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So it's something I do pretty frequently. I look at the things that make me happy, that make me meh and make me upset. When they are meh or upset I search for ways to improve them or get them out of my life. As I considered these things I always look at my situation in RP.

 

One of the things I noted is that I haven't been very adventurous lately. Not necessarily with my plots but just in RP in general. I've gotten into this rut of basically going through a circle with an RP partner and it's comfortable, I know everything that likely will happen, I know twists that will make things fun for a bit but overall I feel meh about it.

 

I considered that maybe it's that I don't feel challenged however I think of the times I am challenged or not roleplaying within that small circle of friends and I get bored. Whether this is because it takes too long to get posts or things move at a slower pace or whatever. It's not that I don't like playing with those other people, for the most part I rarely have an RP partner that I just don't mesh well with but I always seem to fall back into this comfort.

 

However, that comfort doesn't bring me significant joy or make me upset. I just feel :| about it. Not necessarily good or bad. It makes me feel like I just roleplay to have something to type between work and coding and graphics and things. Like I just need something that fills in time and gives me something to think about. Type and then move back into other things.

 

I feel like I would enjoy it more if I had less know on the other end does but at the same time I can't seem to power through the impatience. Part of the issue, and I understand this, is that I am constantly doing something. I have so much that I do that I never stop. If people really knew everything I did I'm not they would understand how I did it all. With that, I feel that letting something go for a few days a week... two weeks, it just doesn't have the same freshness as next day or same day or same day a few times a day.

 

So the point of this whole post is, how do you feel about a comfort zone? Do you feel you are in a comfort zone? How does that make you feel? How have you gotten out of the comfort zone?

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I think comfort zones exist in order to be challenged and expanded. This is how a writer and a person grows.

 

I mean, I have never believed in "I can't write..." (a character, a scene, a setting), and I have always challenged myself to do it - even if only to prove that I can. Because in my opinion, a writer can write everything, but she might not be inclined to write some things often. I might challenge myself some day in writing an explicit smut scene too, because it is something I have never done and I have no interest in it. But at the right moment I'll do even this... again, just to prove myself that I can. 

 

About "knowing what is going to happen", it is something else. I am a planner. I need to know what is going to happen (not in detail, but in outline), I need my writing to have a direction, and if I am writing with other people, that all the writers see the same things and write together towards the same end. The characters might be against each other, the characters might know nothing about the surprises we, the writers, are preparing them, but we should be in synch. I believe in negotiation and in collaborative writing.

 

I tried the "not knowing what is going to happen" route and it makes me lose direction, inspiration, motivation to write. This is merely not functioning for me, not dealing with a "comfort zone".  As if I am supposed to be walking but I don't know where to... so what tells me there is even a place to arrive and it isn't just a long, misty, unending trail?

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I have mixed feelings about comfort zones. One one side, I like writing with people I *know* I write well with. You know, those writers where everything just seems to click into place and you're not stressed about your next post because everything just flows. That's a comfort zone I like and I always have trouble getting out of it, mainly because people are flakes and I rarely get to write with someone long enough or often enough to get to that place of being comfortable with them. So I tend to stick to the people I know, people who know me and my characters just as well as I do. I've known my bff for two years, and we don't even discuss plots anymore we just play things out and we know we can go pretty far with each other's characters and do crazy, effed up things without worrying what the other will think.

 

Then there's the shitty comfort zone of knowing where your plot is going to go before you get there. I totally hate that. I mean, having a kind of general idea what you want to happen in a thread is fine... but I don't want to know how it's going to play out, how it's going to affect the characters. I write because I don't know the ending and the only way I can get there is to keep typing. If I know the ending ahead of time, why bother? 

 

I've been really lucky lately in that I've had some crazy threads where I thought it was going one way, and then things went a totally unexpected direction and left both me and my partner sort of like O_O what the hell just happened lol. Those are my favourite threads.

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I agree with Hades and I have two kinds of comfort zones. The good kind and the bad kind.


The good kind is writing with people I know and I know I work well with. It helps me feel comfortable while writing and perhaps try things I am not that comfortable with because I know the people I write with. That being said I am always willing to try and write with new people because that challenges me as well. It is something new and it is something that brings something different to the table. However I do not have the time to join a lot of sites or it takes a lot of investment to get settled on a site. 

 

The bad kind is the kind where you know what is going to happen, you know how someone is going to response and there is a lack of surprise. I try to surprise my partners from time to time and at least be a little bit unpredictable but it is not always easy. Sometimes it helps making new characters, sometimes it helps to rp with someone else as well. 

I have been trying to find new partners to roleplay with to perhaps expand my own horizon as well. So that I can continue to develop myself as a writer. Which I enjoy doing as well. 

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I think there are several different kinds of comfort zones, and people have them for different reasons. For myself, I have a comfort zone for IC scenarios: which would be triggers, but I'd never actually call it a comfort zone outside of this thread. Because 'comfort zone' reads as casual, while 'triggers' is serious business.

 

I have a comfort zone for genres, fandoms, etc; I have a really hard time getting into deep sci-fi settings, I can't write well, I can't keep my interest long, so I avoid such settings.

 

It can be a bad thing to get too comfortable; I've noticed that for me, I can get lazy, I procrastinate, I don't write as well when I'm with partners whom I've known for years and in turn know all their story-writing tricks and such. I'd love to expand that comfort zone, but, TIME PROBLEMS.

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Now that I think of it I guess I also have some comfort zones as far as characters or character types. I noticed it mainly with my girl characters, because I don't have many of them. I don't know why I feel more comfortable writing boys? It's weird? When I do make girls they usually end up being fighters. Not necessarily literally (although sometimes they are), but very confrontational. I tend to make them tomboyish. I have only two really feminine women, and it really does take some effort to write them but I also find that when I'm doing those posts I tend to be more careful what I'm typing, which words I'm using. 

 

Does anyone else find that when they are so familiar with a character it gets to a point you don't even think anymore, you just post and it's done in a few minutes? I have a lot that are like that, but with those two women it's like I really have to sit there and think about it properly.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/28/2016 at 2:16 PM, hades said:

I write because I don't know the ending and the only way I can get there is to keep typing. If I know the ending ahead of time, why bother?

 

 This. This is the exact rut I've found myself in recently. Not only from playing with the same 3-4 people for too long, but also from ending up using the same 4-5 characters all the time. One of them, I've had 6 completely different "endings" of character development with, but she fits so well with certain scenarios, plots, or archetypes that its hard to break away from using her. I've admittedly gotten extremely lazy because of falling into my "Bad" comfort zone. 

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