In this episode I chat to tabletop game designer Grant Howitt about creating stories out of thin air. We talk about the magic of gathering together to make stories with friends, how characters flow out of the simplest backstories, and ways in which you can use the techniques of roleplaying and improv to get over your creative fears and be happy, prolific and daring in your writing. Grant also talks about his new book, SPIRE, co-written with Christopher Taylor, a roleplaying game and world where you play terrorists trying to overthrow the oppressive high elves of a gigantic and deeply weird city-tower.

This episode is great to listen to if you want to know:
– what makes a good character?
– what drives a brilliant plot?
– how can I use roleplaying techniques to write better and more?
– how can I learn to think like my character?
– what is a tabletop roleplaying game?
– how can I overcome perfectionism?
– can I use creative/roleplaying techniques to feel a bit better?

You can find some of Grant’s brilliant games (including free one-page rpgs you can play with friends in an afternoon) here.

SPIRE is available in hardback here.

Follow him on Twitter: @gshowitt

Here’s a great blog he wrote called 11 Ways To Be A Better Roleplayer that handily serves as a fantastic list of ways to write better and get your characters into more and more interesting flavours of trouble.

Like the show? Gorge yourself on period weirdness with my novel THE HONOURS.

Want to help me pay my exorbitant hosting bills & keep the lights on? A few bucks chucked my way would be deeply appreciated.

Thank you, and please don’t forget to share the show, subscribe on SoundCloud and iTunes, and pop me a little review if you like what I do.

2 thoughts on “Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 19 – Chatting With Grant Howitt”

  1. I was excited when in the introduction you promised this would be suitable for someone who has never played a roleplaying game and was maybe not even familiar with the concept (that would be me). I must confess, though, after a few minutes I was completely lost. I think one of the most difficult communications challenges is explaining something that is completely unfamiliar to your audience. The only way it works, I think, is when the person doing the explaining is himself a beginner or was recently a beginner.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, and sorry! This is what happens when two very enthusiastic people get together to talk about a thing they both like, I guess. We did our best to define terms and break things down, but when you’re immersed in something it’s not always easy to know what is and isn’t obvious to newcomers. Well, live and learn, hopefully. I’ll try to do better to think about how I can make episodes where we dive into an area that’s a bit specialised accessible to non-experts in future. I’d really like to be able to introduce people to things that have brought me joy, but like you say, often you need an intermediary.

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