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Blogs

 

Updates for 6/24/16

First off we want to touch on an important subject that was brought up in a post here:    We here at the Initiative allow for mature content to be discussed in an open forum and a safe environment. We strive to make sure that you feel safe and that you are comfortable here. If you are approached by another member regarding something that makes you uncomfortable then please report it. Being uncomfortable is not okay and we will look into all counts reported to us. If you don't know how to report something you have many options: Click the report link on the content in question (There is a report link on every post, every PM, every image, every link everything) and type your concerns into the box. The staff is then notified of your report and we look into it ASAP. Engage a staff member (You can add a staff member to any PM or else PM them directly). Simply reach out (Only Morrigan bites here)    We take every report seriously and investigate everything. We want you to feel safe here so please tell us when you don't.      Next, onto more fun things! Only two more days for the graphics and Writing challenges to earn yourself some advertising space!          Also the voting is up for the June Spotlight Challenge! Get your votes in for your favorites!  https://rpginitiative.com/forums/forum/101-spotlight-challenges/

Morrigan

Morrigan

 

This Weeks New Stuff!

Hey everyone! Just a few updates!   We would like to welcome @txernest onto the staff as our new Graphics moderator! We are still looking for more staff! Many jobs to fill! Check them out! The featured (most wanted job this week) is the Featured Content Manager!     Also, one more week before the end of the Calendar challenge! Don't forget to get your entries in to be featured in the Initiative spotlight as well as the calendar forever!!   Other challenges to get your entries in for are the Color Change Graphics Challenge and the Trapped Writing Challenge!   We also want you to remember that there is voting up for the Tech Graphics Challenge!   Finally we have gone HTTPS! Which means we are secure. You may still notice some directory links and forum pages show as "insecure" or having "mixed content". This is normal with forums unfortunately as content embedded from sites that aren't HTTPS will cause this (including images from places like photobucket and tinypic). You are free to upload your images to your post and signature or the gallery and use them if you would like to make the site more secure. In fact we recommend it! You can even use them offsite in other signatures!

Morrigan

Morrigan

 

Get some free advertising or Become a Staff member!

Just a reminder that you can still enter this weeks challenges and get free advertising in our paid advertising locations as well as in the forum description on the front page!   You have two opportunities to enter a submission and win by going to these forums: http://rpginitiative.com/forums/forum/99-writing-brawl/ http://rpginitiative.com/forums/forum/98-graphics-clash/   Get your cliffhanger or your tech on and enter now before it's too late! Contest entries can only be entered until 6/12/16 by 8PM PST!   Also, The Initiative is looking for staff members! We are looking for people that want to dedicate some time and contribute to the site. We have many jobs available and you can do from 1-5 jobs within any of the available teams that have available jobs! You can be our Communication Tumblr manager or our Operations Guides Manager! Check out the positions here: http://rpginitiative.com/forums/forum/334-job-board/   Must be an initiate to apply!

Morrigan

Morrigan

 

Inactivity

I admit I am confronted with an activity problem on my nearly six years old site. Most of the sites have one, at a moment or another.   I feel it is something wrong with the very slow pace we have progressed with this year, and with people posting, instead of each week, only 1-2 times a month. In one year of writing, we have covered only two story months. In other years, there were three to six story months for a year of writing. If a quicker pace was possible before, and it created more enthusiasm for "the next episode" of the story, why it isn't possible now anymore?   I think some people lose interest because the writing partners take too long to post. I am trying my best to stimulate people to write and be inspired, with everything I can, but it seems I am the only one doing it - and sometimes it feels damn lonely on my own site. This is when I get pessimistic and I think that nobody else cares about it, while I am giving all my best to the story and the community. It feels as one-sided as I am losing inspiration for stories I loved writing.   I think this is my main problem, especially that I know this site used NOT to be like this. The community was bubbly, involved, there were people of all speeds, and the stories were written quicker... Now, they are disenfranchising from us by simply not posting and not being anymore part of our WRITING community. Being active means being connected to the community.   If we, each of us, no longer feel like putting in the effort, then we have made the conscious decision to let our site die. I am always willing to make this effort, but I can't do it alone. And, unfortunately, not recognizing that we have an activity problem means not seeking consciously solutions, both within ourselves and all together.
The inactivity is the problem, at the whole board level. And instead of being stimulated to be more active when others aren't, each one is complacent that "the others haven't posted either, I can procrastinate as well." Some do not even acknowledge it is a problem for the site, in order to seek solutions - both inside them and together with the others. When we can't get more writers (because, let's admit, older sites seem to be less attractive for newcomers, despite the reassurance that they are more established and less prone to disappear in a whim), the solution to keep going on is to be more active ourselves - and it is a collective endeavour. A person alone can't bring the needed activity, when the story is collective, needing various crews.

