Switching Characters to Spice Up the Storytelling

I’ve had an exceedingly tiresome week, capped off by an exceedingly long commute home today — like, an hour and a half or more. And because I’m writing this on Thursday evening, the week isn’t quite over yet. So let’s listen to some soothing Appalachian-inspired folk.

Writing has also been slow for me, which has been due in part to laziness, but also because I keep spending more time thinking about my short story idea than actually writing WoEL.

A lot of times I get too focused on one project or task, so even if I get stuck on that project, it’s difficult for me to pivot to something else.

But thinking about it this week, and with WoW Classic still firmly on the brain, I realized that I actually do know how to pivot, just not in my writing.

I always had a main character in WoW, the character I would login as and play consistently, even if it was only for 10 minutes. But if I got a little bored of that character, or got stuck in a rut with quests I didn’t feel like doing?

I’d switch to an alt. Aside from the two mains I mentioned in my last post, I have about 20 alternate characters, generally of different classes. A couple of them I’d even leveled up to the 50’s range, because I enjoyed playing them that much.

These alts provided a nice spell from my mains, a way for me to continue engaging with the world of Warcraft without burning out on the same POV.

Naturally, it occurred to me this week: Why the hell have I not transposed this technique to my writing?

All of my stories are in the same fantasy universe, so it shouldn’t be a distraction for me to focus on a different character — a different story — for the time being. If anything, writing a totally different POV in a different part of Úr’Dan should only help me enrich all of my stories with world-building.

So I’m pivoting to that short story. It’s been in my head for months, and I’ve recently started thinking a lot about the setting, some of the other characters, and some of the plot points.

I’m not ready to put WoEL on the shelf, but I hope that writing something will keep my creative gears turning. And it will count towards my 10,000 story words written for the month.

Perhaps I’ll even get far enough that I’ll feel comfortable talking about this mysterious short story.

Steve D

I write quite a bit about my writing and creative processes. To read more, visit the Creativity Sessions category page and share your own writing process.

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