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Potter’s Army is a roleplaying site that's been up and running since 2007. We pride ourselves on fostering a welcoming and helpful community where all levels of writers are accepted.

In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

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Alexandria Gibbon
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A Study in Plotting

on Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:53 am
Yes, that was a Sherlock Holmes reference. Not even sorry.

Anyways, the point of this post (I'm taking to calling them articles, but that's just me) is that while there are a lot of different ways to plot, sometimes certain ways are less conducive to a fun roleplay experience.

Let's say...

...you've started a thread with someone, and you're not quite sure where to take it. Do you ask the roleplay partner? Sometimes, yeah, you have to. Because if it affects the other person negatively, it may or may not be a good idea. It'd just throw off your partner and they wouldn't have a clue where to go with it. However, it might be interesting to throw in little twists just to see what happens. Maybe you run out of things to say or the dialogue is just Meh, so eventually you have to switch things up.

...someone throws out a plot idea, but you've heard it a million times. This one is the one that has been driving me insane lately. I am personally really tired of rehashing the same plot device or just the actual plot of a TV show or a movie or a book or whatever media. I mean, if you go into a thread or ship or plot knowing exactly how it goes, what's the point of writing it? Why use something you've seen in a TV show to drive your characters when you could twist it into a new or more interesting scenario? You can rename things, you can make them more suited for the HP world, you can add in twists that even the other folks on this site won't see coming (and let's be real, we know a lot about every character on here if we creep around enough). There's no fun at all in re-writing what you already know or what you've seen several times. The same goes for copying from other ships or writers from other sites you used to be on. If you know how it's going to go, post for post, eventually you'll just hate the plot and want to do something else.

...you have an idea for a few characters, and you start discussing it in the cbox or on side chat or skype or whatever you use. The last thing you want to do, really, is to actually play it out, even on a minimal or solely dialogue level, because then you'll start the thread and be immediately directed towards those quotes or those actions you made up outside of writing. If that, you know, works for you or your partners, then that's totally fine. But it just makes me not interested in that plot or scene or thread at all. It's great if you need to figure out inbetweeners that wouldn't make a whole thread. For sure. That's super fun. But it won't help your writing to work it out, same as I said in the last paragraph.

...your character is brand new and someone wants to throw all kinds of mess at them. Seriously consider which of the plot ideas you want to take before jumping into all of them. I'd advise against agreeing to an endgame, or any long-term relationship. At least not straight out of the gate. Instead, go for midgames that, if they actually go really well, you can turn into an endgame. Then again, I now believe that even "endgames" can become midgames, because of what's been going on with Keiran and Millie Hayes right now.
Just to make a point here, let me explain a bit. We had decided, in our normal threads, that we didn't want them to break up. We figured they could work it out. But then we had an idea for an AU, 15 years later, where they've been divorced and attempt to get back together. It's now the main headcanon I have for them, and the old version of them seems really dull and lacking details and information in comparison.
See, even though they were meant to be endgames, they accidentally became this awkward maybegame deal which makes them so much more fun and more interesting.

LET IT BE KNOWN: All of my characters and their relationships will now be known as Maybegames, because whether or not they work out isn't really up to me, and isn't up to Amy or Emily or whoever I'm writing with. Because honestly, the characters will do what they want, even if I try to stop them. And that, I think, is the mark of an interesting or good character (though it sounds bad that I'm saying it about my own. It applies to anyone who thinks their character writes the story for them, as far as I'm concerned). The fact that the character is unpredictable to the writer makes them all the more real, and makes their choices and actions so much more interesting. So yes. Maybegames are now a thing, so don't get yourself all confused when I use that term Razz

Re: A Study in Plotting

on Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:54 am
There's nothing I love more than when characters write themselves. It's the best feeling when you read a reply and within a millisecond you know exactly what the character thought and felt in reaction to the other person. Yes, it can be annoying when they don't cooperate but I agree that you really can't force it. As soon as you start to micro-manage their actions too much I find I lose their voice and consequently my muse.

I've always sorta considered Endgames as Maybegames in my head. I figure calling something an endgame is just a commitment to carry out that relationship arc with the hopes that the arc ends and they stay happily together afterwards. If you reach that end of arc but after that things change and they don't work out there's not a lot you can do. But yeah *thumbs up*
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Kipling Parsons
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Re: A Study in Plotting

on Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:35 am
Endgames to me mean that both players reaaaaly ship it. I think making it super permanent is a huge turn off. It's hard for me to be interested in plotting with characters who are 100% endgame by threatening the players involved, because I can't help of a character is interested. Yknow?
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Re: A Study in Plotting

on Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:31 pm
I completely agree with the endgaming. Sometimes I've planned my plots out so I know what will happen when and how, then some I've only half plotted in my head so have an idea how it will start but then no idea how it will end and I have to say it's the latter I prefer.
I find I lose my muse sometimes if I know what's coming, but sometimes I feel like I have to know how it will end because I'm a perfectionist and want it to be played out right but from now I'm not going to go in depth on plots in my head and just go with the flow - it's much more fun that way!
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