Being needed is a nice feeling, and it should be one more motivating reason to find inspiration and time. (This is exactly why I am always writing more for others than alone; because I know that other people are waiting for the "next round"). I am thinking ”My posts are needed, people are waiting for me, so I’ll make time as soon as I can”. (Which may mean instead of watching a movie or of doing something else which is for free time).   When I am sad, bored or tired of numbers or of drama in real world, I am starting to write, in order to get immersed in a different world. And I keep writing. But if one person not posting, doesn't lead to inactivity and site dying, when most persons on a small site aren't posting, the 2-3 who do... can they really make a significant difference, no matter how often they post? Because it is just a little part of the plots, and usually not the important ones, which get forward, and the others get waiting and waiting.   I have seen this elsewhere in the past. Sites once busy, then one left, another stopped posting, if those two weren't anymore, others stopped posting too, either waiting for the others' posts, or just because - and in 2 months the site was a ghost town. And it is something which would naturally lead to the death of the site, if nobody stops it somehow. But how to stop it? What more can I do in order to make the plot running smoother, better?

I really am trying my best. And maybe from here a big part of the lonely feeling... Don Quijote fighting windmills, misunderstood by the people around? I do care - about our writing community together, writing because this is what gathered us together. I can't do everything in this world, but I am doing as much as I can, and I am searching for what else to do in order to keep the community together, to keep the story going. And nobody else admits that inactivity might be a problem.
  I understand people being busy for a while and people having lost interest (in writing in general or in this story in special). It doesn't mean I am not regretting their good characters, their writing style, their warm presence and their interesting ideas. I do. But I know I can't fight something which belongs inside each person. If they don't have motivation from inside, to write, I can't give it to them with any outside intervention. And, in exchange, I start losing mine if my writing partners don't care about the story anymore, because I feel I am doing everything in vain, for no readers and no writing partners.

Elena

Elena

 

Fantasy Genre Confusion

After going through and updating suggested fandoms and genres there still seems to be confusion on why there is no "Fantasy" genre within the Directory and other locations on the site and I feel that we need to clear up this confusion as it appears to give pause to many people that are trying to select their "genre" and we want to try to mitigate this confusion as best as we can.   I'm sure all of you remember my post from over a year ago here: http://morrigansmadness.com/2015/02/11/fantasy-has-no-genre/   The TL;DR version is that Fantasy has no genre. All things writing and roleplaying "unless they are real life accounts" are in essence "Fantasy". Not real life. As such it is our firm belief and desire to keep true to the word instead of the "assumption" that fantasy is automatically this "magic" genre. We imply that all genres are "Fantasy" so whether it's the Spy Genre, the Sci-Fi Genre, the Historical Genre or any of the others it is implied that they are all fantasies. EG Spy Fantasy Sci-Fi Fantasy, Historical Fantasy etc.   You are free to post questions or concerns here but this is something that we firmly believe in and will not change.

Morrigan

Morrigan

 

It should have been...

How can one overcome frustration and regret?   Yes, I know, one would say "be happy with what you have/ actually is, instead of focusing on what you don't have/ what should have been". But is it so easy?   It is again tied to the frustrating missed opportunities I have been blogging about almost two years ago, to the fact that nothing happens if you don't write and to me claiming that I don't care anymore, as advised above... just that I actually do and I just pretend I do not.   We do have some amazing stories going on "Before the Mast". But they could have been better, and I can't escape this thought.    There are threads which are going on in 3-6 characters and NPCs, written by 1-2 people, when they should have involved 10+ characters and NPCs, written by 5-6 people, just because there are people who keep away their characters from threads where it would be natural for them to be a part of (or post 1-2 times then vanish). Their characters whom they keep away from the story won't leave a mark on it, when for the character's personality and/ or role in the story it would have been normal to do it. Nevertheless, even if they aren't explicitly involved, they still are involved "somewhere in the background", ie passively the outcome of the story the writers didn't want to introduce them into will affect them too. If the whole ship is taken prisoner, they would be numbered among the prisoners, as long it isn't written that (and how) they have succeeded to escape believably. They can't be two days later happily chatting in a tavern scene, as if nothing had occurred. One doesn't live in a time bubble.   But most often, they aren't chatting two days later. Those who are counting their number of threads and don't take more, even if it would have made sense for their characters to be involved, at least are good at keeping track of what happened and this doesn't happen. What happens more frequently is that a writer's hiatus (or vanishing without words) is usually lasting longer, and the characters are nowhere to be found when they are needed. I keep imagining how the ongoing adventure threads would sound if everybody was there, as they should have been, and it makes even lonelier the endeavour of writing it alone or with only one writing partner. And the "It shouldn't have been this way!" gives a bitter taste to stories I actually enjoy, the taste of  the the frustrating missed opportunities. (Then others come and say that roleplaying is an activity which should have been done with others, not alone... as if I preferred it alone vs. with others!)   I keep wondering how to deal with it... How not to think anymore at how the story should have been developed and what chances the others were missing.

