Discussing Being “In the Moment” (What Larping Taught Me About Writing Part 3)

A newton's cradle

So far I’ve been discussing the experience of role playing, but for me there’s one distinction between tabletop role playing and larping, the tension. In a traditional “sit down” role playing session, players have time to think and react. The game master tells players what is happening, and one by one players choose an action, roll a die, and find out what happened. The fact that every choice has to be processed and resolved by the game master creates a natural staggering, which does not exist in larping.

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Discussing Incomplete Information (What Larping Taught Me About Writing Part 2)

Two hands holding separate puzzle pieces.

Information management is a cornerstone of any good story. Authors dole out information in precise increments. This helps audiences to absorb the information gradually, preventing them from becoming overwhelmed. It also allows the author to control how audiences perceive the story at any given moment. Revealing new information often prompts audiences to rethink earlier scenes, encouraging their engagement with the story.

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Discussing Character Fidelity (What Larping Taught Me About Writing Part 1)

As readers, we often experience stories from multiple points of view. Even if a story only has a single POV character, we (the audience) still retain our own perspective. In contrast, as writers we need to experience the story from every major character’s perspective. We play out each scene multiple times, alternating between the different character perspectives to ensure that each one is genuine. In both cases we experience the story from a bird’s eye view. We often know more than any one character, and no matter how hard we try, we can never completely forget “what we know”.

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