Story Related OOC

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Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:14 pm

Since the story's up and running, we might as well get our story discussion up and running as well. Sometimes it'll be better to coordinate via PM's, but I'd urge folks to keep planning public as much as possible, since doing so can create opportunities for people to insert their characters who aren't involved presently.

Now on to the topic at hand:

I'm going to assume that Bloomer is a "village bicycle" kind of character that any of us can control, so long as we stick with the persona Ethan established. I figure Mr. Pearse will take the bait - maybe he's heard about this Ethan fellow before - so he might take a ride out to the outskirts to investigate. Although Bloomer is the impetus, "running him out of town" probably won't be Pearse's goal. Samuel, since you're part of the town authorities and Pearse already knows you, I'll leave the invitation open to join the little party. Anyone should feel free to describe the ride out there, if we get that far.

The ball is very clearly in my court, and while I can't promise to have a post up tonight, I should have one up by the end of tomorrow.

Other folks: get involved! Not everyone has to be part of this little event; some of you can start up a new scene in a different part of Bethlehem entirely.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Jessamine Blake on Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:26 am

Should those of us starting entirely new scenes be posting on the same thread as the rest? I only ask because it's not looking like there's a logical place for my character to come into this little venture, and it would probably be really confusing to have several scenes going on at once in the same thread. I defer to the mods' judgment on that, though.

I foresee at least one or two of these "village bicycles" coming from me, seeing as I run a house constantly full of whores and clients. Control is up for grabs, as Mr. Pearse said. I only ask that no one get too carried away with the working girls.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:08 pm

I'd keep it in the same thread. If we want to have our people run into each other later (or sooner...), the barrier will be a lot lower if we don't have to coordinate across threads. There aren't quite enough of us to require two threads yet, anyway. Besides, whatever trouble we start out at Ethan's will almost invariably make its way back toward town.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Ethan Ramey on Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:26 pm

I'm not so sure. I just read Claude's first post and, interesting as it is. it jars the narrative a bit to move from a sequence of events to something entirely unrelated. I'm tempted to say that "Meanwhile-in-so-and-so-land" posts should be kept to another thread until the stories tie together. That may just be me, but I was on my way to write up a little journey post for our troupe, leading to my actual character, but it feels awkward trying to follow up that last post.

Not to say I didn't enjoy the post; I'm just looking at the narrative's best interest.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:15 pm

My reason for wanting to keep it in one thread isn't because I think one thread is a particularly good idea, but rather because I have some pretty terrible memories of trying to coordinate across multiple threads in the old ToP days. If you guys want a blast from the past:

http://phantomile.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=RPG

In addition to the core story threads, there were several "second-tier" threads filled with members who joined the site and quickly ceased to be active again. Admittedly, these people weren't the best writers, but I've always felt that a big reason for their lack of quality and rapid departure was that they never felt they were important to the narrative. They were auxiliary characters pursuing auxiliary aims - their achievements were irrelevant, and their absences were never really felt.

There is a real danger of having this "main" and "auxiliary" mindset when multiple threads are concerned. It's incredibly discouraging, and can be the quick death of an otherwise great story. All this says nothing of the problems of linking up across threads, which can be both frustrating and incredibly contrived. That's why I like one thread for our group size; it's easy to jump around, and it reminds people that we're all in this together.

Of course, if Jessamine/Claude/Allie are sitting around waxing about life while Pearse/Seth/Ethan/Samuel are in the middle of some crazy Mexican stand-off, having one thread could become disconcerting. What do you guys think, particularly you three who aren't currently part of this thread's collision course?
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Jessamine Blake on Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:06 pm

One possible solution to the auxiliary/main mindset could be the fact that we are such a small group, and are all at least fairly competent (one might even say "hand-picked for our competence") writers. Also, two threads are a lot different from, say, eight threads. The separation isn't in the interest of breaking in new members--or creating space for said members when there is none. The only justifiable reason I can see for separated threads is a major change in story direction (aka the end of a chapter), or to make the story itself more multi-dimensional while keeping it coherent.