Elena

Elena

 

Somebody has to do it

It seems that people have interest in writing only certain characters, or only certain aspects of the characters' lives, while a story implies writing several character types in several circumstances which make sense for their lives.   E.g. a Navy officer has in the story not only the role to charm ladies at a party, but mainly to take part in battles or to lead work scenes as well... to show only a few aspects. He should interact also with his superiors, with allied officers, he can lead an exploring team, enforce the law under his competence, etc. And among the Navy officers, if they were chosen for example, there can be (and should be) a diversity of  personalities as well: the ambitious perfectionist, the drunkard/ gambler who can be blackmailed or can blackmail others into betrayal or extorsion, the womanizer (or soft lover, because he can be sincere too) who spills a secret to his lover by mistake, the one wh o isn't professionally good but he has the right upbringing and patronnage and power thirst in order to advance stepping on corpses....   So if the story needs these aspects/ scenes/ characters and nobody else is willing to write them... somebody has to. We are all here, first and foremost, to write an interesting story together, immersing ourselves in the right setting through this. it seems I will always be this 'someone', because I could never say/ think 'I have no interest in writing this character/ scene.' if it is a part of the story i love and it makes sense in our setting, then I should clearly do all research and everything possible to make the story happen.   ...And this is how some people get with more temporary characters than others, and with writing for more NPCs than others who don't have interest in them or who see them less of a character because they have less writing time. They aren't less.   There had been a while when I was regretting everything others didn't do, just because I was convinced that, since i am writing with others, everything should be shared. Now I don't care anymore about this, neither about other people's rants that people shouldn't have so many characters or NPCs. They are there because they are needed in the story and nobody else was willing to write them. That's all, folks. Somebody has to do it in order to have a well-rounded story, a well-rounded portrayal of the world we are writing about.

Elena

Elena

 

Perceptions

Once I believed that there is one truth in everything, and all the other perceptions are wrong. This was how I was educated, and how my mother still believes. (But she also believes she is right in everything, when she isn't, and often what she knew isn't applicable at the current society).   As I grew up and gained experience, I understood that there is no absolute truth, everything being various shades of gray. Whiter or blacker, but still gray. And that, unfortunately, everyone has his own truth, his own perception we can't fight. We can give arguments towards our version of the truth. We know sometimes we did this, we wanted (or sometimes even harvested) these results... but to some people they are seen completely different. Some of our efforts and deeds are missing, some results are seen totally different, and the arguments don't hold because... simply their perception is radically different, and they are conviced it is the correct one.   The problem is that feelings and perceptions are something personal, and they don't take into account the others' realities, the others' different perceptions. So people who would have cooperated, can't, remaining each one in his own world. Ultimately, the two people with irreconciliable opinions would part ways, each one holding to his own piece of reality, to his own perception, both feeling wronged or disappointed by the other. And unfortunately it is nothing to be done with it, even if I wish it was.    Others succeed to make the effort to see the other perspective too. To agree with it or not, but to extend a hand, together with an acceptaince that the other point of view can be sincere and valid too, even if it doesn't invalidate his own feeling.    Do you believe there can be different realities, different perceptions for the same facts or results?

Elena

Elena

 

My father

My father died on the fourth day of Hannukah,  3 weeks before turning 93. May God rest him in peace!    He is in the photo, at his 90-th anniversary, with the granddaughter who ressembles him the most, Raluca.    93 years of life means a full, accomplished life. Three daughters from two wives, four grandsons and two granddaughters from the first two (as I can't have children), and he lived long enough to play with three grand-grandsons and two grand-granddaughters. A new grand-grandson will be born soon, and I am curious if they will give him my father's name too.    I feel close enough to him to care and be affected... Not as close as a father and a daughter (even divorced) should have been though. There are things in the past I resent him for. I had sought for other father figures in my life when he wasn't around, in my childhood and teen years: my mother's cousin, a work colleague of my mother's, then the fathers of two of my friends were also a bit like my fathers. And these ...absences can't be erased from my soul. It is something I grew up with, since I never knew a father in the house, and I had to come to peace with. With the children's questions and wrong assumptions. With my feelings of something lacking when everybody mentioned their fathers in a certain context. But I know I wasn't the only one to go through this. And I am glad I knew him, even if later,  and that I have memories with him, to cherish now.    There are things I admire him for too. He was strong of mind and optimistic, even if he was doing dialysis for the last 1-2 years three times a week. Stronger than my mother, who is 86. He used the computer as long as he could see on it, when I have colleagues my age who can't adapt to the modern technology. He wrote his memories in MS Word, he copied CDs, listened to music and watched movies on the pc, talked with me on yahoo. More than some younger people are able to do.   And he was an extraordinary man, living through extraordinary times - he had been Jewish during the Second World War, he chose to be a communist since young, when they were outlawed. He had learnt as much as he could - both in technical field, where he was a... junior architect, I think it's called in English the one who has only the architecture college, not the full degree, and in the economics field, where he got to be a renowned economist with several books and publications.  He had been an expert in his field, prices and tariffs. Even after retirement, people called him for expertises in court, when there were trials related to this. He had talent at drawing, at cooking... which I haven't inherited from him, unfortunately.    I used to say that I don't love him, even if I don't hate him either. But maybe I do love him still. Or at least, I care more than I expected to. Maybe in my own, strange, convoluted way, not like everyone. But I didn't expect to cry for him as much as I have done it since I heard about his passing.    It feels stranger and helpless because I am at so much distance and I can't go there now. I can't be with my sister (OK, halfsister... does it matter how much percent one has the same blood? I don't think so.) And as I told her at phone, words are useless. How to say "Condolences" when it's more than this. One says this to somebody stranger, but when it hurts the same... there have to be invented new words. And when they aren't invented, then tears might be enough.    And here... I can't do anything significant either. I don't know even what mourning customs to keep, since we don't share the same religion. Me, Christian Orthodox, he and my halfsister, Jewish. I had the same dilemma when my eldest halfsister died in 2003. Then, it was my father who understood and helped me in his own style. He made a sort of memorial book for her and gave me one copy as well. It sort of made up for not being there. And when I succeeded to arrive there, in 2008 and 2011, I went to the cemetery too.    Ultimately, after a long consideration, my husband and I decided to keep mourning for him for a few weeks. Until New Year's Eve. But he will be in my soul forever, for the memories we have got together. It is just right. And the candles have been lighted in my house for him ever since. There will be some other things I want to do too. Both some Jewish and some Christian Orthodox, because this is how I know to deal with death.    Some time within this month, I want to go to the Jewish Community when the Kaddish is said, and to read it with the others. I am not sure if I'll go to the Synagogue or maybe only to the Community, which seems less intimidating for me. When I read the Kaddish for my halfsister, it was also at a community event.    As for how I know to deal with death, yes, he'll be on the lists of prayers for the dead, together with my deceased sister and the others of his family, as my prayers list for the deads has three rows for three different families, and I would never admit to anyone who might not understand, that the people listed on the middle line are not Christian Orthodox. Some people said that prayers are good no matter in which faith; this is how it got to be like this. I'll give for charity in his name, according to the Orthodox traditions. Including to a young man who has somehow a part of his name, even if not his sound, practical mind...   And I am sure I'll find more ways to express my feelings. Probably in written, since this is what I can do better.    Farewell, my father! I am glad I knew you, I am glad we have some beautiful memories together. The hurtful part will efface in time. Death brings forward the happy memories. I am glad I am the mix of two different nationalities and cultures. I am glad I had the opportunity to know yours too, and that you and my sisters have helped me with this.       

