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How do you keep RPing from just becoming the same ol' thing over time? How do you keep yourself fascinated and engaged in what is going on around you? How do you think of plots that are going to keep you coming back for more and checking in on your threads throughout the day?

 

(I'm trying to avoid burn out before I reach that place. Not burned out yet, but the fear of getting there has definitely slowed me down.)

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For me it usually comes back to the moments where I'm sitting in a chat with my thread partners, and we come up with the crazy ideas. "So what if this was possible... AND THEN..." -- in almost every case, it sparks off a thread idea or six that we're all excited about, and fueled on that sort of enthusiasm that we keep renewing with more WHAT IF AND THEN conversations we build momentum rather than lose it.

 

Note: I never plan things through to the end. It's always an idea of what might happen, because I find once I close an idea off and have an ending in mind... it becomes less interesting. Also my characters don't like being told what to do.

 

Having an excellent relationship with my members is also 90% of what keeps me going too. They know when I need to step back, when I'm in "code mode" and when I'm raring to bang out twenty posts a session. As with anything I maintain a "do what you can do, when you can do it" mentality, which encourages making the most of bursts of mental energy and forgiving yourself for the days that you have less.

 

Also, if you're storming toward burnout it's usually tripped by something that is taking undue effort. A thread that's not quite engaging, a character that's being difficult, a thread partner that you just don't gel with. Recognising what isn't working for you and not forcing yourself to continue will almost always free up the mental energy you need to do what you love. You gotta be ruthless sometimes, but---it's a hobby. You're here to have fun! You don't need to carry anti-fun dead weight with you.

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Like others have said. I deal with drama quickly and I say no. It has helped me considerably in staying interested and happy. I tend to need to do other things in other to have inspiration to post and I don't feel guilty about it anymore. 

 

- I focus on new plots and characters. Or I play another game as well. 

- I watch movies and in general, chat with the members about our characters and any ideas that we have. 

- Being less focused on "having" to post and more emphasis on the fun side of things. 

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In my experience, I have never lost interest in the world, or the characters, but lost interest in posting with certain people. It can be for various reasons - they are difficult OOC, (for example if you don't agree with them on political issues they seem to take it as a personal affront), they only want to do plots/ships they want to do, they are repetitive/never come up with anything new or they use a personal dislike to bully IC. It's important that people are honest if they aren't interested and pretend that they are, rather than trying to hide or draw it out. Being dishonest is what causes the most problems in the end.

 

Another thing that makes it difficult is when people drop off with rping or leave the fandom. It's difficult for you espeaically if you like them/miss them but it's not always a bad thing for them personally as they have other things to do, but as they usually leave on good terms are welcome to pick things up again if they come back.

 

I find creating a new character or new plot usually get me through any bad patches. Sometimes taking a break does that too. Making improvements to characters' backgrounds, espeaically when there is something I wanted to develop but didn't have the chance to helps. Sometimes I do lose muse, but I find this is more related to having a heap of bad experiences taking their toll than the character or fandom so taking a break from rping, improving character's backgrounds/making new characters or looking at another aspect of the fandom that I've not explored before helps get that love back.

 

If it's a fandom that you roleplay in, I've find watching the movies/reading books/playing computer games/obtaining and looking through rpg source books bring back that love because they give me inspiration for a new plot or character, or they remind me of something I wanted to do previously before I started 'losing my love' of it. Do research into myths/science/relevant historical events as inspiration to write is the best cure for any type of burn out.

 

Finally, it's important to not let other people's negative opinions or bad behaviour put you down.

 

Sometimes, forget rping altogether and just write fan fic/solo writing. They get take away all the negative associations you've developed that might cause a burn out.

Edited by Icewolf
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For me it's a lot about avoiding character stagnation, and keeping a wide pool of rp partners to interact with.

Character Stagnation is when a character ends up in a rut in their development. I can post with them, but for the moment they are not in a situation where they can move forward for good or for bad. Their situation is stable, and unlikely to change under their own influence, and they have no ic reason to try and mess things up for themselves. They need a catalyst for their development. When A character stops growing, I archive them for a time, finish up existing threads and let them linger in the background until I am ready with an idea, or run in with a character that can get them moving again.

The wide partners bit comes from the very problem I once had of having too many threads going on with only one player. Eventually we got tired of each other, and each felt like the other wasn't pushing the plots. We got muse for our threads again only after a break from one another, and then establishing some strong plots with other players, and some 3 or more participants plots so that the stories could once again become new.

as for plots getting repetitive/boring, I only think most often has a chance of happening if you play the same thing all the time (character type, genre, plot arc etc), or play with someone who's only after one thing. It gets boring because you'll kinda know what is going to happen around the threads, and it might be time to switch things up.

Finally rest is important. When not feeling it to rp its, ok to rest and invest in other hobbies, to make art or music, or watch movies, or play video games or go to a gym. Sometimes a break for a few days is enough to help get the rp spark back.

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If I posted all of my feelings I'd just end up summarizing everyone else, so let me offer this instead:

 

I like to find ways to set up my other Rping partner's characters with each other. Ideally, this would happen naturally. 

 

What i mean by that is this:

 

My character has a friendship with character X, and an interaction with character Y. When our threads are complete, I might mention some ideas about how an interaction with characters X and Y might affect my character and ask what they think.

 

I am thrilled to receive messages of "hey, can you introduce your character to character Z?"

 

Mutual relationships have always added unique tensions and development that keeps things moving. I love my partners, but sometimes, without the interaction with other characters, my interactions with my partners end up reaching a natural conclusion early on and everything we do will seem forced. That leads me to burn out pretty quickly. 

