A Query to Ponder

  • Hey peeps! I'm sitting here watching and tv and I had an idea. I've always wanted to write something where in as I am writing I am figuring things out at the same time the character is. What I mean by that is: You start with a basic idea like Zombie outbreak, Amnesiac character, Waking from a coma, i.e. anything that starts the main character with knowing nothing.

    So the idea is to start writing without knowing at all where your story is going? Like as you write you are figuring out the next step, but nothing beyond that. You just write what comes to you... and hope at the end it comes to you? Anybody have any ideas on a story like that? Am I crazy? Cause It seems like a fun idea, but maybe I haven't thought it out enough! hahaha. Let me know what you think!

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Hey @K-thor your idea has an interesting merit and foundation in things that I like to do. One of the hardest things is to experience a world, or story, as new when you're the one creating it. This is one of the reasons I love participating in roleplay. Being able to put on a character's skin while someone else is responsible for the rules of the world (magic or no magic, technology or no technology). Thus I can dig DEEP into a story and get shocked as the character does. Though having said that, @occi and I with another dear friend of ours did a tabletop roleplay session where we knew the end. We knew the characters would die and change forms. We knew it and yet still the moment it roleplayed out, both my friend and I had to stop roleplaying for an hour as we could not stop crying. lol.

    Another method is the "pantsing" method. Like using tarot cards, or dice to influence what happens next. OR just writing whatever comes to you in the process.

    Your questions and ideas are not crazy, they are the very reason I love collaboration with every fibre of my being.

  • I was going to say the same thing as @Josey about dice. Treat it like a DnD campaign. Put the character into a situation, and then let his/her personality get them out. Then do it again. It's really fun!

  • Not knowing anything about a character or the world they're in and attempting to write that story without any outside assistance might be possible, but I would end up getting stuck far more often than if I had some framework to move around within. Character traits, impulses, ambitions, drives, some stuff that is hardcoded deep enough that they're fundamental traits of the character at the very least. Even if the world is alien and there is no character background known to the person, it'd be wise to have some sort of direction to lead the character on the adventure. I've done something like it before. . . So consider this a writing prompt, if you want.

    You are a newborn deity, the world and even existence itself is entirely new to you. At the moment you are a witness to the circumstances surrounding you (insert genre of your desire), and your power is both entirely unexplored, and seemingly limitless. Go for a few chapters that way, then twist a new knife in the deity with the following prompt: Hunger gnaws at the very core of your essence, no food or drink will bring you satisfaction. Neither blood nor passion assuage your need.

    Wander a bit deeper into world/character development to push the deity to the brink, where they finally sense that need that has been aching at the core of their essence. Unless they feed on spiritual energy, they will wither and fade from existence. Your call if the character embraces that fate, seeks a way to devour souls, or develops a sufficiently potent following of believers beholden to the deity.

    When I wrote that story based on that rough outline, the young deity acted much like a child, and was rather wasteful. She remained kind for ages, and while she yolked masses to sustain her eventually, she cared for and blessed her faithful. It could've been a happy-ever-after, but I decided to inject a conquesting tyrant to send the end for a loop.

    @Josey Roleplaying and jumping deep into the flesh and blood of a character is fun, but by now I'm sure we both know it takes some time and/or inspiration to get a handle on a new personality sufficient to feel comfortable in them. Even an adventure into one's own psyche needs some touchstones to help guide an author (or player) in my opinion.

    @K-thor I wish you luck if you do try to go with entirely unscripted, and while you could use a random chance effect to pick a direction along the way, I'd suggest allowing the character to emerge from your mind and opinions, rather than leaving it up to chaotic arbitration. Let the character tell you something about yourself while you're going on the adventure with them.

  • @toasha @Josey I actually started writing something to that very effect! I planned a zombie outbreak in my hometown and I am getting all my friends and family involved. I put them in a situation and ask them what they would do! So far it is working really well! Not mention it is a ton of fun! We are in fact rolling dice sometimes to see how things go!

    @Josey I just feel like you guys probably have a lot going on with this site just coming out of beta, and I ask a lot of questions!! :P But alas, I should expect nothing less of the wonderful people who run this site. Of course you guys are reading to jump in and discuss, look at what you have created!! :D

    @Occi Either I stole this idea from you somehow or we are just very alike. The very idea I had after I posted this was a god being trapped in a box for his entire life, coming out into the world for the first time! How crazy is that! I love the premise you propose! It would be a great writing experience, and I will use it in the future!

  • @K-thor glad to hear you're having success with your RPG/collaborative writing experience with your family and friends, that sounds like a fun project ^.^ I get the feeling some thoughts are shared by the primordial consciousness and filter into our mortal minds, different levels of openness determining the frequency of similarities, but it's not like I can prove the concept. I'm happy to see others come to similar or relatively close tangents of inspiration, as we all perceive and interpret our rendition of reality differently. Give ten people the same concept and you'll end up with ten different stories :)

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @k-thor That. Sounds. EPIC!!! Zombie outbreak! hides behind everyone Zombies scare me. My weakness! They .. shudder I also have a small obsession with questions! Questions help define everything! Or at least give us a starting point to then tell amazing stories! :D And thank you! Our entire time is crazy about writing, and writers, and well.. yeah, anything involving stories! Hehe.

    Occi's idea and you picking that at the same pretty much sums up so many fantastic concepts and ideas. Again, further reasons why I love collaboration.

    So, out of curiosity, has anyone died in horrible ways in this "zombie outbreak"? :D OR have there been any heroic skin-of-the-
    teeth moments?

  • @josey So far they have made a junkie be their guinea pig, and saved me and a doctor. However, they saved me from the hospital before I was given a diagnosis so now I am dying so they have to take me into a hospital and get me into an mri! haha. So they are prepping for that. I have yet to tell them what happens next because I am still thinking about it!

  • @Josey I just had a bunch of friends ask to join, so we have to start over. However, it is going to be even better with more people, just a lot more work in the beginning! hahaaha. If this site was going to stay free we could use it, but we will have to utilize google docs because not everyone will have money to pay for this site!

    I will be writing what happens on here though!

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @k-thor Ah but this site is free. Even after subscriptions start. :) You can have everyone create and account, and then collaborate on your story. As long as your story is public, or world is public, it is free. :) So don't think you have to pay to have people collaborate with you. The only thing there is a price on is if you want a private story, or private world. :)

    But that is awesome! Having people join and telling stories together. Man, that sounds like so much fun!

  • @josey I wish I had checked that out. I actually just figured out what started the outbreak. I've literally just come up with the most unique zombie universe I can think of, which is hard in that saturated market!

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