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Professional RPG Writing

Just recently, I discovered that an RPG book I wrote in 2010, Shanghai Vampocalypse, was nominated for one of the RPG industry's two most prestigious awards – the ENnie – for Best Electronic Book. I happy-danced all over the net about it.

Everywhere but here, my pro-writing blog.

I didn't realize I had done it at first. Then when I did, I didn't want to post about it here, too, because, you know, I had already posted about it. This is the lie I told myself. My real reason was that I wasn't sure how many of my writing peers would scoff at the idea of writing awards for RPGs. Despite being paid semi-pro and pro rates for most of my RPG work, a lot of writers that I know (who aren't in the RPG industry) consider RPG writing one step above fan fiction.

This infuriates and shames me. Shanghai Vampocalypse has 70,000 words of fiction—all of which I wrote. There are stories, plot lines, world building and enough entertainment in that book to keep a pack of gamers entertained for weeks. It was and still is professional writing. And yet, I was nervous about posting it here because I didn't know what my non-RPG writing peers would think.

I've been fighting against this stigma since I became a member of SFWA. I've made two proposals to include RPG credits for SFWA qualifications and, for now, they have been tabled because of internal SFWA business and such. I'm patient. I can wait but I also need to train myself out of the idea that my RPG writing isn't as "professional" as my other writing. I work just as hard, sometimes harder on my RPG writing.

Sometimes, internal lessons are the hardest to learn.


Jul. 16th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
I wanted to say to them, "with RPGs math's included". In game designing I worry and work on probability more than the writing. The writing is easier for me than the math, even though I was an internal auditor for 17 years.