Yogan Yalu/Simming zhian'tara

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Simming zhian'tara: A guide

by Yogan Yalu

Zhian’tara, the Trill rite of closure, is a powerful and meaningful event in the life of a Joined Trill. It is also a unique opportunity for simmers to develop their player characters, sharpen their writing skills, and collaborate with other writers.

My player character, Yogan Yalu, performed zhian’tara in April 2398. It was a highly enjoyable experience for both the character and the writer. Over the course of several days, Yalu met each of his seven previous hosts face-to-face, as embodied by members of his family (PNPCs) and his some of his shipmates (JPs with other writers). When the experience was over, Yogan gained a new appreciation of the influence his past hosts have had on him. He also grew closer to his shipmates and repaired relationships with his family. All around, good times.

As I simmed Yalu’s zhian’tara, I learned a lot about the process of planning, writing, and executing a character arc. I also learned about how to involve other simmers and embrace unexpected opportunities for storytelling. As I reflected on the experience afterward, I also identified a number of things I might have done differently, both in-character (IC) and out-of-character (OOC). I wrote this article as a guide for other simmers of Joined Trill who are interested in writing zhian’tara for their characters. In it, I share the information I have collected, as well as tips and potential pitfalls from my own experience.

Of course, my experiences are solely my own. This article is not intended to proscribe or dictate the creativity or ideas of any writer. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to sim zhian’tara; indeed, the ritual is merely the creation of television writers who wanted to tell an interesting story and showcase the talents of a skilled group of actors. Please take everything contained here with a grain of Nimian sea salt. If you find it helpful, feel free to use it!