Award February's Featured Contributor Is...

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IC News travels slowly in Mizahar. Fortunately there is a constant stream of news from around campfires, from caravan to caravan and from merchants to merchants. Within this forum lies the best of the best of this talk. Also, within this forum, OOC news from the staff and players can be found. This forum requires all posts to be 'approved' by a Founder before they are displayed. So if you post within, be patient. Your post did display - it simply will not show to everyone until approved as actual 'news'. Please keep all Introductions, Status Updates, and various other discussions in their appropriate forums and leave this area for game news!

February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Gossamer on February 1st, 2019, 11:22 pm

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Hello Fellow Mizaharians!


Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Contributor of the Month of February 2019 is Madeira Craven! Maderia has been with Mizahar quite a few years and is one of our top graders as well as a fairly heavy poster and contributor in so many ways. Please join me in congratulating Mads on earning this award. Her Interview is below!


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The Interview!



1. The first question is usually always what brought you to Mizahar and what kept you here? Let’s just get this one out of the way first. Will you talk about this a bit since you’ve been around with Maderia since 2016.

I found Miz through some sort of top rp site list ages ago. You have to understand that I had never played tabletop games, RPGs, or really RPed at all in any form in all my life. I was a bookworm and a closet nerd and all my friends were jocks. Then I found this site, realized this is where my nerdy brethren had been hiding all this time, and never left.

2. Being a Featured Contributor isn’t always about what you do for the site that’s considered volunteerism. It can also be very much about opening your PC up to new players, inviting them into your storylines, and in turn helping them with their storylines. You do this in a very masterful way. Can you talk a bit about how that process works for you and why you are so inclusive to so many people?

That fabulous, masterful process started when I specifically made this character to be completely useless. I made the mistake before of trying to play a competent, self reliant "lone wolf" character and realized very quickly that that was not how I was going to connect with other writers. So I literally sat down with my sister and we built a character that is completely, utterly useless without other people. Zero self sufficiency. Zero offensive capabilities. Built like a sulky wafer biscuit. The works. I wanted to be able to and have a reason to attach her to other people and their stories. And it worked! Madeira as a character wants to interact with everybody, to bolster them to their goals or stand on their shoulders to reach hers.

As for the why, its really as simple as I love plots and stories. As a writer I get stupidly excited whenever new people post in the Registry of the city I'm in. I want to thread with everyone. Every new person brings different ideas and potential to the table and I'm greedy enough to want to sample all of it. I'll pour over CS's and plotnotes and try to think of any interesting ways our characters can be tied together. I daydream about all the adventures we'll go on and all the romance and danger and conflict we'll share... Then I'll play it cool and send them a PM saying hello.


3. It’s very easy to lurk on the sidelines of Miz, post periodically, and not get invested. I am always somewhat stunned when people invest not only significant time but years both in playing and improving the game. Why did you start contributing to Mizahar and what does that investment and involvement bring you?

I started contributing because I loved the stories and wanted to help build more. Either by stacking people with XP and lores so they can do bigger and better things, or by roping them in with me for plots and madness. And I get such a kick out all of it. I love seeing things evolve and change and see big plans get off the ground. And with every year I'm growing more and more attached to the game.


4. Some of the best contributors take lessons from when they first joined Mizahar and apply them to handling the game from then on out. In your early days of Mizahar, what things did you find incredibly intimidating or incredibly easy? Compare and contrast!

Like I mentioned before, the mistake I made with Miz was playing that lone wolf character I enjoy in novels and completely missing the point of the game. The collaborative part of collaborative storytelling is what makes this game so fun. It's easy to do things on your own but not half as fun, as I have learned.

And the most intimidating step by far was actually learning to be collaborative. I had to actually talk to these incredibly talented writers and ask for things and suggest things and oh god what if they think I'm weird and what if I do something wrong?! As it turns out everyone here is just a nerd. And they are even some quite lovely nerds. I've learned not to be shy when I want something and to speak up when someone's writing wows me. Don't be shy to make the first move and ask for threads!


5. You play an amazingly fascinating character that has a rare depth and a whole host of hangups that would take a panel of psychologists years to sort through. I’d like to know if Madeira created herself out of the gate or if you’ve had to develop some of these quirks along the way. What kind of advice would you give a new person if they asked you how to deepen their own characters?


I don't feel qualified to give anyone advice! But what works for me is to really let other PC's change yours. Some people can be married to the concept that birthed their character and call it consistency, but it doesn't have to be like that! Mads started as a meek, obedient little girl who just wanted to be acknowledged, but then she met Jomi and became bold, met Allister and became controlling, and now she's working with Savis and becoming conniving. Every character she's met has changed her in some small way until after a while her original concept became so twisted I had to write a new one. And that's great! That means things are growing and changing and evolving.


6. Do you feel the Weekly or Weekend Challenges add to the productivity of PCs? What other kinds of things can staff or even individual players do to get people writing more and invested more in their plot lines?

Yes! Weekend Challenges are great for productivity! My favorites have been where you're given a storyseed to run with. Like you're to lose something important, or have a random effect take hold of you. These are perfect little jump starts of creativity to get the ball rolling.

Other than that I don't think there is much you can do to get people writing more. That's really on every person themselves to find that energy. But I find what keeps me invested is... Well, lets call it background plots for lack of a better word. I mean its the kind of plot either cooked up for the city, or personal character plot, that is a background presence in every thread, even if it's not specifically mentioned. The kind of thing that just hangs over the heads of whoever is in the city or threading with that character. These things just kind of absorb everyone around it, and gives everything a sense of anticipation and mystery that I love as a writer and keeps me eager to write more with that person/event.

