Setting the Scene

Topic started by OmegaMekix on May 31, 2010. Last post by SamJaz 1 year, 4 months ago.
Post by OmegaMekix (3,847 posts) See mini bio Level 16
 As an RPG player you must always be able to write an scene of their reaction to any situation. So this thread is a fun game of practicing these skills.

So here is how the game goes. First you need to use your current RPG character that you use all the time. No making a new character to match the scene, that is cheating. To begin you have to check out the scene the last player placed for you. Then make an introductory sentence recapping the scene (you may mention how you got into that situation but that is optional). Proceed to write the story until whatever little problem is solved. The post can be as long as you want. After you have written your post put a whole new scene for the next person to play with. The scene you put down should be kept vague so the next player has some room to work with.

For example:

Lets say the lasst post said "Underwater and surrounded by hungry sharks" 

I would write my post as if my character was in that situation.

As OmegaMekix held his breath he looked around at all the surrounding sharks. Not only was his lungs screaming for air but the sharks all looked hungry enough to try human flesh. One of the larger sharks lunged forward. Using his nanobots Mekix created a shield to block the shark and started swimming to the surface. Every time a shark got close enough he would use his nanobots to make a shield to keep them away. Eventually the sharks left knowing they wouldn't get close enough to a meal. As his lungs were burning from the lack of oxygen he finally pierced the ocean surface to drawn fresh air back into his lungs. OmegaMekix survived his underwater encounter with the sharks.

After writing my scene I would then skip a couple of lines and type down the scene for the next player. The game begins with the scene I'm putting down. Have fun.

In front of a giant, prehistoric T-Rex.

Post by paladin (1,195 posts) See mini bio Level 13
  Interesting.Good for both passtimes and practice.

Toothsome Welcome:

Gottfried escaped the darkness and found himself in a new world once again. It is a forest though the vegetation looks somehow strange. "RAWRR!" His trail of thought was interrupted by the deafening roar. It was something right behind him. He feels somehow dizzy, maybe that's why he didn't notice the creature before. "Warm welcome as usual." A towering mature Tyranosaurus Rex stands in front of him. It looks angry, Gottfried instinctively knows it's going to attack him. He reaches for his sword but he can't find it. "Damn, perfect timing." Gottfried takes it for the run. In his current state and without a sword, facing that monster is too risky. Gottfried is heading for a huge pine tree. The beast is chasing him, it's fast! Gottfried just barely has the upper hand in terms of speed. To add he's running in unfamiliar grounds. If it comes to the worst the beast can catch up to him in an instant.
Thankfully it didn't happen. Gottfried ran on a stable ground with little to none obstacles. It could have been much worse. He's finally near the tree. He takes up his pace to gather a momentum strong enough for the next move. He doesn't stop at the tree and runs up on the trunk vertically. The T-Rex isn't that much behind. The instant when the beast is about to catch up Gottfried kicks himself off the tree and perform a backflip. He jumps high enough to land on the top of the dinosaur's head. The T-Rex quick to notice this and ferociously tries to shake Gottfried off. He makes his stands and quickly crawls down to the creature's neck. Gottfried focuses and blasts the T-Rex's neck with an enchanted punch. The creature collapses without a voice the next second. He jumps off from the beast before it happens. Gottfried stares at the defeated T-Rex in silence before he walks away. "I swear you will pay...Retrias."

