Monday, April 18, 2016

Musical Monday - (The Shadow War of the Night) Dragons of the Night by Paul & Storm

Paul & Storm have made a series of songs, mostly on their Ball Pit album, that are essentially about the experiences of role-playing gamers: Dealing with difficult game masters, scoring critical hits, gaining a new level, and so on. The songs are mostly very short, consisting of little more than a punchline set to music. They are basically "in-jokes" for people who spent their teen years playing role-playing games, and are probably almost incomprehensible to anyone else.

(Shadow War of the Night) Dragons of the Night is somewhat related to this series of song, and somewhat not related. The song is clearly inspired by the nonexistent John Scalzi prank series Shadow War of the Night Dragons, the announcement of which served as an April Fools' joke. However, the language used in the song is a style that should be familiar to many people who were once teenage gamers and fantasy fiction fans - that of a thirteen year-old trying to write his own fantasy fiction for the first time. I think almost every person who played Dungeons & Dragons in junior high school can recognize their own writing in these lyrics, whether that writing came from a character description, a home-brewed adventure or campaign setting, or an actual attempt at writing an epic fantasy novel.

I feel reasonably confident that there are a couple of spiral notebooks full of purple fantasy prose written by a fourteen tear old Paul Sabourin, and probably a forgotten desk drawer that has a pile of tales of fierce dragons at the bottom of a stack of loose leaf paper penned by Storm DiConstanza. I also think the same could be said concerning teenage offerings by Elizabeth Bear, Holly Black, Jim Hines, Naomi Novik, Patrick Rothfuss, John Scalzi, and dozens of other now-accomplished authors. They all got better through hard work and lots of practice, But I suspect that a lot of them started with work that wasn't too far from sounding like Shadow War of the Night.

Previous Musical Monday: Carnelians by Point Valid with Catherine Asaro
Subsequent Musical Monday: Westerosi Pie by Paul & Storm

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