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[personal profile] greygirlbeast
Just as the last of the snow was melting, it snowed again last night. Not much here in Providence, but more up north.

Yesterday, I wrote another 1,068 words on the last chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I think I'm terrified. The book is a house of cards, and I'm stacking more on top, and pulling cards out from the bottom, and somehow I have to keep the whole from toppling over. And there's to be a lot of sexual energy at the end, and it has to absolutely not become pornographic (not because I have anything against porn, but because that's not what this is meant to be).

Thanks to the awesome Richard A. Kirk, who sent me a copy of his illustrated novella, The Lost Machine. It's beautiful. You should order a copy. I say so. Also, there's a forward by Mike Mignola! In case you're unaware, I've worked with Rick on...let me see...five books, five books since 2000. Most recently, he did the amazing cover for The Ammonite Violin and Others.

Today, I think there's going to be a very small adventure, and then work, and a little work after that. I think.

---

Selwyn made Level 13 last night, and Shaharrazad is only five quests (out of 86) away from having the Blade's Edge Mountains achievement (and so one achievement nearer Loremaster). Too much gaming. And, mostly, I'm having some weird worldshock, jumping back and forth between Telara and Azeroth. The latter being bright and cartoonish and silly, the former being so rich and urgent and possessed of depth. Oh, and there was about an hour of rp with a friend in Telara last night. She's another mage, named Enthlye. We sat on the docks at Kelari Refuge and had a conversation. It was very good, and I can see Rift lending itself to good rp, once you learn the lore. Well, actually, Enthlye talked and Selwyn scribbled on the planks with a stub of charcoal. When she made the jump from the future to the past, something went wrong, and she has no tongue. I've also discovered that Selwyn prefers to work magic with a sword, instead of a staff.

And, also, I really wish that people on SL and in MMORPGs would understand that roleplaying isn't writing. It's acting. And no, it's not collaborative writing. That's what actual writers who write together do. RP is theater, improvisational theater, and if you understand this one simple fact, you can make it good and rewarding. But to call it acting is like calling the act of writing a novel acting, which it isn't, no matter how deeply I immerse myself in a character. Now, you can write stories based on or inspired by rp (I've done that), but that happens after the actual rp, and it's writing, not rping.

Honestly, it feels like there are these people who want to be writers, but either they have no talent or they won't sign off a damned game or social dohicky or whatever long enough to endure the intense solitude of writing, so they're trying to change the definition of writing to include what they're doing.*

---

I'm loving The Hunger Games more and more and more.

Okay, must take meds and finish coffee.

*Postscript (4:45 p.m.): To quote my post of January 28th, "1) Do not assume that because I express my views that I'm obligated to defend those views to you or engage in a dialogue, or even listen to your views. And I will exchange the favour."

Date: 2011-02-27 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timesygn.livejournal.com

I'm loving The Hunger Games more and more and more.

I'm hearing this with increasing frequency. (You know they're making a movie, right?) I have a chance to pick up a paperback copy at a discount. Perhaps I shall. At your recommendation, I read Tithe and loved it. Hey! Auntie Beast's Book Club ...

Date: 2011-02-27 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

(You know they're making a movie, right?)

I did not. It could be very cool.

Auntie Beast's Book Club ...

There's a thought.

Date: 2011-02-27 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
I'm interested in this idea you present that writing is inherently connected to isolation, a private act which is necessarily divorced from social interaction. I'm not sure I agree, but I'm also not disagreeing that MMO RP is incongruent with formal writing. There's certainly stylistic things I'd do in RP that I'd never do in prose, and vice versa. I definitely have a different idiom for each kind of expression.

Perhaps the issue is that formal writing requires a kind of discipline which RP side steps as a form of recreation. But then, no, that would suggest that acting doesn't have its own discipline which (while social) can be no less rigourous. Hmm. Not sure.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
Perhaps the issue is that formal writing requires a kind of discipline which RP side steps as a form of recreation. But then, no, that would suggest that acting doesn't have its own discipline which (while social) can be no less rigorous. Hmm. Not sure.

I can't boil this down to different modes of expression. I mean they are, but these are differences of kind, not of degree. They are fundamentally different enterprises. On that I'll not budge.

As for the solitary thing, I believe it's necessary. I know that to others it's not. But I still maintain that roleplayers who claim they're partaking in "collaborative writing," or any sort of genuine writing, are either mistaken or deluded.

Typing, even acting via typing, isn't writing.
Edited Date: 2011-02-27 08:22 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-27 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stsisyphus.livejournal.com
On that I'll not budge.

No need for you to budge, obviously. I just felt this might be one of those things that varies from practitioner to practitioner.

Do not assume that because I express my views that I'm obligated to defend those views to you or engage in a dialogue, or even listen to your views. And I will exchange the favour.

