1.26.2004

Writing, or Something Like It. Part 1

9 months or so ago, I got back a rejection from Wizards of Coast. As a child, and as a childish adult, I played lots of role-playing games, and these were some of the best. I don't have anyone to play with here in the East, but I still I send in a submission, periodically, hoping that maybe some day I'll have the honor of contributing to one of the fantasy worlds that occupied so much of my youth.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the rejection.

So I get the rejection, but attached to it is an invitation to submit a proposal for an upcoming novel. Fireworks go off, I'm in love.

A few months go by, I get the rejection back, along with an invitation to do a work on-spec. Suddenly I'm exchanging emails with a real editor. The writing is fun. Terribly fun. The thought of actually selling on of these works, of actually getting paid to daydream, is a dream come true.

But here's the hitch: the only reason I get to chase this dream is because I'm a white American male working at a place that affords me the time to screw around in fantasy worlds. I am literally armed with privilege. What of social duty and responsibility? What of paying back a little of the wealth I've inherited. What does the world gain from another story about elves and orcs?

I once put the question to Elaine Cunningham, one of the premier writers for WOTC, and she didn't miss a beat. According to her wisdom, after the needs of food and shelter are met, humans have the need to tell stories.

I still don't know if that's enough to lift all of my catholic guilt, but it is a good enough start. I'm still waiting for a rejection on a story from WOTC and the next novel proposal is due next month.

Eep. But more on that next time.

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