Before I go into the inception of Dramatic Neutral, I will give you some background on myself, Linder Pak, the writer/creator.  I know this might seem a little redundant from what you might’ve read from our Creators  page, but I think it will give some insight on the story creation and on our protagonist, Kristin.

 

First and foremost, I am not a gamer.

 

I am a screenwriter, with an emphasis on comedies and romantic comedies.  You know, lighthearted s–t.

I didn’t even know what Dungeons & Dragons  was all about.  For all I knew, I thought it was a bunch of theatre geeks (and not knocking geeks, for I’m one too – geek solidarity!) in makeshift medieval outfits, acting out a scene from Lord of the Rings.  Role Models came to mind.  And I’ll give you another little tidbit about myself – I kinda hate Lord of the Rings.

I know what you’re thinking.  How in the world can anyone, much less a screenwriter, hate Lord of the Rings?  And I’m not that into StarWars, either.  Okay, time for me to go jump off a cliff.

Do I find StarWars enjoyable?  Yes, but I don’t regard it as a masterpiece, nor God’s greatest gift to cinema (okay, maybe yes, visually speaking), but to storytelling.

I don’t hate The Lord of the Rings, but my ADHD-ass will not let me sit through a 3-hour movie.  I guess it would be another thing had I seen it in the theaters like I was supposed to.  If I’m going to sit through a 3-hour movie:  1.  Someone better die  2.  It better based on a true story  3.  There better be a lot of crying.

Considering all this, you’d think I’d be the last person to ever write a D&D story.

When coming up with a new story, I thought of opposites and opposite genre-pairing:  horror rom-com, bromance, comedic heist, and the most dreaded…dramedies.  No link needed for dramadies, because everything is a freaking dramedy.

 I wrote a romantic comedy where a woman dates only married men for convenience (and also because she’s petrified of commitment).  She tries to rectify her homewrecking ways by dating single men, and soon becomes attracted to her “relationship coach,” to which he does not reciprocate.

I’ve taken this plot and repurposed it to fit a D&D format, and voila…you have Dramatic Neutral, except I made the lead protag an inept single mother, who must work to become a self-sufficient woman.

Before I had envisioned the title as “Dramatic/Neutral,” with the slash, but it doesn’t appear that way in the logo and I want things to be consistent.

 

So that led me having to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons.

 

I borrowed D&D books from my dear friend, and co-creator, Animeg, and I studied these manuals (or at least tried to – there were a lot of books – good thing there were pictures).  It felt like being back at school.

One day, I went into a Barnes and Nobles and perused through the Fantasy section.  There I met a guy who seemed so excited to talk about D&D, and suggested books for me to read.  He gave me a card if I wanted to get a game together – by the way, he wasn’t trying to pick me up, he was there with his wife and baby.  He was just really into D&D and a super friendly guy.

I contacted him and we set up a game.  His other friends joined in and I was definitely the odd person out.  There, I met Ozzie, who is still trying to teach me D&D (bless his heart) and serves as a second D&D adviser to my story.

They all knew each other, and I’m the chick the DM met at a bookstore – and not even a gamer at that.  We started a game, and I modeled my DD character, Tabitha, the elven sorceress, after Kristin’s DD character, Calista.

I was clearly the Kristin in this group.

I didn’t know what modifiers were, and why there was so much math involved!   Then came the storytelling…

I have to confess – I tuned out.  I had a hard time visualizing the narrative, because it was all fantasy.  My mind isn’t attuned to fantasy.  I believe in mixed races, but not mixed species.  A half elf/human is not equivalent to a biracial person!  That is bi-species!  That is something I still can’t wrap my head around!

Okay, so they’re humanoid.  Arguably speaking, isn’t a monkey a humanoid?

I digress.  Please excuse my hardened ways.  Times were simpler before I had embarked on this journey.

My experience playing in the group gave me a good foundation on how to write Kristin.  For a year, I was writing Dramatic Neutral.  My mind was spinning, because I wanted to put in all these technical details of the game and have it play out like a real D&D game, but then it clashed with my characters’ motives, and structure, and plot.  ARRGGHH!!

 

Then I was pregnant with my first born, and all writing went to hell.

 

I took a hiatus from the story, and from writing in general.  I have shared this story with Animeg and we decided that this could definitely be spun into a webcomic.  With a webcomic, there is no stringent structure to abide by; although this may be hard for me to follow – I am a sucker for good structured storytelling.   (Also maybe part of the reason why I can’t get into fantasy novels)

 

So there you have it.   The story behind Dramatic Neutral. 

 

I hope you gamers, and non-gamers alike, will enjoy this, as we enjoyed creating it.

 

 

<3 Linder and Animeg