Good afternoon all. I have been having some trouble with these Resource articles on time (well on time to my desired schedule) because I almost always look at what I have and go, “this is totally great for *insert theme here*!” So my prepared list of resources is like 8 weeks long, but none of them have 3. this is a bit of a problem, or it was at least. I have decided to try to lighten up on that a bit and I have also come up with a few sets I can use as well. Yes these are, in fact, themed. Sue me. Today I have some books not intended for GMs at all, but for writers. We all know that GMs are, or at least become, writers of a sort.
Bird By Bird (Anne Lamott)
This is a book that was assigned in my creative writing class this semester, and it definitely a resource worth looking into. It isn’t my favorite book on writing but it is a good one. As the title suggests Lamott writes about life as much, if not more than about writing, but for an author like her writing is life. As a result you can a great amount of insight into the general workings of your average writer, you average creative type. The reason I suggest this specific book is that, very quickly, you get the realization that you aren’t the only one who get distracted when trying to write. This happens to me whether I am writing or working on campaign material, and I imagine it happens to you as well. The way she writes is even similar to this sticking on and repeating a distracting thought as she describes a day meant for writing spent doing like 15 other things. If nothing else it is good to know your bad habits are not only yours and may even reinvigorate your self-confidence when such days hit you.
Fierce On The Page (Sage Cohen)
Another work I read for my creative writing class, this one I liked better than Bird By Bird. The book is separated into 75 short chapters, or essays really because each one can easily be read without ever having read over any of the others. Each essay talks about a different aspect of not just writing, but also life. She uses her life experiences and how those related to her writing to help reveal how directly everything in your life is connected to the creative process. Cohen gives suggestions on how to de-clutter and become comfortable with your own process and troubles so that you can get back to the important things like writing, and for you guys Game Mastering!
Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction (Orson Scott Card, Phillip Athens, more)
This may be the most useful book for GMs, especially aspiring writers who GM. I do need to mention the one problem I have found in the first section of the book, though. There is a tendency for the subject matter to be related towards and with respect with science fiction. While not ignoring fantasy, there does seem to be a lacking in specifics related to it. Nevertheless, this is an amazing resource for what you could get out of it. Aspiring authors will find the entire thing helpful, but GMs will find the ten chapter of part four of great use. There is basic information on a number of cultures, religions, vocabulary, weapons, commerce, castles, and more. Much of this can be learned through various other sources and the internet, but to have one collection of similar base material is of incredible use.