What games were you in this year? jaha (current), and had a brief stint modding theharbormods before that fizzled out. Resigned from a couple of games early in the year.
Did you try anything new this year? New game, new style, new characters?
Yes and no? I joined a new game and tried to restart a game that Jo and I modded once before, but neither of those were genuinely new. I've done more PSL stuff than I have in the past, which is pretty exciting, and while I've defaulted back to my usual cast of panfandom regulars I've also tried out a few new fandom characters:
sicparvisNathan Drake, Uncharted (Video Games)
Still feeling him out, trying to solidify his voice. I don't play a lot of "main" characters like Nate, so he's on somewhat uncertain ground in terms of my confidence with him. I definitely like him, I just have to think a little harder when I write him.
starsweeperGinny Weasley Potter, Harry Potter (Books)
WHAT. After taking a super long hiatus from Harry Potter characters and only recently coming back with Remus, I really didn't think I'd ever want to take on Ginny. I never played her before, even way back when, and I've never had a ton of feelings about her? But in writing out her app and using Aya Cash as her PB, she really formed in my head and I have a really clear idea of at least what my ideal Ginny Weasley is like.
lordofthepiesNed the Piemaker, Pushing Daisies (TV Series)
This one is weird, because way back when, I had a brief stint playing Chuck and Jo played Ned. We don't often flip-flop our character rosters, but this one seems to have worked out? She plays a better Chuck than I did, anyway. I struggle a little with keeping him involved, because he's set in his ways and doesn't like to involve himself, and I want him to talk about something other than pies — but now that he's revealed his Big Secret to everyone in the game I think he'll have more to chat about. His voice either comes really easily to me or not at all, depending on the level of absurdity in my head at the moment.
cwordAlison Hendrix, Orphan Black (TV Series)
NGL, like 90% of my interpretation Alison is based on my mom. I mean that nicely. Really, really happy with playing her, even if she's been quiet this month. I like her place in the game and her current plot. She's another one who's an unusual character type for me, but the fact that I don't play a lot of people like Ali just means that she gets more attention.
breadandcircusPeeta Mellark, The Hunger Games (Books)
I have no idea what I'm doing with Peeta. XD I think my interpretation is good? But TBH it's been so long since I've read the books (though I've watched some of the movies recently) that I don't know if his voice is actually right. I feel like I have the character's motivations and intentions, but does his dialogue sound right? I have no freaking idea. But I like Peeta a lot more than I thought I would, largely due to Annalisa's Katniss who keeps him going.
What character(s) are you most proud of, and why?
Movie-verse Erik Lehnsherr (amonginsects). Jo convinced me to take him back and play him this summer, and I hemmed and hawed over it because I didn't know if I'd stay inspired with him, despite the fact that I played McKellen!Magneto for years and years and loved it. I should always listen to Jo.
IDK, I get into a certain headspace with him that's different than any other character I play, and I'm really happy with 95% of what I write with him. I'm particularly proud of the research I've done to add details into his history.
I'm also really proud of Simon Tam (sisterskeeper), because he was someone that I started writing last year and didn't think would last, but he's become a favorite and he's somehow managing to function on his own in jaha despite none of his canonmates being around. Aaaand lastly I'm proud of Remus Lupin (lukanthropos) because I feel like I got a handle on him that I didn't back when I played him like ten years ago, and revamped him to hone in on his flaws and give him a little more of an edge.
What plotline are you most proud of, and why? jaha's werewolf war, and Dawn — you should absolutely be taking credit for it. Like, I'm proud of it because I started it with Remus's big huge stupid mistake, but Dawn really got it tumbling and snowballing into something, and then everyone took it and ran and it ended up in a huge war instead of a little skirmish (oops). It's woven itself into the fabric of the game as a whole and it drastically changed Remus — for a while I didn't think I'd be able to dig him out of the depressive hole he was in but I think he's come out better for it. ALSO, I'm amazed at what it did to Annalisa's James Potter because fuuuuuuck, James grew up a lot and I only have awesome positive things to say about that.
What was your favorite character relationship (romantic or otherwise)?
UH. I don't know where to start, because I have a LOT of relationships that I really adore right now for being consistently awesome (Team Free Will, Matt Murdock and Maya Lopez, Steve Rogers and Carol Danvers, Nathan Drake and Jacob Frye, Erik Lehnsherr and Raven Darkholme, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, The Doctor and Donna Noble, Remus Lupin and James Potter, etc), so instead of going with stuff I just like, I'm going to go ahead with stuff that surprised me (and a lot of it is with Jo, because we rarely surprise each other):
Matt Murdock (notdaredevil) / Felicia Hardy (thecat) - Jo
Uh, so we thought this was gonna be a trainwreck? It's not. We kind of got into it with the idea that it would be a trainwreck, but it turns out they're actually pretty good for one another despite it being kind of tumultuous. I have a lot of girlfriends that I like for Matt (Kirsten McDuffie, Maya Lopez), but Jo's interpretation of Felicia really works for Matt and it catapults off their brief sort-of fling in the comics.
