June 4, 2009 – 9:05 am
For the first official “Ask Anna” post, I’m going to tackle one from Nibuca of Mystic Chicanery and the Twisted Nether Blogcast. It’s a short question, but definitely a good one to ask, considering all the non-rp bloggers out there!
Dear Anna, How do you start writing RP posts on your non-rp blog? -Nib
RP has some odd stereotypes that live alongside it, and it’s not always received as well as progression/raid/pvp related content. Why? Well, a lot of reasons, but suffice it to say that it’s not unusual for me to get this kind of sentiment. Your audience is expecting one thing, and you’re not sure if they’ll be OK with the RP idea, especially the first time you introduce it.
I think there are a few things you can do, though, to break the ice a little.
- Start small. You don’t need to have your first RP post be a 10-part epic like Angrathar. In fact, I’d generally suggest against that! Do a Friday Five or two, pick a ficlet, write a little vignette. Even have a conversation between you and your character about something that maybe you like or enjoy, but they don’t (or vice versa). If you’re not used to thinking of your characters this way, it’s a nice way to “break the ice” with them – and be careful – it can be a little addicting!
- Don’t label it or apologize for it. Just post. If you spend 3 paragraphs apologizing for writing RP, you’ll create in both your readers AND yourself the understanding that somehow this is “weird” or “different”. It’s your blog. You write what you want. If you feel like writing some RPish posts, go for it.
- Don’t get in your own way. Everyone starts somewhere, and nobody is masterful the first time they do anything. If you let your fears of some external criticism stand in your way, you might convince yourself out of doing it. Your readers know and like you. They will almost certainly either enjoy or ignore your RP posts.
- Do a guest post, if you’re worried about your own audience. Most bloggers love a good guest post. If you want to write a little something, but aren’t sure if your blog is the best place to break the ice, see if another blogger will give you some limelight for a day and then link to it. Your readers will probably go read it and comment, but you’ll be away from the “expectations” on your own blog (even if they’re largely created by you!).
- Just do it. New things can be a little scary, especially new things that are as “exposing” as sharing your writing with the world. But you will find your own voice, and your own style. Maybe you’ll decide that this RP thing is more something you like to think about than write about, and that’s fine. But you’ll never know until you try! And bloggers are a LOT more forgiving than say, the general WoW forums.
The best way to break into RP is just to try. You might love it, you might not. But if you’re curious and considering doing a little more with your character beyond the pixels on the screen, take a few small steps and see what you think.
You don’t need permission from your readers to post the occasional RP style post on YOUR blog. And they won’t all leave in a huff if they’re not so keen on RP.
So good luck, happy writing, and may the RP-Fu be with you!
If you have a question for Anna that you’d like to see answered (either privately or on the blog), check out how you can submit one!
June 2, 2009 – 8:46 am
First – thank you to everyone that offered me naming advice for my little Tauren hunter. I’ve got enough fantastic names there to last me a good while – hooray! I did settle on Anaje, just… because I like it? I liked lots of them, but that was the name that stuck out at me for this particular character. (I’m back to 10 character slots full on Feathermoon too. /sigh)
This is Anaje Plainsrunner, and her prairie wolf pet, Sly. (Sly is one of the two wolf types that retains his “bark” when you click on him.)
She doesn’t have any nice RP clothes yet, because I’m poor and level 13. I’ve got something in mind for her though, I think. I’m really enjoying playing her, even in the Barrens (lol), and Sly is a great pet. It’s been odd being low level again, practicing my kiting skills – being a hunter is really slow until you get your pet – but now that they’ve got each other, things are going pretty quick!
Anaje is a story collector, of sorts. She collects old Tauraje folktales (which are usually – but not always – Native American folktales “converted” into Warcraft). Right now I’ve got three of them fully converted so she can tell them at various gatherings. One of the things I need to work on is incorporating emotes into storytelling, so that this is as much a performance as it is a good story. Last night at Nox Night, she told a version of the story of The Great Unktehi, the evil water monster, and how the Barrens came to be… well… barren. This was originally a Sioux story called “Thunderbird and the Water Monster”, and you can read the Tauraje version below the cut.
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June 1, 2009 – 2:41 pm
Hooray – even with a busy day today, I can squeeze in a quick Monday update!
- My 10 man Ulduar raid has a bad Mimiron Hangover. We’re still having to deal with him today (though hopefully that’ll be quick)
- Part 7 of Angrathar is posted. There will be 10 total parts. I think. Maybe? We’ll see!
- Anaje is level 13, and has tamed a prairie wolf whom she (and I) have named Sly. I’ll hopefully introduce them soon (when I can get screenshots and am on my wow-ing computer)
- Annie Mae is finally level 45 – and really enjoying the prot warrior lifestyle. Warbringer will be really nice, but for now stance dancing for charge is effective.
- I got a lot of wonderful things in the mail today, including a tax rebate check and my new Uncalendar (thanks TJ). My old planning system worked great in college, but it wasn’t cutting it for the more self-driven, unstructured life of a contract writer and amateur home remodeler. TJ raved about this one, so I thought I’d give it a try – and I’m already VERY very happy.
- I also have my new sunglasses (but not my new regular glasses). They are awesome. I’m hoping my regular glasses come in before I have to raid again – there are a number of factors causing my raiding-headaches, and four (plus) year old glasses are definitely part of the issue!
- Just Ask Anna now has four upcoming posts! Keep the great questions coming folks!
June 1, 2009 – 2:37 pm
This is Part of Angrethar, the story of The Battle for the Wrathgate from Aelflaed’s point of view. You can see all of the posts in this story on the Story Archives page, by searching for the Wrathgate category, or through this link.
Hearing her name, the paladin turned, saw nothing, and looked back towards Angrathar.
Fordragon’s shouting stopped, and a chill whisper like the sound of death responded.
She hopped down, trying to find the voice among the swirls of snow, ghoul parts, and wounded men. “Ayeh, I hear ye – who are ye, an’ where?”
“Under the wagon, please Aely.”
Running back and pulling loose another set of linen bandages, she found him. His side had been split open from ribcage to hip, and he was breathing blood as much as air.
A horrified gasp and shudder went through the armies gathered around the Wrathgate.
“Sweet Ligh’, Bert… I… “ and she set to bandaging his wounds. “I’ve nowt left bu’ bandages, I cannae fin’ anneh Ligh’ here now…” She bustled. He stopped her.
“Don’t. Please. I’ve died once, and dying now to know that you live and are well… is better than the first time. This life is not one that I want, nor care to keep – I want peace. Please. Peace, and rest…”
From somewhere high above, a booming voice, and the creaking squeak of siege engines.
A crash, and screaming. More crashes.
She looked out from behind the splintered wood, and fear sunk back into her stomach with all the delicacy of lead and rotten fish. Green gas, everywhere – and men screaming until their lungs filled with the choking fumes and their lives ended, drowning in open air.
A wafting wall of death floated towards them.
His voice rasped, with the rattle she knew the meaning of but didn’t want to believe. He reached for his pocket and handed her something. “You made this once, have it again. Now /run/.” Half a dozen steps and she looked back to see the wagon disappear under the oncoming wave – and there was no sound from underneath.
She ran as the screaming behind her died to a choking whisper, and as dragon and felfire blazed from the sky. She ran as breath caught in her throat and the wound in her arm grew numb. She ran, without looking back, until she collapsed in the snow, chest heaving with exhaustion and pain and cold.
In her hand, blue-purple against the pale, twilight lit snow, was a knotted cord of prayer beads.