[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on May 10th, 2014, 7:10 pm

The Return of the Davenport


Scheduled for Summer 514! I just entered what I hope to be a stable situation, and I've been missing Alea and all her little woodland friends...and slavers and mass murderers and insane mages, etc. I'm going to take the rest of the month to adjust to things in RL and ease back into the swing of things here on Mizahar, but at the turn of the season I plan to be back in character!

I will, sadly, probably not be returning on my other characters, at least for the time being. I just don't have what it takes to maintain that many characters at once. But Alea is my first and my favorite, and I would like to see her story continued, so I will :)
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on July 24th, 2014, 2:36 am

Fail


So... yeah... I thought I was coming back. Turns out my situation, while stable, is rather more...full than I previously anticipated. I won't go on about the details here, unless there is a great outcry of people wanting to know. (Summary: things are going very good.)

I sincerely apologize to those I've left with no explanation (by which I mostly mean Abstract. I'm sorry! I kept thinking, oh I'll get to it this week. Oh, two weeks isn't too bad! Oh, has it really been a month already?)

I DO want to return to Mizahar someday and resume Alea's story. It's just that, right now my life has other priorities. (It was easier to commit time to Mizahar when I lacked any other social life, ya know? ;) )

I'll still be checking the boards every so often, and I'll definitely respond to any PM.
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Wrenmae on July 24th, 2014, 3:25 pm

Hey Alea!

No worries. Get your stuff sorted out. We'll look forward to seeing you again when you're ready to come back :)
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This PC has the Blight gnosis. As such, you as a player need to be aware of what that consists of. Wrenmae has an invisible aura that amplifies sickness and disease. Wounds may become infected, small sneezes may become coughing, and a slight fever may become more serious. A nuit's body will also break down faster in the presence of the Blight. These effects may not be immediate, but within the few days following your encounter, the symptoms will manifest. Some sooner than others. I cannot control your character, so creativity will be left up to you. Best wishes and stay healthy!

Special shoutout to Fallon for my new CS
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on May 25th, 2015, 3:05 pm

Wow, it seems I only post on this to tell people I'm leaving, huh?

So I've been Alea for a few years now, and looking at her thread list, it's easy to see a pattern. It seems like every summer, I virtually (or actually) disappear. I'm not sure what that is, maybe some subconscious urge telling me to go out and enjoy the sunshine, but I definitely am way more active in winter than summer.

Well, my friends, that time has come again. My interest in mizahar is waning. It has gotten to the point where I feel like giving up on mizahar forever, but then again, I can't predict the future. If I'm back next winter, we'll all know it was just another phase.

As for the people I'm still threading with: I will do my best to finish threads with you: especially those of you who are in a tight spot (I'm looking at you, drowning man). But I will not be starting any new threads for Alea until further notice. (As for my alt... we'll have to see.)
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on August 6th, 2015, 2:01 am

I was going to post this in response to something Jen said in her scrap, but it turned pretty soap-boxy, so I decided to find my own soap box :D

What she said about how reviewing is a different kind of writing reminded me of a distinction I noticed some time ago. In a post, or any kind of telling of a story really, it's the difference between reporting what happened, and pulling the writer/reader/character into the moment, almost feeling it as it's happening. Veterans of the writing trade may know this as the distinction between 'tell' and 'show' respectively.

According to conventional wisdom and English teachers, you're supposed to always "show don't tell". (These are the same people who tell you never to use passive voice.) But after a while, that kind of writing can be exhausting. It requires a significant amount of emotional energy. Sometimes this energy flows more easily, if the writer's in the right mood, or their empathy happens to be in alignment with the character (I suspect this is what people refer to when they claim they have the "muse").

But the problem with the "show" kind of writing, at least when taken to extremes, is one of pacing. If you have to listen to a character's every moment in excruciating detail, the story would never go anywhere. You need "tell" writing sometimes to move the plot forward. (Ex. "Then the dinner party broke up and everyone went home." The alternative is listing everyone's departure individually, as well as describing the various emotional ramifications and subtle social dynamics of each.)

You also need it to deal with minor NPCs, because there's a limit to how many characters a writer can actualize in her brain at once. It's fairly simple to 'tell' in a general sense what a character might say, but once you start trying to come up with actual dialogue, suddenly you're 'in the moment', and you have to craft a voice and possibly an entire personality for this person. There are so many subtle variations to how a person might say a thing, and sometimes, for minor one-note characters, it's just not worth putting that much life into them.

The other note I wanted to leave here was some advice for new writers, or people who struggle to write. "Tell" writing is super useful, especially when you feel your muse has fled (see my writer's block post for more insights). It might not be what people call "good" writing, but trust me, when you're posting buddy is waiting for a post that you just aren't inspired for, it's a lost easier to just report in a possibly boring way what your character is doing, than to try to summon the special mind state that brings you into the moment. Much as I'm sure your buddy loves to read your delightful prose, what they are really looking for is something that they can respond to, because they want to write good stuff too! Also, if you're lucky, sometimes that 'tell' writing is just what you need to get you over the hump of a particularly uninteresting scene, and once you're through, floodgates of the exceptionally good writing might open back up, the "muse" returning full force. But you have to get there first ;)
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Alea Davenport
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Gossamer on August 6th, 2015, 1:17 pm

This is a very insightful scrap. And your right. For me personally I love writing but I have been in a emotionally vulnerable place a lot lately. Reviews are easy and rewarding (free stuff) and that's telling by your standards. Showing aka writing for Miz is harder and the payoff dubious at best. I'm glad you wrote this. From my perspective its insightful.
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Orin Fenix on October 1st, 2015, 1:07 am

I like your scrapbook. I like it a lot.

Also the whole post about writer's block was great. It reminded me of a quote I read in a book once. I forget the exact words but the main character was a writer, and she was talking about her work and said something along the lines of "I don't believe in writer's block. None of my peers do. We can't afford to, because we've got bills to pay." Which was a pretty amazing statement for me to read considering that it's a writer calling people out for their crap.

Anyway. I might sit on your couch at points.
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on October 7th, 2015, 2:58 am

Brainstorm that sort of coalesces a philosophy nugget I've been working on. It's not very fleshed out, but I'm putting it here for posterity, or whoever cares.

So if a world is made of stories, then if the story stops getting told, then the world stops existing. And stories can't live without conflict, ergo conflict is the driving force that runs the universe. (Sidenote: all the people who want world peace are bascially asking to stop existing.) The idea of conflict being involved in the fundamental nature of the universe is corroborated in Newton's second law of thermodynamics: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Sounds like conflict to me. (Possibly conflict and energy are analogous? Conservation of conflict?)
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Alea Davenport
Wielder of Obfuscated and Circuitous Logic
 
Posts: 980
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Joined roleplay: October 28th, 2011, 10:54 pm
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