Training Tutorial 6
Tutorial 6: The world through the eyes of your character
By now you have a feel for how the game is played: other characters move things forward and leave tags for your character to add in dialogue. On the most basic level you can get along by just filling in the blanks, deciding what your character will say and responding to whatever the other writers on your ship send in your direction.
Sims from other writers will include descriptions of events that they can see and their character’s reaction to those events. When you come to write a sim for your *own* character, you will need to mention the actions that everyone can see happening, but you need to remove all internal reactions from other characters. It doesn’t make sense, for example, for you to have a passage in your sim that describes how another cadet is feeling and why, because there’s no reason for you to pick up on that! (Unless you’re an empath of course, in which case you might find yourself with some idea!)
Let’s take a look at an example. Cadet Doe reads the following sim from Cadet Bloggs:
((Example: Cliff Edge)) ::Bloggs felt his heart rise into his mouth as he stared over the edge of the cliff. He had always been afraid of heights. He watched the first officer, Commander Rollins, throw a cheeky wave at both him and Cadet Doe. He was sure that command officers were supposed to be a little more responsible.:: Bloggs: We have to go all the way down there? oO I’ll never make it! Oo Doe: Response ::Bloggs gestured for Doe to go first.:: Bloggs: After you? Maybe you can show me how it’s done? Doe: Response
When Cadet Doe comes to answer his tags and send in his reply, it would be a little strange for the thought that Bloggs has about not making it, unless Doe happens to be a telepath! It would also be strange to be reading narrative about Bloggs feeling his heart in his mouth and being afraid of heights because unless Doe knows him already he isn’t going to know! Anything that isn’t immediately relevant to Doe needs to go but things that he can see and hear get to stay:
((Example: Cliff Edge)) ::Doe stood at the cliff edge filled with eager anticipation. If someone had told him that the exam he would be taking at the end of years of hard work at the academy would include rappelling down a rock face then he would have asked whether or not it was by virtue of his good grades that he had earned that privilege! The first officer, Commander Rollins, threw a cheeky wave at both him and Cadet Doe as he started his descent.:: Bloggs: We have to go all the way down there? Doe: All the way? Buddy, you could jump to the bottom and barely even feel the impact when you landed. oO Don’t tell me this guy is going to wuss out on us! Oo ::Bloggs gestured for Doe to go first.:: Bloggs: After you? Maybe you can show me how it’s done? ::Doe offered his colleague a confident grin.:: Doe: No maybe about it! Watch and learn, Bloggs!
When you’re thinking about what to add between those double colons, you have a huge amount of things to consider. The best advice? Put yourself in your character’s shoes and think about all five senses as well as internal thoughts. Throw the doors open and let everyone take a look at what’s going on inside your character. This is your chance to tell their story and make a mark on the sim!