15 February 2013 @ 06:11 pm
This wasn't going to be an FE-bruary post but it is now. I just talk too much. I guess it's pretty general though regarding RPing and writing (coauthoring or even alone I guess), but I use a lot of Fire Emblem examples.

Aw yeah, so most of you know I've been RPing up a storm. The ToS RP sadly died, but it got this long first:

I mostly got bored of it...ehhh because my RP partner is really, really conservative or something and even though it's nice to have someone not all like YEAHHH SEX it's like, come on, characters are going to have those kinds of thoughts at least? Or thoughts leaning in that direction? (Barring asexuality of course; my character is not asexual.) But those things make her uncomfortable. Which I'm totally okay with. But if you want a lot of cute scenes between two characters who are interested in one another, okay, and you want them to do things like sleep in the same bed (but not have sex), you still can't deny that, y'know, the male half is sometimes gonna have at least thoughts and probably some happy morning funtimes to go along with all that. Which of course I couldn't even mention or think of mentioning, which made their interactions seem really, really flat. Relationships don't really work that way. Eventually there's something there that's, y'know, physical. For most people.

And a LOT of stuff happened, so it's not like it's just a lot of slice-of-life. There was a lot of action, too. The thing is practically an epic-length fanfic all on its own. I could have kept going but the characters started to feel really stale.


On the other side of the fence I've also been RPing with [personal profile] kender and this thing we're gonna have to turn into a fanfic. In fact, Kender is such an awesome RP partner I just want to kidnap her and write lots of co-authored 'fic together, including some of our evil collab ideas from a few years ago. (b-l-a-n-k-e-t-s-c-e-n-a-r-i-o & h-o-r-r-o-r-f-i-c)

Our current RP is a Hector/Farina and here's what our word count looks like:

I think around 200k, it might be wrapping up? Maybe. Either way, Kender is a most excellent Hector, lemme just say that right off. Damn. But the best thing is that we don't discuss much in advance. She writes any awesome actiony scenes (s-p-a-r-r-i-n-g) that we do discuss the outcome of, and sometimes we question why a character does/says something and we can explain it and talk about why they'd act that way/et cetera. But for the most part we just let stuff happen. There's not a lot of "If he does/says this, how will she react?" going on. While I totally approve of that under certain circumstances (writing yourself into a corner/ruining the story you want to tell SUCKS), I find most people have a really hard time not making things happen that they really want to happen...but some things need to happen a little more naturally. A person has to realize that the character they're roleplaying as doesn't have TIME to THINK--and this goes DOUBLE for characters like Hector and Farina who never really seem to do a lot of thinking before speaking anyway. Okay, so while someone like Eliwood throws everything through a filter first, most characters aren't gonna be sitting there for 20 minutes thinking of what to say.

I will admit, though, that I might say, "When Farina comes back to Ostia she's going to ______." I do this mostly when I come up with something interesting, that Kender can't really say, "I know exactly how Hector will react to that," because it hasn't happened yet, but it might give us something to look forward to, and it lets us plan a little in advance regarding our specific character(s) and possible outcomes, too. A little manipulation is okay--writing fanfiction is close enough anyway IMO--but too much is really bad for a story.

Surprise is great. I mean, sometimes I get so invested in "being" Farina that the stuff Hector says makes me sad or angry or sometimes it even hurts. It's like I'm sitting there going, "Wow, if I were Farina, this would just make me cry/laugh/scream/rage/leave the room." But I'm feeling it, too. And sometimes Hector's reactions to the things Farina says/does? Surprises me. Seriously, I don't see it coming, it's like, WOW why is he acting that way? WOW. WHY? But then later it's like, OOH that makes sense, wow!

Because people don't always act like you think they will, because (shock!) other people are not you. They don't think the same, act the same, talk the same, walk the same, experience things in the same way, or see things with the same eyes. That element of surprise is why this RPing is so much fun. It's like coauthoring a story but only having control over one or two characters leaves you going ahhhh what will they do next? Leaving you with the suspense that your character(s) might ALSO be feeling because THEY can't predict what someone else is going to do, either.

But continuing on that subject, something else I think is important regarding RP is natural interaction, which is why I don't over-encourage pre-planning too much. You obviously have a direction you want to move in, but still. If you constantly plan everything stuff will start to sound trite and very contrived. You don't want dialogue sounding like a conspiracy. (/bad reference GO)

For that matter, if you want to initiate an argument between two characters, just let them be themselves. While Florina's not likely to start arguing with everyone ever, every single person (and therefore every character) has something that just really grinds their gears, and you know what? The game doesn't always tell us what those things are. We know Kent gets really snappy about irresponsibility/laziness, and Lyn hates people who hurt innocents, but what about Eliwood? (Injustice?) Hector? (Being told what to do?) Wil? (I have no damn idea.) I mean, everyone has something. And some things would piss anyone off.

