There's still about 2 weeks left of National Novel Writing Month (or “NaNoWriMo”). What does that mean for you? You’re a gamer. You probably ignore those things that the nerds talk about (they’re called “books”). Why would you want to passively take in a story when you could be there in the middle of the action? Why read when you can play? Basically, why should you take part in what’s left of this month-long celebration of literature?
It’s because you’re probably also a writer. I’ve only been around Bitmob for a little while, but I have already seen the great work that is being put out by this community. Most of you are not professionals, yet you breathe more passion into what you do than I’ve seen anywhere else.
Here are four things that you, as someone who writes about video games, can take away from NaNoWriMo.
Story is beginning to take a front seat in the vehicle that is video games. More and more titles revolve around plots instead of points. Some, like Mass Effect or Skyrim, are entirely about groups of people who have very different attitudes and opinions. Your experience is based on your understanding of the motives of the characters you encounter.
Writing a novel (or even a short story) can give you a greater appreciation for the people behind the scenes at a studio. Someone came up with the dialogue and created the people in that game you’re playing. Trying your own hand at making up characters can help you see how hard their work is and how, too often, they are not recognized for it.
2. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Writing is writing. While I bounce back and forth from fiction to nonfiction on an almost daily basis, I have developed a better understanding of the craft. Your technique is a muscle. If you want it to get stronger, it needs training and regular maintenance. Want to be a better writer? Write more often!
Just as many of us spend time in first-person shooters to keep those skills sharp, writing needs that same attention. It can be just as easy as a few hundred words a day. NaNoWriMo gives you that chance!
3. Write your game
Have you ever wanted to create your own game? How about remake an old one in a certain way? Now you can! If you didn’t like the story in Mega Man, just write a new one!
Pull out some ideas about how you would change a major plot point. Create something new for your favorite characters to do. It can even be fan fiction! You have my permission. Just think of it as a chance to describe what your perfect video game world would be.
Do you like seeing numbers increase over time? Think of your daily word count as your gamerscore, and see how you compare to other people taking the NaNoWriMo challenge! Plus, imagine how impressed people will be when you tell them you wrote a novel. I'm impressed already!
Have I convinced you?
How about this? I personally challenge any and all takers to log 50,000 words during the month of November. That’s my goal.
You are serious about gaming. Let’s see if you’re also serious about writing.