Some of the choice bits that I’d like to shove in your collective faces:Frequently, people misidentify histrionics or melodrama as dramatic conflict. As one commenter put it, “If everyone has some massive personal turmoil going on in their life that they feel the need to splurge to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in within earshot, then that becomes hum-drum and mundane at best, and at worst exhausting.”
”Over-the-top IC angst is none of those things. Inasmuch as it bears little resemblance to how most people actually behave, it’s shallow, not vivid; eye-rolling, not moving. Striking, highly effective personal conflict is nuanced. A character struggling with inner demons isn’t constantly threatening to slash his wrists with a vibroblade. “
If you think any of those things apply to you and your writing, you’re probably right. You’re also correct in that weird feeling that other people might secretly be /eyerolling behind the screen every time your TRAGIC CHARACTER has another episode.
It’s because the rest of us know that those “episodes” are thinly veiled attempts to get everyone to make you the center of attention again.
As a semi-related example: In an IC channel in SWTOR a few days ago, someone mentioned that their daughter had been kidnapped by the Empire. I thought little of it aside from, “Oh. Kidnapping plot. Yawn.” until SIX other characters said a variant of, “Again?” or “Wasn’t she just kidnapped by them last week?”
Apparently, she gets routinely kidnapped because the Empire wants her, and they make weekly attempts, from which knights in shining armor always rescue her, she has her few days to completely recover from that trauma, and she’s back out being abducted within the week.
At some point, my poor Jedi is going to start thinking that the girl has some sort of personality disorder that makes her feel the need to be rescued from danger or that she actually wants to be part of the Empire and this brother of hers just keeps dragging her back.
In WoW it was common to have plots like that all the time. It got to the point, in that game, when someone would bring something like that up IC, everyone around them would just roll their eyes and go back to their usual conversations and drinking. It became so common place to have OMGDRAMA all around them that, well, it stopped being dramatic and just became unintentionally comical.
That sort of thing isn’t dramatic story telling, it’s just attention seeking rubbish.
I will grant that all of the above is also a common mistake that people new to roleplaying or creative writing make; most grow and develop out of it, however.
Don’t get me started on Republic players who openly admit to being slavers, trying to set up buying and selling of slaves in an open IC channel filled with SiS RPers, Jedi, other non-slaver types, or keeping slaves despite slavery being illegal and a very arrestable offense, and hiding behind the, “You can’t do anything to my character without my permission!” defense.
That’s an entirely different rant.
Don’t forget about the openly promiscuous Jedi wearing slave girl outfits. Dear god.