Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Workshop: Boost Your Writing Using Second Life (Part4/4)

Milk Wood

Workshop Notes (concl.)
Host: Lizzie Gudkov 
Location: Milk Wood
Date: November 5 2015 

3.6. The Role-playing Approach – (Re)creating environments and characters
– Role-playing, and do consider this designation in a broad sense, role-playing itself can be a very interesting resource as well.
– It’s not accessible to all and it could become expensive.
– I don’t do this myself, but I know several writers who create and recreate settings and characters of their stories in Second Life and in other virtual platforms as well.
– They create the settings of their stories in Second Life from scratch and use these to write their off-world narratives or, the other way around, they recreate in-world an idea they already had and then immerse themselves in these settings.
– They improve them, adjust, correct, add details, and explore different possibilities, triggering new material for their stories.
– They also do the same with their characters.
– They create an avatar resembling their character; and they test his looks in-world, his clothes, hair style and speech mannerisms.
– Some even write their character’s diaries or letters, for example, to help with character building.
– They literally walk in their character’s shoes!

This is an approach that combines immersion and creativity. It also offers the advantage of making it less likely for narrative inconsistencies to happen.

Before I conclude, I’d like to add a few bits and pieces on how to turn Second Life into your NaNoWriMo backup plan.

Writers are curious by nature and there’s no lack of creativity in Second Life. So, do make use of your curiosity.

    3.7. Profiles as a source of information

– Check people’s profiles - I found some of the best locations in Second Life just by reading people’s picks.

    3.8. Avatars' names and looks

– Notice avatars’ names – we often agonize over finding the right name for our characters. Second Life’s residents offer a vast array of options. Some names are totally silly, granted, but others are really smart, funny and original.
– Also notice how avatars look – there are amazing avatars out there and just check everyone’s avatars here! We could all be characters in someone’s story! And perhaps we already are!

A final note.

We’ve talked about using Second Life as a support network. We’ve talked briefly about having access to potential readership for feedback on our writing. And we’ve talked about using Virtual Reality as a source of both information and inspiration, prompting us to get back to writing if we get stuck.

Whether you have a predefined path for your novel or you are the type of writer who prefers to improvise, I cannot emphasize enough what an amazing resource Second Life is for us writers, with the added bonus of being easily accessible and triggering ideas quickly! We do need that during NaNoWriMo.

I’d like to thank Harriet for inviting me to share a bit of my experience as a writer in a virtual world. Thank you.

I’d also like to thank everyone who attended my workshop.
                      I wish you all, the best of luck with your stories.

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