Help, I am a special snowflake.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Baracaniguara, Oct 11, 2016.

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  1. Correct me if I am wrong, but a special snowflake is someone who sees everyone going right and decides to go left because, being different is their goal. I seem to be not interested in going right much, and in going left I realize I fit into this category. The reason why I do it though, is easy for me to understand but hard to convey, and ultimately it is the perception of the others on my decision that matters most, unless they are willing to hear me out.

    So hear me out, there are some things people that do roleplay in english on a site such as this one enjoy, based firstly on popular culture and then on their collection of experiences, these people subscribe mostly to a certain brand of popular culture and have similar collections of experiences. That is about as much as I know about this subject, so correct me if I am wrong with this sweeping generalization of mines.

    My interests are influenced primarily by my collection of experiences, I was born in the Dominican Republic, spent a brief part of my childhood on the Island of Curacao, spent my teenage years back in my country of birth, and am finishing what would be college now In Netherlands. To talk about this makes me feel all sorts of uncomfortable for various reasons, I do not have the eloquence to sum it up in a few words, in a lame attempt I can say that reality is sometimes equal to fiction with all it’s humor and drama, action and intrigue, romance and violence. I often draw analogies to things I have seen or experienced and turn them into works of fiction.

    The sort of culture deemed popular around me is but a trivial thing, I do draw inspiration from it at times but I can not say it is as influential as popular culture is to others. I too have been exposed to the same brand of popular culture everyone else has around these parts, and while I’ve read things like Twilight and Harry Potter, played quite some videogames, watched some bits of anime and plenty of movies with the occasional series, it’s influence too hasn’t been strong enough to make me one of yours.

    I’ve always had a very active imagination and lacking a unifying brand of popular culture to subscribe to I have taken onto myself to keep an open mind and expose myself to different ideas, styles of music, brands of literature, waves of philosophy, etc. I’ve come to like what I can describe as Mundane Science Fiction and Alternate History. I’ve expanded onto obscure mythologies and elevated them into fantasy settings and have come up with all sorts of unusual pairings, tropes, stories and roleplays.

    So this means I have ideas and know what I like, that is a good thing right? I have been in the business of roleplay for a while and I’ve done quite a few roleplays and have also have a list of things I do not like, allow me to name a few:

    • Basing a roleplay around two ‘archetypes’: Stories I like to paint can’t quite be summed up with an archetype, I enjoy thinking really hard about the characters, their backgrounds, their motivations, assigning flaws and virtues and give them short and long term goals, give them distinct personalities, etc. Then sometimes these archetypes are more like stereotypes, and some of those I have not ever laid eyes on, like ever. I don’t know what they think like or act like, so I can’t quite do them justice. Ultimately what you expect from say: “Outcast” is totally different from what I envision.
    • Highschool as a setting: I went to school like everyone else but there was never a popularity contest about it, or social ladder to climb, everyone was regarded much the same regardless of their interests in music or clothing. I can say that school was regarded by most as a nuisance and instead of being the center of… Anything, school was an extension of life outside school. You would have your friends mostly outside school and if you happened to go to the same school, that was an added bonus. I seriously don’t understand how awesome this is.
    • Vampires and Werewolves: They were cool once upon a time, I did it once, twice, and a few more times after that. I’ve done enough of it. It was cool because the characters were supernaturally gifted and well, what else? I think there is an appeal of being in a relationship with something dangerous and sometimes feral, but there are other ways of achieving this same dynamic in a relationship.
    • Elves, Dwarves, The Medieval and Magic: I think these tropes have ruined fantasy, when someone says fantasy they, and others, usually thinks this. Fantasy is much more than this, it doesn’t have to include races of humanlike beings, or look so much like Europe in the middle ages. There are many other mythologies out there and sources of inspiration that can produce worlds of fantasy that will rival World of Warcraft or Lord Of The Rings without following the same recipe.

    See what I did there? This is like, 90% of how people pitch their roleplay ideas. So this makes me a special snowflake when I turn them down, however there is nothing harder than proposing random things to a stranger without a clue of their interests so I try and lay my cards on the table before offers are made and also provide alternatives when I decline something. Yet the nature of the things I like also makes me a special snowflake.

    So, I guess I am a special snowflake after all. May some other fancy snowflakes like myself who have experienced this share their thoughts and experiences? Help is appreciated from all who can contribute.
    #1 Baracaniguara, Oct 11, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  2. Well, special snowflake is generally ascribed to people who use their being 'different' to justify a sense of entitlement, rather than someone just being different. Secondly, you're as much 'one of us' as anyone is 'one of us.' Just because more people like a certain thing doesn't make them part of some collective. Having something in common isn't like a membership. I also studied in the Netherlands but that doesn't mean I identify the same as you based on that one shared trait. Vice versa, I've never been to the Dominican Republic, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be able to appreciate your ideas.

    Likewise, just because a lot of people enjoy Harry Potter doesn't mean they're not going to be interested in what you've got to sell. You just have a few more entrance barriers that a roleplay based on a more popular franchise has knocked down just by said franchise existing. Are highschool settings, vampires and medieval fantasy popular? Yes. But try to find out what in essence makes them so popular. Take your typical elves, for example. They're portrayed as calm, beautiful, wise, in tune with nature. All kinds of traits a lot of people value in others. As such elves can become a very attractive type of character to play and consequently, popular.

