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Plotter & VP Tip #2

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  • Plotter & VP Tip #2

    The Plot is in the Planning

    This past month, as is my duty as Lead Plotter, I have spent a lot of time mentoring LC's staff and some of its players in storytelling (aka plotting).

    Here are some simple suggestions to help bring out the storyteller in all of you. Hopefully you'll find them encouraging as well as useful.

    Be Courageous Finding the courage to tell a story of your own making can be scary. Remember that everyone else in your game of choice is there for the same reason you are. You need not be afraid of each other.

    You Need Not Be Original I spent a lot of time in college discussing the question, "Has everything already been written about?" Don't worry about being original. If you have a favorite movie, book, poem, tell a story about it in your game of choice. Just remember to change the character names and what happens just enough to fit your game and not to copy it exactly. Chances are if it was a great movie/book/poem it'll make a great story.

    Use Common Sense When planning and running your plot remember to treat others the way you would want to be treated. Don't use offensive subjects or language, don't not include others.

    PLAN BEFORE YOU PLOT
    Every good story is good because it was planned out. It has an introduction, a development, and a resolution. Too often we all make the mistake of jumping in with both feet and start something without knowing where we're going to end up and with no idea why we're doing it. "Because it's cool" is NOT a good enough reason for telling a story. Your story MUST have an ending.

    Planning out your plot before you do anything in game will help increase the quality of your plot greatly. It will make things less stressful on you because you'll know what you want to aim for. It will increase the enjoyment of the players involved because you will be leading them (or they will be leading you) down a path of your determining. And at the end you will all learn something because you took the time to think through your story to the end.

    There are numerous excellent yet simple articles in the Skotos articles archives on writing good stories. I encourage you to peruse those. If that isn't your thing, arrange for some time with a plotter in your game of choice for them to give you a quick lesson in storytelling.

    Lastly, if you have a nifty story idea, to help find an ending to the story, just ask yourself why and then answer yourself. Why is the giant spider hunting the students? Why is the Count out to poison the Chronicler?
    SH Willow

  • #2
    Re: Plotter & VP Tip #2

    Originally posted by Willow

    Lastly, if you have a nifty story idea, to help find an ending to the story, just ask yourself why and then answer yourself. Why is the giant spider hunting the students? Why is the Count out to poison the Chronicler?
    I would say that motivation is actually one of the things you should think about early on. I believe one of the problems inexperienced writers have is thinking of the ending they want, and then building back from there. This means that when it comes to running the plot, you are doing so with a specific goal in mind, and this can lead to the problem of the plotter not being able to roll with the punches.

    If you know the motivation for the antagonist, and what it is they are hoping to achieve, then I believe you allow yourself more flexibility if some meddling kids interfere with your carefully laid plans.

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    • #3
      Yes, please be ready and willing to roll with the punches. I've heard from more then one plotter that I am one of the meddling kids that swings plots in a whole new direction.

      I plan on being one of those meddling kids as long as I play, and I am eyeing your plot.

      Having someone change the way a plot was expected to go, can be frustrating, but it will only stay frustrating if you make it. Think of it as a good chance to roleplay. It's time to throw out your script and go nuts.
      --Thomas King--Lucius--
      "Well I Ain't Evil, I'm Just Good Lookin' "
      Alice Cooper
      "This Is Beetle, Is As Bad As Can"
      Beetlejuice
      "It takes guts to run away, you know. Lots of people would be as cowardly as me if they were brave enough"
      Rincewind

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