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High Fashion, High Prices
Miranda nodded in response to Stacey's question.

"Yes", she said, still smiling.

Then right on cue, Mara had popped in. Again, a pleasant surprise. Mara was another good friend of hers. And guess what? Both her and Stacey shared one thing in common with Miranda; fashion. So, what a pleasant coincidence. Surely they would be able to have fun with each other with this. Though Mara's eyes did make her slightly nervous. She knew that she was just as critical of outfit choices. Then again, Miranda was the same, but still. But she was still happy to see her, and kept her smile.

"Doing good, Mara. And you?"

And as if that weren't enough, Jamie had shown up as well. Sweet. Miranda couldn't help but let out a small chuckle at the comment about being predictable. In a way... that was true, actually. How else would they end up in the same store, after all? But that wasn't a bad thing. Far from it.

Stacey then went on about fashion trends and such. It wasn't that hard, avoiding a fashion disaster. You just need to know what's in and out, and understand things like what colors go together and junk. Stacey seemed to think pink, red, and black were better choices this season, while blue and purple were not. Miranda had her own thoughts on the matter.

"The trends this season are pretty okay. I'm pretty sure that retro stuff is in, you know? Pastels are fresh as always, and there are plenty of bright shades. Prints are pretty stylish this time, and I think athletic looks are good. What do you guys think about it?"

Let's Kill Private Threads!
Alright, my stance on private threads is the same as everyone else's.

I probably have only done private threads twice, that I can think of at the top of my head, and that would be Carol's death and the one where Marty killed Michelle. The former was of the "PM first" variety, but only because I wasn't sure if it should have been private, so I just put "ask first", since, after all, not only was it Carol's death, but a pretty major moment for Reiko's character development; it probably would have been a good idea to let us know ahead of time before posting (before you ask, I honestly didn't know at the time I made it that Rizzo was going to die in there as well, though Rocky did mention he wanted to kill someone off first before Carol). The latter I was asked to by Fio, I recall, but then Geno asked if she could post in there, and... yeah. Gravity.

I do see private threads being necessary in some circumstances, mostly if a major piece of character development and/or a death is happening, which makes sense. But if you're making private threads every other time you post one, yeah. Guess what? That is... well, for a lack of a better way to say it, kind of obnoxious. It honestly makes me think that you only want to RP with a select group of handlers, and not go out and meet new people. I'm sorry if it comes off as mean, but it's true. Public threads can be just as amazing as private, and it can be humorous to start a thread about something like, I dunno, someone trying to clean themselves up or something "normal" like that and have it by the end involve someone dying, a house on fire because someone tossed a Molotov, references to Death Note, and many other shit that makes you go "Okay, how did we get from here to here?".

I guess my point is, part of the fun behind roleplaying is how unexpected everything is. Like, you really don't know what is going to happen after you post something, and when you see someone's responses to it you can be pleasantly surprised. Private threads, in some cases, remove part of this fun. So, yeah. Putting the pledge in my sig-thingy.

Public threads. They're more under appreciated than you think.

Popular Kids
Hmmm... I was just thinking, and I was wondering if Alex Ripley would be a realistic antagonist to this group?

She's geeky and tends to get somewhat eccentric with accessories, which is bad enough, but while she is generally a nice, friendly person, she can get a little hot-headed. It's also mentioned that she tends to snark off anyone who mocks her for her interests and will stand up for anyone she sees getting bullied. Heck, a good portion of her Question Thread responses are her making oh-so-subtle jabs at Cody Patton and his dislike of geeky things! I don't see her getting bullied too much, but I can understand if a good portion of the main popular group dislike her because she doesn't take bullying and such sitting down, alongside the aforementioned geekiness and eccentric accessories. She's mostly nice and friendly, and doesn't usually go out of her way to antagonize them beyond the mentioned occasional jab, but... you probably don't want to rile her up or go after someone in her presence.

So, thoughts?

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
So, a while back (as in, the past week or so), Toben and I had a discussion about the emotion-grabbing "flashing to home", and I kind of came across a revelation about why it usually doesn't work. I finally decided to bring up this discussion point with you folks, and see what your thoughts are.

