Really? Really? …Really?

Currently Working On:
Ava Reference Pic
World Building Eresith

Okay, here’s a big rule-of-the-Internet for you: joking doesn’t always come across as joking! Big surprise, right? But you would be shocked at how many people seem to forget this cardinal rule–or worse, use it as an excuse to say something mean and inconsiderate.

Example that spurned this post: I was talking about one of my tabletop RP characters, an elven warmage named Yun, and her background with another girl via PM. Admittedly, Yun’s background is convoluted even by my standards of RPing characters. That said, RP characters are my chance to get that crap out of my system so my work-characters are a lot more streamlined, so I tend to go overboard. This person is in all of three RPs with me, with three characters who have fairly straight-forward backgrounds, with enough drama and history to keep plot interesting for my fellow RPers. This is the same person who picks the stereotypes to play off with the one character that isn’t completely flat, and relies on that to be her history. She does, and I paraphrase, broad strokes with her character backgrounds, a trait which irks me.

Well, she makes a comment asking if I ever do SIMPLE backgrounds (with that word capitalized). To which my brain’s immediate response is, “Yes, with the background characters!” Because let’s face it, only a background character needs to have a simple background. A protagonist of any kind needs a detailed history, something that shaped them into who they are. That’s half the fun of character creation for me, giving my characters quirks via their histories. My biggest example there is Nick Fury. Yes, I – on occasion – play Fury for two of my RPs. I haven’t done a thing with his background because it isn’t relevant. He pops in for a scene and then leaves, chaos in his wake. I don’t need his history. But I do need to know, for example, that Charles is the one who introduced Erik to Magda, that he is the godfather to the twins, that he has a very convoluted relationship with Moira, that he feels like he violated his ethics taking over his twin’s body, etc. It’s part of being a writer!

And when I tried to explain to her that she had insulted me, she said something back that was completely inappropriate and yeah… I’m having a writer’s tiff and refusing to talk to her at the moment. Because I was on a good writing wave, conflabit! I felt like I had improved so much in terms of structure and while I had room to grow, I thought I was getting better! And now I’m plagued by self-doubts about whether my characters and dialogue are still good, since they were my best skill set when I came into my new writing program.

I really didn’t need this right now. My playwriting class is doing group critiques. And I’m terrified. Do you know what happened last time I faced group critique? I got compliments from the class till the professor started his opinion, which proceeded to berate be for somewhere between fifteen to twenty minutes, and ended with how I was unoriginal and lazy for dabbling with the minotaur myth. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, the class of fifteen proceeded to turn against me to stay in the good graces of the professor. I dropped the class, changed majors, and didn’t write a thing for six months. Not. A. Thing. And I can’t do that again. I can’t. So now I’m feeling even more bit by self-doubt, and yes… I’m no longer on a good writing place.

So please consider what you say while supposedly “joking” online. It can cause more damage than you think.

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About Rebecca M. Horner

A spinner of yarns (of the story sort, though I do crochet...and sew, and learning to make armor...) View all posts by Rebecca M. Horner

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