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Author Topic: Tales Untold & Songs Forgot [M seeks F][Advanced Lit.][The Elder Scrolls]  (Read 455 times)

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Offline BardingTopic starter

"I met a man, following the same roads as I, but chasing a different reason. I was young then, and content to walk trackless tracks, and aim for aimlessness. I sought out gold and silver, even blood and glory where they might be found. But I played these lands, these roads; these hills and crags and caves and dales; like a game. A serious one at that. There were times of chill and fear and monstrous cloying doubt: all the parts that never make the tales, and of which a bard'll never sing. But I was in this game for its joy, its warmth, its thrill. And much as I hate to say it, the grief, the horror, and even the pleasure of killing...they were all part of the thrill. The game. Aye, adventuring's what'd caught me, and never would it let go, or so I thought.

Now, the man I met was a different manner of bird entirely. Driven by purpose and dogged as if by the lashes and madness of Oblivion. No joy in each day's dawning for him - no - but only in drawing ever closer to what he was after. Whatever that might've been, for never could I get him to tell. He followed the roads as if they were a line that dragged him by the ankle...No, more like a fish, hooked through the lip, no hope of slipping that sharp iron's grip: struck by following a sort of fate, as bound to a particular, peculiar future as is any name in a book. In a story. And he travelled with the hard-spurring speed of a man hunted. Not like he chased fortune - not like myself - but like it was chasing him. Sad, really. But sit still, sit tight, and listen well, for if you do, I'll tell you the one chapter of our two stories that tangled and grew together. Of the journey we both took..."

For some time now, I've had this craving simmering away on the backburners of my brain. Possibly for years even. But it's only just gotten strong enough to really phrase and toss out into the world, to see what it has to make of it. I've loved The Elder Scrolls games since Morrowind. Since before I'd trust myself with writing at all, let alone trust myself to write alongside someone else. Now, after spending as long as I have messing about with Morrowind, Oblivion, and most recently Skyrim, I want to go one step further. I'd like to write within this wonderful, immersive, ever-growing setting, exorcising what I don't like while keeping and expanding on what I do. For a setting whose history and lore is based on contradictions, biases, and ambiguities, this seems oddly appropriate.

I want to collaborate, with a writer I trust and respect, on adding to the huge array of stories to which Tamriel has already been home. And that's pretty much the long and short of it. I have some idea as to what I'd like to include, involve, things that might catch my interest, but mostly I'd like to see what you have to bring to the table. I want this to be as much a collaboration as possible. You know, a mutual effort. So for now, I'll keep things vague, and toss you some breadcrumbs of detail soon enough.

First though, I want to get things straight. I am looking for a co-writer. I am looking for quality. Here's what I want.

My O/Os page talks pretty extensively about what I enjoy in a co-writer. But here are the basics, set down for your convenience...

Above all, I'm looking for quality writing. I don't care about what tense you prefer to use, or whether you prefer to write in the first or third person. I can bend and break to accomodate those sort of preferences. But what I will not budge on is the quality of the writing. This does not mean 'good grammar'. It's more and less than that. It means an expressive level of detail and a respect for pacing in your prose. It means goodies like imagery, knowing how to make punctuation and syntax work for you and your character, not the reverse. It means a sense of style appropriate to the story's tone, and to your character. And that's all there is to it. I want literature.

Do not confuse post-length with post-quality. I'd prefer multi-paragraph posts in situations where detail is paramount, but when the action requires interaction, and just needs to keep on rolling then shorter ones might even work best.

That's another thing I'd love to see in an ideal co-writer: initiative, confidence. The ability and conviction to throw me an occasional curve-ball, pitch me your ideas. Inspire me.

I'd like someone capable of playing female characters. I don't care much about your real life gender, wherever it falls on the spectrum. More important is your ability to play interesting, balanced, characters. Characters every bit as psychologically complex and well-realized as any real person worth a damn.

While I'm not as insistent on this as I am on the previous two things...It'd also be nice if you were a relatively prompt poster. Don't panic. I don't mean tennis-serve-fast. A good solid post every day or three would, however, be ideal. Of course, I understand that we all have lives, and I promise to respect that yours may affect your posting speed. That's totally fine. And for all you slower posters out there: sometimes a post's so good it's worth the wait!

