Witty Wordsmith: Writing Tips from George R. R. Martin

Witty Wordsmith: Writing Tips from George R. R. Martin

There are a lot of good strategies to use to improve your writing. Reading works by writers you admire is a great way to learn new tricks and tips. Practicing writing consistently is another good one. And sometimes your favorite authors are kind enough to step back from just writing great stories and take the time to parse out some advice for aspiring writers.
This article has been tossed around the forums a bit, and it is certainly worth a read. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin gave a fantastic discussion on his own works last November and it certainly worth revisiting this November. Ten Tips on Writing a Fantasy Saga is aimed at the sword-and-sorcery genre, but many of the tips are just as applicable for science fiction as they are to a sprawling medieval fantasy.
Every one of these tips could spawn it’s own article on helpful simming, but two in particular stand out as great reminders of how we can make this game more fun for ourselves and our fellow players.
Don’t limit your imagination
It is all too easy to fall into the mindset of ‘I’m simming well if I’m doing my job well.’  Many of our players deeply associate with their characters so you want them to be as good as possible at what they are doing and to succeed. But if you always write your character endlessly pushing buttons and quickly solving problems we lose so much of the excitement and mystery of space exploration. Taking the safe route in constructing character action and plot development may seem like a sound choice, but sometimes making mistakes and facing consequences makes for a much more interesting and engaging narrative. Linger on problems. Create new solutions that aren’t immediately obvious. If every mission is just a series of easily solved linear puzzles, you’re missing out on the sense of wonder at new discoveries and the drama of pivotal moments in your character’s life. Don’t be afraid to get dirty, go big and dazzle your audience!
Grey characters
This tip is a wonderful little reminder that people are rarely ever all evil or all perfect. In fact, protagonists are more engaging when they have foibles and struggles to overcome. And villains are more memorable and oftentimes more frightening when they have empathetic traits in them. When writing your own PC, remember to bring out all sides of their personality and abilities – both good and bad. When writing MSNPCs, especially antagonistic ones, remember to really get into their head and figure out what their justification is for doing bad things. The more you understand where your characters are coming from, the more memorable and entertaining they will be to your audience – and in turn the more fun you will have writing them!
Go check out the entire list and see which tip you like best!

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