Using campaign to learn more about writing



The first campaign ever is finished, holiday travels have paused the group, so I’m gobbling up any inspiration I can get.

Also, I’ve missed writing. It’s like a long time friend I only get to see once in a while.

I blogged in the past, always non-fiction and heavy topics.

So now I’ve started writing my campaign. I’m just re-imagining each already played session and writing it out like a novel. So the plot is written so to speak, but there is no much unsaid, it’s like coloring it all in, AND connecting dots.

Pretty fun so far, and humbling. I have very little experience with how to write fiction, dialogue in particular is hard to wrap my mind around.

  1. Has anyone done this with their campaign, re-writing it like a novel?

  2. Does anyone have resources to recommend learning how to write fiction?


Hey JDH!

I’ve written a bunch for film and theatre, and I’m partway through a novel (prose is hard XD).

My highest recommendation is Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. A good, clear intro to the tenets of tight storytelling. I’m not into his novels, but that book is a gem.

Also, look up a blogger called Film Crit Hulk. Pretty much everything he’s ever written is storytelling gold dust.

What aspects are you most wanting advice on? I might be able to point to more specific resources, or give thoughts from experience.


Just some thoughts on dialogue in particular, as I realised you asked about that.

My sister was given the acting advice, “Only speak if you can improve on silence. Only move if you can improve on stillness.” Let characters speak when it comes from a need - in themselves or externally. But avoid ‘realistic’ space-filling conversation.

You often see adverbs used to describe speech. Like, ‘“But why?” he said plaintively.’ Try to make the manner of speech clear in the words the person says, then you don’t need the adverb, and can probably cut ‘he said’ as well. Like, ‘“But why? Please tell me!”’

The most consistent writing advice, from all sorts of different writers, is economy - cut as much as you can without losing what’s important.

‘She then went across to the window, so she could look up at the stars in the night sky.’
can become,
‘She dashed to the window, and gazed at the stars.’

I hope some of that’s helpful. Other writers would say different things, and dialogue can definitely be one of the hardest aspects. Do let me know if you have any questions!



I’ve used it to add more natural complications, failures and interactions before using the rolls to help. I’ll stat out characters in the scene and run it a few times to see how things go or if anything interesting comes up. Maybe rolls keep going bad (attacking isn’t working) and an injured character has to think on their feet. Or to test out the story to see if it’s interesting enough.