For you sci-fi nerds out there, I pray you have heard of the wonderful, marvelous Anne McCaffrey. A friend introduced them to me when I was in seventh or eighth grade (and let me tell you, those dragon mating scenes? My little christian-school-girl head was shocked!) Needless to say, I was hooked. That world of dragons and hardship and mystery and magic enthralled me. I wrote fan fiction, I painted paintings. I even found a Role-Playing Game to write my own Pern. So many years later, I didn’t realize just how much it would help me.
Now before you go jumping to conclusions, let me explain what this was. It wasn’t some cyberworld with little cyberdragons and cyberpeople walking around. It was a writing group of like-minded nerds intent on taking it to the next level. Each group had its own rules, and I was in a few of them. Each one required you to build a skeleton for a character before you could even begin. You had to know what they looked like, what their personality was like, and what their history was inside and out. Only then could you venture out into the wide wide world of Pern.
As I was re-writing (yes, STILL. -_- Lemme alone…) my chapters, I was finding it harder and harder to find the voice of my story. First-person was finding a rather painful, torturous death, but third-person seemed too distant. After months of writing from within my MC’s skull, watching her from outside left me feeling like some side-line commentator. I couldn’t get back into it. Her thoughts and emotions were shielded from me and I was on the verge of throwing in the towel. Enter: Pern RPG. Oh yeah, the nerdiness never leaves you. I realized that I was so focused on the technicalities that I hadn’t taken time to re-learn my character. Instead of an outline of her looks and personality and history, I had a gender and a place. She was hollow. As soon as I made the character sheet, she came alive again. Rather than “blinking at the man,” she was “frozen with shock.” Instead of merely surviving on the pages of my screen, she began to live in my head. (Now ain’t that a scary thought.)
Anyway, my nerdiness paid off. Laugh if you want, but I’ve finally started to find my groove again. A month of nitpicking and critiquing and procranstinating and I can finally get back to doing what I love. Writing decent characters and revelling in the fact that I have just surpassed WoW.
Ok…so I haven’t…Nothing can surpass Wow. Don’t shoot!