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TurkHawkings

Fiction Format Question

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From this page: http://www.starbase1...simming-basics/

"While our organization officially recognizes the script format (explained below) as our primary format for simming, some members choose to write in fiction format. While script format uses a layout that tends to be action oriented and is often not easily recognizable by anyone outside of film or theater, the fiction format is what most readers are accustomed to seeing in books. The fiction format follows the generally defined rules of using quotations to mark dialogue, and paragraphs to mark actions. We prefer script format, but fiction format is allowed."

I just want to be sure. There are games under SB 118 that do allow "fiction format", correct?

And if so, what are their name(s)?

THANKS!

Edited by TurkHawkings

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I know that fiction format is acceptable for the monthly challenges and the character cafe. There might be other instances that I'm not aware of, but as far as every day, game simming goes, it's script format;)

Hope that helps!

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From this page: http://www.starbase1...simming-basics/

"While our organization officially recognizes the script format (explained below) as our primary format for simming, some members choose to write in fiction format. While script format uses a layout that tends to be action oriented and is often not easily recognizable by anyone outside of film or theater, the fiction format is what most readers are accustomed to seeing in books. The fiction format follows the generally defined rules of using quotations to mark dialogue, and paragraphs to mark actions. We prefer script format, but fiction format is allowed."

I just want to be sure. There are games under SB 118 that do allow "fiction format", correct?

And if so, what are their name(s)?

THANKS!

I believe your Training Officer will be responding with an answer, soon :)

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I may be jumping into a discusson in which i have no business being in, so I will apologize in advance if the below is "out of place" or "unacceptable".

I have taken part in at least 4 different "Star Trek / Sci-Fi RPGs" and all used the Fiction format. Everyone that joined in these sims seemed to be most happy with this format because it allows them to feel more like they are reading / contributing to an ongoing story. There have been a few in which people were not allowed to write for other characters...

---

Example:

Elan walked into the Officer's Lounge and noted that the First Officer had been sitting with the Ship's Counsellor. Although he suspected that they were having a discussion of a personal level, the Caitian still decided to approach confident that his reasoning for interrupting would be accepted.

"My appologizes Sir," Elan humbly offered. "May I join you? I have a matter of some urgency to discuss with you."

(Tag First Officer, Counsellor)

---

Although this insures that nothing is said or done inappropriately with anyone's character it does slow the pace of the story should one or more of the players whose character was tagged are not able to reply in a reasonable amount of time.

The other RPGs I belonged to actually encouraged people to write for *all* characters, thus allowing them to actually grow through not only the writing of their owner but also through the imagination of others. In another incarnaton, Elan was said to love apple juice, someting hat I had never thouht of and was happy to incorporate into his character.

Anyway, I am getting off topic. I personally prefer the "open fiction" forma in which players are encounraged to write the full scene while still leaving room for additional details to be added or corrected by the owners should there be a need.

---

Example:

Elan walked into the Officer's Lounge and noted that the First Officer had been sitting with the Ship's Counsellor. Although he suspected that they were having a discussion of a personal level, the Caitian still decided to approach confident that his reasoning for interrupting would be accepted.

"My appologizes Sir," Elan humbly offered. "May I join you? I have a matter of some urgency to discuss with you."

"If Elan has a matter of some urgency," the Counsellor echoed with a playful tone, "I would think it best that you listen to him," she added as she grinned at the First Officer knowing that their own conversation could wait a few minutes.

The First Officer signed playfully. The Caitian had been a model Officer since his arrival onboard but he had displayed a certain over zealous desire to report every little *problem* to the command staff. "By all means, have a seat," the ExO stated as he offered one of the empty chairs to the new arrival while silently planning a way to even out the score with the Ship's Counsellor.

Elan sat and immediately proceeded to explain, in rather painful detail, how he had noticed that one of the secondary plasma conduits on the port nacelle had displayed signs of structural fatigue and that even though it had been scheduled for replacment in less than a week, the Caitain had thought it best to perform this *urgent* repair now and had offered to put in all of the extra time required for him to do this himself.

The Counsellor did her best to hide her amuzement as she watched the First Officer's annoyance gradually mount as the Catian's explanation progressed without any signs of ending soon. The occasional glare that the ExO had managed to send her way had been almost enough to make her laught out loud, but she held firm.

Evantually the First Officer agreed to the *urgent* repair and sent the Caitian on his way before turning his fullest attention to the still visibly amused Counsellor. "That was cruel of you."

"Cruel?" the Ship's Counsellor repeated with an tone of surprised innocence. "Just think of how happy you made him," she added with a tender smile as she leaned over the table.

