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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. 18th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
There's a hell of a lot of snobbery among a few certain people in some professional organizations, and a handful of snooty writers in any genre. Fortunately, most writers everywhere understand how difficult writing is no matter what project you are working on. Those are the good people and there are lots and lots of them who are more than willing to give support and understanding. :)

Therefore, don't lose sleep over the snobs. These people were jerks long before they became writers. Just keep telling good stories and selling them. That's what really irks 'em. :)