The main reason why it doesn't usually work... is that we usually don't know much about family members and such.

If you show a person crying in response to their death, if you've never shown or established this person before, then how can we care? Sure, we know them as "Bob's uncle" or "Sally's mom", but most of the time we don't get to learn much about them as characters in their own right, even if they're fairly minor. At most, we get a vague "normal relationship", a bit of detail in their profile, or if the family situation is a little odd (read: abuse/generally negative relationships), slightly more detail, maybe a flashback. I think most handlers just go "eh" when it comes to establishing family members and such, and don't think it's necessary to develop them as characters in their own right.

So, when we see like, Joe's dad crying and sobbing, if we don't know much about Joe's dad, then it gets kind of hard to sympathize with him. No matter the relation to the character, it may as well be a random stranger to the audience. But if Joe's handler goes out and tries to make Joe's dad a character in his own right, shows him during pre-game, reveals information about him that may even be completely unconnected to him being Joe's dad, and so on, it makes a bigger impact when we do see him crying at home. Heck, you don't even need to flash to home; if we find out that he is a businessman who, while he is often busy, is otherwise a doting father to him and his sister, has a love of animals, and so on, it can make for a more depressing read in hindsight after Joe's death and make us all "Oh no. That cool businessman dad who likes playing with dogs just lost his son. ):"

This is honestly the reason why Bill (Alex's brother) popped up in the Halloween thread, by the way; in general, SOTF tends to forget about family members and they're just... there. Yes, I will say I'm equally guilty of this (seriously, Keaka told me to put more detail on family over in Virtua). I personally feel SOTF needs more "domestic" scenes as a whole.

While we're on that note, know what personally bugs me? Depictions of abuse and/or arguments with family members of any kind. Mostly because... well, yeah. They kind of make me roll my eyes, to be honest. Now, I'm not entirely against portraying child abuse or arguments with family, since I personally believe that I'm not the person to tell people what to write and how to write it. But if I come across a memory thread or flashback where Susie's dad is calling her a cocksucking whore or something? That honestly bugs me. I think that if abusive parents or likewise needs to be in the story, it should be done via subtle implication (such as showing the emotional aftereffects of abuse) rather than outright showing them being abused via flashback or similar. But that's just me.

I personally love seeing normal, happy families that actually show up in threads. As I've said, we don't get to see domestic scenes in SOTF too often, and I smile to myself whenever I see a thread in pre-game involving family members that doesn't have an argument or anything. What I usually do when I write about their families is give a laconic description of what their family is like in their profile, just enough to be acceptable, and then, as I continue writing with them, figure out more extensive details about what each individual family member is like. Some of these haven't popped up in canon, I admit, so a lot of it is just in my head. I need to stop that, and actually have scenes with them (I'm pretty sure the only ones who got a fair amount of establishing in-universe were Chase's parents, and, if they count, Carol's Nevada friends).

So yeah! Family. Let's all discuss family. Anything you folks like to see or not see involving family members, aside from random flashes to home?

I honestly don't have much to say about romantic relationships right now. I do have some thoughts, but I don't know how to put them in words right now. So... I'll come back to that one later, okay? ^_^;

Alright, strengths and weaknesses.

I've said this before, but writing jerks in pre-game is pretty hard for me for whatever reason. I'm always all "Oh crap. They said something offensive and now they'll hate me for it". Weirdly enough, conversely I do well with jerks in-game most of the time, probably because it's more justified and I don't feel as bad. Despite what you folks may think of me, I'm... actually pretty sensitive and self-conscious, and I don't like people thinking I'm a jerk when in actuality that's just my character and what they'd do. But in-game jerks? I do a LOT better with. I think writing in-game snark is one of my talents or something, but it only works in-game.

Another one of my strengths, in my personal opinion, is that I like doing... pretty much whatever the hell I want. I'm not really a person concerned with realism, and more dealing with what makes a good scene. As a result, I become more focused on creating a character and establishing them, rather than trying to go for what's "realistic", just focusing on what seems reasonable for a scene. In general, I can come up with pretty good characterizations, in my opinion; the main problem, though, is putting them to print and having people... well, get the characters. As a result, I get worried if people read something that isn't there and come to a conclusion that makes me go "NO. NO. DID YOU EVEN READ THEM?", mostly because I become a doofus and not make things clear, which confuses people. So, yeah. I do well with coming up with characterization, but not so well in presenting it to the audience. In general, I have a bad habit of assuming everyone will "get" things about the characters, and not realizing I need to elaborate.