Simon Tam (sisterskeeper) / Garrett Hawke (sohawkeward) - Jo
THE SHIP THAT NEVER WAS. Not that we intended this to ever be a ship, because Hawke is with Fenris and Simon is ... I don't play him straight but I prefer to have him with Kaylee or with a woman, if he's with anyone at all — but the two of them have developed this fucking awesome friendship that I never intended upon or expected, and it is fabulous.
Remus Lupin (lukanthropos) / Felix Dawkins (brothersestra) - Jo
UNEXPECTED SHIP OF THE YEAR? I actually feel super insecure about Remix as a pairing because I tend to side-eye unusual cross-fandom ships if they don't seem to make sense, and I feel like on the surface this is a rough one to get behind (esp if you're not into bisexual Remus). They were really only meant to have a one-night stand to demonstrate Remus's somewhat shady practice of sleeping with people and running off because he doesn't want to reveal his secrets, but they ended up genuinely connecting, and I think it works well. Remus is drawn to big, confident personalities (see James, Sirius, Tonks), and Felix is drawn to quiet nerds (see Colin), and Felix brings out that youthful edginess that Remus both sort of has and deeply wants.
I am also in love with the fact that the Harry Potter and Orphan Black families have blended because of this, because James and Sirius bonding with (and hazing) Felix gives me life.
Remus Lupin / Cullen Rutherford (PSL) - Kate
OK, so like. Kate and I have written about a thousand pages of Remus/Cullen AU logs on the side, and I don't ... know how that happened, because I didn't know Kate at all before she came into jaha, and I haven't written steady PSL stuff in a long, long time. But it's been this running thing for months now and it's entirely different from the Remus/Felix relationship but also works.
Peeta Mellark (breadandcircus) / Katniss Everdeen (burningwings) - Annalisa
It's not that I don't expect Everlark to work, but it's more like I'm surprised by how invested I am in their feelings. I've never played Peeta before, and at the time I picked him up I'd fallen out of love with his fandom a little bit — but Annalisa's Katniss is so deeply passionate and emotional that it doesn't just inspire me, it forces me to step up my game to match her and that excites the crap outta me.
What did you try, but it didn't end up working out?
MmmmMmmmMmm. Modding The Harbor. Which sucks, because I really wanted it to work out — but I think I couldn't tear my attention away from jaha. I love the premise, the plot calendar mechanics, and I love the design work I did for it, but it was just a little too much for me to focus on and I couldn't devote time to making it the thing that I wanted it to be. I feel bad for it failing, because I had VERY HIGH HOPES for it. Bad timing all around. The time will come again for me to mod again but it will be a while.
How do you feel you grew as a writer?
I think I really tried to get out of my comfort zone this year — new characters, new types of characters, and really trying to make sure that even though I play 15 characters in jaha that they're all distinct and involved in different things. I reached out to play with other people more, and got to know people better — I tend to be a bit of a wallflower on an OOC level even if I'm active IC, which is exactly how I am in real life with work and/or theater. I'm not as insular as I have been, I feel like I have positive relationships with a good number of people.
I've also gotten really good at instinctively knowing when a character will work out for me, which ... I guess it's a skill. I don't take characters on a whim or jump on a bandwagon anymore.
In terms of writing quality, IDK? I think I get a little better every year, learning my own pitfalls and trying to work around them. I think my ability to analyze a character with precision gets better, and I really felt like I got better at filling in the blanks that canon leaves out or just hints at. I'm also working on being more confident in my own choices about those blanks that I fill in (playing Remus and Simon as bisexual rather than straight, for instance).
What are some skills you feel you need to work on in 2016?
Continue working on being confident in my choices. Logging/threading on a more regular basis. Not shying away from plot calendar activities. Be a little faster on thread/log tags. Ummm. Not being so salty sometimes, and having the patience to accept the things I cannot change. :) BUT ALSO I want to be better at asserting myself when I feel put-upon for whatever reason, and more willing to put my foot down when I feel like people are mistreating me rather than making excuses.
What characters would you like to try in 2016?
I've been thinking a lot about this lately, because I get a little itchy every couple months and that's why I have a list of 15 characters in jaha. I'm in the middle of reading the Welcome to Night Vale novel, and I'd love to play Jackie Fierro but I think that's completely impossible (I don't know how Bear managed to write Cecil Palmer, that's insane). Umm. I still want to play Dorian Pavus or The Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition — or revive Cassandra Pentaghast because I played her in The Harbor while it was open, and I'd really like to try my hand at playing one of my Inquisitors, after seeing how well Jo did with Adaar. OR Henry Green from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. I've been wanting to play Roy Walker from Tarsem's The Fall for YEARS and I keep coming back to it, but that's ... that's a lot of blanks to fill in and I know that's not actually going to work. XD
Final RP-related thoughts?
I feel like I had a pretty good year this year and I'm happy, as evidenced by HOW FUCKING LONG this was.