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Writing violence in fiction: How much?

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How much violence are you writing in your fiction? Is it enough? Is it too much?

Fiction and violence

Nearly all fiction writers are going to have violence of one form or another sooner or later in one of their short stories or novels. Fiction is about conflict, and violence is one of the most common forms of conflict. Even romance writers will occasionally have a sword-slinging hero rushing in to save the day, or a pistol-packing thug as the villain. In horror, violence is almost a given. Violence is also common in much fantasy and science fiction. And what would a Western be without a revolver or two or a lever-action rifle? Continue reading Writing violence in fiction: How much?

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Exploring genres beyond fantasy can make you a better Dungeon Master

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Being a Dungeon Master or Game Master is more than just rolling dice.

You’re the Dungeon Master, or Game Master. You’ve spent hours planning out an adventure for your players. You wrote down all the stats for potential opponents. You painted the minis. You hand sculpted the walls and bric-a-brac that make up the dungeon layout you present before your players. Maybe you even made some phone calls or sent out online messages to make sure everyone is going to make the game.

It can be a lot of work.

And then within the first minute of play one of the players pipes up and says something like, “Oh, yeah. I remember this. The same thing happened in the last Forgotten Realms novel I read.”

It doesn’t matter that you, the Dungeon Master, has not read that novel. Or seen the movie. Or played the game. Or experienced whatever piece of media that was brought up. You’re likely to feel a little let down. You might even feel as if you’ve ruined the night for your players by giving them something familiar. Heck, your players might even grumble a little.

And all that hard work feels like a waste. Continue reading Exploring genres beyond fantasy can make you a better Dungeon Master