Posts belonging to Category Voice and Style

Guest Post: The Liar

This is the first in a series of guest posts written by UZ–thank you so much!
I am a “writer”, an unpublished author who makes text for others to read in the full knowledge that, for the most part, no one will ever read it. I do this, ironically, out of love for my [...]

Writing Dialect Without Going Overboard

One of the things I like seeing in a work in which most of the characters are coming from different places is an understanding that they’re going to have somewhat different dialects. That’s awesome; it makes it clear to me that the author/GM knows that people sound different, and can fake the distinctive features of [...]

An Imbalance in World-Building

There’s a story, usually a series, or a long-running webcomic, or something else that’s long and spread out over time. It has a world—maybe not the best-detailed, but quirky. Interesting. Worth exploring. It takes our expectations and toys with them, it shows us that it’s actually affected by its metaphysics: in short, the world itself [...]

Shades of Creepy

On the one hand, I’m rather fond of messed-up social dynamics and mindscrewy plots and behaviors, in my fiction and sometimes even in my gaming (when done well): they’re interesting reading, they show me a part of human nature that I really don’t want to deal with face to face but do think that I [...]

Reprise: Can Big Drama Be Done Quietly?

Originally posted on February 22, 2010.
I play games in which grand and dramatic is pretty much the gold standard. It’s part of the system, I can deal with that. I see a lot of people writing in ways that are grand and dramatic, and hey, power to them. But there’s one thing [...]

Oh, Right, Humor!

I learned something new today: game is just plain different when I’ve got a character without a name.
It’s something I’ve sort of known for a while. We’ve had games where the character was thrown together at the last minute, and the less we’ve backstoried, the sillier we’ve gotten. I almost wonder if it’s the point [...]

Telling a Story From Multiple Viewpoints

There are some stories that just can’t be told from one perspective—there’s too much going on, and no way the main character can be there to see all of it. That’s where multiple viewpoints come in—and where things start to get a little complicated.
The first thing to think about is how many viewpoints to use. [...]

Expositionary Hand-holding

The other day, I found myself railing at a bit of boxed text in a game module I was being run through (at least, I hope it was just the boxed text and not my GM’s addition). It described a place, lots of visible details that made it obvious that we’d just walked into the [...]

Writing Exercise: Salvaging Doggerel

“Her azure orbs sparkled in the moonlight.”
“I took this as a bad sign. Battle sapphires only sparkle when they’re about to be thrown, and I was too close to be the target—who else was out there? Were we under attack?”
–a response to deliberately dubious description.
Not all bad writing is irretrievable; in fact, not even all [...]

Writing Exercise: In As Few Words…

A long time ago, I wrote an exercise in which the object of the game was to find something and describe it in as minute detail as possible, in order to learn how to see things at the minute, mundane level. I pointed out then that the results of this exercise really weren’t meant to [...]