Role-play Writing

Go Deep

By Annette Rey

Looking for prompts? Looking to unlock the writing vault in your brain? Take a subject like ancient mariners. Then, research, role-play, and write.

Sailors used to believe ghosts lived on the sea, monsters roamed the waters, mermaids existed, and having a female aboard cursed a voyage. They heard mournful cries, painful wails, and alluring songs that mesmerized them. These imaginations were probably fueled by natural phenomena. Today we have deep-sea cameras and have seen odd-looking creatures and realize they are not monsters, we know that whale songs travel for miles over the water, and we have overcome many superstitions with knowledge.

A writer should mentally put himself in the place of his characters, and in this case, into the lives of these explorers into the unknown. Many were fearful the ship would reach the edge of the flat earth and they would lose their lives. Ships didn’t travel at high speeds and the men were at sea for months. Perhaps most of the crew were from an uneducated underclass, but when in the middle of vast nothingness, innately knew they were specks of sand on the world stage, and subject to the whims of chance. Probably many men they once knew went to sea and were never heard from again.

View the entire spectrum of the life of your character. Understand his background. Research the culture from which he comes, the era and the country in which he lives, his level of sophistication. You will be better able to stand in his shoes and write realistic scenes peppered with his thoughts, emotions, and motivations.

This kind of practice will help you perfect your work and make believable stories for your readers to enjoy.

Role-playing is a necessary writer’s tool and can be fun, too.

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