There's probably others I can think of. As you can see, even my "talents" are flawed. Which amuses me. Ah well. XD

v5 Bitch Squad
*facepalms*

I swear to god, I put her down as confirmed. Silly Kami is silly. X_x

Sorry about that, edited!

Dodge Brawl
((Skipping ahead to keep Alex active. Gotta keep this thread moving!))

A second girl plopped down next to her.

Oh, she recognized her! She was Veronica, correct? She always had a reputation for... well, being a hothead. There was a rumor circling around that she once punched someone in the face for tossing a slur regarding her sexuality at her. Then again, who wouldn't be pissed off at that? Either way, she was a hothead. While it would mean that some people would attack her for her reputation, on the other it meant that she could easily get angry, and thus determined, enough to get people she wanted.

Like Jaquilyn, there were both pros and cons.

Either way, she seemed friendly enough and wanted to talk.

"Heck yes, I'm pumped. It's like... the only game where we get to throw things at other things! How could you not enjoy that?"

Moving a lock of blonde hair out of her face, she smiled. Fun times, right?

"What about you?"

And she called out.

"And... Jaquilyn, is it? Excited?"

Sports Team and Club Members (WAIT 48 HOURS AFTER APPROVAL TO POST HERE)
Psssssssssst. Just something I noticed.

Phoebe Cho is listed twice on the School Band's list.

Par Course
((Lana Torres continued from A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks))

Well, she had just gotten off work. It went well today; the prize booth had been crowded with all sorts of children, certainly, but they had been on good behavior. So she ended up taking various stuffed animals and toys off the shelves and giving them to people playing the games. It wasn't a hard job, really, you just had to remember what tickets everything cost. It got difficult when they didn't decide what they wanted and changed their mind just as you reached for something. And the time she had to break up an argument... yeah.

But today went well, better than usual. And now it was over and she could go home. Lana was feeling sick and tired of handing out the plush unicorns The Castle liked to have. She didn't want to see another until her next shift.

As she walked past the miniature golf course, she could see the Rapunzel's Tower, a few windmills, Big Ben, and many others, hovering over the bustling crowd of people. A lot of people seemed to be hanging out here today. She could also see a little kid at the start of the fairytale course, trying to get a ball in with the help of his parents.

Lana stopped to rest on a bench just near the entrance of the course, in thought. Well, maybe she needed to rest for a second after work. Then she'd go home and... do whatever.

As she found herself idling spacing out for a second while looking at the golf courses and seeing all the people go in and out, she noticed two familiar looking boys. Wait, those were her classmates, right? Luca and Darren. She didn't know either that well. She knew Luca was on the baseball team, though, and she probably was in a class with one or both of them.

Well, might as well say hello.

She didn't want to bug them too much. She was just a classmate of theirs.

So she just politely waved. Maybe they'd wave back.

A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks
Lomelli's face had visibly darkened with frustration the second she said "Alba". Really, he knew him by now, and she didn't need any more explanation than she did give. Within a beat, he had shown up to the group of students.

First he chewed out Mallory somewhat. Well, she was just reacting, but he didn't know that, or felt he needed to stop her from arguing back, which made sense. But still.

Then came Alba. Alba... was essentially being thrown out. Was he even allowed to be here? Judging by what he said, apparently Alba was banned from the weightlifting room, or if he wasn't before, he was now. Either way. In the future she somehow felt that he wasn't coming back, or if he was, at least he wouldn't go around causing this much trouble.

Lana wasn't sure she should stick around, though, even if he left. As she stood some ways behind Lomelli, she sighed. Well, maybe later, when things were so hectic and... well, Alba-laden. So she was probably going to leave for a bit.