Disposing of some thugs on the street.
Post by Nerx (13,853 posts) See mini bio Level 12

Hunter became the hunted

Sleeping on a box, leaning on brick walls. Heartbeat getting louder with more heartbeats, footsteps passing by followed after by more footsteps. Eyes open and looking left at a bunch of men chasing after a lady , smells of sexual frustration vented out on an acceptable target. Nerx stood up and casually moves to the proximity of the activity taking place, within the mild distance he ca actually smell her fears as five rough individuals attempted to bury her after they get it over. As two hold her down one of them has begun to swoop in , helpless and scared. A group of five became a group of six as one unexpected member joins without consent, watching as they indulge here and there. A hero would have intervened and saved her right away , but being the way he is Nerx gets the privilege to watch without being noticed "Take it whore, take it" as one of the man said. 
Now Nerx looked at the five men , all exhausted after spoiling that one woman. The woman is safe as he has passed beyond the five second rule, but these guys... the fun thing about being a monster is that people tend to get clueless until its too late. Then a horrible popping sound was heard accompanied by bursting, as one of the perpetrators unzipped his dirtied pants an entire arm penetrated a hole through his chest. Huge amounts of blood spattered across the tired men and over the half-conscious woman "!@#$" as the next one said before having his head slapped away as if it is made from gelatin. The moments that followed through could be best described as gruesome, as if something came out of a grind-house movie to redecorate the alleys with primal red. at the end the police could only identify a naked lady covered in blood, somehow still alive and unscathed.
 A figure walks away on the distance, tattered in human "Note to self, eat people after they cleaned themselves" then he picks the bones in his teeth.

Lining up in a minimart
Post by OmegaMekix (3,847 posts) See mini bio Level 16

The Other Kind of Line-Up

Victor Young patiently waited in line to buy his groceries. Apparently the young cashier was having difficulties with the machine. It keep making a weird buzzing noise and couldn't calculate the sum. This wouldn't be so bad except she was the only cashier at the moment. This was all that was available. So far there were three people in front of him and four behind him. At the current rate he wouldn't be eating soon. 

Victor rolled his eyes as he sighed. Secretly using his nanobots, he sent some over to the machine to help it function. Soon enough people were going through in a much better pace. Victor politely paid his bill and walked out, leaving the nanobots in the machine. They would only last until the store closed. They could buy a new one. 
 Discovering an Evil Clone

Post by cfatalis (19,150 posts) See mini bio Level 15

Fatalis and Silataf

 Who are you? the cape wearing god asked , an omnious figure stands before him, laughing like a madman
why do you look charming? the figure stands with Fatalis of same height, same weight, and the same looks
My name is Silataf, i am your evil clone, i am raised with both brains and brawn, I am against Lolicon, i love fanwanking and think it is normal, all is according to my plan
as this Silataf person speak, Fatalis begin to think and then said  So in other word you are my opposite yes?, you have everything in reverse?
HAHAHAHA yes but fear not for i have made inventions with my creativity, i am would not explain how those works, just that i have researched everything i need
Oh yes......  my life seems to getting even more cliched, i am betting you are my lost lost evil/good/neutral whatever brother?
NO, haven't you heard of anything i say? I Silataf will control all, i am your clone, not your brother
But that is against the cliche right?, an evil/good king should have this jealous sibling vying against the throne , not an evil clone, heavens no that should be for the superheroes
SHUT UP SHUT UP, all will go within my plan , I AM SILATAF , your clone
First of all you planned for me to call you clone , which failed , clearly against the normal rules,Kings and royalty have evil siblings or betraying magisters, Superheroes have evil clone and knock off, now you can't be an evil clone since i am not a superhero
But But I am here, Silataf stammered , clearly confused by this original of his, his brain function is rather simple, how come his thought process is infollowable 
Hmmm Fatalis begin to think for a bit, which mean you are not here and in the first place..... a sound of bell is heard resounding in the room
Gotta run can't be late for breakfast, Elina would be angry, see you later evil sibling Fatalis opened a door leading toward the dining room Hey you wouldn't believe me, I had an evil sibling
CLOOOONE, I AM A CLOOONE, and as he scream, his unstable molecules begin to burst, as he vanish, that day thousands of people who thought themselves geniuses appear
next scene: being taken to a bordello
Post by SamJaz (13,107 posts) See mini bio Level 20

Oooh, wow. This is old. Alright, I'ma dust these cobwebs and use this place for a bit. I'll just dump my Palahniuk quote here for now.

