So you want to run a major storyline...

Running a major location-/club-wide storyline takes a lot of time, effort and planning. Before taking on such a venture it might be an idea to have a few personal storylines under your belt so that you've had some experience on how to write a storyline that works.

Also, if you're just running a minor storyline then some of these guidelines might still be useful to you so feel free to have a look over them and see which ones apply to your storyline.

1. Backup

If you're running a location-/club-wide storyline then it is more than likely that the events in those posts are going to affect many people at the locations concerned and a long pause in the release of those posts may hold up the posting of members not directly involved in the storyline itself.

It is therefore encouraged, although not always compulsory, for coordinators to choose back-up coordinators, especially for those storylines involving multiple locations. The back-up coordinators can take over should real life (RL) suddenly strike the main coordinator. It is suggested that you choose backup coordinators that you know are reliable and have an understanding of the location in the storyline.

If there is no Backup listed with Council or the Backup becomes unable to send the post on time, a Council member will either release a Control Post so that the general club membership will not be held up (Rule 2.6) or, if there hasn't been any interest, remove the item from the Storyboard.

A Council ruling (2.7) states that backup coordinators are permitted to contact Council with a request to take over the storyline after 10 days of no contact with the main coordinator if the RL/Pern date is in the distance and after 7 days if the series is in the midst of being posted.

2. Planning

The next step would be to start planning your storyline so that you can send a synopsis to Council for approval (Rule 5.0). While you can write a storyline on a short plan, it is generally a good idea to create a detailed plan of what you're hoping to achieve - some coordinators go to the extent of planning what is going to happen in each post so they know exactly how many posts the series is going to take.

Remember when you're planning the storyline to set it far enough in the future to allow you to get the series written on time. A couple of real life months in advance is generally the minimum amount of time needed for planning and writing a series (it can be done in less time but a couple of months will give you some leeway without having to panic as the Pern date draws near).

For major location-wide storylines, a short description of what will be happening is required to be placed on the Storyboard page so that other club members will have a basis on which to plan their personas' own experiences for that event. A 'storyline blurb' should also be sent to Council to be included in the next newsletter.

When you receive Council approval for your storyline please remember to keep a copy of that approval for future reference.

3. Writing

Sometimes real life can catch up with people taking part in the writing of the controls, so it is suggested that the main and backup coordinators gain approval for the use of personas involved in the controls in the event of a writer going AFK/AWOL in order to allow the storyline to go ahead. These persona use approvals will be officially noted on the webpage for such a purpose.

Council has ruled that 50% of the controls for a location-/club-wide storyline must be completed and ready to send by the stated RL/Pern date (2.7).

Everyone has their own preferences as to how much detail to put in the posts. The best advice we can give is to strike a happy medium - don't make the details too sparse so that no-one outside the main storyline knows what to post about but also don't make it so detail-heavy that other people writing for their personas' experiences can't be creative.

Last updated on 10-Sep-06.

Dragonriders of Pern: A Fantasy-Fiction Writing Club -

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