Monday, August 18, 2014

Zine Fiction

Ok, I have a question for those who read indie gaming zines. As you may know, I am working on the first issue of my own creation. I am down to needing two things: new magic items/tools, and fiction. I started writing the fiction, but now I am questioning what I have.

As a writer of fiction I have a natural inclination to write expanded opening exposition. I want to introduce the characters, give them some personality, and a reasonable motivation for embarking on the journey to come. The journey itself is the meat of the story, but the opening part seems important to me.

However, in a short piece, written for a zine like this, I am wondering if I should skip the opening exposition, and drop the characters into the Journey, giving details about them along the way as I can. In short, it seems that fiction like this is meant to illustrate a concept introduced earlier in the zine itself, so the journey is more important than characterization.

The question for you is, how much is too much? Should I have a long(ish) character exposition at the beginning, or should I just jump into the journey?

I'd really like some solid opinions on this, so feel free to pass this question around (or just share this post).



  1. I suffer from the same problem and know it's something I need to work on. I started to write a short story about the discovery of FTL travel and it ended up as a 48,000 word novella :),

    Having put several short stories into our zine, the best one were the ones that just got right to it. I'd say just jump into the "Journey" and fill in details as you go. That way you only put in the ones that are necessary. Plus if you're going to do more pieces with the same characters over future issues, you can always flesh them out more with each story.

    1. The plan I have is to do each issue with a different theme. This first one is about low-level D&D in the underdark. The next will be about Military Sci-Fi. So, the chances of recurring characters is slim. Still, others told me the same thing you did. In medias res. :)