For example, Lumi did a really cool city plot in Lhavit before I was in the city, where this mysterious fog rolled in and wouldn't leave. Suddenly the animals are acting up, and monsters are at the edge of town, and there is a tense feel in the city, and nobody knew why. It was in every thread that season in some form or another, and gave the city a sense of community and continuity, because even if two characters never interacted with each other all season they were still part of the same plot. It was very, very cool.


7. You do a very important thing for Mizahar. You grade. You grade like mad. You grade like no one in the history of Mizahar grades. Why do you do it?

Because I can call it something other than stalking if I grade it at the end. Honestly, I'm reading everything anyway, why not go that extra step and hand out some loot?

8. As a Storyteller here – since there is no doubt that’s what you do on your PC – what sorts of things do you like to do to your PC and to others in threads? Can you give us some examples, maybe listing the worst and best thing you’ve ever done to your PC or others?

Ooo boy. My favorite situations have tended to be the unplanned stuff that happens in threads that go completely off the rails. I play a really ambitious, secretive liar of a woman, so as a character I like to either use or corner or convince other PC's in some way in thread. But my favorite thing to do while telling stories is to put characters in hopeless situations or else pull the rug out from under them. These are a few of my favorites collaborative efforts so far!

Reusing Old Graves-A Spiritist and a barmaid go on a very normal missing person investigation, and by the end are trapped with a murderous ghost and have to convince it they are really just animated meat puppets with no souls

Where Crowns Rest- A Dhani teaches a Spiritist malediction on a skull they stole from a corpse. At the end they fight a mad, delusional Isur Voider who wants to add said Dhani to his collection of "flowers"

Broken Without You- A Kelvic and his bondmate deepen their seriously messed up relationship for all the wrong reasons. The kelvic then thinks post coitus is the perfect time to admit he murdered his bonded's sixteen-year-old kid friend on the ship they're still currently on.

9. Contributing to Mizahar isn’t always about grading and greeting new folks or even donating money. Can you give us some examples of ways people might contribute they may not realize are important and meaningful?

A round of applause for people who plot! Who collaborate with people! Who build things! Build lore and NPC's and locations! The ST's and graders and Founders keep things running smoothly and under control, build us amazing cities and worldwide plots, and deserve all our gratitude till the end of time. But its the little writers on the ground that help flesh out this world and makes us stay. Building relationships between characters or having a group of running mates or a business or whatever else you want to do all helps keep this place interesting!


10. Since you are a contributor, I’d love to know (in case any ST’s are watching who oversee your PC) what your favorite all time “If I could do anything with my PC, I’d….” thing is. Maybe someone sometime would have time to throw something together for you!

Easy. If I could do anything (and by god I'm working on it) I'd claw my little Mads up into a position of ultimate power and turn her into the villain my little baby so clearly wants to be. She has a kind and generous exterior, but she's messed up on the inside, and if I had the opportunity to go full darkside and do something unforgivable in the name of getting what's yours I'd be ecstatic. I don't know what that says about me.


11. This next question is your soap box. Use this space to talk about whatever it is that’s on your mind. People actually read these interviews so know that this section will get noticed.


I was floored when Goss popped into my inbox asking if I wanted to do one of these interviews. I had no idea that what my lazy hermit ass was doing meant anything to anybody else. So thank you! And now that I've got this little public platform this seems like the perfect opportunity to give my partners some love. Even the ones that left (I miss you Ssanya!) and the ones I've barely started with (hi Lani!) you're all the reason I'm coming back for more. You guys are all so amazing and such beautiful writers! Cheers for all the ass we're going to kick this year!

Gossamer

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February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Neologism on February 1st, 2019, 11:39 pm

Congrats Madeira!
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February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Solstice on February 1st, 2019, 11:40 pm


Congrats Maderia! Ever since I joined Mizahar, I've seen you cranking out those grades. I'm super happy you got featured! It's very well deserved. Keep being excellent.
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February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Oresnya Cacao on February 2nd, 2019, 12:07 am

Congrats, Madeira! You super deserved this recognition. Thanks for all the wonderful things you do here and for all the fun plots. :)
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February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Mauriel on February 2nd, 2019, 11:26 am

I had no idea that what my lazy hermit ass was doing meant anything to anybody else.


Don't be silly! Little encouragements in your grades meant the world to me when starting out with Mauri, and stalking your quirky plots or Mads' brilliant job threads where she buds heads with students are among my favorite past-times. :D

Well deserved, and a wonderful interview. It's so cute that you took so much time during it to highlight the contributions of everyone else. ❤️
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February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Haneht on February 2nd, 2019, 11:57 am

Congratulations Mads! Very well deserved. I love reading the little goodie bag comments you leave us when you grade. Youre a brilliant writer too - I've followed Madeira's awesome, morbid tales from the moment I discovered them. Hopefully I'll get a thread with you sometime ^^
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February's Featured Contributor Is...

Postby Luminescence on February 3rd, 2019, 5:57 am

Congratulations, Mads! You have been an absolute delight to have in Lhavit; I love seeing the plots you get other players involved in, and I can't thank you enough for all the grading you do. This is well-deserved. :D
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