Today, we are going to continue the month long series on Campaign your Novel series. If you haven’t read the other parts in the series read Campaign your Novel: Here & Character’s in your Campaign Here. Before I begin, I am going to give a disclaimer, I am not very experienced in D&D playing only two games. This is just more of how creating a campaign and writing novels have in common.

Today I want to talk about the creating the actual Campaign. I am not big on the Three Act Structure, mostly because I couldn’t tell you where any of the acts ends and begins. Though I do have a beginning, middle and end. Reading through D&D Dungeons Masters 5th edition book. It talks about the Beginning, Middle and End. While D&D is a story being played out, the elements of storytelling is every much in play.

The first thing mentions in the section about the Beginning of an adventure is they start with a hook. What is a hook? This is a good question, and one newer writers maybe asking. A hook is that event big or small that points (for D&D) Players (for Books) readers towards what the adventure/story is going to be about. Harry Potters hook would be finding out he is a wizard, not just any wizard but a wizard that took down the darkest wizard of the generation when he was only a year old. Hunger Games, Katniss sisters Prim is picked to be the District 12 Tribute in the Hunger Games and she volunteers to save her. Examples from the book similar to travel and attacked by thieves, or stumble onto an item that looks normal but assassins want it. The point of the hook is to get your players/readers interested. The book says this at the end of the beginning:

“You want the players to go home looking forward to the next session, so give them a clear sense of where the story is heading as well something to look forward to.” D&D 5e Masters Guide, pg. 72.

This is what you want for your readers. You want them to be look forward to the next chapter, or in case of a series, the next book. That is something completely different.

The next is the middle and where most of the adventure will take place. In a campaign players are going to face new obstacles and learning information that is going to eventually lead to the end. Choices will be made and those choices will have baring on the rest of the adventure. So familiar? I hope so, if not it’s okay. This is what should be happening in the middle of your novel. You want something always happening at to avoid the saggy middle, but mostly to keep your readers reading. You don’t want to be a spectator in the game or in the book. I know that sounds odd, but it’s the difference between good writing and bad. Ever read a book where everything is going on, but you feel like it is just being told to you like a news cast? Not that good is it? Readers and Players want to experience the book and earn what they get.

Finally the ending, where the campaign wraps up. This is where things can differ for a book. What do I mean? Well, in D&D your character unless you use an adventure books that comes with pre-made characters, the characters will go on to different adventures. Most threads in the adventure will get wrapped up, but the Dungeon Master can hold off on some those resolutions in the next adventure. In your novel, you want to wrap everything up. No reader likes it when things are left unsettled. If you’re writing a series, sure you can leave large threads unresolved, but as for the elements of the plot for that specific book, no. Your readers will not be happy about it.

That wraps up this weeks Weekly Craft Post. Next weeks will be wrapping up the series. Check out Weekly Wrap-up on Monday’s on how my writing is going. I would love to hear your thoughts about this post and if any D&D players read this especially DM’s your thoughts. Post them in the comment sections.

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