She went back to the treadmill, after noticing her things were still on the floor where she left them. Slinging her towel over her shoulder and grabbing her water bottle, she headed towards the door.

"I'll come back later", she mumbled in a barely audible tone.

She'd come back in when it was less hectic.

((Lana Torres continued elsewhere))

High Fashion, High Prices
((Miranda Millers continued from Gotta Go Fast!))

Alright, so what could she get today?

Something in style. Something classy. Something in good quality. Something at a good price, not overpriced or anything.

It had to be the best, or at least worth the cost.

Her father always drilled prices and such in her head. Make sure everything was the exact cost it deserved! Make sure it's good quality! And don't frivolously spend money on things! He was always kind of... worried about that sort of thing, and to some extent it had extended to Miranda. In addition, Miranda was genuinely interested in fashion design, so...

Well, buying new clothes could be considered somewhat frivolous, right? Depends on the context. Here, Miranda was planning on spending money on only one thing. Maybe two, if she spotted something she thought looked good with it. She had enough money for it, she was sure.

The current fashion season was already partway through, and while she did have some things to go with the new and current trends, she just needed to update a little bit. So far, based on what she knew, athletic looks, 1920s looks, neons, and prints were in style.

To her, fashion was important, yes. It left a good impression. But there was also something rather... artistic making clothes, or finding two clothes to work together. While there were rules for each season, it didn't hurt to experiment. It's just... rules. Artistic rules. But occasionally you can break them. It was hard to explain, really. You have to keep in mind shades of colors, for example.

Miranda always found that she didn't look good in orange, even if apparently orange was becoming a thing. So no orange. She looked horrid in orange. Probably keep going with the pastels. Those were still in fashion, that she knew of, and she looked better in them. So something pastel. Something nice.

Well, if she spotted something, she spotted something. Better be good.

As she examined a soft pink dress, knee-length (by her guess), and with a square neckline and no sleeves, she wondered. Nah, probably not. Maybe. It looked nice, but it didn't instantly jump out at her. Miranda gently placed it back on the rack. Well, looks like her quest was going to continue a bit longer-

Oh hi Stacey. What a coincidence, seeing you here. Maybe. Kind of.

Miranda walked over to her, her heels audibly clicking with each step.

"Stacey. What a surprise."

A genuine smile passed over her lips.

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Going back to my mention of writing jerk-ish people, how exactly do you personally write them? Are they any major pratfalls you've noticed in people writing jerks?

For me, there is a issue I've found when people try to write jerks.

I slightly dislike it when a character's supposed to be a "jerk"... and they have little to none redeeming about them in the long run. This is a bit of an expansion on Toben's earlier thought that jerks that decide to play right off the bat aren't as interesting as nice people who decide to play. I think that when people write characters that are supposed to be kind of horrible, they forget that these are supposed to be characters, and even the most nasty jerkass has their moments of empathy. Being a jerk doesn't necessarily mean sociopathic, after all, though the two are somewhat related. Even if your character is a bully who beats people up every day, there are going to be things to stop and make them show empathy, or at least avoiding a situation to get away from trouble. They are still going to have people they care about, things that they will object to morally, rules they both want and need to follow, even if it's to avoid getting in trouble, and so on.

What I'm saying is, keep in mind that even the most nasty jerkass will have something -even just one- that will make them go "Wait, I can't do that!", or even object to other's treatment of someone else. They will have someone that they care about, even if that person doesn't like them, as well. Jerks aren't usually just jerks.

Another thing that bugs me is when people have their characters do jerkish things... and they're not supposed to be jerks, and we're supposed to see them as heroic, or sympathetic. Now, as I've said, all the factors on the island make people do stupid things, so even the nicest character in the game will probably have a moment of snapping or doing something otherwise jerky. But when your character acts blatantly jerkass-y, and then try to portray them as a hero or otherwise sympathetically while ignoring the fact that they were being a jerk, yeah. I kind of dislike that. Yes, I can think of examples. No, I will not give you some, at least in this thread.

As I've said before, jerks are hard for me to write in pre-game, but not in-game, mostly because I go "I'M SO SORRY" in my head whenever I end up having a character say something mean or something like that.

So jerks. Do you like said sort of characters? Dislike? What about writing them?

