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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Limited Relationships 105-01

When people hear the word relationship, most think of a romantic and/or sexual relationship, but it’s important to recognize that this represents a small fraction of the relationships that influence every character. In the context of this post, a relationship is any time that one character applies opinions or expectations onto another, whether the other person knows it or not.

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Perspective & Motive 104-02

Part of good storytelling is making the audience believe in the story, believe that the characters really existed, acting out events exactly as the author outlines them. This means everything the character says and does needs to be rooted in who the character is. An author must always be aware of why a character acts and reacts as they do, so that audiences never stop to consider the invisible hand behind the curtain.

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