Some Thoughts on Statelets

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Some Thoughts on Statelets

Postby Aryeztur » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:40 am

I was browsing through the Archipelago forums today and I realized something, which is pretty self-evident if you think about it. It is the majority of statelets chose to convey their information in an IC story format. It is like picking up a novel. The exceptions to this seem to be Aryasht and Mewvan- which happen to be the most active statlets. Perhaps the activity and style of information conveyed are related.

Was it previously understood among the people entering this project that IC/stories would be the general rule? Personally, I am not a good story teller, but tend to be a strong non-fiction, history writer, so maybe I'm biased but I think there is some value to be gained in writing OOC/non-fiction style. One is that you don't have to sift through the story to find details on the culture, history, geography, etc. of the statelets. If you want to convey information and enable more interstatlet exchange, this might be the way to go. I'd love to read every post in every statelet so I can respond to them and establish ties with them from Aryasht but I don't have time to read everyone's stories, but its easier to read an information packed paragraph. It is also hard to establish the context of your statelets in the IC fashion as excerpts taken from blurbs, newspapers, and dairies often do not a prior establish this. This type of reading need not be boring or even encyclopedic, think Herodotus for example.

Another is the fact that this type of writing also takes less time and effort without necessarily being inferior in quality. It could boost activity in Archipelago.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Statelets

Postby Adelene » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:00 am

I've been doing a fair bit of nonfiction-style writing in Mevwan, but most or all of it has been intended as a framework for personal-style stories, and I'm not sure how well it would work if I tried to write in a nonfiction style for its own sake. It'd plausibly go well, though - I like a lot of what I've done so far - so I generally agree with the idea of it being a good mode to write in, though the personal style has its advantages too.

Even if we are going to do a lot of personal-style stories, it seems to me that the nonfiction-style stuff helps keep things internally consistent, and makes collaborating with others (or even just having your statelet mentioned in passing in a consistent way) much easier.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Statelets

Postby Demon of Fides » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:12 am

IC is more fun for colony 'cause I'm trying to build intrigue which is hard to do in OOC text without trailing off into the sea of ellipses...
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Re: Some Thoughts on Statelets

Postby Harvey » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:31 pm

I sort of resent this implication of this topic that stories are too bothersome to read and everything should be posted in boring, sterile paragraphs, and because you've managed to write more of them and are "more active" in terms of sheer post count (containing gems like exhibit A, exhibit B) then we're all doing it wrong. If you don't want to read the stories, fine. If your way is to write little posts, again, fine. It's your personal choice. As for me, I'm far less interested in just throwing out a bunch of information about a fake country than I am creating an experience of trying to explore how that society and its people think and feel. Based on the feedback I've gotten with the story, along with the fact that everyone else that started statelets seems to be writing along the same lines, I'd say it's appreciated. There was no previous agreement. There was no general rule. It's just people doing what they want.

Now, I agree that there is some information that doesn't belong in story format, like geography and other long-term trends that are useful when dealing with the statelet as a whole. But that tends to be some pretty boring stuff and I find myself a lot less willing to draw weather pattern maps than I am to try to react to current events in the Archipelago. If anyone has any specific questions about the statelet, they are free to ask (starting a new thread if necessary) and I'll consider the question and come up with as detailed of a response as I can. Until then, it's gunna be hit and miss.

I don't care one lick about the post count activity of Bastion or Archipelago. I'd rather read 1 post that's good enough to make me want to read again than 50 that I skim and forget about as soon as the new topic icon is gone.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Statelets

Postby Aryeztur » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:21 pm

I wasn't advocating forcing people to write one way or the other. Nor am I disparaging story-telling. In fact, if I have time, I would like to make the effort to write a decent short story myself.

For the logistics of this planet to make sense, it is necessary to establish some background information. To give an example, did anyone ever wonder how Minas Tirith managed to feed itself and its army of at least 10,000? Or how the wizard population in Harry Potter managed to educate all their children when Hogwarts only had about 300 students and was the only school in England (note that at least 100,000 people showed up to the Quidditch world cup in the UK)? Stuff like agriculture and weather might be boring but those things have real effects on things that inevitably effect the way cultures and mythologies turn out.
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