Elena

Elena

 

Medieval Shows You Need to Be Watching That Are Not Reign.

I hate Reign. Stop talking to me about Reign. You want medieval shows? You want Renaissance shows? HERE are some you ought to spend your time with instead:   RENAISSANCE: Borgia- Netflix. Italian sets. Gorgeous and at least quasi-historical costuming. Actual faithful replicas of some of the jewelry. Balls-out crazy plotlines while yet remaining a touch closer to the spirit of balls-out crazy that actually made up the Borgia-era papacy.   The Borgia: Showtime. STUNNING costumes, great cast and heartbreaking plots. I love this show too.   Wolf Hall: Technically Tudor-era but also good. I don't even like Henrican/Tudor era but this is acceptable and the costuming is both brilliant and almost entirely accurate (dear GOD wtf are those hoods why did you do this, Tudor England? WHY?)     MEDIEVAL: Vikings: Technically Dark Ages not medieval but still freaking fantastic. Worth it just for the eye-candy. Totally inaccurate clothing but I love the plot enough not to mind. At least it's believable fantasy Viking most of the time.  And the plotlines actually compel me to watch.   The Bastard Executioner:  Medieval Wales in the reign of Edward II. An increasing amount of fantasy elements showing up but I like it, even if the plot's going a little slow and the fact the main female lead is named Love... annoys me to no end yet the show is good enough to let me keep watching. Not very accurate clothes but believable enough and they're working within a budget so at least you can tell they TRY to be medieval. Mostly they succeed very well: if I wasn't someone who does medieval clothing for FUN I wouldn't notice.   The Last Kingdom: Dark Ages/ early medieval. This is when the Vikings are taking over England and Alfred the Great will be the one to throw them back. Touch of mysticsm here and there but overall AMAZING. You should go watch.   Marco Polo:  Netflix series. 12th century Mongol court. I don't actually know much about Mongol clothing but I suspect a lot of this is hysterically wrong to someone who does know that era but it's at least believable-ish. What the series does get right is the Mongol way of thinking and doing things, and the conflict within the Mongol peoples as Kublai's court becomes increasingly Chinese while others remain closer to their own traditions. This show is so far from being about Marco most of the time that I love it. I LOVE the intrigues in the court, I love Jingem's hair, and I love Kublai Khan.  

deliriums child

deliriums child

 