In six seconds, you’ll hate me. But in six months, you’ll be a better writer.

From this point forward—at least for the next half year—you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.

The list should also include: Loves and Hates. And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those later.

Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”

Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”

Instead of characters knowing anything, you must now present the details that allow the reader to know them. Instead of a character wanting something, you must now describe the thing so that the reader wants it.

Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.” You’ll have to say: “Between classes, Gwen had always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it. She’s roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume. The combination lock would still be warm from her butt. And the next break, Gwen would be leaned there, again.”

In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.

Typically, writers use these “thought” verbs at the beginning of a paragraph (In this form, you can call them “Thesis Statements” and I’ll rail against those, later). In a way, they state the intention of the paragraph. And what follows, illustrates them.

For example: “Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline. was backed up from the bridge, past the first eight or nine exits. Her cell phone battery was dead. At home, the dogs would need to go out, or there would be a mess to clean up. Plus, she’d promised to water the plants for her neighbor…”

Do you see how the opening “thesis statement” steals the thunder of what follows? Don’t do it.

If nothing else, cut the opening sentence and place it after all the others. Better yet, transplant it and change it to: Brenda would never make the deadline.

Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing. And loving and hating.

Don’t tell your reader: “Lisa hated Tom.”

Instead, make your case like a lawyer in court, detail by detail.

Present each piece of evidence. For example: “During roll call, in the breath after the teacher said Tom’s name, in that moment before he could answer, right then, Lisa would whisper-shout ‘Butt Wipe,’ just as Tom was saying, ‘Here’.”

One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.

For example: Waiting for the bus, Mark started to worry about how long the trip would take…”

A better break-down might be: “The schedule said the bus would come by at noon, but Mark’s watch said it was already 11:57. You could see all the way down the road, as far as the Mall, and not see a bus. No doubt, the driver was parked at the turn-around, the far end of the line, taking a nap. The driver was kicked back, asleep, and Mark was going to be late. Or worse, the driver was drinking, and he’d pull up drunk and charge Mark seventy-five cents for death in a fiery traffic accident…”

A character alone must lapse into fantasy or memory, but even then you can’t use “thought” verbs or any of their abstract relatives.

Oh, and you can just forget about using the verbs forget and remember.

No more transitions such as: “Wanda remembered how Nelson used to brush her hair.”

Instead: “Back in their sophomore year, Nelson used to brush her hair with smooth, long strokes of his hand.”

Again, Un-pack. Don’t take short-cuts.

Better yet, get your character with another character, fast. Get them together and get the action started. Let their actions and words show their thoughts. You—stay out of their heads.

And while you’re avoiding “thought” verbs, be very wary about using the bland verbs “is” and “have.”

For example: “Ann’s eyes are blue.”

“Ann has blue eyes.”


“Ann coughed and waved one hand past her face, clearing the cigarette smoke from her eyes, blue eyes, before she smiled…”

Instead of bland “is” and “has” statements, try burying your details of what a character has or is, in actions or gestures. At its most basic, this is showing your story instead of telling it.

And forever after, once you’ve learned to Un-pack your characters, you’ll hate the lazy writer who settles for: “Jim sat beside the telephone, wondering why Amanda didn’t call.”

Please. For now, hate me all you want, but don’t use thought verbs. After Christmas, go crazy, but I’d bet money you won’t.


For this month’s homework, pick through your writing and circle every “thought” verb. Then, find some way to eliminate it. Kill it by Un-packing it.

Then, pick through some published fiction and do the same thing. Be ruthless.

“Marty imagined fish, jumping in the moonlight…”

“Nancy recalled the way the wine tasted…”

“Larry knew he was a dead man…”

Find them. After that, find a way to re-write them. Make them stronger."


So, scene for the next guy…

Rushing to find a toilet in an unfamiliar place.

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