NOW AVAILABLE! Building Characters

BUILDING CHARACTERSAt the heart of all great stories are strong characters. It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading a short story, writing a novel, or watching a play. The characters found in TV series, comic books, and games are more alike on a creative level than they are different. The symbiotic relationship between character and story is universal across media.

In this book, we’ll explore what goes into crafting memorable and enjoyable characters. While the focus is on tabletop roleplaying games, I’ll be using writing terms rather than RPG jargon. It’s not going to be about crunching numbers or picking abilities. I’ll talk about writing your character, rather than just playing them. Because while there are other hats that we wear around the table, including those of performer and tactician, we’re all writers. Even if we never put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, it’s the writer’s craft that we’re dabbling in.


Back Story: Creating Character History

Back Story

Coming Soon from Dancing Lights Press!

The decisions that characters make are influenced by what happened to them long before their first adventure. The actions they take are driven by who they want to be by the campaign’s end. If you want more actual roleplaying in your tabletop roleplaying game, you need to know your character’s back story. This system-agnostic volume explores ways to craft memorable characters, to help you learn who they are beyond mere numbers and statistics.

ReadWriteRoll Storytelling Guide Preview

RWR Preview1.1 CoverVersion 1.1: The updated preview contains information on Wonders (magic, superpowers, psionics, and other special abilities) and character advancement.

Download it for FREE right now!

Storytelling is a unique activity because it requires literacy and creativity. The first tabletop storytelling games were directly inspired by fantasy and science fiction novels, and manuals needed to be read to be played. Imagination is required to create characters, interpret rules, solve problems, and play out adventures. Readers bring elements of their favorite characters and settings to the tabletop, remixing and reimagining them for their own stories. The ReadWriteRoll Storytelling Guide pays respect to those roots by putting story and creativity first. It can be used for any genre, any setting, anything that you can envision. ReadWriteRoll is tabletop storytelling.


The Power of Great Storytelling

My appreciation for creative imagination began when I was just a kid. Reading was the first great love of my life, and when I’d devoured every book I could get my hands on I began to write my own stories. After I discovered tabletop roleplaying games, my world opened up even further. I had more things to read, characters and stories to write, and best of all, a new way to concoct stories collaboratively with my friends. Dancing Lights Press exists to celebrate the power of great storytelling.

Do You Love Telling Stories?

Storytelling comes in a bountiful number of forms. We have novels, novellas, and short stories. There are epic poems and stage plays. We enjoy scripted television shows and movies. There are comic books and all kinds of games covering multiple forms of media. Some stories are published by big companies, some by small ones, others are self-published by their creators. Some aren’t published at all, and are written for fun, or to share with friends. We have genres and sub-genres and literary styles to explore and exploit. All of it, every bit of it, starts with the written word.

The mission of Dancing Lights Press is to help people tell stories. I want people to delve into their own deep wells of creativity. If you aren’t already a writer, I want to encourage you and provide you with some tools to try it. If writing is already your thing, I want to help you get better at it. My vision is to provide the world with simple and effective processes and techniques, in the form of ReadWriteRoll, my tabletop storytelling system.

Who Am I?

My name is Berin Kinsman, and I’m one guy doing business as Dancing Lights Press. This whole company exists inside the laptop sitting on my kitchen table. I read between 50 and 100 books a year, including novels, business books, writing advice, history books, and biographies. I’ve written everything from Lovecraft pastiche to technical training manuals. I currently have four books on living a minimalist lifestyle available at Amazon, and three bestselling games at DriveThruRPG. Writing and storytelling are a lifelong passion of mine, and Dancing Lights Press is my vehicle to express that passion.

Use Your Words

Subscribe to the newsletter to get access to the latest draft of my work in progress. Comment on your favorite posts, letting me know what you like and dislike and why you were inspired to reach out. Drop me a line and ask me questions, and I’ll answer them as time allows. Finally, please share this site with everyone you know who loves reading, writing, and tabletop storytelling.

What  Do You Think of the New Logo?

A new log/title card that I think better reflects the true spirit of the company. What do you think?

Dancing Lights Press Logo