I’m part of this year’s Newbie Blogger Initiave (see the badge on the right) and they asked the community to either give advice or write guides for beginning game bloggers. One of the topics I’m personally very interested in is creative writing. I’m working on my own game and novel at the moment. One thing that’s very closely related to creative writing is character creation.
In RPGs, you have the chance to create an avatar. In some cases, you can even add the background story of your character to its bio so other players can read it as well. I never add a background story for my avatar. I don’t know them until I start playing. My character’s story grew by playing the game. This also keeps me from writing a universe inaccurate background story.
The role-playing aspect made this character not an avatar of me or a set protagonist in a story, but I could make any character I want and let them experience a story with the choices I make. These choices shouldn’t just be something you pick at random. What good would it do to make a good decision now and then cancel it out later with an evil decision? Most of these games have neutral options if you want to stay neutral.
To guide me through the decision-making progress I started writing the background stories of the characters and these stories became more complex each time I took a decision. Why would my character save this murderer? Sure, he followed bad advice, but he still killed dozens of people. Does my character show him mercy, or does she kill him on the spot? I don’t just think about the what, but also about the why. Why does she make these decisions.
If you write down the ‘why’s and turn into a narrative, congrats! You’ve written your first fan fiction for the game.
I know there are bloggers out there who keep a weekly diary of their characters living in the MMO-world. I play and read a lot of Guild Wars 2 blogs and these diaries are fun to read. It’s an excellent way to get more involved in the world and the lore.
Have you written any character diaries or background story? Please leave a link in the comments so I can check them out!