Also, I think that the fact that we're just beginning this venture makes it less likely that a second thread would automatically become "auxiliary." More likely, a full story could develop on both threads, and these could converge, trade some members, or go off on their respective second chapters separately--or all of the above. It doesn't necessarily have to be the same as, say, coinciding episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, where a character is conspicuously absent from one while being conspicuously guest-starring in the other. It's really just a matter of careful planning, crafting, coordinating, and other teamwork buzz-words. Especially if we continue our thus-far very open and helpful OOC story discussions, I don't think the problems Mr. Pearse foresees will be as likely to come to pass.

I'm just worried that, should we attempt to maintain several different narratives on the same thread, the result will be confusing at best, incoherent and unreadable at worst.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:33 pm

I have to agree with Ethan and Jessamine. If all of us try to post in one thread, the overlapping storyline and goals for each poster might make the thread a bit confusing. For the current thread, the members who have posted thus far seem to all have a common goal: Find Ethan Ramey. We might benefit from having a second thread for characters like Jessamine, Allie, and even Claude assuming they want to pursue a different goal initially. As Jessamine pointed out, we're all fairly competent writers and unlike our days back on ToP, as fun as those days were, we've managed to weed out the old members who had difficulty posting regularly so I don't see the once common threat of comatose threads being a problem here. Not to mention we don't all have to stay in two threads and as time goes on, each member can eventually work their way into a different thread with a fresh new batch of writers.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:52 pm

Quick update: I just talked to Ethan, and we figured that the "Big Trouble" in Little Bethlehem might actually happen while we're gone on this expedition. Since Claude's current location is ambigious (but I assume he's still in the town), he may be in the best position to describe what happens. Or if Claude wants to be somewhere else, none of us have to describe it and the Pearse group may just return to find that some calamity has happened.

Meanwhile, Jessamine and/or Allie and/or Claude can start their story in another town and thread, which the Pearse group may wander into after not too long.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:50 pm

So I'm intrigued by the armed group that's just set out from Santa Anna. Jessamine, do you have any preference on where we should meet them? Should they interrupt our Ramey time, or should they somehow mess up Little Bethlehem while we're gone? I'm also not entirely sure on time right now (we've spent the past two days on the road, Santa Anna's group set out "last night"), but I don't think we need an exact chronology. Anyway, the raiding party is an awesome twist; just let us know what you think is the best place to incorporate it.

Seth or Samuel, you should (if it's okay with Ethan) feel free to be suspiscious of Bloomer. I figured Pearse's omnipresent ears might alert him to the situation, but I also realized my post was already pretty long, so this is a good opening for someone else. And Ethan, I want you to do the roll out for your character, so I only punted the story a little bit forward. Mostly, I was concerned with filling in parts of the journey, and I think I did a good job there.

EDIT: I'd just like to point out that we have produced roughly 9,100 words in our first week, and that's without everyone having even started posting yet. Very cool stuff! (by the way I took the time to copy-paste our story posts, you can really tell I was in need of a study break..)
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Ethan Ramey on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:44 pm

As for Bloomer, he's a small man and (as small men typically do) he used the last part of the last post to brag loudly about his plans.

Now, I know most movies/stories/television shows tend to be unrealistic when the evil villain spills the beans to to the hero in time for the plot to be foiled, and I hope that is one of many traditions that we break in this RP. However, Bloomer is such a worthless little shit that it's in his character to do so.

Point being, I've given anyone an easy excuse to find out about his plot. Being a town bicycle toon, I don't mind if anyone uses him (or even confronts him) concerning what's going on, but I only request that no one kills him off without consulting me first.

