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Plotting, Writing, Both?


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Plotting and hypothetically planning or "exploring" ideas and situations is always fun, but for me, nothing is "canon" unless it's legitimately been written into the rp. I don't like to follow a strict plot when I write. Having a general direction for a thread is great, but everything that happens in that thread, from my perspective, should evolve naturally/organically. Often characters don't act in the way I anticipate, which I like. It gives a bit of an element of surprise. But I also don't like going in blindly to write. I want to know where I'm supposed to go -- what the goal is.

 

I do prefer plot bunnies to actually writing, but if I never write anything down, then nothing ever "happens" to the character. Much like real life, if you think about it.

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I'm a fan of... light plotting? Essentially just kind of chatting about the direction we want to go, maybe come up with a few roadblocks along the way, or if I come up with a fun direction to take the RP that I just HAVE to share. My partners and I tend to divert from plans if we get too into it, part of the fun in my eyes is in the surprise of the situation. 
Of course, sometimes we'll do some intentionally short RP threads, only to have them spiral out of control and get into this longer plot that may then include some heavier planning. It's all situational.

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Something once lost can never be returned.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tend to lean towards just writing and jumping into things. If any plotting happens, it might center around why our characters might be interacting with one another. I don't really plot out past that, as I tend to be surprised by the actions my characters takes as the thread progresses and we get into the action. I have always preferred just writing it out, instead of getting stuck in the planning stages (which has happened a lot of times). 

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 I really enjoy plotting and character development, and I may enjoy that more than the actual process of writing in general, but writing's the biggest draw for roleplaying. I do minimal plotting with play-by-post RPGs, and I greatly prefer it that way. The off-the-cuff approach, with a ton of surprises coming from other players-- that's the whole point of the hobby, for me! I enjoy the actual writing as a creative exercise and as a means of advancing the story to find out what happens next. I like enjoying the way the words come together and figuring out how to present information and ideas to give my writing partners fun things to work with. Plotting with other people in RPGs always seems to be more of a hindrance than a help, especially when it kills the element of the unknown and/or takes us far beyond what we'll ever actually accomplish with the story.

 

With all of that said, if I was presented with the choice between a job as a development executive or a TV writer, it would be a hard pick! I might pick the writer option, just knowing that a huge portion of that job is sitting in a room with other writers breaking episodes and season arcs. 😉

 

My plotting stays pretty limited to making sure I have a bunch of plot twist rabbits to pull out of my hat along the way.

 

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Futuristic sci-fi/fantasy | 18+ | No WC/APP | Jcink

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tend to do a little bit of both. I lean more towards "lets just go with the flow". Some direction is good, but I don't like everything planned to a T. I like some creative freedom. Besides it is fun to have an element of surprise thrown at you during role-play. Heck that is how real life is. You don't know everything that is going on. 

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As a member, I like both though I have found on recent forums that plotting helps to get the writing going. Sometimes an open thread can sit there for months and it kills the mood, especially when you can't remember the direction you wanted the thread to go. I mean, I'm all for unpredictability, but who would want to go back to their open threads after waiting for a reply so long?

As an admin, especially as the creator of something original, I tend to hide some of the plot from the public eye. To me, it creates some excitement when members wonder what's going to happen at the end of an event. Right now, my original forum has a citywide mystery no one's noticed yet, and I already know the outcome, but no one else does. That being said, I'm always open for suggestions and sometimes I like one so much that the plot is adapted to it. I don't do too much changing though... it's best to stick to the original idea as much as possible!

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Courirnu // original small-town rp

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I think I'm half-and-half.  Plotting can be stimulating and exciting, and is also a great occasion to bond with a writing partner.  When the bond is established and you know both the writer and the character well, it's actually fun to plot things out in a foreseeable way, and then to finnagle the writing in a way that is a bit more literary.

 

At the same time there's actually joy in being surprised by characters and how they respond to each other; sometimes they really surprise us because chemistry crops up unannounced in a thread, and when it does, it's magic! And that can't quite happen if everything is plotted out.

 

So I think ultimately a bit of loose plotting is fun, but it's important to always leave room for improvisation. 

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