"Yeah," the ExO agreed with a quick chuckle. "He has to be the only officer I know that would be happy to put in an extra 12 to 15 hours worth of work into something that could have waited a few days and be done by a full team instead of just one person."

"Look on the bright side," the Counsellor grinned. "That's 12 to 15 hours that he won't be bothering you or the Captain."

---

For me, writing this way is so normal, natural. It is true that at first it can be difficult as you get to learn the specifics of each character, but in time it does offer possibilities that would in any other style remain untapped, leaving the stories to be far more static in flow and imagination than they could otherwise be.

Sorry... just the longwinded opinion of a Cadet who should probably learn to keep his mouth shut ;-)

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A lot of writers feel more comfortable writing in a fiction/narrative format, however, Starbase 118 is not just a group of writers. On the contrary, we have many members who find the task of actually writing a story (in fiction/narrative format) a little bit overwhelming. Even more writers here would claim that they are anything but 'writers' as well. While we do have some of the most amazing writers (in the world, IMO) throughout our fleet, it is important that we enable participation from anyone who enjoys Star Trek and the world that has been created within that realm.

To that end, I would classify this group as a Star Trek group more than a Writing group. Sure, text is the method we use to involve ourselves in the games (ships) here, but to facilitate ease of participation on both the writers and readers sides, script format is almost a necessity. By simming in this format and leaving openings where others can specifically jump in, we give clear and concise definition to actions, thoughts, and speech, which enables those who are either from a country where English is not the main language or those who simply don't feel able to write in narrative format (with any certainty of grammatical correctness) a chance to participate in the proliferation of the Star Trek universe.

I personally prefer the "open fiction" format in which players are encouraged to write the full scene while still leaving room for additional details to be added or corrected by the owners should there be a need.

You can write a full scene without ever speaking or really acting for another character. Our individual characters are a deep sense of pride for many people here. Indeed, some of them have been around for years and years, and some writers have gone to great lengths to build up certain aspects of personality or individualism. No one wants to really join so that they can read up on a character who has been around for ten years (in order to accurately sim them in a scene), so instead we go on the distinction that each individual is the only person to write for a character. That's not to say that you can't write reactions to what you already do know that character will do though. Many of us get together OOC via YM or other methods and talk behind the scenes to iron some things out that go in our sims for this exact purpose. Aside from that, it will only take you a few months to really learn some of the more common aspects of the characters around you and all the pieces fall into place.

=)

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I understand what you are saying and agree with the advantages a script format would present. I also know that in each of the sims I participated in claimed to have the best writers, a fact that is great as it clearly shows that there are a lot of great writers out there, each one with their own individual flare and style.

Therefore based on the above and acknowledging that script format is unfortunately not for me, I am sorry to say that I will be resuming my search for a Star Trek sim, one that i will be a better fit for so as to not waste anyone's time here. May your adventures be numerous and filled with wonders.

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For my part, I found it challenging at first to sim in the "script-style" form used on the ships here, but the more I practiced at it, and watched how other, more experienced writers crafted their sims, I really developed an appreciation for it.

One of the things I found hardest to grasp was writing out my character's dialogue in a conversation, leaving the other person's reply blank, then continuing on with my own character's contribution. "How am I supposed to know how they're going to respond?" I thought. Fortunately, with the training mission, and then writing back-and-forth with the people on the Drake, I started to get the hang of it.

Other players writing the framework for my character's dialogue was a challenge, too, especially when I wasn't sure what response they were expecting from my character. I tried to keep an open mind and write what I thought was appropriate, and as my own familiarity with my character has grown, my confidence in writing for him has as well. The same is true for the others on my ship; it only has gotten easier to participate as time has gone on. I'm glad I'm sticking with it.

The funny thing is, writing one character's half of a conversation isn't that far removed from having a real-time conversation with someone. How often have I not really been plugged into what the other person was saying, because I was thinking about what I would say next? cool.png

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Same here. I was used to writing short stories. In fact, I'd tried some script-writing at university and I'd never really managed to get a grip on it.

But with a bit of practice I found it really easy to adjust.

I guess it really does depend on what you're used to.

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Speaking as someone who is in training now, after being around other sims that use various methods, I don't see the script method as all that bad. With a little aggravation at first, it is growing on me. But it makes editing my replies so much easier. I can do away with inner monologues or thoughts that I know my character wouldn't hear, and center things around the common actions and speaking and then place my characters thoughts, actions, and responses appropriately.

