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 Why We Like Stories #AuthorToolbox (Part 2, The Conscious)

For Part 1, the unconscious, Click Here.

The conscious mind represents the more complex side of every person. The conscious mind takes the simple desires of the unconscious mind and builds more elaborate goals around them. Where the unconscious mind wants to feel and enjoy, the conscious mind wants to overcome a challenge. The conscious mind is the problem solver; cracking codes, assembling pieces, all in an effort to achieve some kind of new understanding, a moment of insight that can only be called an epiphany. The question is, what does the conscious mind want to understand?

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Discussing Why We Like Stories #AuthorToolbox (Part 1, The Unconscious)

Storytelling is a lifelong journey, full of unexpected detours; learning subjects that can include psychology, philosophy, history, and various scientific disciplines. We point to specific examples of stories and marvel at how they “do it”. Funny or sad, light-hearted or serious, simple or complex, but they’re all stories, which means on some level they share certain basic attributes. One of those attributes is what they do for the audience. I’d like to propose that all stories represent different ways of satisfying two basic desires: the desire to feel, and the desire to think.

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