Writing: Dungeons, Dragons and Narrative Drive


Reading the LA Times Book review, I came across this essay by writer Tod Goldberg, who describes the importance of Dungeons & Dragons in forming his need to write.

This was my first time playing D&D in at least 25 years. As a child, I played for a very specific reason: I loved to tell stories, but because of my severe dyslexia I couldn’t do it very well on the page. Every time I sat down to write, my thoughts would overwhelm my pen, and when I was done scribbling my story out, huge sections would be missing.

I’ve written before about the importance of D&D to my writing and reading life, although I wasn’t dyslexic. Also, when I first started playing, I wasn’t necessarily interested in storytelling; I was interested in the wargaming aspects of the game. I also was interested in the nature of escape into a different world.

Later on, as I read more fantasy lit, I began to enjoy the storytelling aspects of the game. The plots of my games became more elaborate, the characters more than numbers on a sheet of paper.

Playing the game also led to my first attempts at publication, when I entered a game module writing contest in Dragon magazine.

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