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Baldur

Journal reviews and help

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So one thing I've spoken of in the discord channel people seemed interested in is getting some feedback on journals. Keith used to do a thread where he'd help people with their journals so i thought I'd offer my services in his place.

My journal is not particularly outstanding, and is still a work in progress, nor am I good with formatting or design, but if you want some feedback or help fleshing out your character, or improving the content of your journal, post it here and I'll try to give you constructive criticism. I'm a much better editor than i am a creator.

So please, post a link to your journal, and let me know what areas you'd like me to focus on if any


Edit: I'm going to create a list of "common" things I think a lot of people could use help with. If you're just looking for some quick tips, I'm going to try and compile them here.

  • I say this one partially tongue in cheek, but I judge people for it (:P): Your character should japanese, or be in Japan, or at least that region. There are dozens of journals that don't follow this, and most characters probably never think twice about it. It's a small pet peeve of mine. There were not 10,000 people scattered around the world trapped in SAO, they were all in Japan. You can feel free to ignore this, but if you're one of the "purists" like I am, it's really easy to manufacture a reason for your character to have moved to Japan and be living there for the game launch. I did this very thing in order to have an American character be in Japan to play SAO. If you don't, however, no one will notice. In fact, bringing it up can be seen as odd :P most people hand-wave this by saying that the game has a magical translator that let's everyone speak the same language. But I will ding everyone points if they don't put their character in Japan, because I'm a weeb SAO purist like that. I believe setting is important ;)
  • Seperate out "history" (Before SAO) and "The Story Thus Far" (what he did for the first day in SAO when they found out it was a trap, and what he did since then before stepping outside the town of beginnings for the first time)
  • Avoid virtues/flaws that aren't character traits, but are reliant on how you the player role-play. Things with comparative superlatives or jobs: Great tactician, natural leader, beautiful, charismatic, highly intelligent. Basically things that compare you to others, or are subjective. You may have this vision of your character being charismatic, but when you RP with other charismatic characters on the site, they may not stand out, since it becomes a comparative trait. Instead, you could have something "Friendly" or "out-going" or "personable."
  • Avoid physical traits: Your character being strong or weak in the real world doesn't have an effect on SAO.
  • Go back and work on your virtues and vices more after you've had a chance to live in the shoes of the character for a while. You'll learn more about how they actually play out, and this will change over time. You can go back and update it to reflect how your character has grown or changed.
Edited by Baldur

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Shi    0

journal link in sig xd im on mobile and too lazy to link it

im in the process of revamping my journal and i've only got the background of Shi done, so that's pretty much the only thing to focus on.

i feel like my writing is sort of poor (especially character backgrounds) and i'd like to improve it a lot

(ps. shi is japanese on the inside)

Edited by Shi

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On 6/24/2018 at 2:43 AM, Froppy said:

http://www.sao-rpg.com/topic/15869-ribbit-tsus-journal/

I was just hoping for some help on virtues and flaws. Maybe the history a little bit.

Froppy, you've got some good stuff in here, but I think it needs a little... reorganizing?

I strongly recommend people have a before SAO history, and a "story thus far" section in SAO. For new characters, I think it works well like this.

History: What was Froppy life before coming to SAO. What was it about SAO that appealed to her. What were some of the events that shaped who Froppy was. I think you've got this covered, it just would stand to get pulled into its own section, and expanded upon a little bit. Talk about the people she left behind, and how missing them has affected her. 

The story thus far: How did Froppy react that first day when she found out she was stuck? What was it that drove her to finally leave the starting city and pursue the front, or become someone who contributes to the war effort? And who have been the influential people in Froppy's new life so far.


As far as Virtue/Vice goes, you actually have some really good stuff in the beginning of your history:

Quote

Tsuyu is a straightforward and quite laid-back girl who always says what's on her mind and what she thinks about others. She prefers to be called by her given name Tsu, but she only wants people she views as friends to refer to her as such. Tsuyu is also noticeably calm and collected, being able to stay level headed in stressful situations. Her usual expression consists of a vacant stare, which makes reading her thoughts and emotions difficult for those around her. 

also

Quote

The main thing keeping Tsu from having much friends was her frog like behavior. Her entire family was born with insanely longer tongues than normal people. Tsu got it the worst. Because of the tongue size, Tsu would have to make a ribbit sound, otherwise, she would choke. These two traits alone got her made fun of. Tsu ignored insults after a while, so she copes with her frog like habits rather well.

These are great virtues and flaws, and seem more important to the character than the ones you listed in Virtues and flaws, but you do kinda repeat yourself in virtues. I would split up the history like I suggested above, but leave the personality virtues and flaws for the virtues and flaws sections.

If you're having trouble writing the history parts, I've seen several people approach it like a conversation. Like she's talking to one of her friends and telling them about her past. Sometimes that can help to get the words flowing when you phrase it more like conversation.

