Character Creator’s Log – Nevermind the Novel –

Some days it feels like I don’t even have the time to sneeze, much less map out a page turning back-story. Especially when, if what started out as a bit of fun… begins to feel like work, each sentence a strain.
The good news?
You don’t have to make the time, you don’t have to deal with any of it.

There are easier ways to flush out a character without going all David Copperfield
I Am Born
I Observe
I Have A Change
I Fall Into Disgrace
and all of its other tedious point-by… chin-nodding… plodding… points.

Besides, if you write it all out now, if you include every turn and twist, accolade and fault, where does the character have left to go/grow? Where is there room for someone new to enter their life or become a long-lost acquaintance, rekindled?
Or are you actually intent on playing out a mental-geriatric just waiting for Death to knock?

Better to recall how we all actually converse with and engage people.
Anecdotes. Tales to amuse, frighten and warn. Songs to belt out, lessons to learn, quirks to conceal and shy smiles that end in a rosy-blush.

Quick do me a favor… Find a copy of a play, a script, anything. Turn to the front.
What do you see? Probably something that looks like this?

Cast of Characters
George – 46- Member of the history department at NCU. Married to Martha.

Martha – 52- The daughter of the president of NCU. Married to George.

Nick – 28- A new member of the biology faculty at NCU. Married to Honey.

Honey – 26- Petite, bland wife of Nick.

This is where the play starts.
Whether you’re in the audience thumbing through the playbill, waiting for the lights to dim or reading through the script for the first time. This is what a Cast List gives.
Hardly anything.
An Name, Age, at least one ready Relationship with another character and a Profession.
A NARP, if you will… the absolute bottom barrel essentials of character-based larping.
This is the only OOC introduction I ever want.
How then, are we ever to get to know the character’s personalities, back-stories, where they came from or where they’re going? Or to put it another way, “What’s their deal?”
Simple. By observing. How they interact, how they speak. By what their body language is telling us. If they seem to always be lying or can’t keep a secret. Are they making others uncomfortable or welcome?

My secret key to strong RP is knowing how a character relates to others.
I firmly believe that having a working and most importantly, fluid, inner dialogue is more worthwhile then spending our time writing out an IC novel.

So stay tuned and join us as we tread down the well worn avenues of RP relationships and attempt to pry up the brickwork.

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Question & Response: Hashtag I Want To Larp

Recently I’ve become slightly more active on twitter.
I’ll get over the shock and the horror in time. Until then I’ll just keep giggling over the notion that I’m one step closer to being an Officially Recognized Twit.

Of course this lead to the uncovering of what hashtags and trend topics are exactly and once I understood the theories… i think…  Naturally, I had to look up #larp.

Know what I saw? (the tweets of larp ‘industry’ people aside)

Variations on this:
“I want to #larp before I die. #bucketlist”
“I really want to try larping #larp”
“I want to #larp #NerdProbz”

So I have only one question: What’s stopping you?
No. Seriously. I am beyond curious on this line.
What gets in your way so much that you can’t grab a few friends to just run around in a field, a park or even to pretend that your basement is a musty and dank cell that you’ve been confined to in order to accuse each other of murderous pasts?

Is it money?
You don’t need weapons or garb or even a full kit to get started. A few simple rules, some good friends and a basic concept for interaction and you’re golden.

Is it the rules?
There are more then one system/style/realm/era out there. Find one that you do enjoy and if you don’t like someone’s system talk to them about it. If they’re not willing to listen or explain, then keep looking or… Create your own!

Is it fear?
We all started out somewhere. Most of us are still prying out secrets and lessons and trying to look like we know it all anyway, so why not join in?

Is it admitting to your friends that you even want to try?
They’re not all gonna laugh at you. Okay they might… but who really cares?
And personally? If they actually have instant access to a bucket of pig’s blood…
in my book, that’s just an invitation to a good time.

But I’m just making things up now and I really WANT to know.
Seriously. What’s stopping you?

Told By An Idiot

There is too much ‘hate’ in our lives.  You can’t go a day without hearing about it.
Someone hates their job, our government, their family… pick your poison.
Because it is.
Same old shit, different day and the tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow of it all can get pretty depressing.

So why don’t more of us embrace the concept of: Enthusiastic Ridiculousness?

It’s a brilliant phrase, one we should all thank Jenny Lawson for crafting.
In 2011 she was invited to the Ignite Evo Convention to speak on “whatever it is you’re passionate about” and then in just 9 minutes, armed with a 15 second demonstration she’s able to perfectly sum up the main idea/concept behind Larping better then most.
And she’s not even talking about larp.

Required Viewing:
Before we continue, watch this video first and all the way through please.

It echos the opening advice that I used to tell the ‘kids’…
Speaking to a large group or acting as if you’re another person can feel pretty silly.
Because it is.
It’s a kind of localized insanity… That your audience will accept whatever you choose to present to them as the truth, or the true you.  So why be nervous?  There’s no need to fear judgement when you have a rapt audience just waiting, wanting, ready to believe in every little thing you do. Now repeat after me.
“I’m about to look like an idiot and I’m comfortable with that.” Once you come to terms with this possibility and are able to truly laugh at yourself. The easy confidence that follows makes everything else cake.

So in acting, so in life, so in larp.
Don’t worry about trying to impress, win or prove yourself.
Just do it because it makes you furiously happy. I think you’ll find it’s contagious.

We Don’t Talk About LARP Club

I look around, I look around and I see a lot of new faces.
Which means some of you have been breaking the first two rules of LARP club…

Which is GREAT!
Those were some crap rules anyhow. I don’t know who in America decided that we shouldn’t speak of our hobby. Or that if we did, it should be in hushed tones parceled among the trusted few already within our circles… Or why for that matter, some want to keep it that way. Are we ashamed, still? Really? Especially since this self-imposed silence brings with it a swarm of other issues. But namely, it’s hindering our growth.

So. This ‘rule’ of silence, hasn’t served us well and while I’m pleased to see American bloggers/communities coming out of the woodwork to toss this one out with the bath water… I’ve also started to hear a notion of dissatisfaction… murmuring from around the communities and it threatens the growth and serious recognition of our hobby. An old, knee-jerk lament in new wrapping: The ‘old school’ vs ‘new school’ whine of “things were better before.”

While I’m convinced this is mostly just a wistful and a deliberate miss-remembering for that first tightly knit LARP group in the long-long-ago.  Another thought occurs… Is it a resentment at being ‘dragged’ kicking and screaming into the public eye? Do we feel that we would lose something special, something ‘ours’ if we actually began to fully embrace the lime light that’s just beginning to shine?

Is this why we continue to hide ourselves, our opinions… sometimes even from each other and continue to mumble that we were ‘camping’ when a co-worker asks us what we did over the weekend?
Why do we clam up and insist, still grumbling to ourselves, that ‘they’ just wouldn’t understand?

Why put back up the wall of silence?
Why the attitude? Why are there so few willing to extend a hand of welcome or criticism unless we’re being asked first?
Why do we hoard our own lessons of trial and error like they’re so hard won or worse meaningless? Who does that benefit? No one. So why keep doing so, when all that is required for us ‘old schoolers’ to lend a hand in continuing to move everything and everyone forward and onto something better, into something greater, is that we speak up and share these lessons and actively  invite others out there to join in?

So I’m calling out my attitude, culling the nonsense and instead picking up the chalk, clapping the dust from the erasers and out my brain and taking everything back to the blog-board in the hope that I can start to turn this around.

Welcome everyone. Please don’t hesitate to speak up.
I promise, you won’t even have to raise your hand.