Creativity. Imagination. A dash of enthusiasm maybe? Those wouldn't go amiss. Nor would knowledge of the setting. I'm not talking an extensive and encyclopedic level of TES-related wisdom, but rather just enough familiarity to make you comfortable. Of course, encyclopedic wisdom's no bad thing, but it's not necessary. Not even close. More important is an eagerness to learn, a willingness to research, and perhaps a little bit of confidence in yourself, your ideas, all of that. If you were wondering, I mostly want to riff on the setting, rather than directly replicate it anyway, so make of that what you will.

Thank you for reading this list. I hope I didn't come across too harsh. But I'm hoping that the kinda writer I'm looking for will not balk at this. They'll agree that they're looking for the same thing. Every entry on this list, I also try to bring out in myself. I'm no hypocrite (I hope). So you give me your best, and I'll give you mine. If you choose to write with me. Thanks again.

If you feel like you meet those criteria, please read on!
"When we understand the events that occur to us, the events become history. History is understanding. Otherwise we are all just dumb animals trying to get in out of the cold."
- Hasphat Antabolis.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 03:24:11 AM by Barding »

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: Tales Forgot & Songs Untold [M seeks F][Advanced Lit.][The Elder Scrolls]
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 05:20:34 PM »

"We are now at the halfway point of our disjointed epic. If you are just arriving, you have missed little."
- Frincheps. An excerpt from Fool's Ebony.

Game Details

I'll start by saying what seems to me the most important thing. I do not want either of us to play the Nerevarine, the Champion of Cyrodiil or the Dragonborn. In fact, I do not want either of us to play canon characters at all. The epic I want to scribble out is not that sort of epic. I do not want our characters to hold the world in their hands. I don't want them to be that high-powered, but mostly I don't want them to be as two-dimensional as that sort of power, and that sort of scope, could make them. By keeping the scope of our story smaller, but setting it within the enormous and epic world of The Elder Scrolls, I reckon things can stay personal for them. Important, edgy, ambiguous, while still occasionally getting glimpses of the sublime, terrifying, wondrous world they live in. It's all there. Only, they don't own it, control it. They're in it.

Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be adventure. Fuck yes, there'll be adventure!

I guess the most specific I'm comfortable with getting at the moment, when it comes to who our characters might turn out to be, is this. They'll be adventurers. In one way or another. Whether they're sellswords, after fame, fortune, glory and excitement or mercenaries simply trying to scratch together enough bounty coin for their next meal. Or archaeologists, or travelling con artists, or mages convinced they can learn more from the turning world around them than from turning the pages of books. Or bards and storytellers looking for subject matter, or soldiers, by choice or otherwise. That's all open to interpretation. But they won't be average. Then again, who is?

I've said I don't want either of our characters to be 'canon characters'. That doesn't, however, mean that they won't live in momentous times. If anything, I think it'd be pretty awesome if they existed on the peripheries of interesting events, impossible occurrences, that sort of thing. It'd be cool if they lived at one of the times shown in the games, only their side is the one you don't see so much. They might meet characters featured in the games, and in its literature. They'll almost certainly visit their places, hear about their events. They'll be on the edges of moments around which the world turns, but never quite in the spotlight. Who knows, perhaps they too have some role to play?

As for when and where I'd like to set our story, that's all very much up in the air. I admit, Skyrim, the province and the Era shown in the game, are freshest in my memory, and there's a lot of things about the both of them that I'm fond of. However, Morrowind is a fascinating place, and a diverse one. So's the Era in which the game takes place. Or perhaps, if we fancy a bit of creative freedom, it might be nice to interpret somewhere that we haven't yet seen in the games. Say...Hammerfell? It's all good. It's something I'd like to leave open for discussion.

However, I am currently leaning towards Vvardenfell/Morrowind or Skyrim as settings. While Era is negotiable, the same rough time period as Skyrim, the game, would work well for me. Morrowind, however, is home to my one solid idea for a plot. It would involve two characters either caught in the immediate after-shock of the Red Mountain's eruption, struggling for survival in Vvardenfell, or struggling to leave for Solstheim or Skyrim, or two characters (probably Dunmer) returning to the ruins of Morrowind after the Red Year, and finding it now a half-empty frontier-land full of hardship, hostility, new promises and new hopes.

