As part of my quest to refine my writing, I play on RPG forums. Each one has its own plot, theme, and stable of characters. A player could play half the characters on the forum or take one character and share it with a handful of places, seeing just what might transpire. Any number of possibilities exist as well, from wholly original settings, to historical landscapes, to Star Wars.
When I was writing Dual Identities, I took Kathryn Angel to an odd little fantasy site. It seemed interesting and they needed female characters. The setup was interesting, basically having people from the modern world get dropped into a fantasy setting and force them to fit in with the indigenous population. Considering what I knew I would do to Kathryn with the plot of Dual Identities, it was perfect.
I kept playing there because I thought it would be a good idea to explore Kathryn’s character deeper, especially since it would let me see her without all the baggage of the world she actually lives in. The problem, as of yesterday, was that some administrator didn’t like the way one or two little details were handled and decided I had to remake the character, a task that is slightly difficult without tons of rules on what likenesses can be used. (One character, one face essentially.)
Since I’ve done the initial draft of Dual Identities and just finding a new person to essentially play the part of Kathryn Angel–and I wasn’t going to get to use any of my top five choices–I decided to wash my hands of the entire situation. It wasn’t pretty, since, as a writer, I didn’t feel comfortable even leaving one phrase of creative text on that forum. I had to go through everything and delete ever post I could find. It sucked and I hated doing it, especially since all the text I wrote on that site is now gone forever.
It’s the ultimate form of “killing your darlings.”
A week ago, I found a Star Wars forum to play around with. It takes place after the Legacy era and has some really nice players and a really cool admin. It’s just getting started, especially since there are only three active characters at the moment. It’s a good enough place that, should you want to see a good play-by-post forum just getting started, I think you should look at the Children of Tomorrow. I’m using it to test out Alindra Vordrinn, the main antagonist of Tesseract, my hard science fiction novel.
Speaking of Tesseract, I think I might do a little worldbuilding on it this evening, once I get through today’s editing.