The Culture of Collaboration – the essential ingredient for any role play forum

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? If you have a group plot then surely you have a culture of collaboration? Right?

RIGHT?!

No, this is not always the case.

Indeed, I have recently been at a forum where this was so absent it was painful to write there sometimes. I would literally get a headache trying to write around the trainwreck that was the hyperactive plot of an immature plot runner. We would be led down the garden path and left to fend for ourselves, or be expected to “affect the storyline” when in truth whatever we did was wrong and the creator of this insanity had too much bias to effectively engage in collaborative writing!

What gives me hope is when I see this spirit of collaboration alive and kicking in younger role players and writers as well as those new to this hobby. It is essential to nurture others ideas and plots in order to create a story together, though balancing all writers creativity is a challenge but one worth the work if you have the heart for it. Confrontation has so many negative connotations but few seem to realise that this “conflict” is a natural part of the creativity process and of brainstorming. Critique and conflict resolution is part and parcel of building something as a writing group, so taking things personally and making negative assumptions is only ever going to be toxic. That is not to say there is only one formula, but do not tell me that your are open to idea’s when you reject everyone’s input and then fail at attracting new writers to your project.

I think a distinction needs to be drawn between a closed and open project as well. A closed project tends to have a “leader” and it is generally their vision that dominates the project. This is not the type of collaboration I am referring to. What I am referencing is rather the open project style that welcomes input from anyone and is incorporated into an established environment through discussion, debate, conflict and creativity.

I don’t have a magic formula for how this is successful – but I do believe that if a group of open minded and creative individuals come together on a project that great things can come to pass. How else do we have the things we love and fangirl and fanboy over? 😛

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