lookingforoctober: (Default)
I just had a really awesome idea for a long term plot for one of my roleplaying characters. Unfortunately, I have my doubts as to how well this is going to work out in practice, in the game he is in, given other things going on, etc.

Should I:

1) Try to enlist other people in the game in my idea and make it work! You never know what will end up happening, so it's worth giving it the very best shot at happening.
2) Keep it a secret, take steps to try to get it to happen, let it influence the development of the character, but try to be flexible if it ends up becoming impossible. It's a long shot anyway, but maybe it can still shape things up to the point where it becomes impossible, and that way it's not totally wasted and no one can explicitly say no, either.
3) Do nothing, eventually it will wither and you won't have to worry about it any more. Ideas are a dime a dozen, and the one that seems so shiny right now will fade more quickly than you think.
4) Try to turn it into a story... Good ideas deserve to be developed, even if you have to do it all by yourself (and even if your stories to write list is already prohibitive).

More generally, what's the best thing to do with ideas that don't quite fit current projects?
lookingforoctober: (Default)
I was thinking about tabletop roleplaying, and it occurred to me that it's specifically designed to encourage the use of details that are probably extraneous to the story, even when it seems to be encouraging more storytelling.

For example, I was in a game that rewarded you if if you described specific moves in the fight imaginatively, especially if you used the terrain. This was meant to supplement the dice rolls, and make the fights more atmospheric.

I was playing a swordfighter, and I used to fence, so I kept thinking that it ought to be easy, but I was terrible at it. Of course, describing each individual move is a very specific skill, and...well, this wasn't a setting where "Parry in four and then feint in six and riposte in seven" would have been a good kind of detail. "Parry and riposte" was not considered imaginative. Actually, fencing is not a super-imaginative sport, so I might have actually been at a disadvantage through knowing something about it.

Obviously, I would have been better off if I'd watched a bunch of the sort of movies with fights that use the terrain, brawling through public houses and up and down streets and through fountains, etc. etc.

I guess what I'm saying is that since the gaming system was set up in a certain way, they were trying to make what was significant to the gaming system significant to the story, but there are very few (written, or oral for that matter) stories where you'd want to describe each individual move of a fight, mostly you'd probably want to either hit the really high points, if there are any amazing moves or moves that change the course of the fight entirely, or describe a general strategy over describing move after move after move.

Movies, on the other hand, can't really summarize all that effectively (except in dialogue, which never happens for fight scenes because fight scenes are cool, right?), so they're in the same boat as the tabletop game in terms of needing to show every move. (I want to say that story isn't always the main draw for a fight scene, though.)

One trick that movies have that I hadn't figured out at the time is to change the scene as often as possible -- move up the street to a different house, jump off the balcony, etc. Don't just stand there and go okay, I just used the sand, I used the tree, what on earth is left to try to engage the terrain in this fight? Forget standing there trying to parry and riposte like someone who knows how to use a sword, just go find something.

And watch the right movies beforehand, that's all I'm saying.

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LookingForOctober

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