Also, on that topic, I had a question to ask everyone. We're all good writers here, but if someone invents a town bicycle character and later doesn't like the use of that character by others, what steps should we take? I for one wouldn't be upset if I used someone else's characters and they requested to rewrite the dialogue (while still keeping the gist, of course), but we should probably decide on that before it ever becomes an issue.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Ethan Ramey on Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:56 pm

UPDATE: I'm waiting a few days to give others a chance to fill in the travel gap before I roll-out Ethan Ramey and whatever confrontation that comes.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:01 am

I'm really getting into this now; I'm definitely checking the site maaany more times a day than it warrants right now. What I'm basically saying is post, guys. We're writing an awesome story here...I want to see others' contributions (right now, particularly Seth and Samuel...maybe some interaction between those characters, or some Bloomer intrigue?).

As far as dialogue goes, I think it's perfectly fair for the creator of a village bicycle to request rewriting the dialogue, although making sure not to nitpick too much in the process. Also, if you invent dialogue for someone else's main character, either confer with them or write it yourself while being ready to edit it later. Don't feel the pressing need to confer ahead of time if it's just a sentence or so; that can easily be edited in.

And Ethan, def be ready to hit any of us up if you want to stick any conversations in your next post. FYI, in my experience the best way to sort those issues out is through chat.


Last edited by Mr. Pearse on Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:59 am

I hope to have a post up by sometime tomorrow night or the following morning. This one probably won't be quite as long as my first one but will hopefully give me the chance to interact with a few more characters like Samuel and Pearse. Jessamine's post also gave me an idea for something I'd like to do with Moira back in Little Bethlehem so I might include that as an extra part as well. By all means though, if I don't have something up in the time specified, feel free to move the story forward Ethan.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Ethan Ramey on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:00 pm

Loved Claude's last post, but I just wanted to point out one little thing: very near the end of the post, you call it New Bethlehem, but it's supposed to be Little Bethlehem. Just a little detail that a quick edit can fix.

But seriously, good post.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Claude Delacroix on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:20 pm

Crap. I knew I'd forgotten to fix something.... Thanks for the love, though!
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Ethan Ramey on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:36 pm

No problem! And when reading over my post, let me know when you find a mistake. I re-read it a few times and caught a little error once (I think I used "and" instead of "had"), but I haven't for the life of me been able to find it since. Once again, it's a very small thing, but it's bugging me now that I know it's there.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:39 pm

You just raised the bar, Claude. Very awesome.

So everyone knows, the Pearse connection is not something you should immediately pick up on. Claude has a faint idea, but that's because of his 6th Sense Peyote Adventures. In fact, the destruction of Little Bethlehem could become a good driver for the immediate story: other characters will want to figure out what happened to the town (and many have a very personal investment in that regard), while Mr. Pearse will get very serious about tracking down more objects of high technology/magic, having seen the power they hold.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Claude Delacroix on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:42 pm

Sixth Sense Peyote Adventures. That sounds like a parody of a Muse song, sir. And again, thanks for the kindness.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Allie Johnson on Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:03 pm

Okay, okay. I think I'll try and quit hovering just around the edges of the site like a complete creeper. I'll put my first post in Jessamine's thread, and if it's all good, then I may even end up with her in the brothel.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:07 pm

Awesome pace; let's keep it coming! Samuel, I'm particularly interested in getting some more Kircher action.

A thought: what if there's something special about the after image that the blast leaves? Although it doesn't interfere with normal vision, what if grants some sort of extra perception, in the same way that (even with eyes closed) a brightly burning candle remains in your vision long after you've turned away? Maybe this after image manifests more strongly in those with stronger propensities, of either the magic or tech variety (i.e. our characters).

For instance, since Pearse's left eye barely sees at all, I was thinking that this eye may become permanently attuned to what will henceforth be referred to as the Image. For tech-attuned characters, this Image might help guide them as they create and use pieces of high technology. For those with magical affinity, the Image might assist them in (or be integral to) the use of their powers.

It's hard to describe, but I hope you see the gist. This isn't something you need to describe immediately - for some, the Image might manifest gradually, so it may not be distinguishable for awhile. Still, this could be an interesting story device. It's tinged with the otherworldly, provides a common thread between all our characters (the light might sweep into Santa Anna as well), and helps explain the series of changes that the Territory will gradually undergo.

