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Author Topic: A Writing Challenge.  (Read 5778 times)

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Offline RegularRaskolnikovTopic starter

A Writing Challenge.
« on: July 01, 2010, 10:01:35 AM »
I am often busy, being in the military. However I am proposing an idea that is entirely capable of being autonomous and finding a life of it's own without any GM or any such nonsense to muck it up.

I'm going to be frank. I'm tired of seeing cliches here on these forums. I don't want to trudge through the same tired old stories. I want to make my own.

I'm proposing to a few ambitious writers here that we create our own mythology. We would start BEFORE creation and simply go from there. However you want the universe to be created, you post it. This will force all of us, as writers, to write possibilities off of the ideas of others. As things progress I imagine that the Myths will become more and more complex. I think it would be fascinating, though, to re-write the Bible or the Qur'an in our own light!

It's only a sliver of an idea. I'm just in love with all of the possibilities. It might be strange as we won't be playing characters, really. We would, but it's hard to write an infinitely broad story (or collection of stories) from the perspective of just one man or woman.

This is just a dream. Let me know if this has piqued your interest.

-RR

Offline Kate

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 10:30:57 AM »
im interested this could be extremely interesting if it works.

Good ideas and the medium or forums that can capture them well is something
that is an art to really guess at but hey why not try it with this one huh?

Offline Absinthe Tori

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 12:32:32 PM »
It's very interesting concept consider my interest piqued!

Offline LimitlessNikkie

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Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 08:39:15 PM »
Love the concept could be really cool.

Offline Skystomp

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Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 09:40:37 PM »
Dreams are always worth it.
Interesting concept. So how to start it off? Especially given the wildly divergent minds that populate places such as this.

Perhaps something like....

There was no Begining nor End. There was neither Light nor Dark. Good nor Evil. Life nor Death. There just Was.

Offline EmptyEternity

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 09:42:56 PM »
So your essentially asking us to create our own homebrew campaign setting?

Eh, why the hell not, count me in.

Offline Insight

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 09:37:48 AM »
Yeah I think I could be a part of this. Do you plan on expanding on some guidelines for this universe, or do we just get to run wild?

Offline zoarster

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Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 10:11:20 PM »
Sounds like it could be great--do you have any idea of the "tone" you want for the universe?

Offline RegularRaskolnikovTopic starter

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2010, 02:45:09 AM »
Ah! Excellent! I wasn't expecting to get such a positive response. I see that I have a few questions to answer.

As far as tone goes: The tone is going to be set by each individual and I suspect that the story will find itself as we collaborate on what is happening. I'm not going to set a tone. I want this to be as freeform as humanly possible. I know that this sounds chaotic at best, but that's the point. Our characters will be infinitely powerful beings or even just broad forces of nature who coerce existence out of nothingness. So, yes, we would start with nothing. Just an empty void where there is no universe or even a concept of time.

For example:

Existence is an endless, placid ocean. There is nothing. There is not a ripple to disturb this ultimate peace. There is not a light to offend a soft eye. There is no time to urge me forward. There is nothing to guide me. So then, what am I? This deep black is malleable but not yet tangible. We need something. Progress? I am not yet anything. I am a flickering voice in danger of being snuffed by a tide of endless and purposeless chaos.

No. Something will happen here now.

I am a consciousness, but I am not yet realized. I need something....Form! I need shape and for there to be a shape there must be a mold. For there to be a mold there must be matter. I have nothing to use but myself, and so I shall. Out of my entity I will hew a building block. Comprised of energy, this place will become something more than what it is. There! There it is! Something tangible. A lump of mud floating endlessly in blank eternity. This thing will not go away, and it will not be swallowed by this blank pit. Weakened, I must sleep, and attend to this concept of matter at a later time.


That was a short blurb. It was one of an endless list of possibilities for how the universe could be created by a Deity. It's all about what you can imagine and HOW you can react to that person's idea. That's the concept, anyway. I thank all of you for your interest and I will be following up on all of you with a little PM so that we can brainstorm any other kinks or questions that may come to mind. I'm sure that there are a lot of them.

