How Playing DnD Rekindled my Love for Writing
Some thoughts from me as I realised how the role-playing game sparked my interest in creative writing
There’s a lot I can say about the last year of my life but most of it would revolve around the existential dread brought on by Covid and let’s be real, there have been enough articles about that. So instead of doing that, I want to highlight something good that came out of my lockdown experience…I started playing Dungeons and Dragons!!
I’m definitely not exaggerating when I say this but a week after my first session I have been completely sucked into the world of the popular role-playing game. I own multiple sets of dice, crafted a rich and intricate backstory for my Rogue, and fully immersed myself into the role-playing aspect of the game (I have perfected my Russian accent). Basically, my point is this, D&D is amazing and I wished I had played it sooner.
As of now, I’m in the middle of my third proper campaign with my usual group of friends. Each campaign has been so much fun and always exciting (during our first campaign we completely derailed the entire plot by starting a romance with one of the characters and the BBEG*). All I’ll say is this, I manage to initiate the romance with some incredibly successful Charisma rolls.
Now onto the reason why I’m dedicating an entire post about D&D, the first-ever character I created was a human Rogue named Ariadne Stormwind. She was an assassin with some killer gymnastic skills. As our campaign progressed I continued to flesh out her character, so much so that when it ended I was not ready to say goodbye to Ari. I wanted to tell her story, I wanted to share how she became an assassin and how her childhood experiences shaped her as an adult. Perhaps it was the escapism the game provided me, or maybe it was because Ari was my first character, but I became very attached to her and wanted to write out her story.
This took me completely by surprise because it had been years since I last wrote anything remotely fictional, let alone fantasy. But I was committed to this, I needed something to do during the lockdown (there’s only so much banana bread a single human can bake). So, with some motivation from my amazing partner, I sat down and started to plot out Ariadne’s story, and pretty soon after that, I had the rough outlines for not one but two stories!! I was completely blown away, but like I said I was very emotionally attached to Ariadne as a character and has spent a lot of time fleshing out her personality.
Riding on this proverbial high I continued to write. I introduced side characters, created different motivations for each character, and laid out specific rules for magic that existed in my fictional world. For the first time in a very long time, I actually felt motivated to finish something that I had started. I was still pretty nervous about actually writing out my story, I had convinced myself that I wasn’t a good writer but I persevered and slowly regained my confidence in writing (though there is still a lot of growing and improving I have to do).
So far I’ve written close to 5 chapters of my story which I have titled, ‘Court of Knives’, and the other 15-ish chapters are already drafted. Honestly, I’m at my happiest when I’m writing and hopefully, I’ll be able to start sharing my chapters on Wattpad soon. My reason for sharing on Wattpad is pretty simple, publishing my chapters on a weekly basis means I get to devote time to writing as well as focusing on my Master’s dissertation (which should be a higher priority in my life but we’ll just ignore that for now). I am so excited to start sharing my story and hope I get some positive feedback from it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this, the creativity it takes to play D&D has reignited my spark for creative writing. I have fallen back in love with the written word and I owe it to Gary Gygax. Now I can’t wait for the lockdown to be lifted so that I can play a game in person with my party.
*BBEG means Big Bad Evil Guy.