Something strange happened today. I went through a bunch of old notebooks and found all of the hardback notebooks I’d used for game plotting since university.
Back then I was too disorganised to keep a paper journal of my own life, but I had no problem in writing about other fictional people. The handwriting is surprisingly legible and the ideas – well, let’s just say they’re not all bad. Given the amount I wrote compared to the amount I ran I kind of overthought things just a bit.
I always intuitively knew that my games occupied the same universe, even centuries apart; but it’s weird having that feeling confirmed on paper. Glory and Department V and Invisibles and Time Central all seem to blend into one; some notes are ambiguous and could apply to any or all settings. Half of the books have been started but not finished, and very few are dated. No real names are given so I have to go on fictional ones. Half of them I remember.
These books represent nearly twenty years of my life. During that time I’ve gone through numerous personal changes, including job, marriage, health issues, becoming a martial arts student, cycling to work, learning to drive. The remarkable thing is how little the notes changed. The fictional worlds I create are one cyclic entity, gradually refined and expressed more clearly. In other words, even though my writing and organisation and expression of ideas has improved, I’m still expressing creative sentiments I had twenty years ago. Should I find that reassuring? I think so.