I sorta knew that you weren't really inviting discussion, but I felt compelled to comment.

Date: 2011-02-27 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catconley.livejournal.com
The Hunger Games is amazing! I'm as excited about Katniss and The Hunger Games as I was about Lyra and The Golden Compass when I read it in high school.

Have fun on your adventure and good luck with your work.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I'm as excited about Katniss and The Hunger Games as I was about Lyra and The Golden Compass when I read it in high school.

Ah, if such books had existed when I was in high school. Then again, if they'd not, I might never have read The Lord of the Rings and Watership Down.

Date: 2011-02-28 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catconley.livejournal.com
Ah, if such books had existed when I was in high school.

That's kind of how I feel about all of the awesome YA that's come out in the past 10 years or so, even though there was a decent amount available when I was a teenager and I really can't complain.

Then again, if they'd not, I might never have read The Lord of the Rings and Watership Down.

Very true. I don't know what high school would have been like without Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Between quoting that and Monty Python, I barely had to think of an original thing to say all day...

Date: 2011-02-27 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pisceanblue.livejournal.com
Honestly, it feels like there are these people who want to be writers, but either they have no talent or they won't sign off a damned game or social dohicky or whatever long enough to endure the intense solitude of writing, so they're trying to change the definition of writing to include what they're doing.
Agreed. I have no experience in this in regards to RPGs, but I have encountered it in other forms, people who "write" but make no effort to actually create something of worth. I find those people do most *everything* halfassedly.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Agreed. I have no experience in this in regards to RPGs, but I have encountered it in other forms, people who "write" but make no effort to actually create something of worth. I find those people do most *everything* halfassedly.

Yes.

Date: 2011-02-27 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lachendwolf.blogspot.com (from livejournal.com)
Thanks for the link to the Kirk book - I love his work. I'll pick that up when the budget allows!

I am very fortunate that I've never come across anyone who thought that RP was writing. I suppose it helps that I don't interact w/many people I don't know in MMOPRGs. Therefore, I'm almost always RPing with someone I know already. I'd be curious to see if this occurs in Rift (I'm hoping not!!).

Date: 2011-02-27 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I am very fortunate that I've never come across anyone who thought that RP was writing. I suppose it helps that I don't interact w/many people I don't know in MMOPRGs. Therefore, I'm almost always RPing with someone I know already. I'd be curious to see if this occurs in Rift (I'm hoping not!!).

I've encountered it mostly via SL.

Thanks for the link to the Kirk book - I love his work. I'll pick that up when the budget allows!

You're welcome!

Date: 2011-02-27 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olivia nishkian (from livejournal.com)
Well I don't know, C., RPing online is conveyed through writing, so saying it isn't writing is kind of silly. It is, in a fashion, but you're right in that the activity itself is more based around improv and getting into a character's head (acting) than writing.

But you know, I think RPing frequently and raising my own personal bar has enhanced my ability to write other things. It has not enhanced my ability to get up on a stage and act in a play.

So I don't know. Why do you even need to make the distinction so badly? It is what it is.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com
Well I don't know, C., RPing online is conveyed through writing, so saying it isn't writing is kind of silly.

No. Rping online is conveyed through typing.

It has not enhanced my ability to get up on a stage and act in a play.

Have you tried? (I admit, I have a little background in theatre, from high school and college, though this doesn't make me an actor).

So I don't know. Why do you even need to make the distinction so badly? It is what it is.

Okay. It's like someone who likens warming up a can of Campbell's soup to the work that a chef does. Yes, in both cases "cooking" is being done. Foodstuff is being prepared. Likewise, rping and writing are each a form of linguistic communication. But this doesn't make them inherently the same sort of communication. And to those of us who actually are writers, it comes off insulting, claims by rpers who are not actual writers that they are writing merely by rping. Just like a four-star chef would be insulted if the soup warmer-upper said, "Oh, yeah. I'm like you. I cook."

Distinctions are often necessary. Yes, it is what it is, and distinctions maintain the integrity, the meaning of what it is.
Edited Date: 2011-02-27 08:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-27 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olivia nishkian (from livejournal.com)
Well, I wouldn't make any claims to being a good writer just because I RP a lot. You might be right.

In fact, the best RPers I've RPed with generally have a good degree of charisma in person. So I don't know. Maybe it is more about charisma than writing talent.

Most of the RPers I can't stand write way too much prose into their RP, and it's obnoxious.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that RPing is still a form of writing, and if you want to make it as good as it can be, you need to have some skill in being able to translate actions and nuance into words. That's a writer's talent, not an actor's talent.

So I'd argue that RPing is a pretty even hybrid between the two activities. It's both and neither. It is it's own thing.

And most people are god awful at it.

