarily in World of Warcraft, but the most famous example of a roleplaying game has to be Dungeons & Dragons. Typically in these games, you aren’t writing your adventure so much as rolling the die and speaking for your character. I know of many DnD players that have written entire books on their characters, though, so the absence of writing during the game itself isn’t really that big of an issue.
One game that I really haven’t gotten into yet but has concepts I simply adore is, unsurprisingly, Vampire the Masquerade. I think the clan I’d always pick would be the artistic vampires, or the Toreador. What can I say, I love the idea of art being a weakness. Not just painted art or something, though. If I had a modern day vampire character, she’d probably be stunned by video game art!
As a vampire author, the concepts in that game and such are fun to consider in my writing. Naturally I’m not going to mirror everything, as I have my own vampire lore, but regardless the ideas do flow freely. I can take a character I create and twist it to fit into my own novels after I roleplay them a bit, which is fun. Such is the case with Fallynn Iceblood and Fallynn from my series Cobratongue University. The characters are definitely not mirrors–they look completely different from one another, for one thing. But they do have very similar personalities, and would probably be good friends if they ever met.
In conclusion, roleplay has helped me with my idea flow, typing speed, and character creation. I highly recommend authors trying it out sometime, as it can bring about new concepts and allow you to think outside of the box. After all, you have complete control in your own novel. That isn’t the case in roleplay–anything can happen!
As a treat, here’s another piece I got from Mizuno of another WoW character of mine, or Elias Cipher!