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 Post subject: Plot Reminder
PostPosted: 05 Jun 2009, 00:14 
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PLOT
PLOT
PLOT

Every good story has one, right? And what is an RP but an intricately woven, multi-viewpoint story? Ergo, transitive property, syllogisms and all that, a good RP will have a plot.

Now I realize this may come across as a bit demanding, but really guys and gals, this is a reminder that it is STRONGLY suggested that before you start an official RP, you have a plot ready for your story. Such a plot does not necessarily interfere with the wide-ranging possibilities inherent with some many different characters approaching a story, which is a big draw for many people to RPs: worlds to explore. All one really needs to have are some key events that must occur in order to move the story along. Given that the RP Master(s)/Creator(s) ensures the occurrence of said events in their story, and that the other participating RPers are paying attention to what others are posting (which all good RPers always do), everyone will pick up on these events, even if they do not know exactly what they mean, and fall into line, still bringing their own unique perspective to the story. In fact, NOT knowing is sometimes crucial, and responding to things with genuine mystery, without meandering so off the path that the RP falls apart from all its participants heading separate directions.

What I generally do is have an outline of sorts, that has bulleted events and facts that occur chronologically, and then group those into arcs. It sounds complicated, but truly is not, and my shortest ones are only a page long in a Microsoft word document with default margins and text. (The longest ones are, um, about 6 or 7.) These plots do not need to be shared with anyone if you, as the RP Master, do not wish them to be. Sometimes it may be helpful to do so, which is why I personally like to have contact info for those I'm RPing with. I can send them a little fact to have their character act upon, or ask them to perform a certain action. Sometimes you may even release "skeleton plots" in your OoC topics. Basically, you take the very largest, vaguest events that must occur, bullet them chronologically, and post it. I once had one that looked like so:
Zeth wrote:
The skeleton plot is as follows:

I.) Icarus asks Ute aside to help it with a project.
1.) It's a "secret" project.
2.) They make a jump by themselves.
a.) Colorado Springs, Colorado; 2024

II.) Military detects Weaver duo
1.) Ute, Icarus captured
2.) Reader's crossover
a.) Reader captured
b.) Reader, Icarus, Ute meet up

III.) Breakout
1.) Breakout and escape from Cheyenne Mountain Extended Facility
2.) Return to Midgard Below

Of course, these made more sense to those who were taking part and knew the characters and terminology involved, but you get the gist of it.

All this being said, Open-Ended RPs (those without plots) are not forbidden, but should only be attempted by those RPers who are 100% confident that they can maintain such an RP since, as I mentioned, these things tend to tear themselves apart from the efforts of so many participants characters trying to play the lead and develop their own story from the lack of one.

It is very much encouraged that if anyone has questions about plots, that you PM myself or another Staffer.



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