3. How to Plot 'n' Post
Created by Captain Daenelia Bradley on Mon Oct 21st, 2013 @ 9:52am
A good post starts with an idea. A good idea is one that furthers a plot or story line in the current setting. Another good idea is one that introduces a possible new plot or story line for future use. In any case, a good idea is one that allows for multiple writers to work with it, something that opens up possibilities.
Writers can use the Nova PM system to plan posts, or use the post itself to shape the idea into a story. There is also an option to recruit co-writers through the OOC Forum. But if you're writing a solo post, you can still plan, by creating a beginning, middle and end. More on that concept below.
What is collaboration? For Steamhawke's purposes of collaborative writing, it means working together to create a valid and well put together post, which is both entertaining to write and to read. Undermining other writers or characters can have a function, but unless you know what you're doing and to whom you are doing it, it is not recommended. Working together beats sabotage.
It is not mad-libbing
One thing collaborative writing is not is 'mad libbing'. A 'mad lib' provides a template with empty spaces for another writer to fill in. Though an amusing game, it is not collaborative writing when all you do is write your whole post and only leave room for the other writer to construct expected responses.
Grounding your post
We expect every writer to know the setting, the plot, and the current story lines that play for every character. Usually, if you read every post, you kinda know where everything is going. But in case of specific lore or facts about a character, do your research by using the search option on the Nova site, or the Steamhawke Wiki.
Use this knowledge of plots and characters to place your post in the current story time line.
Beginning, middle and end
Every story has a beginning, middle and end. Every post has a beginning, middle and end. Structure your posts to help the readers understand your story. Badly structured posts are unreadable and will lose impact.
A good beginning grounds and introduces your plot for the post. The middle is where the action takes place that leads to the end of the post. The end is a way for you as a writer to guide the reader to your interpretation of the story that just happened. If you want to read more on different ways to structure your posts and stories, read Narrative structure, Dramatic structure or Three-act structure. Obviously a post is much shorter than a novel or play, or even a short story, but by keeping your post structured, you help your point across.
Using other characters and NPCs
When dictating another character's response or interpreting another character's actions, ask the writer. If this doesn't yield results, ask the story leaders what the best course of action would be for your post. Do not just wing it if you're not sure.
Sabotaging another character's plot without the writer's knowledge is something that goes against the ideas of this site. In Character actions will have In Character consequences. Of course, In Character drama is a fantastic plot device. But keep in mind we collaborate on stories, this is not a competition.
Categories: 6. Writing Style