It seems that the RPG genre of books and stories have standard components, that fans have come to expect to see from authors. Is there a definitive guide somewhere to these components, with instructions for a starting author?


Not exactly a definitive guide, but Kameron M Franklin might have a few ideas. :)


First, some reality: books written in a copyrighted RPG setting are almost always commissioned by the owner of the RPG property, and those publishers very rarely accept unsolicited manuscripts. So before you write your awesome D&D adventure novel, you really ought to go to the WotC website and determine if they'll even look at your manuscript. (Assuming you want to get published. If you just want to have fun, go ahead, but be aware that it's illegal for you to then publish the story.) If you do get a contract to write a tie-in novel, the publisher will give you their guidelines with exactly what they expect.

If you're merely hoping to write an RPG-like epic fantasy adventure, then there is no better advice than just to read lots and lots of them. There is no written formula; you'll pick up the unwritten formulas just by being well-read in the genre.

  • The advice is valid, but I'm looking for information on how to write better manuscripts. Probably, questions of how to market them (or convince WotC specifically to accept a manuscript) should be broken out and answered separately on the site. Nov 30 '10 at 18:10
  • Reading lots and lots of RPG-like epic adventures, sounds like fun, but is very time consuming. I'm hoping there is a quicker way to do it - possibly, someone has already done all the legwork, read most of the books out there (or has written them), thought of the genre intelligently, and produced an instruction manual on how to do the work. Nov 30 '10 at 18:12
  • @blueberryfields: It's usually necessary to read a lot of books before writing one. If you think it a waste of time, then you probably shouldn't try writing in that genre. Dec 2 '10 at 1:05
  • @David Thornley I'd rather read 1,000 RPG based books, and one book on how to write books about RPGs, than read 100,000 books. Dec 2 '10 at 1:14

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