I don't care anymore

I DON'T CARE ANYMORE (Or so I say in this moment; tomorrow I might discover that I am actually caring, and just attempting to grow a shield around myself).   I want to write with everybody, and I see lots of character opportunities which remain unused. No fault of mine; I have shown them to everybody, they have been invited into threads, for certain plots the NPCs and characters for adoption had been publicly advertised, together with their plot opportunities. If nobody is interested, even if there are plenty of interesting opportunities, then what else I can do than writing them alone? I don't see anything bad in writing a story alone; I'd see it as bad if others wanted to join and I didn't allow them. When I keep encouraging them but they don't, then it is up to them, not up to me.   Some promise they would write. They show their interest, in some cases they even post 1-2 posts... then they stop writing. Sometimes they stop any communication, not knowing if they ever intend to return or not. Sometimes they are still here, lurking... but not writing. Sorry, but if you have characters in the story, it means keeping them active, showing initiative, involving them in various plots (eventually without being prodded and invited, but by your own initiative), answering with new ideas when I am asking, in plot threads, "what story twists would inspire you to write more consistently? Which is the story you want to tell?" If you keep silence, it means you don't want anything to happen. And in that case, sorry to tell you, but nothing will happen to your characters whom you keep away even from threads where it would be natural for them to be a part of.   Do you remember the words you have witnessed at the weddings shown in movies?  "If any person here can show cause why these two people should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace." You didn't speak when asked. If you kept silence then, it simply means the time to object has passed. You missed the opportunity to be a part of that story. Most likely, deliberately. Then... why complain, when you avoided it and stayed away?   And in these cases, where people join and vanish, or lurk but don't plot and don't write (well, I guess plotting but not writing to make it happen is worse, and it had happened many more times)... why are you  wondering that I am writing alone, and that I find more ideas for plots involving my own characters than yours? Simply because I am tired of empty promises and unfinished stories which, ultimately, still my other characters have to save from the graveyard and lead to completion...   So, yes, I am writing. And I keep writing. I don't care anymore if you do or not. I know I am giving you the right example - it is up to you if you follow it or not, but don't tell me you didn't have the opportunity, because you did. You could have done exactly what I am doing. With me, with others, or all together.   I don't care anymore if you badmouth me for writing alone, when you know my first preference wouldn't be to write alone, but with you and with others. However, don't expect me to trust you again after you have let me down and you have made me to put my creativity on curling pins in order to apply damage control to several abandoned threads and give them a proper ending.

Elena

Elena

 

Love and friendship in roleplaying

I had another entry on relationships a while ago. This is a spinoff on it, based on the creative writing articles at http://www.springhole.net/writing/relationships-romance-and-shipping.htm I fully agree with the writer, and I know I have found these concepts before, in other creative writing books and articles. Some of the rules of writing romance are: 1. The characters need to communicate with each other, not only to gaze silently and sigh. To engage their love interest in meaningful conversation. How are they supposed to bond if they don’t even communicate? 2. The characters need to be aware of each other’s emotional needs and boundaries and one shouldn’t hate a major trait of the other (unless willing to overcome that hate, because this is possible too), because one can't actually love a person without accepting what the person actually is. 3. Don’t rush or take shortcuts in showing the relationship develop – show them in detail. Glossing over important relationship developments doesn’t do the story any favour. It makes it impossible for the readers to believe in the characters’ relationship or friendship, because it doesn’t create that emotional experience. 4. Don’t drop in a romance or crush out of nowhere, without a logical explanation and a gradual approach. All these are true - however, how many times one has seen the opposite in their stories? How many times one has picked up somebody's request for a lover... just not having them thread enough together in order to develop said relationship? How many times characters are avoiding effective communication and apply to offscreen shortcuts which make the relationship feel flat? And how many times writers (and therefore characters) vanish mid-story, leaving the other character in the air, and trying the best to glue back the shards into something to allow them to go on? How can a character go on after several such misfortunes, especially if they happen in a short story time? And how believable can be such a progression? Or, by contrary, if seeming unaffected... how it is possible, either? Why don't all the writers keep into consideration the creative writing rules and don't want to keep consistency in their stories?

Elena

Elena

 

I feel I am the strangest exhibit in the window

I feel like the strangest exhibit in the window Yes, I do, every time I read certain posts on a resource site - be it this one or another. As if I am the oddest being among the others.... who think in a hivemind. And I am still trying in vain to find a writing buddy to match my way of seeing things. It is impossible to be the only one, since my opinions weren't created in a void, but after reading enough creative writing articles from various writers. It is impossible to not find somebody who is also story-oriented, who loves discussing plots and characters alike, who sees challenging himself not as stressful, but as the natural way to evolve as a writer, somebody who isn;t flimsy, but dedicated to finish a story once started...  They should be somewhere in the mist, but how can I meet them and let the mist courtain fall?  Is everybody saying "just a hobby" as if a hobby shouldn't involve the desire to evolve, to improve, to meet the same standards and rules of creative writing and to integrate in a collectivity, be it a virtual one? (And of courtesy too, since we are not writing alone, but with others, so we should be more accomodating and less selfish). Also, for me, challenging myself is not stressful, but inspiring, mobilizing me to achieve something. I need challenges to overcome. It just means a goal more to strive for, ie an achievement more after a while. The satisfaction of having overcome a challenge and to have learnt something new.

(Exactly how some people have found that having a deadline is stressful and determines procrastination. By contrary, for me setting myself deadlines if nobody else does gives me structure and direction. If I know x thing has to be ready in x days, I know how to plan to make it possible and I avoid procrastination, while if it should be ready "whenever you have time", it is too vague and I might procrastinate to never make time for it...)

I am setting myself goal after goal, challenge after challenge to overcome. I think, for the analogy with video games (which I don't play) it is... unlocking a next level. This comes with the satisfaction of having won - but having won against a computer is nothing vs. having won against yourself. The satisfaction is much more. If I like something, I do it with pleasure and I strive to be better at it. Researching and learning more about creative writing, practicing, experimenting and challenging myself are part of the fun of having writing as my main hobby.

