[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

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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.

[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Taylani on September 29th, 2013, 5:17 am

Ok so I decided that I am going to start me a scrapbook. Why, you may ask? Because I am the type of person that will talk to a street lamp. Yup, I have a whole lot of opinions, and I like to have an outlet. The thing with me is, I don't mind if you have differing opinions, and I do not mind if people wish to discuss their opinions that different then mine. In fact, its a rare enjoyment of mine if I can find someone with the skills to debate without getting ...personally attached to their side of the argument. If a debate is to be had and both parties are respectful at the beginning AND the end, then I am in seventh heaven. So, there's really only the site rules in this scrapbook. If you disagree with something I say feel free to speak up. Either here, or even in PM if you feel like it. Not that I am apt to make any rants...ok even I can not say that without laughing. Me not rant? Might as well ask the sun not to shine.

Anywho enough with that, on to introductions.

Name: Jen, though ..since apparently Gossamer's name is Jen I also go by Jay a lot ;)
Age: ... um..old enough to not want to really answer that. Lets just say that I have children and a step daughter who has children.

I am married, I hold a Masters in Secondary Education. I am qualified to teach High School Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and I hope to take the test to qualify me to teach Chemistry and US History. At the moment I stay at home to raise my kids, but next year my youngest will be in school so I will be going back to work. I intend on getting my Doctorate in education.

I completely and utterly stink at Math (I must use calculators for Chemistry. I understand the equations, I am bad with functions) and am ..not so great at English.

I am a nature lover, my favorite flower is Tulip as you might be able to tell by the frame pic I chose for this..I also suck at all things technical. My best hobby is writing, have been writing since as long as I can remember. As a teenager I would beg my mom to drag out her type writer (yes I am that old, shut it) and I would happily spend hours pecking away at little novelettes.

I am published...if you consider a poem I wrote in 1992 when I was in 7th grade got published in a literary magazine that my English teacher submitted for me ;) Otherwise all my writing has been for personal enjoyment.

I have 5 kids, 4 biological one step. 22, 14, 9, 8, and 4, the 22 year old has two kids who call me Memaw and are 4 and 1. and I think that is all there is really of interest to know about me.

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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Character Creation Weakness

Postby Taylani on September 30th, 2013, 7:34 pm

So I have been plotting. Yes plotting, I love plotting and while 99% of my plot lines will not come to fruition I do love the creation of the possibilities. This got me to thinking about my characters, which then led to me thinking of character creation. Yes I have ADHD of ideas..I admit that, I also admit that I am very unlikely to try and change that.

So try and follow my thought patterns here, if you want to bother that is lol. Character creation is a very important part of RP. Or any writing. Characters will be what drives the story. You can have the most awesome plot, the best setting, and the most amazing climax...if you have a flat boxed in character then your whole story will fall flat. So I was thinking what makes a character flat and boxed? A character that if you want to stay inline with said character concept an history really limits your possibilities?

The number one reason characters become boxed and flat is because one tries to flesh out their history TOO much. Characters that have had dramatic tragic events before they are even played, well they are not really able to grow so much. We discussed this a little on Edreina's scrapbook about how we enjoy playing characters who's history did not include death, destruction and drama. I am delving a little deeper here because she really got me thinking with that post of hers..and well I didn't want to completely hijack her Scrapbook lol.

Characters that have huge drama in their lives, well it effects them and it makes them who they are. Characters that have not had drama in their history written out have not really been "made" who they are. They can still learn life lessons, good or bad.

Now some might say having a vanilla character history can also pigeon hole, but I disagree. Example of Taylani. I have been plotting a dramatic escape attempt..mainly because I want to see how that dynamic would affect Fallan's plans and his effort woo Taylani. Would he ICly decide to forget about wooing her? The possibilities really are beside the point. The problem with that is, well Taylani is not stupid. She is also not a crack-swordsman that can kill 7 grassbeaks in one blow. She knows that if she leaves the tent city then she will in all probability die a horrible death (she Icly's has no clue about webbing or the fact that ..well she won't get far without someone stopping her. Particularly if she is carrying a Drykas child.) So the problem, is Taylani will need a reason to be suicidal. Haven't quite worked out what could happen that would cause Taylani to decide that she might as well try to escape or Die trying. But the sheer fact that there COULD be something that could drive her to that.

