On Description

Those who know me, know that when I write, I describe a lot. That's where I really shine, and that's where lies one of the greatest differences between the short story and the RPG session.
In a story, even in a short one, there's a lot of time and space for describing things. It's everyone for himself after all. In a story, the writer has to give the reader all the description s/he can, in order to make the reader feel the story, without crossing the line of too much description. In "Song of Ice and Fire" there is a 6 page description of a meal. A single meal. Tolkien's LOTR is being ridiculed as 200 pages of events, and 700 pages filled with little but descriptions of trees. But in a story, it works, and the reader does get into the story, does feel all that happens, all the events, does feel a part of the world.
But in RPGs, it's a different story. It's a collaborative media, where the protagonists are created and used by others, who are keen to act, who look for the acting, and to them, too long of a description and they're just... A nice rule that I once came across said that each description in an RPG should be no more than 20 seconds of length. Another important rule stated that each description should have three things to examine within it.
And if it's not enough and you want to say something more? You can always return to the tea party in Alice: "... And everything else you might find in a tea party..."

No comments:

Post a Comment