The new campaign I've just started running (the Dreamlands campaign) is taking the form of a hex-crawl. So I have a hex map with loads of dungeons placed on it, and a list of descriptions of interesting things in some (eventually all, I hope!) of the hexes.
As I was writing a hex description last night, it occurred to me that writing for D&D is perhaps the perfect occupation for someone who loves to create sketches of scenes, locations, characters, stories; but who has no desire to flesh them out into a traditional "literature" form as full or short stories. I am such a person.
Thinking about it some more, this principle can be seen in many aspects of D&D writing: hex descriptions, dungeon room descriptions, new monsters, new spells, magic items, etc. All these things (at least in OSR circles) take the form of a sketch, with many details deliberately left vague and intriguing -- to be fleshed out during play, as needed.
Not being versed in any theories of literature, cultural studies or suchlike, these thoughts don't really lead me anywhere in particular. But I found it to be an interesting observation.
Here's the hex description which inspired these thoughts:
Players in the Dreamlands campaign, you might want to stop reading at this point!
Valley of hands -- giant stone hands lying in the forest. At the top of the valley, an ancient stair leads up to a hill where stand the remnants of a stone tower. The tower is completely overgrown, but a magically sealed trapdoor leads down to a cellar. In the cellar is: a large chest full of purple/green rugs & silks (600gp), shelves full of books -- how to animate the stone hands of the valley for one night, plus the spells command construct and inhabit figurine. A fey warlock "Malthus" trapped in a cube of green ice. He is chaotic and treacherous, hates Queen Malithandria. A PC can trade his or her soul with Malthus in return for fey powers.