Looking for a story: A sense of belonging

Star Wars Heir to the Empire Cover

For years I have toyed with the idea of writing fiction. I have some ideas for it too. Ideas set in the fantasy worlds of Games Workshop.

But fear and doubt always hold me back. Excuses like, I really don’t think I could write well. I feel I have a too analytical mind. It would take a long time for me to become any good.

It makes me feel a little demoralised. I would feel a real sense of accomplishment, and pride at writing a successful story.

But there are other ways of telling stories. Ideas in my head include video from games shot to music that keep running through my head in these past years.

I have a visual element in my dreaming it seems.

Part of a story

What I remember from my gaming days is learning about the people, and races, battles, events, history, art and culture.

I miss that.

Many games I play today like Warthunder don’t have that, at least when I play the games. No sense of story, or community.

Playing the games I once did you had that in spades. Designing an army, painting it gave you the opportunity to tell your own story. In the rare campaigns you could do more.

Games like Blood bowl, Mordheim and Necromunda had it even more because the campaign system let you write a story about your own warband.

epic space marine

Even before these games I read those types of books where you choose your own adventure. Roleplay books like Fighting fantasy by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, or the Lone Wolf Series by Joe Denver.

I really do miss those games I once played and the gamers I fought alongside or against. It was here that I really felt I belonged. I was with people who thought like I did.

I felt part of a story.

In the novels I have read or the films and TV I watched, it was the same feeling. Like the time I watched Star Wars or read Magician by Raymond E Feist, I was blow away by the story. I felt I was in that story, part of the journey as it unfolded. For a brief time I was no longer myself.

These were worlds of dragons and elves, battles and spaceships, villains and heroes.

The art I like, stories, even the illustrations, diagrams and maps. It’s all because they are telling me something that world, those people, that culture.

Looking back I loved it, all of it. It was a mistake to give it up.

map of midkemia

I need to find that place, those people and a story to unite us.

I have found an online community based around the Armed Assault Games that does this online. Shack Tactical headed by Dslyecxi has some great stories. It’s that sense of community and story that appeals to me. Trouble is I don’t play this game.

We all want to write our own stories, but more still we all want to take part in writing bigger stories, alongside others.

Stories are what it’s all about. That’s what I have learned from the business books I have read. If your are not in one then you need to find one.

This is what I feel many of us are looking for, a story to belong too. Because stories knit people together into a culture, a movement, a cause.

Stories revolve around people, not objects. They are about values, passions, hopes, dreams and fears.
They are also about struggle, power, purpose and meaning. All the things that matter to us.

What matters to me is to have a story worth writing about. Which I feel most of us want as well. With all the above it seems that my desire is not to tell a story, but to help others write and tell their own.

Before the end I have two questions for you that I want you to answer.
What’s your story, and what type of story do you want to belong to?

7 thoughts on “Looking for a story: A sense of belonging”

  1. Great question, Richard! I think my favorite stories are the ones where the protagonist learns to be a better person in the course of trying to change their world, and that’s probably an outgrowth of my own need to be constantly learning, even if it’s just an interesting bit of trivia or a new way of doing things.

    • P.S. Writing can be done collaboratively, if you can find someone who’s interested in the same kind of stories–the authors of Write. Publish. Repeat. are a team of three who work on multiple projects with each other.

      • Thanks for the insight and advice Lynn. Stories are about change and growth. Our need and desire to be more than what we are. Stories have inspired and educated us for a long time.

  2. I really enjoyed this, Richard. I know absolutely nothing about gaming, but you kept me engrossed about the need for story and community. My story is summed up by my six word bio: “told I couldn’t, did it anyway.” The type of story I want to belong to is a supportive community determined to make the world a better place.

    • Thank you Molly. Stories are about community. I a world that seem so connected, we feel so isolated. I feel stories are they people are connecting now. Just look at the success of social media. People communicating over a common interest. Stories unite us. Some are based upon nations, but more cross borders and unite people from all over the world.
      We all want to be able to tell a story, and also be part of one.

    • Thanks Mary. Stories are everywhere, they influence us in ways we can’t even fathom, yet they are so important.


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