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Feedback, feedback, feedback and interaction! Do you like a plot idea, character concept, hate it? It's all good! Just tell me - we'll interact regarding it.

 

I need to get feedback on plots, story ideas, character ideas and development as well as general interaction by community members. As I've mentioned in other topics, if I have to do all the work, the planning, the asking for threads, coming up with all of the ideas, I will go stale and burnout.

 

Just happened with two sites that I own! I've put them on hiatus for now pending a decision to close them.

 

On the flip side of the coin, I try to do the same. However, the idea and enthusiasm well will run dry if there's never any reciprocation. Hit me with ideas - even bad ones - because maybe I can help make them work.

 

Because, aren't RPGs meant to be interactive?

Edited by Stormwolfe
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Someone somewhere went to sleep and dreamed us all alive.
Dreams get pushed around a lot, and I doubt if we'll survive.
We won't get to wake up, dreams were born to disappear.
And I'm pretty sure that none of us are here.
~ None of Us Here by Jim Stafford ~

 

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My new favouritest author ever wrote a bunch of tips that I have found helpful.

 

Releasing myself from the pressure to post daily has helped me, and has probably resulted in better posts. Probably because I'm not forcing myself to post something when I get home from work at 2 in the morning 😉

 

Making time to read and giving myself space to do anything else also helps to keep me feeling fresh. So long as that doesn't involve a lot of gaming! I find gaming can be inspiring, but it often leaves me in a creative desert.

 

Research! Writing down my interesting discoveries. Writing down random ideas! Writing rather than typing seems to be the trick.

 

Thinking about my characters. Whether that be metanarrative or imagining them in different scenarios also helps. The more I think about my characters and their world, the more they and their world comes to life for me. The more alive it all is, the easier it is to post.

 

Having awesome RP partners also helps 💝

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One thing that works for me is not allowing things to drag out too far because if the same thing lingers with no resolve, boredom begins to kick in. For example, if a character's current arc involves being bitten and their struggle with a change of species then the move into the fallout I don't want to spend months trying to get them changed. If things grow too stagnant, I begin to lose interest and look elsewhere for excitement.

 

With regards to coming up with plots or keeping things interesting, I'm usually triggered by song lyrics or tv plots or something said within a thread. Another example: my character and another one reached out to the fox spirit since they couldn't reach their own which was a lead-in for us (fellow admin and I) to introduce foxes. Foxes are known as tricksters which led us up to con men and an eventual idea they run a carnival and BAM! New species, new plots, lots of exciting drama.

 

I can be inspired by anything and everything and just kind of keeping things moving rather than stagnant helps me avoid burnout.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/19/2018 at 5:12 AM, Uaithne said:

How do you keep RPing from just becoming the same ol' thing over time? How do you keep yourself fascinated and engaged in what is going on around you? How do you think of plots that are going to keep you coming back for more and checking in on your threads throughout the day?

 

(I'm trying to avoid burn out before I reach that place. Not burned out yet, but the fear of getting there has definitely slowed me down.)

I try to find concepts that interest me that are different. I tend to create characters in other people's storylines that are meant to be a background characters but they kind of get pulled to the front. A lot of times, it isn't anything that I particularly write that keeps me coming back to a plot- it's what I write with the people around me. 

 

Have you ever gotten so excited about a roleplay that it consumes all of your idle thoughts? It's like new relationship energy, you want to know more, you want to write more! It's really fun. Some character concepts are easier to hook onto than others. You could have a great story idea but the execution of it is lacking or the pacing is slow. If I get stuck with one idea, I try another. 

 

I try to create characters that are different. Some things have similar undercurrents because I like exploring similar themes in different ways. I try to play a character personality in opposition to my own or based on someone that I don't understand in an attempt to get that new perspective. A lot of times, just writing or talking to the person GMing or just trying to write with someone new might help keep things moving. You have to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zones to get your character to develop. 

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"Being a knight is being a soldier that leads others. You are a soldier. All the noble ideals in the world can't be preserved without someone dying. There are people that need to be protected from those evil motherfuckers running around. You can't walk from this fight. Not after you went for him directly. He will pursue and tear everything down, you made this personal." Lukina twirled the claymore in her hand in the way Creature had showed her, mimicking his stances. "You don't get to drink tea or save kittens. You kill people to keep other people safe." ~ From Ch 1. Episode 10: Recovery and Restoration- of Knights of Kowloon

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I feel like at least once a year now I have to break out this image, but honestly I feel like this is a writers/artists/rpers guide to life in general.

 

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When I feel I'm starting to slip into a slump I check myself real quick. Is it me? Is it the site? Is it someone on the site? Are my plots stale? Have I taken the chance to actually write my things instead of being super admin? When was the last time I even posted that character?

 

I go right into #1 on that pic.

 

Make a list. Free write. New drink.

Get. Out. Of. The. House.

 

Sometimes it isn't the site at all or my plots, but my own mind just needing a reset. This is a very very very very normal thing in life, and burn outs do happen. I've personally not been through such a terrible one I've not ever been able to bounce back, but I do have them.

 

It is important to make sure that all is well with you and your heart, and take a chance to not stress yourself out!

 

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"Everyone has been doing so much soul searching during all of this,

and I'm just over here drawing pics of my character's dicks."

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Sometimes I have to realize that it's people that I write with, if they aren't good for me, steer stories away from them. Find something new and interesting for the characters I do have. I tend to also bounce from chat back to forum. Sometimes even just writing for myself away from things.

 

I also remind myself to step away from the computer and do something more than the mundane. Going to lunch once a week with my daughter, going to the beach or nature walk, things like that sometimes will spark something. Talking to other writers/rpers and non writers/rpers. Sometimes this gives ideas when you least expect that bring things back.

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