The fact that I like writing and I like immersing myself in other centuries and countries, with their adventures, doesn't necessary mean that I want to escape my life and this is why I am writing. I like returning to my regular life, even if it has a different kind of challenges (which I don't necessary like, because I don't like everything I have to do in my daily life). I am writing because I can't live without writing. And I like to have the readers immersed in the environment and adventures I am describing. Still... there aren't any people like me, and everybody looks at me as if I am the oddest being, totally different from them. Really, am I? Have the others like me just vanished, and only published writers, famous in their circles, have remained to share these opinions and characteristics?

Elena

Elena

 

Character development

It comes with being on the site for a while, and with actively writing. It comes with character's goals too, no matter how time and concrete conditions might twist them.    After a while, characters can switch factions, and it is all right.     It took a while for me to understand that it is all right, but now (and for a while, not only now) I understand it. In the first two years of roleplaying, I didn't understand it because I was thinking only at the freshly reopened slot in the initial faction, seeing it as a sort of betrayal to the faction. And when one of my characters had to change factions, I said that it was OK only because I had another character in that faction, so the faction wouldn't remain deprieved of one character.   Now that somebody wants to change factions... it makes sense for the character. I know it is a good character development. I know that the faction he is leaving would manage without him... We'll be all right. He might be all right as a civilian on an island too, starting a new life. And maybe it is interesting to explore this side of the story as well.    Still I feel sad and a bit betrayed, even if I know I shouldn't.  I resent his departure from the faction, and I am as sad for his leaving as his captain and crewmates would be, in the story, when hearing about it. And this, because the writer has only one character and no intention to make more. Something will be enriched, with the price of tipping down the other scale of the balance, And this feels sad. But it is a sadness which will pass  The story goes on, and it will be equally interesting. Characters do evolve and change paths in their story life...

Elena

Elena

 

Nothing happens if you don't write

You say you like your character. OK, then maybe you know that no character development can happen unless you post regularly and get involved with him in the story. That a character grows through interaction with other characters, while doing his duty, while partying or while fighting. There can be (and are recommended to be) individual plots too. But, again, just planning them and not actually writing them doesn't count. He has to be actively part of the story if you want exciting things to happen to him, to grow, to develop, to make friends. Equally, logging in and lurking on the site without actually writing doesn't count; your characters still don't get the development you want. There is no other magic solution than get to actually write.  

Elena

Elena

 

Write a novel instead!

One hears it so often from RPG partners - "If you don't like it, go write a novel (or fanfiction) instead!" But is this really the solution, instead of talking with the writing partners and finding by negotiation and compromise a solution matching everyone's writing needs, halfway? Writing a novel? Been there, done that (in my mother tongue) - several novel-length stories. (The list is somewhere here, in this blog, but given that it doesn't allow me to past links in words anymore, I give up searching for it. Breaking my blog entry with http links splashed as such isn't an aesthetic I prefer.)  And yes, I do finish what I start. But writing a novel is a lonely endeavour. Just me and the computer (or notebooks before) and the research sources. Then, it stays somewhere in a corner of the computer and this is it. If in the past some people were curious to read the manuscript, even when it was handwritten on paper because nobody had a PC (and the existing PCs were writing on colourful cards, not on paper at that time) now people don’t read as much in general, I have noticed this. Since I discovered that RPGs do exist, ie one can write a story together with other people, and get it published on the internet for more people to read it and to discuss about it, I have no more interest in writing alone. (I might return to it some day, I don’t dismiss the possibility. But maybe something would change in order for me to return. Maybe at that moment I’d have around me a support group interested in reading and discussing characters, plots, motives, literary techniques). I like more writing with others instead of writing alone, plotting with others instead of doing it alone, making come true both my stories and the others’, negotiating and finding a midway for aspects where the expectations are radically different, so that it keeps being fun and interesting for all of us, discussing what’s behind the story and the research process, gossiping and discarding several alternatives after choosing the one with the most ripples for the plot. Finding online likeminded friends of any ages, places, cultural, social and national background, interested in writing and reading, when there are none around me. So yes, this is the answer why I wouldn’t write a novel alone, but one with others (a RPG, how writing with others is called) but still applying the rules of creative writing to this writing endeavour, planning included (just planning together, no more alone, and writing together, no more alone).

Elena

Elena

 

Isa's Wants and Needs

Okay, aside from the $1mil I need, there are some other things that I'd dearly love that are role play related. This seems like a good post to start it off on! Time. Like seriously, can I just be Piper from Charmed and stop time to do rp stuff in the middle of my day? Because I think that's the only way it'll happen. Time. It gets a second one because it's that damn important. A Star Trek rpg. Like, Deep Space Nine. I love my Cardassians, and my Vorta (sexy little bastards). Doctor Who role play, preferably Nine's era. Because I love my 9. Time. Did I mention that one already? Benedict Cumberbatch. I just want him, period. A new house (that's not part of this, and it's more of a need, but I thought I'd throw it in there in case any of you have a spare one floating around. Beachfront works for me.) Sherlock Holmes. A sexy beast that man is. A great rp it would be, I am certain. To be able to talk like Yoda at will. I think I can type like him, maybe? A Harry Potter rpg. I want to ship Snape and my OFC. Seriously. Another Star Trek set after the latest new movie. Khan should be involved. And why? I refer you to 6.

