Write every day. Even a small number of words count. Authors hear the mantra all the time. Like a muscle, we need to exercise our writing skills in order to make it grow. Writing more is also a sure way to break a writer's block or to find plugs for a plot hole. The more your write, the better your brain will figure out ways out of corners. Write, re-write. Just write all the time, for as long as you can.

Many writers carry notepads, tablets, or laptops around for when inspiration hits. The idea is to write freely without editing, without going back to correct spelling or punctuation, allowing creativity to run free, without reins, a la NaNoWriMo. The exercise not only enhances your grasp of language but also your ability to capture the ideas flowing in your head.

What is that exercise but the same one Role Players practice daily in writing the dialogs and scenes for their characters? Role Play provides the spontaneous burst of creativity and the useful capturing of those moments in time. Role Players do it constantly and with time it becomes second nature to spill hundreds of words in a short sprint solely because they don't have to think hard to "be" their character in a specific scene or situation. It's an action/reaction. And it flows equally well in solo or group posts when, reading Role Play storylines being written on-the-fly, feels like watching a beautifully choreographed synchronized swimming routine.

Cecilia and I played fantasy roles for a while before we decided to follow the call to publishing and although we do keep our writing skills sharpened by practicing our writing constantly and challenging ourselves with new stories, new techniques, improving our craft, I can't find a more challenging exercise than role playing.

Due to its controversial nature and the use of Facebook as a platform for the game, Literary Role Play has taken a somewhat bad connotation. Yet, you can find many dedicated writers creating a world of adventure, romance, mystery, and intrigue daily within their own worlds. In quick posts, they give life to characters who otherwise would only be alive on the books in which they are mentioned.

Another issue to consider is copyright ownership. The characters are the author's creation and he/she owns the legitimate copyright over them. Some role players break that copyright when they distort, denigrate, and modify the character from what he/she was on the books. That is why many Role Players choose to create their own characters. So they can go through world building and character development independent from any previously told story. I find it extremely rewarding to play characters from our own novels. It gives us a breadth of reach no other character will ever give us and, of course, the exercise is still the same if not better because with Trevor and Cassandra, the sky is the limit.

It is not uncommon for players to write at least 1K per day in posts. That is a fair average for a day's work and something all writers want to achieve. A regular daily word count to move their stories along. Role Play is fun, entertaining and, for the authors, the reward is always that practice makes perfect.