If Taylani had had a history of being a secret super spy (I know I know, just saying if. Not saying is or would or even would be appropriate for a new character, i don't think it would just using as an example) then she could in theory decide to run off, because she would have better odds of escaping the dangers that lurked. However, she would NOT have the opportunity to do many things because I can't imagine a hardened super spy putting themselves in such a vulnerable position as making deals with a Drykas. Nor would they have the options that I do now. Tay could go all bitter angry and violenty (to the detriment of herself sure), or she can fall in love and stay in Endrykas. Or she could be somewhere in between. But because I am not pigeon holed in my reactions thanks to previous past history my character has that freedom.

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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Tenses!!

Postby Taylani on October 5th, 2013, 5:49 pm

Ok so I want to rant just a little bit. A little back story for this rant, in Kentucky where I did most of my grade school attendance ( I moved to Louisiana in my Senior year and lived their for a very long time before moving to Oklahoma but I digress), there was enacted a legislation called Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA).

I will tell you as someone who holds degrees in education this was the worst thing to ever happen to people who are in the education system. It threw out the traditional grading systems for English and requirements and put in a portfolio system. We got grades that were numbers, 1-5. 1-2 being considered novice, 3 satisfactory, 4 proficient, and 5 excellent. The requirement was that upon graduation from HS we have a portfolio that included a cover letter, a table of content, a letter to the editor, a play write, a poem, a short story, a research paper and a bibliography. We had to score at least a 3 or higher to earn our diploma. So what did that mean for the lovely students? The teachers scrambled to start cranking out these pieces so that the students can spend the years in HS proof-reading and re-writing. My English class in 7th grade was the very last class I took that taught any sort of grammar.

I excelled in creative writing, (big shock that someone who enjoys RP excels in creative writing right?) and I took AP English 1-4 based solely on my reading comprehension and my ability to go through the character creation, plot planning, climax proving, and ending of stories and other fictional pieces. I thought I was in 7th heaven because in High School when Grammar was not a large factor in the curriculum I didn't realize just what I was missing. Fast forward to my Senior year and my Mom remarries after my father passed away and I moved to Louisiana.

Based solely on my transcripts they placed me in AP English 4 class there. BIG difference, as this school was grammar heavy. I struggled, and struggled hard. I knew what a noun, pro-noun, adverb, and adjective was but not much else. In fact when they did Sentence Skeletons I was "What???". I passed that class with my lowest grade ever, a C. I think I passed only because my final paper was a research paper of which I totally BS'd a paper comparing William Shakespear's life to that of Julius Caesar, yeah it was garbage. Totally made up, a work of complete fiction. I really feel like I should find my AP English 4 teacher and apologize. I did what I did because I was frustrated and completely discouraged by my sudden "illiterate" feeling I got because I had no clue when it came to grammar.

Why does any of this matter? Because I am trying to improve my writing, not just my creative skills but the mechanics too. So I am taking constructive criticism to heart and trying to apply it. But OH MY GOODNESS!! Tenses are driving me insane. The way I decide to phrase sentences is based largely on how does it feel . Does the sentence feel right, does it feel like it flows, does it convey the feelings that I want. But I am also trying to correct my grammar, and one of the constructive criticism I have received is I muddle past and present. I was aware I did it at times, but mostly it is because sometimes Was sounds better then Are, or Can sounds better then Could.

