NaNoWriMo Tip #7: Consult Role Playing Game Plots

By Jason Boog 

Believe it or not, role-playing games can teach you a lot about storytelling. When you feel frustrated with the direction of your National Novel Writing Month plot, a role-playing plot might help you out of the rut.

Writer S. John Ross has compiled The Big List of RPG Plots, a valuable tool for all kinds of writers looking to reframe a story. This is our seventh NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.

Here’s a great example, Recent Ruins: “A town, castle, starship, outpost, or other civilized construct is lying in ruins. Very recently, it was just dandy. The PCs must enter the ruins, explore them, and find out what happened. Common Twists & Themes: Whatever ruined the ruins (including mean people, weird radiation, monsters, a new race, ghosts) is still a threat; the PCs must save the day. The inhabitants destroyed themselves. The “ruins” are a derelict ship or spaceship, recently discovered. The “ruin” is a ghost town, stumbled across as the PCs travel – but the map says the town is alive and well.”