Thursday, April 16, 2009


Just a quickie - apart from writing Running I'm also thinking about Tec my coming detective series. As previously mentioned this was originally a co-creation with the Teacher, we worked on it as a novel a few years ago.

I was giving some thought to the main character, and realised there was absolutely no reason for her to be in a job where "detecting" was the norm - because, for her main area of knowledge, she would be completely employable. Also, as a character, she lacked bite and depth.

I mentioned this problem to the Teacher who promptly threw out a few ideas which were not much help - but note the extreme creativity. I explained the issue in more detail.

Then the Teacher came up with The Idea. The gimmick, the whole thing that suddenly made it all fit. Why wasn't she employable in her natural skill area? Why is she being a detective? What is her dark past?

It's perfect.

Of course the Teacher demanded payment. She's running a role-playing game in a few weeks, it's called Space:1889, Victorian SF basically. And she needed some ideas, she has a particularly awkward group of players (well, some of them are awkward). So she demanded that I assist her in creating a plot that would work, provide interest and excitement, and get the awkward players involved.

Curiously I haven't run an RPG since I started writing screenplays on a serious basis (mainly due to being stuck in Reading) so it was interesting to apply screenwriting tools to an improvisational game.

My main thrust was the principle that the plot is driven by the antagonist and that the stakes need to be very high indeed. The bigger the better. Plus I invented a race of creatures that I'm fairly sure has never been used before in any medium - the bad guys. Talk about spectacle: the destruction of the Earth is on the line ... well, if the players fail to stop the bad guys that's how bad it will get.

The Teacher appreciated my efforts and we agreed the debt was paid - besides she'll get a full co-creation credit on Tec.


What's on the turntable? Nuffink ... but "The Office ... An American Workplace" is on Comedy Central.

1 comment:

Piers said...

Ah, man. I love Space:1889.