In the ever-evolving landscape of literature, the fusion of role-playing game (RPG) elements with traditional storytelling has given rise to a unique and engaging narrative style. An Empty Embrace by Cyril Mezden is a prime example of this innovative approach, blending the dark allure of fantasy and horror with the immersive, interactive essence of RPGs. This blog post delves into how RPGs have influenced the creation of An Empty Embrace, and explores the potential for a new literary genre that captures the spirit of RPG-influenced works.

The RPG Essence in Storytelling

An Empty Embrace transcends traditional genre boundaries by infusing RPG elements into its narrative framework. This approach not only enhances the depth and interactivity of the story but also invites readers to envision themselves within the world of the novel. Cyril notes, “worlds that anyone can see their own character inhabiting feels like the core of an RPG to me.” This sentiment echoes the foundational appeal of RPGs—the ability for players to project themselves into the game’s universe, shaping the story with their choices and actions.

Collaborative Storytelling and Fanfiction

One of the most captivating aspects of An Empty Embrace is its open invitation for collaborative storytelling. Cyril’s appreciation for the fanfiction community highlights the novel’s potential to inspire alternate universes and narratives crafted by readers. “If my work inspires someone to write their own alternate universe, that’s collaborative storytelling!” Cyril enthuses. This spirit of shared creativity is a hallmark of multiplayer RPGs, where players come together to weave complex, evolving narratives.

Towards a New Genre: Beyond LitRPG

While An Empty Embrace shares some similarities with LitRPG—a genre that directly incorporates RPG mechanics into the story—it occupies a unique space that calls for a new term. Cyril’s work embodies the essence of RPGs through its immersive world-building and emphasis on character agency, yet it steers clear of the explicit game mechanics typical of LitRPG. This novel approach suggests the need for a new genre descriptor that encapsulates the nuanced influence of RPGs on literature without the constraints of traditional game elements. We’re gently using the phrase ‘RPG-influenced,’ but that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?

The Future of RPG-Influenced Literature

The integration of RPG elements into literature opens up vast possibilities for narrative depth, reader engagement, and collaborative creativity. This innovative fusion challenges authors and readers alike to rethink the boundaries of storytelling and to embrace the dynamic interplay between authorial vision and reader imagination. Cyril’s work stands at the forefront of this emerging trend, offering a glimpse into the future of literature where the lines between author, reader, and storyteller blur, creating a rich tapestry of shared narrative experiences. As we venture further into this uncharted literary terrain, the potential for new genres and storytelling techniques inspired by the world of RPGs is boundless, promising a thrilling journey for authors and readers alike.

An Empty Embrace launches March 1st in your favorite online stores!
Both ebook and paperback are available for preorder now!