Constitution Writing Workshop 103

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After we talked a while about descriptions in sims, today we are talking about something else. While we try to avoid it every now and then it can happen that you don't have any tags to respond to. Usually that can be solved with making something up to produce new tags, but what if you don't have any ideas? That can happen during shore leave when your character is not working, and also in missions.

We are giving you a list of things you can do in either case! These lists are of course not complete, as there are many many possibilities, but we hope they give you some ideas. :)

What can you do when you don't have tags?

  • You can start your own plots and invite other players to join in, you can do that either by tagging a certain character directly or using the 'Anyone' Tag. Direct tags are more likely to be answered, but anyone tags invite everyone if you do not have a specific person in mind. Who knows you might end up writing with someone you didn't expect.
  • Ask players OOCly if they'd like to start a plot with you. Don't be afraid to ask, we love writing with you!
  • Write flashbacks - show us an important scene from your character's past
  • Write Backstory - Your character is more than work, show us some of their private life, their thoughts, worries, obstacles, happy days and so on
  • Write communications with family, colleagues, friends

What if I run out of ideas? What can I do?

  • You can get inspired for plot ideas everywhere. These here are just a few ideas, but there is way more.
  • Check out Star Trek related websites. Maybe you can find a hobby, a plot idea, some gear your character wants to try. You can get inspired by everything really and who knows maybe places like our wiki or memory alpha can be a source.
  • During a mission check the sims of your fellow writers, even if you are not involved in the scene in that sim. Maybe they write something that you can react to. For example Science discovered something on the sensors. Your character is at a different location but they can discover the same and add some information to it that is based on their department. This way a little detail can grow into a great plot. And you can find little treasures in other people's sims that give the plot more depths if you integrate it into your sims as well.
  • Check out the bios of the crew. Often we can find something in there that gives us an idea, like a common hobby or event. A personality trait, an illness, a family member that your character might know, maybe they were at the Academy at the same time.
  • Check out species descriptions. Sometimes there is more to our species than we know. Do you play a species that hates Cardassians and we have a Cardassian on board? Does your character agree to that or are they cool with it? Or do they have a bad experience with another player's character's species, something that is personal?
  • Check out writer resources. There are lots of websites out there that show possible plots for novels and stories, ideas for twists and tension. Maybe there is something in there for you?
  • Talk with your fellow ship mates. We are a cooperative Roleplay, we write together and that means that we also bounce ideas off each other. Often when we are stumped the other one might have an idea on what you could do. *Maybe you can even do that plot together and have some fun with it.
  • Don't think that everything your character does has to be good and perfect. Make mistakes, disagree, disobey - as long as you can stomach the In Character consequences. We love to have some tension and problems are part of life, even if it is fictional.
  • Watch TV and Movies (any kind really), you might get inspired for something.

Additional tips:

  • The longer you wait to write, the harder it gets to actually do it. So make sure you write regularly to stay in the flow
  • If you do not write often it is more likely that you do not get tags often. Firstly because you have to give something to get something, secondly because it is more fun for everyone (including you) when answers come quickly so a plot does not get stuck
  • Don't wait for others to come to you. Reach out, write sims that tag others. Nobody bites you for tagging them, on the contrary. We want to sim with you.
  • We are all the same, no matter the rank or position in character. We are all here to write with others in our beloved Star Trek World. So don't be shy :)

Did those tips give you ideas or inspiration to try out new things? Are these all things you are doing already? Do you have more tips for us what to do when we run out of tags or ideas? Please share them with us so we can learn from each other!