For virtues, I would go with:
Straight-forward - you mention this several times, and call it blunt. Something like this can be both a virtue and a flaw. Put the pro's here, and the flaws below
Laid-back - You had it as calm, but I think when you phased it as laid-back
Care-giver - You hit on this several times without really diving into it. It's related to responsible, but framing it this way seems to capture more of your feeling about how she feels about her friends AND helping people out

For flaws, I would go with:
Straight-forward - you hit on this with blunt, but this is the downside to the positives of being straight forward above
Self-conscious - You had awkward, but you describe her as being self conscious more, and this stems from the issues she has with her tongue and the frog sounds
Withdrawn - related to self conscious, again, you hit on this throughout the rest of what you were writing, we're just focusing on it here. She got made fun of, so she's withdrawn and difficult to read, but the way I read it, she opens up to her friends, she's just withdrawn around strangers because she's self conscious.

Final thoughts: You've got the great bones in your journal, I think you just needed to refocus and categorize them differently. Hopefully this helps you find the focus points, and then I think expanding them will be easier.

@Froppy

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Shi - the link in your siggy doesn't work. Thankfully you don't have a billion threads yet, so I was able to find it easily.

Well, you deleted your Virtues and Vices section, so you haven't really given me much to work with other than your history section. Which is great by the way.

My only question (pet peeve) is how does he end up in Japan to get SAO? (I say this tongue in cheek, cause it's a pet peeve of mine that players are located all over the world, when they should be in Japan to play SAO. Feel free to incorporate or ignore as you see fit. It seems really easy to say that after his parents died, he decided to get away and leave it all behind and moved to japan).

If I were going to create some virtues and vices for you based on your history, here's some thoughts.

Virtue - Empathic: You mention Leo is kind, and this causes him to be liked. Generally speaking, this is a common trait for people who feel like their outsiders, and are able to empathise more with people, put themselves in other people's shoes, and imagine how they feel. This understanding comes across as kindness, and is often sterotyped into the sensitive artist profile that you seem to be going for.

Vice - Withdrawn: After what happened to his family, I would be too.

Vice - Anger? I imagine after going through that, he may be angry at the world. And then he got stuck in SAO? WTF! He's probably pissed, and doesn't have anywhere to direct that anger.

Vice - Survivor Guilt? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_guilt

Virtue - Loyal Friend - you mention this but don't elaborate yet. I imagine he's very defensive about those he considers close, because he wasn't want to lose them

Virtue - Dreamer (could also double as a virtue AND a vice) He sees the world as it could be, and wants to make it that way. OR he sees the world as it SHOULD be, and hates the people that keep it from being that way.

Vice - possessive. He doesn't want to lose anyone ever again.

@Shi

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Shi    0

thanks for letting me know about my sig link, i'll get that fixed soon.

overall, i love what you said and will likely incorporate most, if not all of your ideas. I especially liked the part about survivors guilt, it's something that I think I'll play with a bit. Thanks Bal!!

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http://www.sao-rpg.com/topic/8760-teions-journal/

I'm still in the middle of a revamp on this thing, but let's go.

As of right now, I reworked the Virtues (save for writing out the last one) and added a neutral Traits where I used to have an empty Personality section. The History and first two sections of her Story Thus Far are done, though I haven't read through them in quite a while. I've also got a lot to catch up on when it comes to that latter section.

Under Flaws, I changed two of them and kept the text I already had for Inarticulate, though that's probably getting rewritten.

Besides not having an Extended Relationships blurb for a handful of people that have gotten close to her since I last touched that section (Aereth, Ryo, Hestia), I think I'm happy to keep it in.

If I have a general concern about anything, it's the length of my Traits/Virtues/Flaws. I feel I can sum them up nicely in the three-sentence minimum, and struggle to get past that without rambling or forcing it. Is that a good or bad thing? :u

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My journal is in my signature, and its blatantly there.

I know you've taken a look at it (Like you told me), but I want to hear your opinions on my character. As you know we are changing Hik in our thread, so his virtues and flaws shown here may change sooner or later, but for now this is the way Hikoru is now

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@Oikawa A couple of notes/suggestions

  • Character is not in Japan (but easily could have gotten a scholarship for game design in Japan instead of Utah :P
  • You're short 2 Flaws - I know Oikawa has grown as a character, but he's also got some skeletons in the closet
    • Untapped Potential - his flaw because he can't unlock the mode in which he's even better? :P
    • Hidden Sadism - I'm glad he's grown out of this one
      • Let's look at some real flaws. Does he have some PTSD or Survivors guilt? He's had friends die, and he's killed a friend somewhat unwillingly. How have these affected him?
      • Maybe all of this tragedy has tempered him, or made him colder or more off putting. Maybe it slightly counters his Out-Going nature because he puts a barrier up? The flaws are what's going to drive character development and interaction for him
  • I would recommend creating a post in your journal that has your full stats so that you can copy and paste them into each thread. And don't forget to put a teleport crystal in your battle-ready inventory. It gets missed all the time!
  • Add a Story Thus Far section. Oikawa has a long and storied history on site. It may be worth going back and defining in broad strokes what he's been through. This helps both you and potential RP partners get a feel for Oikawa and how he may or may not fit into a thread or with another character.

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