Panel Discussion for "Immersing Your Audience"

scheduled for Friday, 24-June at 2100UTC (5PM EDT) to 2230UTC (6:30PM EDT)

Planned Panel Questions and Timing

Following is the proposed itinerary for our panel discussion. The "panel questions" and the approximate amount of time alloted for answers is provided. I will run through these questions in this order. Please review them all, try to make notes for yourself to avoid answering a question before it's asked.

If you think I left anything out, or have any issues with anything, Discord me ASAP !!!!!

Please note that the time "targets" listed for each question are for the total time for all panelists to hit the question. They are NOT your personal time goals!!! Let's try to keep all panelists engaged as equally as possible! If there is a particular question/answer that you feel you will need lots of time to discuss, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP so I can adjust the rest of the proceedings around it!

The panel slot is 90 minutes long - THIS IS A HARD TIME LIMIT!!!

INTRODUCTIONS - The Topic, the Panelists, Housekeeping [10 minutes]
RPGDinosaurBob will welcome viewers and introduce the topic. Then each panel participant will be asked to identify themself. Plan on giving the name you desire to use, your pronouns, whether you're focused on creative or RPG work (or both), where people can see (or purchase) your work, and how they can contact you (social media, etc.). After all panelists are introduced, RPGDinosaurBob will make any "housekeeping" announcements that the CONduit organizers want made.

This will include letting people know that they can use 1 channel point to "Ask a Question", and that we'll try to get to all of the questions at the end of the session.

If you give me a concise list of social media contacts, I will prepare "shoutouts" for each of you to trigger into the Twitch Chat as you are being introduced. I NEED THIS INFO BY 9AM EDT ON FRIDAY MORNING!!!

What does it mean to "Immerse" your audience? What are you trying to achieve? [5 minutes]
This questions shouldn't take too long; it's just the introduction to what we'll be covering going forward. So don't get into detail; this should be a "30,000 foot view" answer. Since there are four panelists (plus myself), please try to have several "answers" so we don't end up with one person saying "show/don't tell" and the others just saying, "yeah... that."

We've all heard "Show, Don't Tell"... What exactly does that mean? [5 minutes] This should also be a quick question/answer. I don't want to get into how it's done here... focus instead on what the desired effect is. "Why" and "What"... not "How".

Let's focus on creative/fiction writing first. What are your top two tips for "Show, Don't Tell"? [15 minutes]
Here's where you get to explain "how"... I'm limiting to two tips so that everybody has a chance to have something unique to say.

If you're more of an RPG person and don't want to answer this question, let me know and I won't call on you!!!

If you could post in our group discord the two tips you have in mind, others can see them and perhaps together we can work out a way to get 8 or 10 unique tips for our viewers! Please try to do this today (Thursday, 23-Jun)!!!

Now let's talk TTRPGs for a moment. The Gamemaster is actually speaking to the players. Does that change the technique? Are there words or phrases you should use... or shouldn't use? [10 minutes]
More "how" for this one... Same guidelines apply... try to stick to one or two tips so that others get a chance.

If you're more of a creative writer and don't feel comfortable answering an RPG question, let me know and I won't call on you!!!

If you could post in our group discord the tips you have in mind, others can see them and perhaps together we can work out a way to get more unique tips for our viewers! Please try to do this today (Thursday, 23-Jun)!!!

BREAK TIME (Target: XX:45) [5 minutes]

Getting Readers to "fall into" your world, and getting RPG Players to engage in your game session sound like different things. Are they? Are there things that work for one, but not for the other? [5 minutes]
This question is really an introduction into the next two, so try to keep answers high-level here.

Let's start with the RPG side of things this time. We're told as Gamemasters that we should try to be informative, but concise. What does that mean? [5 minutes]
Tips on how much detail to provide - and how to avoid too much detail! A warning about how too much detail can result in players chasing red herrings (but how this may be fun depending on your table!)

Now let's jump back to the creative fiction side of things. Once we've gotten our readers initially sucked in, how do we keep them? Any tips on this? [10 minutes]
Are there any things you can do besides continued "immersion" to keep an audience engaged? How do you get a reader to develop "investment" in your character or stories?

One last RPG question. As RPG content creators, we really have three different audiences. We've got the Players in a session that's happening, but if we're trying to actually publish our stuff, we also have Potential Gamemasters and Potential Players that we're trying to get to use our product. Is there anything special we need to do to attract and keep those last two? And are they different? [5 minutes] This could include "how to write teasers" (which could apply to book jackets as well!). As for GM vs Player, I personally think that the GM needs more detail than the players, but it needs to be presented in a way that tells the GM they can decide how much detail to bleed out to the players. What else can we add here?

I will let people know that any questions we don't have time to answer will get answered - somewhere in the CONduit Discord. If there are any unanswered questions, I will ask you to help answer these some time after the panel is finished.

WRAP-UP and RAID OUT [5 minutes]
I'll include a brief, "You've been listening to..." outro here, and will rerun the shoutouts in the chat window before raiding back out to the CONduit lobby.

Stuff below this line is the planning material that I'm keeping here for reference (and posterity).

Discussion Points / Concepts to Explore

The approach I want to take in preparing this panel is as follows... First, we identify various talking points that might be interesting to explore. Once we know what sorts of topics we want to cover, we'll prepare a sequence of "Panel Questions" that RPGDinosaurBob (the panel moderator) will put forth to the panelists to bring out those talking points.

Following is a list of potential points to explore by the panel. These were used to develop the actual "questions" that will be posed to the panel.

  • What makes a "good setting"?
  • How much detail?
  • What kind of detail?

  • Show-Don't Tell
  • Use of five senses (this can take up a LOT of time!)
  • Use of emotion (perceived and 'internal')
  • Use of "person" (second person vs implied first person)
  • Use of passive and active "voice"
  • Establishing "context"

  • TTRPG-Specific Issues
  • How to be informative, but concise.
  • Writing for Players vs writing for Gamemasters

  • Creative Writing-Specific Issues
  • Hooking the Reader early
  • Keeping them hooked

  • For this panel, there are two ways to approach the topics: We could explore everything "generically", and then address TTRPG and Creative Writing as separate applications of the generic advice... or we could ensure that, for each topic, we discuss the meat of the issue and then immediately apply it to TTRPG and creative writing scenarios. I personally favor the latter, but am open to discussion.


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