For the last few months, I've been running an online roleplaying game. Think Dungeons and Dragons, but for Star Wars. I'm the Gamemaster, which means I create the general outline for the story and run all the supporting characters. The other players each have a character to run (known as Player Characters or PCs), and we make up the actual story together as we go, sometimes using dice to determine what happens next.

The current adventure started with the PCs waking up on what appeared to be an abandoned spaceship, only to find that all their gear had been stolen. As they investigated the area, the ship's security droids attacked them.

This was where things got interesting.

Rather than taking the safest course of action (running to the ship's bridge and locking the door) as I'd expected them to, the players decided to have their characters fight the droids.

In the confined space of the captain's cabin.

Without any weapons. 

To put it mildly, it didn't end well.

The droids, it turned out, were a lot tougher than they first appeared. The PCs did eventually end up locking themselves on the bridge to escape the droids, but not before they'd all been wounded and one of them had been knocked unconscious with serious injuries. The players are still trying to figure out how to get their PCs out of that mess.

Sometimes, writing goes a lot like that. We're so sure about a scene, plotline, project, or whatever that we throw ourselves into it when it might serve us better to do some planning first.

Of course, there's always a place for writing by the seat of one's pants--I have to do that often as a Gamemaster when my players do something I wasn't expecting. But if that's your standard mode of writing, change it up a bit this week. Try planning just one scene before you write it. Alternatively, if you typically plan your writing in advance, try just forging ahead without a definite plan, just for one scene. 

Either way, use the "Contact Me" button to tell me about your results. I'm curious to see what happens!

Write on,


(Modified from an email originally sent to subscribers 1/21/2020. Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash)