[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

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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.

[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 15th, 2014, 4:18 pm

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Failed header attempt one. Bah, Ill leave it up here as a reminder to come back to it. Someday Ill have a good one.

Aerer's Scrapbook.

Purpose - Hoping to accomplish two things with this scrapbook. One: to document my ongoing goal of being more upbeat and open to criticism and two: to document my ongoing goal of being a more focused and accomplished writer. As such I would love replies and responses however attempting to keep it on topic would be preferred.

Upbeat and open to criticism ? - So heres the thing. I'm usually very poor at receiving criticism even when its done in a positive manner. Its one of my larger problems in life, I take everything as an attack against myself and become horribly discouraged and give up. Additionally I'm cynical and negative and that's just not good for anyone.

I don't want my writing to be stunted or lost simply because of these issues so its a bit of a thought experiment to be a lot friendlier, upbeat and open to all the problems my writing presents. I want this scrapbook to be the place where I can write about places I feel weak in, or issues people point out and work on positive ways to get better. I will also use this place to toot my own horn a bit and remind myself how awesome I am.

Focused and accomplished writer? - Did you know my writing has already increased tenfold since I started here? I've started up on writing my novel again and began reading a lot more. THIS. IS. INCREDIBLE. I want a place to keep things that motivated me, that really have changed things for the better and perhaps tidbits of advice to share for newcomers so that they can catch Mizahar fever as well. Mizahar can be daunting at times and while I think that overwhelming vibe keeps out some of the riff raff, I'd love to keep ideas of what keeps me going to not only reinforce whats been helpful but perhaps it might help others on the fence become as enthusiastic as I seem to be right now.

So thats the goal! Hopefully add to this shortly.
Last edited by Aerer on September 16th, 2014, 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 15th, 2014, 9:54 pm



So on closing in on a month here at Mizahar, I want to sort out what has been great decisions for me, and the ....not so good. Reflect a bit and hopefully get better at properly applying myself. These are what I found to be true and are probably "no duh" moments more then anything but I felt like putting it down as a reminder to myself.

The good stuff:

+ Started with a character made for action - I think quiet, introspective characters are amazing but everytime I try to play one in previous games I end up with an uncertainty of how to act and react. I think this ties in with Caelum's post about making sure your character has a defined purpose in life and most of my characters just didn't. Aerer still doesn't have much of a purpose (and you'll see that on my negative stuff) but I learned a character willing to take risks and make stories is a lot easire to write. So rule one to remember: Make a character with a goal for him to aim for or ...failing that, make a character that is active enough to get in trouble.

+ Took the initiative on requesting threads and making friends - Its a lot like going to a bar, you have to approach people and talk to them. Mizahar players are awesome and friendly and fun but you can't just sit around twiddling your thumbs and waiting for awesome stories to happen. This also ties in with a good thread - you can't just wait around waiting for the action, you need to move towards your goal or purpose of the thread and see what reacts accordingly. Let the failures happen , as oftentimes they are more fun then successes. Second rule - Step up to the plate, fail, follow your characters goals and fail again. Meet people, this is a social story, not just a solo one.

+ Taking my time to post - I am not a great writer, but I try my best to look up things I don't understand, use the right terminology and proofread my posts. I like to think its a bit like a job opportunity and every post is a resume. I want to impress, and I want people to think my posts are fun enough that one day they might also want to thread with me. Third rule - Take the necessary time to put your best foot forward. Mizahar isn't going anywhere.

The bad stuff:

- Jumped in too quickly - I like Aerer, I like the people I've met and the stories I've started but his backstory is a bit light and his exact persona a bit hazy. Sure this is something that comes with time but look at all those cool races, that interesting lore with magic and gods that I just waved my hand at as I heaped Aerer together. Additionally as I mentioned above, I didn't really give him a good set goal to achieve. Its okay for now and I have some decent story arcs to really get him moving but...I think that was more luck then proper planning. Fourth rule - Remember to slow down. Enjoy writing! Dont get so enthusiastic that you miss out on things to make writing even more fun.

- Get some criticism - To some extent, I'm living in a bit of a bubble. Story writing is fun, but I'm going to stagnate if I don't get more peoples opinions, good or bad. I need to learn more ways to improve and what I can do to make my writing more lively. Fifth rule - Accept criticism, learn, grow, get better, write better, learn more, get better. Quit being a wuss.

- Read more / Write more - Read more posts. Read posts from areas that you wont even visit with Aerer. Read peoples suggestions on OOC posts. Read books that you've been meaning to read and get some good ideas. Write more posts. Answer all those posts you've been neglecting already. Write a new story where Aerer is somewhere unexpected. Write a new story where Aerer fights someone. Write a new story where Aerer gets his haircut and somehow make it exciting. Write a story unrelated to Mizahar. Final Rule - Read. Write. Repeat.

Also stay out of Mizahar chat until I'm done with my posts/threads. I get easily distracted.
 
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] A Side Note to Add Here~

Postby Redd on September 16th, 2014, 1:15 pm

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A Side Note to Add Here~

Sometimes, a distraction is good. I keep chat open as I type posts, mostly because I tend to get hung up on details. When I take a moment to just look away from my post, to have a chat or answer questions with people in chat. Then suddenly, I feel unblocked and I can keep going with my post, mostly because I'm no longer hung up on details that was tripping me up earlier.

Distractions, makes you look away from the problem that you have probably spent a good few minutes staring at, trying to work out how to fix it. Then, when you look back at your post, you are looking at it with a fresh set of eyes and probably a fresh mindset too. Distractions have always helped me because as you know, I tend to do quite a few posts a day [Provided it's a good day] and I find that getting distracted for a few minutes can help me refresh and refuel my batteries before I continue.

It doesn't always work with some people, but it can and that's my two cents on this particular subject. xD


Last edited by Redd on September 16th, 2014, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 16th, 2014, 1:27 pm

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Thats actually a very fair point - and another issue I tend to struggle with work as well. When I come across an issue that doesn't seem to want to be solved, the smart plan is to take a breather, or even come back the next day to focus on it. Instead I run my head against the wall, staying up stupidly late until I find a solution or worse yet, never find a solution.

Now its late, I have no answers and I feel miserable.

I'd imagine writings the same way, there is no benefit of slamming your head against the wall on it and if I truly want to enjoy this hobby then I should take subsequent breaks otherwise I could definitely see burnout rearing its ugly head.

Thanks Redd!

Seventh Rule: Remember this is all for fun. Writing is exciting and you are getting all giddy about character development (or just goofy fun threads) along with getting faster/better as a writer. But pushing to catch up with all threads and letting it consume your whole day could be a fast path to burnout.
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 16th, 2014, 10:02 pm

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Ambitious Aerer

Authors Note: This is just ramblings from my mind and what I've parsed together from other peoples helpful posts. If you disagree, please post below as dissenting opinions help foster better understanding for everyone. Truthfully I'm writing this because I'm waiting on an engaging post thats upcoming, don't have the energy to write up a work post and really not sure what to be focusing on.

Too much planning makes a character kinda boring. Part of the excitement (for me at least) is the surprise of seeing what you wrote and realizing which direction that takes you. Characters surprise me and I think thats when I'm most excited about writing and RPing.

Too little planning, once again at least for me, results in running into repetition. Much like real life, if I don't plan to take a trip or split from my usual routine, I tend to go a little crazy. Unless its through luck or someone else planting an idea, Aerer would do little more then go to work, get drunk, flirt with the ladies of Sunberth and start all over again.

Not a bad gig!

Writing it is good practice to push yourself into finding new ways to describe things. However I feel like not planning enough, not being absorbed into the lore and connecting with a larger tale is the reason I get disinterested.

So, how the petch am I going to do that?

Well, first goal is to make sure Aerer has a larger goal then these things. After much consideration, his current state is:

+ Gamble as often as possible, make bets on things for the love of betting not so much on making miza.
+ Flirt with and hit on most anything that moves, oftentimes in a completely lecherous manner.
+ Find a way to protect himself from the past that is haunting him, i.e. unpaid debts.
+ Find the ambition and drive to become a sort of spy/information broker while knowing nothing about it.
+ Accomplish all of the above while also having a severe drinking problem.

These will change, and are somewhat generic as they allow me to be surprised when writing. I imagine they'll change in time as well and I'm hoping with nothing more then these ideas I can build myself into a larger story arc.

Secondly, I'd imagine getting more invested in the lore could really help build a better story and better story arcs. I feel like I have the taverns in Sunberth down, but its time to branch out a bit. The more knowledge I have about SB, the better equipped I will be to write more descriptive and engaging posts. It's always fun to sit around talking about a book series when you've read the series, so I imagine it'll be fun to take part in more chatroom discussions once I know more about what the seven hells people are talking about.

Finally I leave myself with a question. I want Aerer to be hated, but not dead. I rolled this character because oftentimes worlds just don't have enough annoying antagonists and fun posts always come about with someone being on opposite ends of the spectrum. However my realization is that Mizahar is a brutal brutal place and being too flagrant will just leave me somewhere in a ditch. So how do I make a name for myself as someone that is irritating, frustrating or even hated while not being gutted? So far the ideas are:

- Give it time. Work up your skills. Eventually your competency in certain areas will make you a more dangerous foe and someone to fear rather then a petty nuisance.
- Get involved in more shady shenanigans. If were being outright boisterous, that'll kill you. If you pilfer something but the person only has an inkling of who, that creates the necessary drama without a guaranteed death. Problem is, that doesn't build your name up all that much.
- Find smaller things to tackle. Tiny thefts and roughing people up rather then murder. If you beat up a friend of a friend for a good reason, odds are good theyll hate you but maybe not kill your character.

Alright, enough rambling for one afternoon. Suggestions, thoughts, criticism or just stopping in to say hi, I accept it all. Hope everyones day is going well.
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Noven on September 16th, 2014, 11:29 pm

Hey Aerer, great topics you've got here. I'm not usually one to write in people's scrap, but I ended up reading yours as I browsed around for thread partners and had a couple cents of my own to contribute. Just wanted to say, fret not over your first PC! Everyone needs a guinea pig. Ask the most veteran of veterans on this site and they can write entire novels for you about their failings with their first characters. And, at the same time, how many of them will never let those first characters go. It's a learning process for sure and no one gets away clean with zero mistakes. On the bright side, every new PC you make from here on out will be created with more experience, foresight, and innovation, so long as those are the kinds of things you aim for.

As for preventing yourself from getting disinterested, I have found two methods to work for me personally: thread with new people, and write even when you don't feel like writing. Course, you shouldn't push yourself into a state of misery or accept every thread request that comes along your way. Having too much to do tends to turn a lot of people off to the task of writing itself. But people on this site literally make the world of Mizahar go round, and sometimes pushing yourself to write maintains your dedication on top of producing unexpected results when you've lost some momentum.

Anyway, those are just my rambly thoughts. Still looking forward to the day we get to thread together. In the mean time, keep up the nice work mate!
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 16th, 2014, 11:43 pm

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@Noven - You know its funny that you mention that. I always feel like the biggest issue with society is we're so afraid to fail and we should just work on failing fast, getting better failing again getting better and yet here I am, knowing that, and yet still working myself into a frenzy over my first real attempt (at least within Mizahar). Its food for thought, I really should calm down I suppose :D

Threading with new people is definitely on my list now of things to remember to shoot for. Write when I'm not even in the mood I imagine is much like going to the gym. You don't want to go but once you're there, you're glad you did. I will try to remember this next time I'm idly browsing the web looking for things to amuse me.

