The Best Stories I Wrote in 2020

A review of my writing portfolio of 2020 demonstrates just how the covid-19 pandemic impacted the styles and techniques I used in marketing, a re-emergence of gaming writing, and a consistent undercurrent of story-themes throughout the diverse subjects covered. Listicles, metaphor, match recaps, rules, reviews, and so many other techniques burst from my creative mind into pixel and print in 2020.

Now a free agent, searching for work, the following examples can be backed with practical measurements to show their ability to increase the attention and sales of product if you are interested in adding my skill set to your portfolio. Or you can just click and read awesome stuff about D&D, Tacoma, Renton, Defiance, Sounders and more.

Here are my 20 favorite items from 2020.

Dungeons & Dragons

First and foremost Full Moon Storytelling was a way for me to share thoughts about how and why I play D&D. From its founding through early 2020 the most common writing were session notes so that the rest of my group would have a place where they could review what happened between our time together. Needing a place to write, anything, Full Moon Storytelling became a place to share my story-first concepts, refine ideas for the World of the Everflow, and put out rough drafts of what may eventually be products on DMsGuild.

My review of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything burst into a small moment of virality in a private Facebook group. People embraced that while it was a mechanical expansion, Tasha’s was more an expansion of story opportunities than anything else.

Your mundane life can and should populate your D&D games. As a former professional coffee roaster/taster and beer sales person flavor is a core element of how I tell stories. It should also be an element of the stories you tell within Dungeons & Dragons. Flavor can also be mechanical. Tasha’s adds the Chef Feat (reflavor that for brewers, tea blenders, vintners, etc), but you can also add mechanics like Coffee Gear, an artisans tool that is appropriate for most campaigns.

Not all legends are about success. Not all stories end in greatness. None include only victories. Embrace the struggles and failures, because those define your character as much as race/class/background.

Every story – no matter the medium – can inspire a new character. When watching Jingle Jangle and Christmas Chronicle 2 the Artificer class opened up to me in ways that go beyond Eberron. Your next D&D character is a Rock Gnome Artificer-Toy Maker.

Tacoma Defiance and Other Soccer

2020 started with me employed by Tacoma Defiance and Tacoma Rainiers as a content writer, marketer, and broadcaster. It ends with me freelancing about soccer again, something I started in 2008 and that continues to this day.

My return to Sounder at Heart was to write about the most powerful personality in Tacoma Defiance history – Jesse Daley. The Aussie transferred back to Brisbane Roar, his youth club. His former captain, his best friend, and his coaches all spoke lovingly about what The Defiant brought to Defiance.

Without Daley who would step forward to become the soul of the team? It was a complicated answer. Alec Diaz was the goal scorer. Sam Rogers, when playing, was a stalwart. It was Ray Serrano who embraced the challenges of pandemic play to become more than he ever was before – The Defiant of 2020.

Some players transcend their play on the field. They embrace sports as a communications device for social justice, for equality, and for filling the gaps that society creates. Cheney Stadium’s first soccer captain retired after the 2020 season. This is the story of David Estrada.

Player profiles should be about more than just the skills they bring to the team. They are also snapshots into who the person is. Meet Taylor Mueller, Captain Tacoma Defiance, and Puget Sound native – go Dawgs.
Writing in metaphor for thousands of words can be a challenge. Coming up with 34 unique ways to talk about Tacoma Defiance’s intended 2020 journey was a challenge. This story and entire marketing concept eventually combined the written word, illustration, design, and video. It was a full force project.
The journey and return home metaphor was to extend throughout the season, that meant blowing out a couple lines from the season long story into a full independent manifestation for every match.
There are times when a readership or fanbase don’t need all the details. This quick list of performances let the readers know Tacoma’s influence on the team that would eventually go on to compete in its 4th MLS Cup.

Tacoma and Renton Culture

One of the things working with Tacoma Defiance, Tacoma Rainiers, and Reign FC/OL Reign taught me was writing about culture – the people and things that people love about a place. There were interviews with civil rights leaders, appearances at day camps, beer tastings, and an overall embrace that the people of a place are an important of sports. That continued in 2020, even during the pandemic. These are my six favorite stories of 2020.

The Renton History Museum launched an exhibit on sports in the small city during the pandemic. The tour inspired me, a Renton native, to learn more about Henry Moses and the dominance of Renton’s women’s basketball program in the 1920s.

When the first shutdown happened small businesses suffered. People didn’t know what was open and search engines were often out-of-date, this shopping guide was updated daily from mid-March until late-May. It drove 1000s of people to businesses around the South Sound.
Early during the covid-19 pandemic people struggled to find ways to connect, particularly those that connected via sports when there were no sports. We found ways to bond and socialize, even if just through signs in windows.
Even non-cooks started cooking during the pandemic. In order to capture that I interviewed staff at Rainiers/Defiance about their discoveries. Working with Erin, our graphic designer, we crafted recipe cards.
Captain Katrina Anderson is the only woman piloting a tug in Puget Sound. This story was supposed to have a short video accompanying it, but the pandemic ruined that plan.
Ethan HD is unapologetically a Black nerd. The Tacoma-born geek bought a comic book shop in late 2019, but he defies the stereotypes – he’s also a pro wrestler who will stomp you.

Fiction

By creanita design und ausführung by nina saner (CC BY-SA 2.0)

During the pandemic my efforts towards fiction continue to increase. Several of my older stories here on Full Moon Storytelling have been updated, with my favorite being Queen and Konstruct – a goblin’s lyfe. This tale helps set the scene as to what the goblinoids of my world are and how smog-punk is different from Eberron’s magipunk and the various versions of steampunk that exist.

Hire Dave Clark

You can hire me to help tell your stories that help market product, to channel a unique voice about your team, or to fill your needs in fiction or poetry. Submission will include towards SEO, SEM, social media, and newsletter advice.

Email david.josef.clark@gmail.com for rates.

One thought on “The Best Stories I Wrote in 2020

  1. Pingback: Lore Collage: The Yawning Portal is open again, library D&D continues to expand, and more | Full Moon Storytelling

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