Life lessons from World of Warcraft

>> Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm quickly becoming a trufan of screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, et al.) whose blog is chockablock with juicy writing tips, story theory, and professional anecdotes. He also talks a bit about the creative life, and I love his Seven Things I Learned from World of Warcraft. Here's number four:

4. Give away stuff to newbies

W __You start the game with almost nothing: a weapon and the shirt on your back. Each new piece of gear you accumulate is tremendously exciting. Cloth armor seems luxurious. But as you level up, that early gear becomes increasingly irrelevant and basically worthless. It’s not worth the trip to the store to sell it. So don’t. Instead, run back to the newbie lands, find the first character of your class, and hand him all the stuff you don’t want. It will take two minutes of your time, but give the newbie a tremendous head start. (Not to mention building your karma.)__

This site,, is really just me running back to the newbie lands and giving away what I can. There’s no financial incentive in it for me. I could certainly put my advice in a book and charge $15.95 for it. But I see it as the take-a-penny, leave-a-penny flow of information. On a daily basis, I find myself searching the web for answers on topics in which I’m a newbie (Flash programming, DC mythology, teaching toddlers to swim) and leaving thankful that someone out there took the time to write a tutorial on exactly what I needed. So in exchange, I write up what I know about screenwriting.

If everyone took the time to build a site about the areas of their expertise, the world would be significantly cooler.


beth May 31, 2009 at 9:28 PM  

Wow--really cool! Thanks for the link!

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