    However, these kinds of draws to roleplays are not copyrighted by elves. If you create something unique that allows for people to live the same core fantasies, it's honestly going to depend more on your sales pitch to find people who are interested in taking part in your roleplay. Your roleplay might be nothing like LotR, Take Mass Effect for example. The Asari share a number of traits with elves, their serenity, wisdom, beauty, etcetera. Even old age and magicky things. But they are a distinctly different species and not just because they're blue skinned ladies from outer space. Yet many of them are attractive to play because they are typically associated with a number of traits related to a core fantasy. That doesn't mean you need to shoehorn a nature loving wise and naturally beautiful race in your option select as a GM, it just means you need to allow for this type of character in your world to make it more attractive to people who like playing this kind of character.

    As for 1x1... Honestly in my limited experience it's very easy to get unusual ideas off the ground because 1x1 players go through so much standard material at such a rapid pace, there's dozens of them just aching to get ahold of something different. Just look at their search-topic and pitch something concrete that takes a few hints from their listed preferences.

    The thing I'm reading from your topic is that you focus too much on what separates you from other people, versus what connects you. Find a core fantasy to connect over, then use your being different to give it a unique flavour that makes people want to roleplay with you or in your worlds, versus someone else offering a similar core fantasy. Honestly, if you have a unique point of view, this is actually easier.
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  3. Hey there.

    As said above, "special snowflake" usually denotes someone is kind of an ass, claiming (undue) privilege. I like the term "fancy snowflake" better - as long as I can be a "fancy snowflake" too. :angel:

    All joshing aside, I know this site does have a lot of fandom and school-oriented RPs. Nothing wrong with that, but just not my cuppa, either, since I am not as immersed in popular culture as most people. Probably due to my own "different" upbringing as well. So you are not alone there.

    I like RPs that are personality-driven and have an exciting theme. I spend a lot of time combing through new RP offerings and interest checks to try to find a match for what I want to do and to write about. Given your interests, you may really have to spend time on this, too. But I have found things that have piqued my interest.

    My problem is I'm more instinctual/emotional than analytical/intellectual. So lots of times, the unique RPs I find are just too over my head with tons of imaginatively-invented detail on how the visiger impacts the merkifier which makes the zorgmeek explode, but only on Tuesday when the fooifier rises to dangerous levels. Nope. I'm a fail on those. Just don't have the brains for it!

    One of my solutions at the moment is to create a group RP which incorporates some of my interests. I don't know if this will fly, but hey - you have to just go with it and find out. Have you tried creating a RP? That wasn't clear to me.

    (The RP I'm working on is an alternate timeline (I call it a shattered Victorian) fantasy in the 1800's set in the UK; my draft name for it is A Gothic House Party (gothic in the sense of Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, etc.). Which will be personality/character driven to its dark or shining conclusion by the players, depending on the path they choose. It includes retired carnival workers, all the vices known to man, a house party, dining and dancing, deep dark secrets, an insane asylum, a vicarage, horror, love, hatred, betrayal, the supernatural, the mundane. Salvation or ruin?)

    I don't know if it is helpful (besides telling you that you're not alone), but I also enjoy doing the writing exercises here, the story contest they have, and just talking about writing and RP with fellow enthusiasts.

    I hope you find RP here that you enjoy (one on one may be a good avenue for you as well). There may not be as wide a range of selection for you as for some other people, but I think if you keep looking you will find a few things that pique your interest. Best wishes!
  4. Yooo Dominican Republic here :D

    Okay so listen up mate for this is gonna be short. If you like something and you can't find it then make it. The hard thing then it's going to be pitching an audience. For that you can simply advertise your RP to oblivion or look for like-minded persons. My point is, do first, ask later.

    PD: Do not take that as a life advice, if you are gonna jump off with a bungee cord, ask first.

  5. Hrm... The want to be unique isn't necessarily a bad thing. It makes you stay creative, bring in new ideas, and create something worth remembering. At least that's how I, as a fellow special snowflake, see this matter. But being so special doesn't mean that your ideas are brilliant. People have different interests, likes and dislikes, and you can't inspire everyone with your ideas. But at the same time, that does not mean that your ideas are bad. As already said by fellow members, it is just difficult to keep people interested and inspired over a longer time.

    I have tried roughly 20 roleplays I think are worth remembering for me. In reality I did a lot more, but I honestly do not know how many they are. My post count hopefully gives you an impression of how many I probably did. Out of these 20 and more roleplays, 2 have actually reached an end. Why? My guess is that it was a combination of collaboration and communication. I did these 2 roleplays with partners I chatted with. About the roleplays, silly things, and sometimes RL related things. The social factor plays a surprisingly huge role. The quick plotting is also a neat thing. It is sometimes a little battle, but the ideas your partners bring in once they open a bit of themselves is amazing input. Ideas that spark new ideas, wrenches in your plans that make you adapt.

    Now don't go rushing off to search for ideas. If there is one advice I can give you, it is to never rush. Rushing will never do you good. Rushing makes you very vulnerable to make mistakes. As example: Miss out on plot points that you could have prepared, let your character behave out of character, miss out an important detail of your partners post, and the list can go on. Read through partner searches properly, do a little check on how the potential partner writes.

    ...I think I lost track of the subject for a moment or two. Sorry. Simply put, just keep going if you love what you do. Roleplaying is a great hobby in my opinion, but very few roleplays are successful. That's just how it is, no matter if you are a special snowflake or not. Try socializing with a messenger, and take your time.
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