Lady Isadorabelle

Lady Isadorabelle

 

3 Weeks 2 Days, feeling alone

So, as most people know, I can’t really function without my kids. I love them so much it’s painful being away from them. Trust me when I say I try to put my thoughts and efforts into other things, it’s not as helpful as I wished it was. I miss … Continue reading

Guest

Guest

 

Religion

I understand that not all the characters are religious. However, if a religion is mentioned in a character's bio, one should use it at least a little - even if it means to highlight that he has evolved and doesn't believe anymore, and that his current beliefs aren't the same with the ones he was taught in childhood. Not to have it written in the bio, then act as if it was never mentioned. Why bother then to mention it in the first place?   This is twice as valid when it is about somebody hiding his religion. There might be the desire to blend in, to seem unconspicuous and to deliberately not show any trace of the hidden religion. It makes perfect sense - but in the character's thoughts, there has to be this deliberate choice; an inner conflict, from time to time, between what he had been taught initially and what he has to do now. Or minor, delicate little things which still pertain to the hidden religion, even if they can't be directly traced to it.   For example, there are two NPCs, one muslim, one Jewish - in a time where Inquisition still existed and... burned.   The muslim one still believes in Allah as he had been taught, just that he can't say it in the open. He doesn't pray all 5 times a day, at least not visibly, but he surely says the  prayer in his mind when he can. He gets up earlier than the others he lives with, for the ritual ablutions. This means he is cleaner than others, and a little teased for it, but nobody makes the connection between a strange (for that time) desire for cleanliness and religion. He does abstain from eating pork as much as possible; but when he crossed the sea (and not as a passenger) to the colonies, he had to eat what the others did. Salt pork and hard tack was the general menu. As he is isolated from any other Muslims, he doesn't keep any holidays because nobody can tell him when they are (moon-based religious calendar).   The Jewish is a sailor; again, he does abstain from eating pork as much as possible; but when at sea, he can't. He eats with the others, so the notions of kashrut had to be forgotten. Even so, I think he'd never mix dairy and meat at the same meal, and he'd prefer drinking strong drinks or ale instead of wine (which, according to kashrut, is sacred and should have been only grown and harvested by Jews according to kashrut provisions). He also doesn't gamble, because he remembers from his bar mitzvah (the only torah studies he had ever done) that it is forbidden. He doesn't know much more than the basics about his own religion, so other precepts he might infringe in good conscience, without knowing. He also tried to avoid medical control aboard the ship whenever he could. At the transfer to a new ship he couldn't anymore, so he trembled what would happen when the doctor would discover the pledge of Abraham carved in his flesh. Fortunately for him, that particular doctor didn't care and didn't report.   These aren't much. Just little details to flesh up more a character over time - and taking into account that these are NPCs, even more than needed. But still something to make the characters more rounded and more believable. I wished others would do the same. The Jewish sailor's sister never had a moment of thinking about God, of conflicting thoughts or anything.   My Catholic characters, more or less believers, show their religious thoughts (or contempt towards them, for one who doesn't believe anymore). There is one who was once Catholic but turned Anglican because it was bad for business to be Catholic. He isn't much religious of any nature, still there are some inner conflicts within him between what he had learnt in his first school years with the monks and what he is doing now.   My point is that if you gave your character a religion, show it a little in his thoughts, deeds or habits.  

Elena

Elena

 

New Theme

Well I’m trying to get myself settled into new things, including a new theme for the site. I’m going to try and post more regularly again. I’m not sure I’ll do daily posts like I tried to do before but I may try to do a post every three days. … Continue reading Source

Morrigan

Morrigan

 

Another one bites the dust

Another site I have been writing on, gone. Another time I have been among the most devoted members, left, together with a few others, to switch off the light. I feel hurt and sad because this happened... and at the same time, somehow relieved that it's a place where I don't owe posts anymore. But the petty relief is trumped by the sadness. I am sorry, Morrigan, if you are reading this, because the gif I asked was for this site, which during this week-end announced its closure. Many administrators, confronted with a lack of activity, decide to close the site instead of doing more advertising, being themselves more active and rallying the remaining devoted members around them, besides trying to get more members. It is easier to throw the towel instead of fighting for what you have created. It feels sad and lonely to have the world you were writing in, the story you were building, crushing under your eyes. Especially when it was much more to the story to be told... and when the administrator was making plans for the story too, from her point of view. This was why I didn't expected a sudden closure, no matter that the activity was lingering for a while. I know, not the first, nor the last site to close this way, suddenly. It's more of an exception when people fight to keep a site floating, and when a site resists for more than one year. But this time it might be different for me. This time I might continue the story offscreen. Yes, I think I'll have the courage to finish it alone, in my own time. Still in English, since half of it is in English. However I am not sure what to do, because... I think I will have to write for other characters too, and I know some people would consider this wrong. I don't consider it wrong, because the relationships were built in time, were agreed with the writers... and it can't start again as if it hadn't happened, as if my two characters were alone in the world and nobody else existing around but them. If mentioning other friends instead of the existing ones, where have they been taken from and why haven't they been shown until then? Complicated. For this I have no exact answer yet, but I'll think until I'll find one.

