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What inspires you to write? Do you have any specific way to work while you write? Do you try out different sets of approaches on how you work?

I find that everything, and I do mean everything can give me inspiration. It's actually kind of frustrating. Something as simple as a crazy phrase someone blurts out at random, or even just seeing an object on the side of the street. I'll see/hear a little tidbit that sparks this whole train of thinking that eventually becomes the idea. Great when I need ideas, but sad when I have to jot it down and hope that one day I'll have time to use it!

I do need everything to be "just right" when I'm ready to sit down and write. I've got Goldilocks syndrome to the max. There can't be a lot of people in the room. The TV can't be on. There can't be a lot of loud or distracting noises. Music helps me drown out distractions and gives me great "mood" so I'll usually put on my headphones while I'm typing a post or writing a piece.

Sometimes I try different writing methods, like planning out my posts, even several posts in advanced. Taking a guess at what other people might do and then decide how I react depending on what they do. A lot of the times, though, I really have no idea what I am actually going to write until I sit down and DO it. The only thing that never changes is my need to have my environment "just right". If there's any distractions around me, there's no way I'm getting anything done!

You're quite active in the GMing department here on Iwaku. Could you tell us a bit about how you first started out and how your skills developed into what they are today? Was the talking biscuits your first?

Hahaha. "Talking biscuits" was not my first GMing experience. 8D The first organized roleplay I ever joined introduced me to this style of playing pretend, and I thought it was the most genius thing EVER. So almost immediately after that roleplay kicked the bucket, I decided I would create my own roleplay forum and run my own roleplays. I had NO IDEA what I was doing when it came to GMing a roleplay. All I thought was "This is SO much fun!".

Being the overachiever that I am, I wanted to have "better" fun. With more people getting involved in my roleplays, I was hitting random problems and didn't know what to do about them. So I would look up tips, hints, etc for better writing and roleplaying. That's how I learned how to develop more realistic characters, plot flow, and some of the basic "etiquette" you see on most roleplay forums.

Of course, I kind of went OVER board with it. I got really caught up with teaching, making things better, elite roleplaying... that I kind of forgot why I was roleplaying in the first place. I couldn't figure out why new members were so afraid of me. ._.; I realized I had been a total Game Master Psycho and I created a very unfun roleplay environment. I was making people feel inferior by being over aggressive and sucking all the fun out of roleplaying.

NOW... I try to combine all of the good habits I learned without being critical. Being flexible as a GM and letting members be creative about their characters and stories lines, and only stamping my foot down about things that will be a real issue with the roleplay. I can't say I am -always- successful and that it works out every time. But every mistake is a new lesson learned for the next roleplay I try to run.

Following up with more on your Gamemaster work; we all develop close bonds with a selective few of people we really enjoy role playing with through our experience over the years. What characteristics of a fellow RPer makes you go "This person is good! This is someone I'd want to do more role playing with!"?

Chemistry! The people I seem to have the most fun playing with are the ones that I have the best chemistry with. We'll be able to bounce ideas back and forth and think along the same lines. Or no matter what either of us posts, the other knows how to build on that and take it one step further. There are a lot of members I think are AWESOME roleplayers, but together we just don't have that "spark". And then there are members that I was hesitant to play with because I didn't think we'd have similar styles, but I ended up pleasantly surprised. XD So chemistry is a big deal for me.

Plotting among each other is a big key to making a successful RP blossom to it's full potential. What faults do you usually see in this department? And how can the GM and other passionate RPers utilize this factor to be beneficial?

The faults of plotting, well... over-plotting for sure! Sometimes you get so many great ideas, there's no possible way you can use -all- of them in the roleplay. But sometimes we try to cram them in anyway and end up saturating the plot with too many twists and turns. I think it's a really good idea to write down all of the ideas you have for a roleplay or for characters, and then pick out the ones you like the BEST. That way you get to use a lot of the things you've plotted up together, without making the roleplay too confusing.

I was heading more for the fact that a lot of RPs seem to falter in the very beginning due to lack of healthy communication between the participants.

Ah, well that is very true. D: I suppose my biggest tip would be to USE your OOC thread! Ask players what they want out of the roleplay, or if there is a certain scene they really want to do with their character. Lots of people have ideas, they just never think to share them because 'no one asked'. When people are talking about the things they want to do, they end up finding ways to connect their plots together and start getting excited.

What are your thoughts on Co-GMs (two or more Gamemasters, usually one who assists the main GM, Red.)? Do they help? Or can they tend to be more of a nuisance further down the road?

I LOVE co-GMs! At least for me, having a second person to plot with about where the roleplay is going, and what we want to accomplish in the plot makes everything run so much smoother. Granted, it can get frustrating if you partner up with someone you have conflicting ideas with, or if a Co-GM leaves you hanging. But all you really have to do is make sure you choose your co-GMs with care. And don't be afraid to let your partner know when ideas aren't working out for you.

Looking at it from the other side; what makes you feel comfortable with a GM when joining an RP?

The rules a GM has for their roleplay is usually the first thing I look at. I get really uncomfortable by any rules that require post lengths, make a lot of emphasis on good writing, or give me the impression that they're going to be nitpicky about little details. I don't want to feel like I'm under review every time I post in the roleplay. I find myself most attracted to the GMs that have relaxed personalities BUT have a really good idea and direction of where they want the roleplay to go. I like knowing that players get to add to the plot and story, but that the GM has everything under control and knows what they're doing. :D

You have a history of making your characters play the "damsel"-role, what do you think makes this role so appealing to you?

Hurrhurr. I think it plays in to my fantasies of "being rescued". I've always had to be a responsible person. In charge, the boss, get everything together, saving everyone else. (Even when I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing!) So playing those damsel characters lets me experience a role that I very rarely get to have. It's a lot of fun for me. XD

Generally speaking, when you sit down to write up your character sheet, how do you work it out?

It's always different! Sometimes I have a name I really like and I base a character around that. Or I'll have a piece of history in mind, like a big traumatic event. Or I might be in the mood to play a certain sort of personality, so I'll design a character using that. I just bounce around the details and fill them out in random order by whatever ideas come to me first!

Do you keep the GM up to date about what you are going for with each character?

Yeah, I really love talking about my characters and what I want to do with them. If it's a "big" plot thing, I make sure the GM knows so we can make sure it won't interfere with any plans they already have.

What's your strong and weak side(s) when it comes to the actual writing? What parts do you absolutely love writing and which do you feel terrible about?

My strong point is probably "emotion". Most of my posts usually centre on my character's perspective of what's going on around them. How they perceive the scene, feel about it, etc. Going through those thoughts and feelings is definitely my favourite part! As for my weak point... action scenes or fight scenes. I've always had a hard time putting what I imagine in my head to words without making it sounds so short and curt.

Do you steer away from writing parts you hate, or do you go right at it as a way to get better overall?

Hahaha, I'd call myself an "avoider". Which probably isn't the best idea. XD When I HAVE to write those hard scenes for me, I just jump in and DO IT. Get it over with. But when I can get away with it, I'll see if I can get the people who excel at those types of scenes to do the writing for them. And I'd just set up the scene or atmosphere or something.

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