Feel free to call me stupid on this, but I noticed in the past while that creative writing and roleplay in WoW have similar elements. These include character creation, plot planning, and importance of dialogue. Of the three, character creation is the aspect most touched upon by WoW RP bloggers.
Likewise, character creation is also the aspect of creative writing that I am currently researching in preparation for NaNoWriMo. This one book in particular is called “Breathing Life Into Your Characters.” It gives excellent tips on how to give characters in creative writing emotional and psychological depth.
Having read most of it (I’m still in the process of finishing), I’m developing a huge urge to try out the things I learned through RP. However, the pitfall of this logic is that roleplay is much more different from creative writing than I lead myself to believe. Roleplay is a more dynamic activity, often relying on quick wits, improvisation, and reacting to characters that are not your own.
On the other hand, the creative writing aspect of pre-planned RP and ‘character arc mapping’ done by more organized roleplay guilds and alliances is very similar to the pre-draft stages of novel writing, as novels themselves take place over a particular arc of a character’s life.
When it comes to casual encounters, and those “looking for contact,” single encounters usually don’t change the overall arc of a character’s evolution. However, these types of unplanned events lead to large amounts of improvisation based on character, and gives excellent practice for dialogue, trying to communicate in a way that best suits that character. When writing dialogue, that type of practice can pay off tenfold.
There are a myriad of aspects to roleplay (not just WoW) that can contribute towards becoming a better creative writer. Oftentimes I would think about how cool it would be to simply put all my mains on hiatus and start from scratch on an RP server to help become a better writer as well as find new avenues of enjoyment in the game. With Cataclysm and its wealth of roleplay potential in the form of new lore and new races, the new expansion provides an opportunity for a fresh start.