>>190413>What is your take on this?
Well, coming from years of chat LARP experience, I can say this with certainty: communication is a very critical part of the co-op experience. You or I can conjure up the greatest concept in the known universe, but that means little to nothing if everyone's stepping on each other's toes all the time, conflicting headcanons and visions pulling it apart left and right.
In chatrooms, that's an easy thing to solve, since the participants can just talk freely by, say, enclosing their out-of-story lines in brackets: "((yo dawg i wanna have anon have a dark and moody past and sheit))"
. Since it's done line-by-line and is a casual pastime, that's perfectly acceptable. On 6k character limit imageboards with public exposure? Not so easy to solve. Things get spoiled for the readers extremely easily that way, and they'll wind up losing interest. I mean, how could they not?
Of course, that's assuming it has to be a full-on co-op story that's preplanned, edited and everything. If the focus is on giving the co-op partners an experience just as much as you would the readers - and that was what I was assuming last thread - then this really just comes down to the rule of "what you don't write is just as important as what you do"
. Leave details unexplained or unexpanded upon, and only expand on them if it either becomes pertinent, or if another person decides it's pertinent. Make it a kind of tennis match, with a goal to shoot for. Your setup for the last thread set the goal quite well.
Most of my experience revolves around acting as a kind of GM for a given story and a universe: writing the world and some smaller characters, villains, etc., while the co-op partners drop their own characters into it to do the things required of the story. It takes a load off of the co-op buddies, having them focus in on their own characters, but also makes it critical to have a good GM who can juggle all of that. Like me. ^:)
In a sense, it's like a far more involved CYOA that way. But I don't think it's the kind of experience you or any other takers are really going for, so the 'tennis match' method I described above is probably going to be the way the game's played. And hey, I'm down either way. Not like /vx/ is full of activity these days!
But moving on to your other points;>Have you some writing advice too offer this thread?
Boy you better believe it. Pure personal experience, coming through.
First off, scope creep is the devil
You've got a good idea going, then you decide in the middle of doing it that this side thing would be really cool to do, and then you throw in another side thing, and ooh, this character has this extra angle to explore, and this one city is super detailed and amazing, and there's this awesome lore behind the mermaid pirates, and oh shit, the plot skeleton is as long as a short novel now
You have to rein in any desires to expand upon your story. If you go willy-nilly with it, you wind up with one of those 2M word Fimfic abominations that nobody will want to even start to read. And that's assuming you can muster the will to sort through and keep writing through the minefield of corners you just set yourself!Stay the course of your original plan
. If you do want to shift gears, do it sparingly and only if you're convinced beyond a doubt that it would improve the story, and not merely sound cool to include.
Second, character overload is the devil's wife
Same principle as above, where you have this one character who's super amazing, and then you decide to add his best friend into it, and then that one character's sister gets involved, and then you get to the sister's husband who can aid the protagonists, and then you meet this dwarf in this town who tags along and brings his two best friends, and then the elf and his wife tag along, and… uhh, wait, who's who again
Forget trying to remember the cast that was just poofed into existence: having that many characters is just begging for railroading, flanderization, and devaluing the shortlist of characters you already had. That's to say nothing of the logistical nightmare that is scripting their reactions to in-world events!Keep your character list short.
Even in long stories, there's little reason to exceed a dozen characters. To put it into perspective, the entirety of Lord of the Rings has only 9 main characters and 14 important side characters
Third, have a concrete plan after a certain length is reached
Some writers write by the seat of their pants, others meticulously plan everything out. Either way is good for shorter stories, and you can even get away with just a plot skeleton for medium length stories, but when it reaches a certain length, you will absolutely require a plan of action to follow. Nobody can remember the details of their own setting and characters that well for that long.
For those seat-of-the-pants writers, they would benefit from a little notepad worth of key details and events, and an actual plot skeleton to go off of. For meticulous planners, you need to upgrade the skeleton to a full-on synopsis. The point here is to maintain consistency over long periods of constant writing. If you don't maintain a personal quick reference like this, you'll tread over your own character's accomplishments and traits, and wind up contradicting your own plot points, among other things. And trust me, even if you don't pick up on them, your readers will. And by the time they notice, you'll already be committed to it and in no position to alter course. There's no winning at that stage.
Other than that, nothing that https://pastebin.com/V1ujiyJt
can't explain in far better terms than I can.And holy shit where did this wall of text come from? I think that's all from me tonight.