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Ask Daphne! About Roleplaying

I found this random old draft post in my files recently, and I thought it would serve as a great reminder to my readers that you can always feel free to contact me, Sara, or Renee with any questions you have about the querying process, or the publishing industry. Try us on Twitter, and if it takes more than 140 characters to answer, we’ll do so here!

I got an email from Rachel the other day (edited to add: a long, long time ago, now. Sorry, Rachel!), who wrote,

I’m part of a writers’ group that roleplays our books online. Would an agent be turned off by this?

I can’t speak for every agent, of course, but if you were querying me, and I really liked your material, I’d want to know how public the online forum was where you roleplayed your story. It also brings up issues of credit — if the story is being roleplayed online, and someone else comes up with something cool for their character to say or do, and then you take their idea and write it into your book — who gets the credit? Can you still be considered the “sole author” of the work?

I know some authors who play roleplaying games and then take their characters and construct a separate story for them, so while the world may be a shared experience, that individual story is outside the arena of the game.

Huh. The more I think on this, the more I think it may raise more problems. Not unsolvable problems, certainly, and something that an amazingly written novel could still persuade an agent to tackle, but it would likely need to be above and beyond — and not just a write up of your D&D campaign — to convince them.

Does that help? Readers, do you have any experience with this?

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