Project: Wiki
Er, can someone explain this?

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
As for what I use pre-game for, I usually like portraying what the character's daily life is like. I also use it to put my characters in weird situations that you can't put them in for in-game, since we have the advantage of modern civilization and all that.

Pre-game is also helpful in figuring out potential pratfalls ahead of time, before the game starts. As I've said many times, it took me a while to get Aileen's characterization down in pre-game, and I kept jumping around. But by the time in-game came around, I got a hold of her and she became amazing.

A similar process is happening with me and Miranda, to be honest. By far she is the hardest of my v5 girls to write about. She was the only one I had planned since v4, and I do know what kind of character she is, but I don't know how to portray it. But hey, that's what pre-game is for, right?

A common pratfall I've run into in pre-game, I've found, is writing "mean". I'm always worried that if I write something "mean", people will take offense. Heck, even if it's coming from a fictional character, I get worried that people are going to be all "KAMI YOU BITCH". Weirdly enough, I don't have this issue for in-game as much (maybe it's because it's kinda justified?). I dunno, I've always been the really sensitive kind of person, and I guess if I write something kind of cruel towards another character, I get all "OHGODPLEASEDON'THATEME". So, pre-game has helped me to know that I really can't write meanness/snarkiness in a normal setting most of the time, rather than Murder Death Fun Island. That might explain why my snarky loner and my bitchy popular girl were/are the hardest to write for me in pre-game.

So, yeah. Pre-game helps in that area!

Agreed on chemistry, though. And not just handlers. Specific characters. Some threads are all "OH YES LET'S DO THIS!" but once they're in the same scene... it's like "... Yay?".

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Welp, might as well answer my own question.

For me, it's a little of column A, a little of column B.

You see, as noted earlier I'm one of those weird people who like to know random shit. So when I introduce an element into a story, I like doing research on it as much as possible. This meant that before v4 started I looked into how people react to trauma, to be honest (I probably would have done this even if SOTF didn't have a "realism" fetish, actually). It's actually pretty interesting, and gives you insight on how a person who had been through all this would react, how they would feel, and so on.

But also, you have to keep in mind what kind of character it is.

For example, using my own characters as an example again because I'm a whore, Sidney's not going to be the kind of person who would repeatedly blame and hate herself the second bad things happen to her. However, we can expect to see her lash out at/troll others even more than usual and/or denial as speculation.

What I'm saying is, it's good to do research! Just have it make sense. Research, knowledge of your own character, and plain common sense all help in figuring out how the heck your poor character is supposed to react.

Popular Kids
Miranda's currently not in a thread since I was busy and took her out of her last one to stop holding things up. But now things have slowed down a bit, I'd be willing to do a thread!

Popular Kids
I guess I'll toss Miranda here as well, then? O_O

As you all know, she's a BS person. She's a bit fashion-wary, with a secret fondness for anime and video games, and is on the track team.

Mean Kids, Bullies & Volatile Personalities
Would Miranda count? I think so. O_o

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
So we were just discussing something in chat, and I thought I'd bring it here!

What's this topic? The wonderful topic of PTSD and similar disorders.

Now, how often do you think PTSD symptoms should show up? Any particular way you think it should be portrayed? And what about symptoms of trauma in general? Is there any good way to portray such things? Do you do the research on how people react to trauma, or go with what feels natural?

I'll just leave this discussion point here.

v5 Bitch Squad
Okay, so I just updated the list to show who has been confirmed, who hasn't, and who seems to be dropping out their role/character that was supposed to be in the group. If you'd like to correct me, let me know!

I think I'll start sending out PMs to the unconfirmed that are still available, unless they pop in. After all, it's Wednesday, so I'll give them a heads up.

Just for the fun of it, Homestuck, MLP, and Other fandoms.
I think I've mentioned this before, but Alex is a bit of a Homestuck fan. In addition, she likes science fiction and to a lesser extent steampunk. So far, it's been confirmed she likes Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Firefly.

And Lana, I believe she alluded to being a brony in the Questions Thread. Well, she is a furry...

No clear idea on which anime Miranda (secretly) likes so far.