Now that I am actively trying to improve my grammar I am writing posts and my posts are coming out all stilted and disjointed when I read them, but the tenses (I think) are now correct. So I am left with a decision, make the tenses be correct, or write so that the sentence feels correct. I am well aware that if the tenses are correct then most likely it will be feeling correct for readers, and that when they are wrong they probably don't "feel" the way I want them to readers. It doesn't make my posts any more satisfactory to me knowing that though.

Just a little rant..pesky tenses!!

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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Taylani on October 7th, 2013, 1:10 am

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Ok so here is the deal. My head is splitting, it feels like I have tiny dwarves in side it hammering over and over and over again. However, there is nothing that a bunch of cuteness can't cure...


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Cliche's and character creation.

Postby Taylani on October 9th, 2013, 5:34 am

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A little bit of a rant regarding a pet peeve of mine. I write on a lot of different sites, and I will tell you Mizahar's has one of the best group of writers I have came across in a long time. However this pet peeve of mine goes across the boards, and it really is just because certain characters are "fun" to play or "easy" to play. However they do not make it "easy" to play with. What am I talking about? Cliché characters, cliché plots, and cliché settings.

Ugh! Cliché Cliché Cliché. The warrior that is all brawn and no brain. The reticent swordsman that is short on words but long on puns. The broken, dispirited slave (that is broken and dispirited due to being enslaved. There is a character on Miz who is a broken slave but was broken after she ran away and found how hard it was to be on her own. I LOVE that twist on the "broken" routine and kind of jealous I didn't think of it!), the orphan that finds out she really is a princess (yeah not on Mizahar but this is actually common ugh!), the misunderstood thief, the murderer with the heart of gold. I mean the list goes on and on. And playing one of these clichés does not make one a bad writer, in fact some of the best characters in books are these clichés. Robert Jordan, God rest his soul, was one of my favorite writers but I hate to say it every single main character in the Wheel Of Time series was a cliché. The plot, the story line, the setting, and the magic system MORE then made up for it though so I loved the books. But his characters were HUGE clichés, You can find every one of his character is MOST fantasy characters hiding under a different name.

That being said in the RP community clichéd characters are extremely hard to RP with because I know I tend to expect the clichéd character to say or do something, so I have to really work hard n my posts to make sure I don't "Anticipate" too much. Why? because it is the same scenario different names. My own characters I have to really walk a fine line between cliché and too stupidly unrealistic. You don't want to try and avoid a clichéd character by making them unrealistic.

Taylani is a prime example. I am struggling with her at times to not make her too complacent, for she is high spirited (read obstinate) and mildly temperamental (read pissy) but I don't want her to be too stupidly over the top argumentative and stubborn because one can't stay for 90 + days in captivity always throwing food at your captors.. eventually you will starve. There is a thin balance, and sometimes I go back to cliché with Taylani, and at other times I stride over the "Ok that is stupidly unrealistic of me" and I have to correct it with a few more posts to explain the sudden burst of stupidity on Taylani's part.

Edit: I meant to include that my biggest pet peeve is going back to read one of my recent posts and realize "Dang it theres Cliché Taylani again"... >.>
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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Fallan Windchaser on October 14th, 2013, 4:31 pm

"affects"

There I had to say it ;)

Some of that went over my head. I sort of know what a verb is and a noun, beyond there it's all pretty much of a mystery to me. All of my writing is based on feel and whether it looks right. :D
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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Taylani on October 14th, 2013, 4:32 pm

*laughs* ha Grammar nazi!! I admit I have trouble with affect and effect...sometimes then and than though that is less so.

Um I do know the difference between There They're and Their! :D
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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Gossamer on October 14th, 2013, 4:52 pm

You mean I'm not really a princess? *toddler stomps*
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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Taylani on October 14th, 2013, 4:56 pm

*grins* No no Goss, your totally a princess ;)
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[Taylani's Scrapbook] Taylani's randomness

Postby Gossamer on October 14th, 2013, 5:13 pm

I just actually wanted to pop in and say I enjoy reading your scraps. :) They do resonate truth to me.
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