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Does character ownership mean as much as you think?

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Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:32 am
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Lumi says...

In contemporary storybookery, what sets YWS roleplay and collaborative projects apart from traditional roleplay is the professionalism brought to the table by all participants, I'd say.

I'd say that with money if I had to.

With that in mind, I look at the old concept of "This is the concept. Make your character!" and think "This is silly--everyone will end up writing for them anyway!" And at least in storybooks that I write for and/or manage, it's true. So it begs the question:

Does character ownership mean as much as you think?

Do traditional roleplay standards mean as much here as you want them to? Or do they mean more than you'd want?

If your answers go against the grain, this is your volition: your storybook projects and games are yours to operate as you see fit. If one person should control one character, then say so...though I personally think that's a step backwards!

But heyo! I'm a legendary control freak! I have episode arcs plotted for storybook projects that won't launch until 2018!

What are your thoughts? Where do you fall on the spectrum of freedom of control?
I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
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Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:42 pm
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ChildOfNowhere says...

Only took me three months to come around to answering this! But anyway...

I've been toying with the idea for a while now of making an SB that, while it has its list of characters, doesn't really give specific ownership over any of them to anyone. I've had one SB before that worked more or less like that (we created them together, and we could each could veto someone's death, but other than that we all controlled everyone equally), though it was short-lived due to exam season or something or other that came up.

I'd say either way can work and be the right answer, and it depends on trust/comfort level towards the people you're writing with. It's true that everyone will end up writing for everyone in the end anyway, but sometimes it's the control over a character that can build that trust and affect the comfort levels.

Personally, I think I'd like both, but it comes down to the people I'm writing with. I like having control over my character most of the time, but that's mostly because I can't always feel like the people I'm writing with will write them right otherwise-- and I'm sure they feel the exact same way about me. So in the beginning, while getting to know the SB section and its dwellers, I think ownership over characters is a good thing; it helps people see how each person writes their characters, and what they're like when it comes to collaborating and writing each others' characters into posts.
Once I know the person/people enough, though, I'm totally comfortable with a joint ownership idea. I've witten with some people (like yourself) whom I know will pay attention to the profile and treat the character with justice without me looking over their shoulder. Once we're comfortable collaborating with each other, I feel like our characters get more comfortable in a way too, and easier to control by a whole group of us without their traits changing. There's a few people I'd SBed with who could easily take any one character of mine and continue writing for them after I leave an SB, and vice versa, and it's actually pretty cool to develop a collaboration relationship to that point!

So uh, ramble aside, I'd say it makes for an interesting thing to try and completely revoke character ownership :D I'd suggest getting used to people and trusting them before getting into it, though, because being comfortable with each other will make it much easier and much more fun.
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