dahob over on LJ posted this as a question for aldersprig's question-about-writing meme thing earlier today:
In the RPG theroy wonk circles they have come up with three 'stances' that describe how people play RPGs:
actor stance - putting the character on like a coat and 'inhabiting' the game/story world, trying to react and percieve that way (sometimes reffered to as immersion stance). Exemplified by speaking in charter and roughly analogous to 1st person perspective.
author stance - where you are 'outside' watching the characer and describing what they do/feel/think, but often without internalizing. This can focus more on the visible surface of the characer than the inner workings. Exemplified by describing the characters actions and roughly analogous to 3rd person perspective.
director stance - which is where the GM in a game mostly stays. It is a meta level sits above an individual character's actions. It's where you act from when you hav a character do thigns for 'plot' reasons instead of character goal motivated reasons.
I think that fokls approach writing in very similar ways and that, just like gaming, people are more comfortable in some stnaces than other and shift from stnace to stance as they write/game. Assuming that you buy that at all (XD), where do you write from and how much influence does each stance have on your writing?
They are extremely interesting observations! I wanted to expound upon them a bit in the context of my own gaming and writing habits, so I took the liberty of yoinking it for here.Actor Stance
This is how I usually play when RPing. The visual of "wearing" the character is extremely apt, I think. I generally describe it as getting inside of the character's head; seeing their thoughts and actions and reactions on an intimite enough level that you are in essence being
them. It is almost like a reverse possession.
I don't really do this when I'm writing. Sometimes, when doing a first person narrative, I come close, but it's still different. There's a certain level of conscious control in the concept of the actor stance; you choose what to do, but you do it as the character. But you're still choosing.Director Stance
(I skipped to this one because the Author one doesn't make as much sense without the added context of Director.)
I'm interpreting this as similar to what I term "puppet-mastering". I use this a lot
when writing longer fiction, especially for less major characters or off-screen events. You could say that I write said characters in a similar method to how a GM plays the NPCs. Their individual goals and motivations are less important and their characters are less fleshed out, so you can tweak them and their actions (within the context of consistency) in order to sort of herd the protagonists and the story in an actual plot-related direction. It is very important, in a sort of back-stage way, for my successfully conducting a Real Plot.Author Stance
I write like this ALL. THE. TIME. XD Even when I'm writing in first person, like with Invisible Dragons
. Basically, I conceptualize my major characters as separate entities. They develop their own characters, are driven by their own goals and motivations and personality, and I have little to no real sense of control over any of it.
With the first person narrative mentioned above, that manifests for me as the book basically being narrated to me
, by my narrator, while I take dictation. It obviously isn't quite so simple, as I'm going back and revising things to be more consistent or be more in the right voice, but that's the attitude