Elena

Elena

 

Looking to be proud of my smile again!

So I enjoy smiling and I hate giving tight lipped smiles so that people can’t see the teeth that have gotten smacked and broken and continue to break over time. I want to get it fixed and it’s really expensive, to the point that dental insurance wouldn’t even cover it. They probably wouldn’t cover any […] Source

Morrigan

Morrigan

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    • Arceus,   I have followed your work for many years and yet I hardly know you at all. But I can relate, I know your pain, I've been there. I was spending a car payment every year on hosting, and my service did not allow for monthly payments. The reality of my debt, finances, and whether or not this money was making me happy put my hosting down to die after year 2 or 3.    One of the problems that I made early on was that I was too helpful. I tried to help people who didn't want help. They always resented me for it, it always ended badly, I was always butt hurt, and it was always a massive waste of time and energy. It took me years to learn the art of sitting on the sidelines, like everyone else, and watching the firework explosions from afar, instead of trying to wrestle the matches away from the person lighting them. I wonder if you tried to help people who didn't ask for help? If they treated you that way, certainly they weren't ready for your help, they just had good intentions and half-baked notions. There are many people who are very insistent and adamant that they do want help, but they don't want help, they want their very specific notion and experience and all of that isn't actually help and it isn't the help that they need. I know that this wound hurts. But give this a try, and I think that you will find yourself less abused. Remember that if you help someone who doesn't want help, all you get out of it is wasted time and energy and hurt, and all the person gets is a prideful and mean story about someone else, because they aren't capable of receiving that help.    There is a lot to be said about paid services and the wisdom there. I asked for $10 once for an eternity of hosting and support, and many sites could not get that much; they were not serious. $10 is what someone would pay a month for ad-free on JCInk or Proboards. Because I asked for real money, people treated me better and more respectfully, they believed me more that I knew what I was doing.  Far less people wasted my time. And the people who wasted the most of my time never paid.    One of the reasons that I stopped hosting was because I found, like you did, that I wasn't really friends with anyone. I just had people who popped in every 5 years to ask me to help them with coding this or that. I suck at keeping up with friends, so half of that blame is mine, but the other half... When I would tell someone that I just don't have time to fix their coding issue, they would insist or just quietly not be my friend anymore. So now, I rub it in their faces with the truth. "I'm sorry FriendXYZ, I know that it sounds like a simple issue to you but it's looking like it's going to be 8 to 15 hours of hard work for me to track down and I think you could find someone who could do it faster for you at a roleplay resource site. I'm working two jobs, one below minimum wage, and I'm having a hard time." And then they don't bother me anymore, and all of it is true. It's a bit overly passive-aggressive, but aggressively standing up for myself was the other side of the pendulum that I had lacked all that time, and it helped immensely, and I have found my balance between both sides of the pendulum.    There are some directory/resource sites where people come in to request help with their problems and it always amazes me at the minimum effort put in. That most issues are a few badly formed sentences that don't include what's needed to debug them. I used to get snippy at the staffers who moderated them at their inane requirements for a form always a form omfg why?! But now I understand that their real requirement was effort and to desperately and quickly weed out the wasters of time and energy as easily as possible. I have some skins and other things that I made for resource sites and people are over-entitled, not just to me, but to everyone. Providing ongoing support for those resources is utterly exhausting and about half of the time you ever spend on something goes into supporting it over all the long time its used.    I am tired, Arceus. But I am not as tired as I was before because I put up my boundary lines and maintain them because I know they are my sanity, and because I know if I let them slip, someone is going to take advantage of me because that's why they needed to cross those boundary lines in the first place.    Someday you will come to feel better about things, about yourself, about roleplays. But for right now, rest, find peace and serenity. Don't go back to hosting because right now it's unhealthy for you.  I found that part of my desire to be a piggy-back host was to find my value as a person by being useful to others, because I felt I had no value otherwise, and many treated me just as I felt about myself. If you feel this way, don't be afraid to talk to a therapist, because life is short and they are the fastest, least painful, and most efficient way towards healing and being happy.    I hope this helps you in some small way. Here is my discord if you'd like to talk sometime
      xexes#4702  
    • That's a very good point. RPers treat other people like too many people treat retail workers. I try and blot that particular job from my memory.   I mean if you just want to do the RP equivalent of quietly shooting the breeze with a bud, I think my site's gold for that lol! But I truly appreciate wanting something more structured than a multigenre!   I'm on a 'surrealist panfandom' site that's decent, and Morr's site. That's all I've got!
    • Idk man, after working retail for a few years, I can believe it. xD   Thanks! If you got any suggestions toss em, I'm looking at practically anything atm. Friend endorsements definitely get bonus points c; Being kinda quiet on the ones I do join, but I'll... waddle my way out of the depression tunnel eventually. lol
    • I love you too! You're a fantastic person 🙂   It is saddening to see how people treat each other publicly in the forum rp community. I struggle to believe that they behave that way in meatspace!    Good luck with your RP search though! I hope you find some excellent places 💖🙂
    • ♥ Still love you and I miss your face. And it really is. It's saddening. :c
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