-RR

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2010, 08:34:31 AM »
i am also interested, nothing to stroke ones ego quite like being a literal God

would we all be omnipotent in the style of the chrisitan god? or aspected (perhaps by choice if not by nature) to certain themes?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 08:35:53 AM by Darkling »

Offline RegularRaskolnikovTopic starter

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2010, 09:04:39 AM »
Darkling! Good to see you again.

I doubt that it will be possible for the various characters we make to be omnipotent. All of the players have the ability to create literally any kind of player they want to. Other than that, though, there won't really be a limitation. The only thing that will be capable of thwarting one of your characters is another character. You won't be restricted in any other way. So we wouldn't be aspected unless we wanted to be. Keep in mind that I fully expect players to have multiple characters. As we all start to form the universe things will probably get more and more specific and more and more personal characters will be required to make things interesting.

There COULD very easily be gods in charge of certain elements, but I doubt that would happen right in the beginning. We're starting in an environment where there's not even such a thing as TIME. So there are more basic things to be created first.

Offline Insight

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2010, 09:08:01 AM »
Yeah, I was just thinking that. In most mythologies, there's some kind of "Head God" (Jupiter, Zeus, Ra, etc) should we appoint someone Head God whose job is to create the universe and bring (at least at first) other players into existence?


Offline RegularRaskolnikovTopic starter

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2010, 09:18:19 AM »
I think you're going on preconceived notions of mythology. Remember that this can be anything that we want it to be. My original reason for creating this thread was making a roleplay that was as freeform as humanly possible. So, while it's pretty much certain that there will be first, he/she will by no means be the head of anything. You can come into existence any way that you want to, but I certainly don't want one character to be labeled as some ultimate king/queen of the Gods. That would give said player's posts a little bit more weight than the others, and that goes against the spirit of this idea.

Offline Ramael

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2010, 11:13:06 AM »
Sounds interesting...if...a little vague, at the moment, but that seems to be the intent.

Just vomiting a few ideas around...if I was an all-powerful deity, the first thing I'd do, personally, would be to create another set of sentient beings that were similar to me, but not a perfect mirror image. I'd want intelligent communication with other beings but not for them to be quite as intelligent as me. Five, or six, at first, to play with my abilities, to see what exactly I can do and how far I can take it, each one being an incredible being, all of them different and unique, all of them recognising me as their creator.

I don't know what I'd call them...I'd actually wait, and see if they assigned themselves an identity in some way, shape or form.

That's what I'd do first, before creating planes of existence, before creating a planet or anything. A group of sentient but imperfect beings, surrounding me.

Offline Insight

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2010, 04:31:13 PM »
Hm, but back up.

When we think of Gods, we think of all-knowing, but what does that mean in a context where there isn't matter - much less time? If you are fundamentally and entirely a thinking thing (as Descartes would say) would you first conceive of the notion to make other thinking things?

I'm really not sure on this one. Input? Would your instinct first be to expand and toy with your own power? Create the world, perhaps?

Offline Ramael

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2010, 06:50:36 PM »
Yeah, I was hoping to avoid delving too heavily into philosophy, as then we'd never actually get any constructive writing done.

If you actually want to think of all-knowing (and the concept is, by its nature, is fundamentally incomprehensible for human beings) deities, there'd either be no reason at all for doing something, or every reason to do it, ergo, as the original poster said, quite literally everything is possible, even nothing at all.

...and nothing at all would be boring for us none all-knowing beings.

Creating other thinking beings has just as much validation as creating a world, and yet neither have any reason at all. Why create a world when I could just make beings that don't require things such as neutrons, protons and electrons to exist?

But, like I say, that way lays wikipedia counter-productive navel-gasing.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 06:51:41 PM by Ramael »

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2010, 10:29:31 PM »
that brings up another thought, will we all be competing over the same mud ball? or will we each be setting up our own little plot in the universe?


hell, are we even limited to being in the same 'universe'? (defined as a space that operates based on a set of laws. ie, could one of us have a 'setting' where stars burn pink and it rains M&ms, while another has a normal one analogue to the real universe?)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 10:31:49 PM by Darkling »

Online Chrystal

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2010, 06:46:06 AM »
Okay, this is highly interesting... It is also entertaining to see how many people here have ambitions towards godhood!