Date: 2011-02-27 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olivia nishkian (from livejournal.com)
Also, I don't know. I've never tried acting on stage in recent memory... I'm too self-conscious at the moment, but it'd be fun to try.

Date: 2011-02-27 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Most of the RPers I can't stand write way too much prose into their RP, and it's obnoxious.

Agreed.

And most people are god awful at it.

Also agreed.

I might also add that some of the Nanyah/Xiang stuff we did was awfully close to non-rp actual writing. Regardless, it was good, and I wish I'd logged it all.

Date: 2011-02-28 12:33 am (UTC)
ext_4772: (Berthold Run)
From: [identity profile] chris-walsh.livejournal.com
Reminds me that I'm glad I already know I'm not an actor -- I tried it in a tiny way as a kid -- and I'm glad that I haven't got into the RP stuff. I'd get self-conscious about the performing, same as if I acted. I think I know enough about acting to know when it's done well, and who can do it well, but I have no burning desire to do it. And no burning desire to RP.

Most of the RPers I can't stand write way too much prose into their RP, and it's obnoxious.

I'll hope/wish they get screenwriting classes. Get that reminder to keep most lines of dialogue short. (A lesson Lovecraft never got; good thing he wasn't trying to wow people with his dialogue.)

Date: 2011-02-28 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


I'll hope/wish they get screenwriting classes. Get that reminder to keep most lines of dialogue short.


Again and again, I've said "Think in screenplays, not prose." They reply, "I've never read a screenplay." I reply, "Have you seen a movie?" After the blank stares, I suggest they try Google.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poesillchild.livejournal.com
This morning, the evil that is Wal Mart engulfed me. We required bird seed and suet for the wild birds, and WM has the least expensive.
Near the end of my WM imprisonment, I acquired a copy of the Hunger Games because you and a coworker have recommended it this week - I must need to read it.

I can hardly wait the year or so to read The Drowning Girl.

Date: 2011-02-27 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Near the end of my WM imprisonment, I acquired a copy of the Hunger Games because you and a coworker have recommended it this week - I must need to read it.

I love it when that happens.

Date: 2011-02-27 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tracy tibbits (from livejournal.com)
I've never figured Roleplaying for writing myself either. A skill in writing certainly helps, sure. You have to be able describe whats going on and that takes a certain ammount of linguisitic skill. About the only time its 'writing' is when you're setting a stage for something, describing a setting. But then we're right back to roleplay as acting again.

Of course, I never gave roleplay much thought in relation to acting before. Always thought it was what it was. Now that you mention it, it makes sense. I'll even try to apply though structure of thinking towards future RP events. Thanks!

Date: 2011-02-27 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


Of course, I never gave roleplay much thought in relation to acting before. Always thought it was what it was. Now that you mention it, it makes sense. I'll even try to apply though structure of thinking towards future RP events. Thanks!


When people have asked me to explain rp, or when I have taught rp classes, I always first liken it to improvisational theater.

Date: 2011-02-27 10:36 pm (UTC)
blackestdarkness: (death)
From: [personal profile] blackestdarkness
I'm looking forward to reading The Hunger Games series. I just ordered a bunch of books and received the 2nd and 3rd but the 1st is on backorder. It seems to be a popular series and I did hear they are making a movie.

Date: 2011-02-27 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathryn-aka-kat.livejournal.com
Thank you. I've been trying to tell people that RPGs are improv acting for years, but now there's backup.

Re: Rift
Someone posted a not-as-nice first take on it. That females still have to wear mini-skirt versions of the male outfits and get the extra "make-up" option. Is so? or not as bad?

Date: 2011-02-27 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Thank you. I've been trying to tell people that RPGs are improv acting for years, but now there's backup.

It just seems so obvious to me.

Someone posted a not-as-nice first take on it. That females still have to wear mini-skirt versions of the male outfits and get the extra "make-up" option. Is so? or not as bad?

I like it. And I've had both long robes and shorter ones. Plus, there's a no make-up option in character creation. A lot of people want and need to hate this game.

RP and Improv

Date: 2011-02-28 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessamyg.livejournal.com
Completely agree that Roleplaying in games is very like Improv, and to compare it to actual writing is like comparing Dungeons and Dragons to The Lord of the Rings. Both are fine, but I've a funny feeling that Lord of the Rings took a lot more work and passion - erm, wasn't it a full lifetime Mr Tolkien?

Re: RP and Improv

Date: 2011-02-28 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Completely agree that Roleplaying in games is very like Improv, and to compare it to actual writing is like comparing Dungeons and Dragons to The Lord of the Rings. Both are fine, but I've a funny feeling that Lord of the Rings took a lot more work and passion - erm, wasn't it a full lifetime Mr Tolkien?

Bingo.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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