And hell, if we say that if some mysterious artifact (the cannon) "unlocked" these powers in our characters, a few characters may be interested in tracking down more objects, despite the potential consequences (like the death of a town). This could apply particularly strongly to Mr. Pearse...

The potential of the Image (and manifesting powers) could be based on strong natural affinity for one path or the other. For instance, Claude may get a big injection of power since he was at the epicenter, while Pearse (because he has such a strong leaning toward magic, and because he's a plot character and I love being overpowered) might get a similar injection. Meanwhile, someone who has a weaker leaning toward one side or the other would get a more moderate, but still impressive boost.

Let me know what you think. I promise, none of this was thought up beforehand. Cool

Edit: Sounds good to me, Allie, and fyi there are a surprising number of ways to take that post.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Allie Johnson on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:06 am

Pearse there aren't that many way's to take it, you're just dirty-minded. :p shame on you.

Alright I like the idea of an Image. or whatever boost of affinity that happens causing this new thing to show up in people. Their touch of madness turned into something useful. So how far behind (time-wise) is the Santa Ana thread from the Bethlehem thread?
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Jessamine Blake on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:30 am

My post on the Santa Ana thread occurs during the second night of the journey toward Ethan Ramey's home. By this time, of course, all those women will have been holed up, going crazy with worry and fear, for a good while. This might be useful in bringing you in and allowing all the nice ladies in the whorehouse to get a dose of that bright light from Little Bethlehem (is anyone else getting some heavy Messianic metaphors from that?).

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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:46 am

Our little site needs some love. I'll try to have a post up by the end of the evening (read: after midnight) advancing our combat action a bit and creating an opening for Ethan or someone else to bring it home. However, a lot of other people can be posting right now as well. Seth's still in the process of riding back to New Bethlehem with Moira's fate still unknown, Claude is at the very epicenter of a Brave New World, and Miss Allie Johnson - if she still wants in the story - can find any number of good opportunities to link up with Jessamine. This will also give poor Jessamine something to do.

And a word on combat (this isn't strictly for Mr. Kircher): if you're going to kill a copious amount of bad guys, take the time to describe it. Even if your character is the ultimate badass, describing one exchange in a meaningful, visceral way is a lot stronger than counting three or five or twenty kills like you're tallying an Excel spreadsheet. Furthermore, there's a reason why combat from this period is typically characterized by cowboys and Indians riding around in circles and yelling and shooting at each other while engulfed in a thick cloud of smoke. People missed. A lot. Not only was it incredibly challenging to land a shot from horseback (particularly if your target was moving as well), but era weaponry could also be notoriously inaccurate at any sort of range. This isn't SUPER EXPLOSM ToP; let's remember that.

That said, Mr. Pearse may very well not miss in his next post, but this will also be kind of a big deal, just like living through a point-blank rifle shot. He also won't take out more than three men, and probably less.

I think my big frustration here is that - should we descend into this invincible, bullet-time combat mentality - we'll lose the notion of mortality (and tenuous existence therein) that defines the American West. In the vein of Hobbes, Western life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Laws were few and far between, and death often came far faster than those early settlers anticipated. To live in the Territory was to be consigned to die in the Territory. Remember that, and - particularly if you appreciate the period - try to reflect that sentiment in your writing.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Seth Ruggeri on Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:46 am

I'm terribly sorry that my post is so late. Midterms and several projects consumed much of my time the past week but now that they're out of the way, I can finally post more frequently. Now that I've posted what happens to Moira, Claude is free to interact with the now once again unconscious character in his next post. I'll try to get a quick post up describing Seth's ride back to New Bethlehem sometime tomorrow evening. For now, hope you enjoy my most recent post and I look forward to writing more soon.
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Re: Story Related OOC

Post  Mr. Pearse on Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:55 am

I've started work on a big post to get us into Jessamine's thread, and it should be done tomorrow/today. Good job, Mr. Ruggeri.
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