Also, I just want to give huge kudos to you for your training. The feedback I have received has been very helpful,, and the trainers have proven knowledgeable and willing to answer even the more mundane questions. It's been a blast.

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Other than the formatting I.e using :: and putting the name in front of the person speaking I don't find much of a difference between script and fiction styles.

Using the :: signage I can use that as the narration or when I am describing the room or atmosphere, or giving a bit of back story.

I am still in training and have not had any feedback yet but so far I think I am doing everything right.

I also really like the tagging idea, helps tie the posts together and sometimes it makes sense that your post is the one that capture a lot of the other posts and helps bring that "scene" together.

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I have to agree. I am used to writing every character, from many point of views, even from the 'enemy's viewpoint and in fiction format. Not only from other RPs but also from writing short stories etc.

But I did not find it that hard to adjust during the training I am in right now. The descriptions are still the same just that i put :: before and after. I have to admit that not writing for others takes more to get used to, but it's fine since I do not know the characters yet and would hate to put something into their mouths they would never say.

So while I still prefer the fiction format it is not hard to get used to script style and tagging.

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Sorry to warm up this kinda old thread but I am confused about the Script format. It is clear to me why it is supposed to be "easier" and though I find it quite much harder than the fiction style, I think I'll be able to handle it. My questions concerns the way you actually "quote" other people. If this was truly a Script that is expanded by very player, it should grow with every sim and nothing should be left out. That would be quite clear to me, although the mails would be huge in the end. But it seems that the Sims are bing cut here and there without any information about what is left out and what stays in.

This matter is very important to me. If I don't understand in the end how to handle it, I won't be able to start playing here. At least that's what I fear most. As I said above, it's not the oO ... Oo or :: ... :: I don't get. It is simply the question: What do I quote, what do I cut? I'm feeling a bit stupid while asking this. Hopfeully someone can help me :(

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Good questions.

Cutting: I cut mine when I can tell by reading all the writets have not only answered most or all open tags, but are pushing story forward. I treat the cut as a new chapter not a cut.

Also, cut out the other people's descriptions, thoughts (Bits in these oO.....Oo). Put your character's own unique point of view These mean actions, thoughts, what they feel through the five senses, and what they do next.(pushing shory forward)

Quotes: if you mean people talking to you or conversations happening around the character, he or she can hear, leave those.

I hope this answers the questions. Let me know if it does, or does not. Sometimes I need to tty again. I have trouble stating what I wish. ,:)

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There's no reason to worry -- we're going to teach you everything you need to know once training starts!

But here's some clarity: You only include, in each sim, what's relevant to that particular scene. You don't need to include things that have already happened because when your sim show's up in someone else's inbox, the assumption is the rest of the crew has read the previous scenes and don't need to see them again.

The fleet archive includes sims from every ship. You can read through them to get a feel for what people are including, or not including. It's really quite easy once you get started, and learning by doing -- and watching other peoples' examples -- is really the best way to dive in.

The training group is also a great place to get a taste of what we do and how we do it. There's no commitment at any time, so I encourage you not to worry about too much, just plan on getting into the training group and having a good time while learning about how it works. If it's not for you, you can drop out at any time.

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Like T'Mihn said you take out descriptions and thoughts from other people as your character does not know what they think or remember or similar things, so that in the end the sim is 100% from the view of your character. If other people describe how they do something, and your character sees it, describe it how your character sees it. For example:

:: She thought about that for a moment. She could really need a few minutes of breathing before heading back into the lion's den. She would have to check on bridge sooner or later and their time would be running out. .oO I wish this could be over already Oo. ::

That would be nothing your character knows happening in her mind. Instead she would see someone sitting there for a moment doing nothing. You could write something like:

:: Dial noticed that the woman fell silent and wondered where she was with her thoughts.::

Or something in that general direction, plus your own description etc.

It is not a pure script style, more a character point of view (not all knowing like in many novels) written in third person. Hope that was not too confusing.

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Thank all of you. Now I know how it works. I always understand the CO/XO's sims better than those of my fellow cadets. Maybe this will improve as time goes by.

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What are the rules for joint posts? In prior sims, friends would either send an email back and forth with responses or get into one of the many IM screens and write a post that way.

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What are the rules for joint posts? In prior sims, friends would either send an email back and forth with responses or get into one of the many IM screens and write a post that way.

That is how we usually do them here too :) Although it is popular to use Google Docs so that both parties can edit at the same time, or to just make it easier for everyone.

Hope this helps!

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I do want to point out, though, that joint posts are not allowed in the Academy. You will be able to dive into those once you graduate and are placed on your permanent vessel. :thumbsup:

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