This is helpful to think about just for writing fanfiction too, though, I think. A lot of people claim to struggle with dialogue but there's really only one key: people talk. They talk without overthinking everything they say. They usually say the first thing to come to mind, or the second thing if they can't say the first.

Even if, "How goes it?" is replaced by, "How fare you?" in regards to characters like Sain, it's the same basic idea, and the character he's responding to will respond with, "I'm good, how're you?" or some variation thereof.

Also remember that most people don't approach other people specifically to talk to them if they've got nothing to say, and trying to force them to say something sounds forced.

But every conversation doesn't have to be profound, either. Maybe Meg is going to talk to Zihark about this year's crops, or the three-field-and-fallow system or something mundane that's easy to talk about, easier still if he doesn't know a lot about it and can ask her questions that she knows the answers to. Or maybe Haar sees Jill looking a little off and he walks up to her and says, "You really miss him, don't you?" and all she says in response is, "Yes," because nothing else needs said to convey exactly what it is you want to say, which is, Hey look! They're having a normal conversation! or, He gets her.

To the fandom's credit I haven't read a lot of 'fic with dialogue that felt forced. (But I tend to read only certain things and most people whose stuff I read seem to know how to write dialogue already, or at least have a decent grasp of it.) But it's something I've seen a lot of people stressing over. I like to imagine that I'm pretty good at dialogue most of the time, but there are some characters I simply cannot write (Bastian; he's so awesome but seriously I cannot mimic that speech pattern and thanks to the Fire Emblem Dressing Room's version of him speaking in only iambic pentameter I can't stop thinking about it; wasn't that version also a rapper version of him?), and other characters I'm just not very good at writing (Sain, Lute).

I think most people will find characters whose personalities they find naturally easier to write. For me, I'd have to say I think Farina's pretty easy to write (though her personality is très complexe!), and so is Lyn, Jill, and probably Kent (complexe aussi!).

And then you have characters who will just always be more difficult to work with, like Hector and Wallace. People can say Wallace is easy to write because he's so funny, but not many people have attempted to write Wallace as he's shown in his supports with Lyn (like a father figure) or Kent (mentor). Usually they have him GWA HA HAing all over the place which is still in character but only if you're trying to be funny, which most people are. The problem is that Wallace is still a person/character and has feelings, motivations, et cetera--nobody bothers to explore them. With Hector, he's just so pushy and obnoxious and always-right that you feel like you have to write him that way...but in the end, he's got a more sensitive side, too (seriously, those supports with Serra and Farina? omg, he's actually quite understanding and nice, and he LIKES to help other people), and that can be really hard to capture in a franchise where most characters on the surface appear to be one-trick pony characters (or almost literally are, cough Kieran cough Ilyana). Digging deeper and writing a character as 3D is a challenge, and that goes double if you're writing a short 'fic, because you want people to say, "WOW! This is completely in character, I'm impressed!" but that's hard to pull off in a short amount of words.

I'm done rambling now. My apologies. :D

Thoughts? What characters do you find hard to write? What's hardest for you to write in a story? Dialogue? Description? Scenes? Battles?
05 February 2013 @ 09:26 pm
Who doesn't like boobs? Okay let's talk about them.

Boobtalk! )

That took FOREVER. Now I wonder if anyone else has boob headcanon. :D If so, share!!
04 February 2013 @ 03:45 pm
I'm late because I had to dig my scanner out. This post is about my headcanon regarding pegasi, how they work, et cetera.

Cut for a scanned image and opinions. )

Anything I forgot to mention? Feel free to ask. I'm a bit tired and this took a while, hehe.
02 February 2013 @ 10:01 pm
It's awfully hard coming up with something new for each day, but here we go!

Reason I Love Fire Emblem #02: Gameplay )
01 February 2013 @ 05:18 pm
All right, so today kicks off DAY ONE of FEbruary, where losers like me are gonna post, every day, about some dumb reason we like Fire Emblem. Or things we headcanon. Or whatever. We're not picky, just going to upbeat, positive, fun, fannish posts. You could draw a goofy picture every day for all I care. HELL YEAH.

So starting off Day 1!

Reason I Love Fire Emblem #01: Pockets for Placing Things )