Finally, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, I'll say one thing about tone. I'd like it to be just that. Gritty. Realism is a difficult word when you're talking about a high fantasy world, but it's one I want to include. I want to interpret the world shown and suggested in the games, as it might be if it were real. Cities are larger, distances are enormous, Skyrim is bitterly cold and the sands of Elsweyr really are warm. Not only that, but bandits are people who bleed, breathe, love and fear for their lives, and life is harsh and hard and cheap and easily lost. I'd like to emphasise elements of wonder, the sublime, but also of horror, greed, prejudice, lust - all the good stuff. Magic is difficult, powerful, and often feared and treated with suspicion. I imagine it's also more complex to work than is shown in the games. This might seem like a bit of a moot point, but the same goes for, urh, combat. I'm thinking nasty, short, brutal. The same goes for the psychological effects it might have on people who witness or engage in it. Survival is likely to play a significant part in the story.

I hope that puts us on the same general page here.


I will be playing a male. I'd like you to play a female character. That said, I do enjoy playing with and redefining traditional gender-roles, and a world like Tamriel, in which relative equality of opportunity vies with rigid expectations, norms and prejudices seems like a fun place to do it. Let's shake things up a bit.

So, there'll be a boy and a girl...This does not instantly presuppose romance or sex. That is not the end goal of this story. Neither sex nor romance are inevitable. I'd like that, if the characters click. And sure, I'd like the characters to click, because afterall, I do like me a bit of romance-and/or-sex. But even then, I'd love it to take the form of a slow-burning sexual tension, whether it rises out of initial dislike and rivalry, or mutual wariness, unspoken respect, or outright fear. I'd like the development of any relationship between the characters to be realistic.

I want to collaborate on the plot with you. I'd like you to try and carry your weight. Suggest things, help me create this alongside you, not just for you. Brainstorming will be a fun, and perhaps extensive process.

As for races and the like, that's pretty well up to you. I will, however, say that I have a huge weakness for Dunmer. It's likely I might end up playing one. It's also likely I'd probably like you for playing one. Just putting it out there. Still, maybe I'll surprise myself. And I certainly don't want to lock you into a specific role. I want to see what you come up with, and I want you to tell me what you want to see, do, write. If that makes sense?

There's a chance I might end up developing some kind of fast-and-loose freeform system for figuring out what characters can and can't do. I have a penchant for character profiles, for example. Call me odd, but I just like developing this sort of thing, and doing it all without a pair of dice in sight. It might be fun, and even conducive, to develop and maintain inclusive inventories of what our characters have with them. Or maybe it'd just be fun to leave that up to discretion and trust each other. Depends what's more your style. As usual, I can bend to suit whatever you might fancy.

That's really all there is to it. Thank you for reading, and please, please, if you're interested, do respond. PM me. I'd love to hear from you. Ask questions, give suggestions, say what you liked and disliked. A great many things I said here can be changed and messed around with and I look forward to messing about with them, with you.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 11:08:46 AM by Barding »

Offline BardingTopic starter

I've had a report from one person who said that the formatting or font in this thread made it hard to read. If anyone else had this problem, rather than it being a one off thing, I'd appreciate it if they could tell me so that I can fix it. Thanks.

If not, this post will turn into an 'Updates' one.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 10:16:02 AM by Barding »

Offline BardingTopic starter

So I've done a whole bunch of re-editing and re-formatting, both to this thread and to my O/Os thread, to make them both more universally legible. Hopefully that's fixed the problems some folks were facing.

I've also received a couple of promising responses. However, I'm still looking, as I am not choosing co-writers on a first-come-first-served basis. Rather, I want the best I can get. If you feel like this might be you, shoot me a PM!

Offline BardingTopic starter

My initial applicants, though relatively few to start with, seem to have disappeared. While awaiting responses from them, I have decided to re-open this, tentatively. Just to see if I catch anything. As I find that you never know when you might stumble upon something wonderful, in the world of roleplaying.

Offline BardingTopic starter

I have added an idea for a plot, set in Vvardenfell/Morrowind in the 4th Era. This is the plot I'm currently leaning towards, though I'm as open for negotiation, discussion, and new ideas as ever.

My two previous applicants are no longer interested in or able to brainstorm with me, so I'm back to square one for finding co-writers.

Let's see what this turns up.