It’s been a long road, gettin’ from there to here…

This article is written by David Whale from Starbase 118. David also blogs at whalewriter.com.

Plotting the course. The importance of character arcs

Yeah, I did it. I invoked the much-maligned theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise.

Hopefully you’re still reading, because I used that line for a reason and that reason was not just to annoy you or to get that song running through your head. Which I expect it is. My real reason for using that line is that I would like to have a chat with you about character arcs and how important they are in story-based role-playing.

Some of you may have heard me discuss character development on the UFOP Starbase 118 podcast in November, so you’ll already be familiar with a few of the points I’m going to make here. Continue reading It’s been a long road, gettin’ from there to here…

Mary Sue or not Mary Sue

Mary sue characters discussing their eyes change colorMary Sue; the name is immortalized in a song and in literature, but they aren’t the same person. So, my friend, you want to write a book, short story, or merely participate in a play by E-mail online roleplaying game and need a character. This article is going to tell you how to avoid a trap even the best authors can fall into called Mary Sue.

It can be seen by some as a wish fulfilment of the author to live vicariously through the character while having no noticeable flaws or having flaws that don’t make sense, either physically or mentally. Continue reading Mary Sue or not Mary Sue

Time distortions in roleplaying – Do your story threads match up?

Distorted clock

One of the most complicated aspects of writing for a roleplay online is one that I’ve actually never heard many people discuss, although every game and group probably has their own interpretation of how it should be handled. What I’m talking about is time.

Time is more or less constant (unless you ask an astrophysicist of course). And often days or weeks can go past between writing your roleplay post, and you often don’t want time to have elapsed since your last post, which means time goes slower in your roleplay. Continue reading Time distortions in roleplaying – Do your story threads match up?

Impressing the Moderators – Character creation 101

DavidThis article was written by Andy from Blue Dwarf, a roleplaying game I’ve been running for over 11 years. Andy’s been a moderator for many of those years, and knows what to look for in the application of a new character. On OngoingWorlds, creating a character is the 1st part of an application to join a game, so it’s got to get the Moderators attention, and be well written. It’s the only way you can prove your skills as a writer and if it’s not up to the Moderator’s expectations, they might not allow you to join the game.

 

lego men
Stand out from the crowd

As a moderator of a sim on Ongoing Worlds, I tend to see a lot of character submissions. It’s always great to see interest in a sim, for people to have a genuine desire to join the story that you’ve been building for several months or even years, which makes the disappointment of a poor character submission so frustrating. The character that you submit to the moderators is what the first impression they will have of you will be made up of. They don’t know anything about you, other than what you put in the form, so it’s important that you get it right.

Imagine, that you’re applying for that job you really want. Would you send a CV that’s lazy, and unimaginative? Of course not, so why do it here?

The profile that you compile will tell moderators what you’re going to be like as a contributing member of their group. Moderators care about their sims, and are usually protective toward them and will only want to accept members who will create interesting posts, and they’re not going to be convinced of that if you send them a profile that doesn’t even live up to that expectation. Continue reading Impressing the Moderators – Character creation 101

Subjective point of view in your stories

tree at night

As First Person Fortnight starts tomorrow, I’ve been posting some tips on writing in first person perspective. I’ve already posted some benefits of first person over on RPG-D, but wanted to get more into the details in this article.

Everyone knows that first person is from the point of view of a character. One of the main advantages of this is the freedom of telling the story how you want to tell it (or more accurately, how your character wants to tell it). Continue reading Subjective point of view in your stories

Giving yourself ideas (and remembering them!)

thoughts in head

I expose myself to a lot of really good stories. I watch films, read books, read comics, watch TV series, listen to audio books, read the news, and hear a lot of really good ideas for stories in my roleplaying game.

Copying isn’t bad

Taking a story that you’ve heard before and using it isn’t bad. There are many ways you can take an idea and use it as a story which is totally legitimate, and might be totally different to the original story that inspired you. Most works of fiction are inspired by other works of fiction. Taking a good idea that you’ve heard and applying it to your own characters might create a very different story.

There are many interesting background stories or settings that you could use, and adding your own characters into the story will create a very different story, and could have a dramatically different outcome.

Continue reading Giving yourself ideas (and remembering them!)