[Final Hour of a Storied Age] Using the game to outline a novel

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been trying to use the mechanics of my game to generate an outline for a novel for NaNoWriMo. I’m a sucker for multiple-meaning titles, so I decided to title the story “Unbalanced Scales”, referring to the injustices in the world at the beginning of the story, the precise measuring of ingredients that the alchemists need to do, and (most importantly) crazy lizard-people. I used a python script to simulate the scene bidding economy and used that to generate the chapter-by-chapter events in the outline today. It worked surprisingly well, and I think I have a pretty good story outlined. The problem is that it only has 72 scenes, and I’m not sure I can generate a novel-length work from that. I’d be more confident with 100 scenes or more. Also, the bad guys win…

I think I will repeat the process tomorrow and see if I come up with a story with a more appropriate length and maybe one with more likable protagonists who actually succeed. I’ll keep the outline I’ve got, though, in case I don’t come up with anything better. For me, generating outlines is the hardest part of writing novels, so if the game only ever works as a writing aid for me then I’ll still be able to consider it a success. Of course, I’d like it to be a successful game, too, so I’m still looking for interested people to playtest it with me.

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3 Responses to “[Final Hour of a Storied Age] Using the game to outline a novel”

  1. […] Dan's Game Design Blog Final Hour of a Storied Age: An RPG of Epic Fantasy « [Final Hour of a Storied Age] Using the game to outline a novel […]

  2. What’s wrong with having the bad guys win? It would be a nice change.

  3. The bad guys winning can definitely work, but I was starting with a very non-traditional opening situation (with the conquering oppressors as protagonists) so the antagonists coming out on top may be too much of a deviation when you combine the two together. It’s not an insurmountable problem, just a contributing factor to me going with a different idea.

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