While having things as freeform as possible is a good idea, I do thing some sort of rules might be required concerning the actual start of everything... Otherwise - well, let's jsut say that if I was feeling really perverse, I might have my character start time running backwards...

That said, who is to say that time is NOT running backwards? We perceive it as running forwards because - well, it's what we're used to...

Yeah, I was hoping to avoid delving too heavily into philosophy, as then we'd never actually get any constructive writing done.

Ramael, I agree to a certain extent, but it's worth pointing out that this whole thing of being a god puts one outside of time and therefore the concept of something "coming first" is irrelevant! Time is, after all, just another dimension.

Another thought occurs: It's my own personal philosophy that gods are, in effect, parasitic beings that feed off the "worship" of humans. This is evident by the fact that gods that are no longer worshipped seem to die off. Is this a concept that we might want to bring in at some point? Don't have to of course, but it's an option...

Offline Ramael

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2010, 07:30:12 AM »
Ramael, I agree to a certain extent, but it's worth pointing out that this whole thing of being a god puts one outside of time and therefore the concept of something "coming first" is irrelevant! Time is, after all, just another dimension.

I'm not sure that I said anything about anything "coming first"...

But! Surely a creator would have a sense of something existing before anything else existing? And if you subtract Time away from an RP....we're gonna have no tenses. At all. Much as I think that'll be fun for two posts...

Another thought occurs: It's my own personal philosophy that gods are, in effect, parasitic beings that feed off the "worship" of humans. This is evident by the fact that gods that are no longer worshipped seem to die off. Is this a concept that we might want to bring in at some point? Don't have to of course, but it's an option...

Hey, another Parasitist! Don't get many round my parts. Tell me, are you an Old Testament (Existentialism) or a New Testament (Neil Gaiman) kinda gal?

Either way, I too love this concept!

But we haven't got round to inventing sentient beings yet. That's still in the works. We're on dimensions at the moment.

Online Chrystal

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2010, 08:31:59 AM »
I'm not sure that I said anything about anything "coming first"...

But! Surely a creator would have a sense of something existing before anything else existing? And if you subtract Time away from an RP....we're gonna have no tenses. At all. Much as I think that'll be fun for two posts...

Hey, another Parasitist! Don't get many round my parts. Tell me, are you an Old Testament (Existentialism) or a New Testament (Neil Gaiman) kinda gal?

Either way, I too love this concept!

But we haven't got round to inventing sentient beings yet. That's still in the works. We're on dimensions at the moment.

Heh. You specifically said
... if I was an all-powerful deity, the first thing I'd do, ...

I just find it amusing that us puny humans are incapable of comprehending life outside of time. If you were ALL powerful, you wouldn't need to do anything first. You could do it all at the same time! (Which IMHO is what makes the Genesis story so laughable).

But I take the point about having some sort of chronology for RP purposes!

Actually, I'm more a pre-Christian pagan type parasite.

Offline Insight

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2010, 08:39:29 AM »
Woman's got a point.

Quote
But we haven't got round to inventing sentient beings yet. That's still in the works. We're on dimensions at the moment.

Well sure, but this might go a long way to solving our dimensional quandary. If a God for whatever reason needs worshippers, is it possible such a God would feel incomplete/dissatisfied/thirsty/gaseous if it didn't have followers? Maybe a God is born and says, "Well damn, time to get some attention," and his first thought is to blow a hole in a city.

Why don't we work off this concept? It gives us all a reason to hate each other, which makes every story more fun! In other news:
Quote
hell, are we even limited to being in the same 'universe'? (defined as a space that operates based on a set of laws. ie, could one of us have a 'setting' where stars burn pink and it rains M&ms, while another has a normal one analogue to the real universe?)

I call the universe that rains m&m's.