To put money where my mouth is, lets get a thread going first thing tomorrow! I have a charity event I'm needed at tonight to raise funds for but once I've sobered up, I'm going to keep moving forward and make some mistakes rather then ruminating on the best course of action.

Much appreciated for the tidbits of advice and thanks for reading my blatherings!
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Noven on September 17th, 2014, 4:40 am

You know what, going to the gym is the perfect comparison. And writing chops are no different from muscles when you think about it. Hah, gonna have to use that one from now on.

I'm game, whenever you've returned and rested up we can toss some ideas back and forth. Pretty sure between the two of our PCs there's plenty of shenanigans to be drummed up.
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 18th, 2014, 8:08 pm

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Trust the final destination



A lack of sleep due to previous errands that needed to get done and now its challenging to get writing started. Less of a "Dont feel like writing" and more like "I really should get a nap in before attempting anything" is key. Ugh. Coffee got me through one post but only sleep can return me back to normal.

So you've come back for random Aerer musings? Lets chat!

On the reading experience

CSS styling was the last thing I expected to care about. I thought I would post with the normal format and not put in any effort about CSS because....lets be honest, its about the writing, not making things look pretty.

But the more I stay here the more I see the appeal. Sure it takes a backseat to the writing, but seeing a good, clean template can make me stop and read something I normally might've just skimmed or ignored.

I've been playing with the fonts in order to get what I'm capable of making the cleanest, read friendly experience. If anyone actually reads my post, I would consider it a win. To that end, I searched through the google fonts and tried to find something more pleasing to the eyes. Did I succeed? I like to think I did. However its a work in progress and I would love to continue to make changes and edits as its far from perfect.

Whats your biggest thoughts for templates? Is there a post format you're really proud of or someone elses style? If you see a hard to read one, do you ever notify the person or would you feel that would be rude and unnecessary? If there's easy changes I can make mine to be more readable, I'd love to hear it.

On building up the word count

While quantity does not make quality and if a post is shorter I try not to beat myself up over it I still aim for 500 words per post in order to make sure I'm giving it my best to explore every avenue of my surroundings. That number seems to be getting easier to hit, but some folks I see upwards of 8, even 900 word counts per post on group threads and I find that incredible!

So what do I want to describe more? Well, I really want to cover more clothing and the look of a character. I feel I do an acceptable job with facial expressions and emotions but fail to convey the movement and look and feel of body language. Probably because I ignore it in real life a bit too much.

Additionally I really need to learn to take in the sights and sounds of the surroundings more. I don't have conversations in a vacuum, so is it hard to hear over the din of the tavern? Maybe the candles are flickering or a bunch of teenagers are causing mischief. I don't feel that I forget this part so much as I don't make it all that interesting. I need to pull more from the lore, challenge myself to really do due diligence on each post and I think that could make it come alive.

So, how about it? What is your weak point on posts?

I'll leave you with a song that has been inspiring my vibe I get from Sunberth. I know I've linked this in chat but I feel the inhospitable and cliquish (not exactly the right word but this is taking too long) experience of Sunberth really makes me motivated to write.

Thanks for reading! :smirk:
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[Aerer's Scrabbook] Aerer Errors

Postby Aerer on September 22nd, 2014, 6:32 pm

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Lets not and say we did



On taking breaks

This weekend I thought I'd take a break. Ease myself from writing a bit and maybe come back with a renewed sense of purpose.

That did not work at all.

With regular writing I feel guilty when I don't write. With Mizahar writing I feel guilty that I don't write and guilty that someones probably waiting on a response. While I don't think its a good idea to obsess about writing, taking a little bit of time out of your day is the way to go for me. Even better I'm going to aim for a more schedule oriented approach so that I can quit this lackadaisical approach. Plus then I might be able to give more time to my awkward attempt at a short story.

Thats really it, short and sweet. Take breaks if your honestly burnt out or have prior engagements but breaks for the sake of slowing down leads to guilt.
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