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2010, 08:52:33 AM »
mhm you lot are a fan of parasitic gods, i highly recommend steven erikson's Malazan Book of The Fallen saga (first book is Gardens of The Moon). the divinity in the setting is hopelessly parasitic, to the point that the god are often controlled by their worshippers... one god actually falling because he refused to bend to the demands of his worshippers, while another is forced to serve and protect a Very Bad Man because the man is the only priest he has left, and so on. its a interesting setting.

but we wouldn't go that far in this game hopefully... though we would have to consider the larger implications of risking the loss of worshippers if you do not fulfil their expectations. the Chains run both ways.

Offline RegularRaskolnikovTopic starter

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2010, 09:17:02 AM »
Like I said: This is a collaborative effort. If everyone thinks it's a good idea to become dependent on worshipers then so be it. The only issue I see is that this game starts at a point BEFORE followers. It's certainly possible to become bound to followers, obviously. There's no real issue with it. It will only require patience.

These Deities will not be all powerful. It's not possible for us to even conceive of the thought processes of a being that exists beyond our concept of space and time. So, what will probably end up happening is we'll make the Gods that we CAN imagine. So they'll most likely have some sort of flaw. They'll disagree and even fight. I still don't want to impose any real rules on this because the chaos is what makes it a challenge.

I'm sure rivalries will develop over time. Everyone here seems to be trying to AGREE on an approach when I personally think it will be much more fun if the conflicts arise from "I want it done this way, but He's doing it this way. I think I'll try and undo everything that he's doing."

Or...

"I hate everything and want to destroy everything for the sake of causing others pain."

Who's to say what motivates omnipotence?

Online Chrystal

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2010, 10:05:12 AM »
Like I said: This is a collaborative effort. If everyone thinks it's a good idea to become dependent on worshipers then so be it. The only issue I see is that this game starts at a point BEFORE followers. It's certainly possible to become bound to followers, obviously. There's no real issue with it. It will only require patience.

Why? Like I said, if gods exist "before" time, they exist outside it.

Allow me an analogy, please?

Imagine a flick book. You know the sort of thing? A pad of paper that has a drawing on each page, and by flicking the pages rapidly the drawings appear to come to life. It's the most primitive form of animation going and I'm sure we've all drwan flick-cartoons from time to time, yes?

Now, imagine that each page of the flick book is as big as the universe, and the stack of pages is infinite. However, you are the artist that has drawn on each page. You are outside the flick book, and can see any page you wish, can change any page in any sequence you like.  To the characters drawn on the pages, you are God. (Or at least, a god).

The point, of course, is that time is represented by the passing of each character from one page to the next, but as gods, we are outside of time and can see all of it at once. Thus there is no need to "wait" for worshippers to come into being. We simply create them on the correct page of "history" as we need them.

These Deities will not be all powerful. It's not possible for us to even conceive of the thought processes of a being that exists beyond our concept of space and time. So, what will probably end up happening is we'll make the Gods that we CAN imagine. So they'll most likely have some sort of flaw. They'll disagree and even fight. I still don't want to impose any real rules on this because the chaos is what makes it a challenge.

My point exactly. Didn't a wise man once say that man created god in his own image? I think my analogy should help people get the concept of being "outside" time. One thing does not have to follow another. Things can occur simultaneously or not occur at all!

Interesting question: How do gods fight? There is only one way I can think of and that is through their mortal followers!

Woman's got a point.

(quote edited)

I call the universe that rains m&m's.

Why thank you :)

And I call the one populated entirely by naked women!

Offline Insight

Re: A Writing Challenge.
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2010, 10:48:08 AM »
Any woman can be naked if you know the right things to say. However, "I am God," may not be a good start.

Anyway, this presents a new problem. Seems to me like the Gods would battle it out for as long as it took for everyone to say, "You know what, we'll go with it." If time can be changed in...er...real-time, it seems like the timeline of human history would be set from the get-go and it would never seem, to humans, that there was any God. It could be hundreds of centuries before the Gods figured things out (or maybe the blink of an eye), but war determines who's left, not who's right. Somebody will, eventually, win and set the timeline as they wish it to be.

So let's limit ourselves - no changing events in the past. Perhaps our powers can be to understand exactly what that will cause down the road and allow us to act accordingly?