DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

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DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Hugh Hologram » Aug 09, 2017 5:27 pm

Good Mortereve, fellow Dittotopians!

The hosts and moderators recently met to discuss the future of Ditto Town and what improvements might be made, as they do every now and then. However, this meeting was a little different, as there are several things that were proposed that would fundamentally change some aspects of how the town runs. As a result, before any of these proposals are put into action, we felt it would be best to hear from our residents and see what you think.

Proposal #1: The Ditto Story (the current story in The Inn Between) Should End
The story has grown so big and convoluted that it is nearly impossible for newbies to join in, however welcoming the current posters might be. As many of the original Ditto Story writers have had less and less time to work with the story (or have left Nweb entirely), the question of extinction is imminent.

Proposal #2: The Repurposing Of The Inn
Because we all love the dear old Inn and some of us just don’t have time to commit to long, drawn out RPs, we wanted to have some place to post shorter works, and perhaps incorporate a feedback element. Thus, the current idea is to repurpose the Inn to become a home of Flash Fics/Short Stories, perhaps with the incorporations of prompts. A weekly or monthly theme would be announced, and authors could post their finished, self-contained stories. For example, January could have a “Space Australia” theme, February could have a “First Date Gone Wrong” theme, and March could be “Original Pieces”.

Proposal #3: Make the Fountain more Fountain-y
This is perhaps more a retro-fitting to early Fountain days. The Fountain would serve for characters to hang out and meet other characters, but as plots develop, they would be moved to their own separate threads (currently the Featured Roleplays).

The Town Square, the Cavern Tavern, and the Mansion would all remain largely the same, although if interest is given, more limited-time stories might be run in the Mansion (these would be stories that are a limited time commitment: if you sign up for a story, the story will be done in a certain number of weeks).

This is very much open to discussion and is in no way set in stone. It is not even set in air-dry clay, so please make your thoughts known!

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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Shawna » Aug 13, 2017 10:23 am

I agree that the Ditto Story has long since grown unwieldy. In the early days (the first few stories), the stories were kept relatively short, and the whole story would be finished in a month or a few months. Then at some point, they started going on for years and involving so many characters that they simply spiraled out of control.

I have some suggestions regarding the Ditto Story:

1. Each story should be allowed to exist within its own universe, so that people can either take what they want from previous stories or ignore those things entirely. It was a bit difficult to try to keep things within a single continuity when there were three or four stories and most of the same writers worked on all of them. It's pretty much impossible at this point. We've even got multiple characters with the same name because people who jumped into the story later didn't read back to see that other characters with that name already existed. I think at this point, even attempting to keep continuity in order is so overwhelming that it's enough to squash any creative inspiration a writer may have.

2. Allow individual writers to write their own single-author stories to post as Ditto Stories, specifying on the first post whether this is a single-author story or whether other writers are invited to join the story. If it's a single author story, other people can comment on the story within the thread, but not start writing their own story bits. You could also have situations where two or three authors get together privately and decide to write a story together, and the story would be limited to those authors, while other people can read and comment.

3. For multi-author stories, allow people to put up a first post with a general idea of the basic plot line and allow a sign-up period (something relatively short, like a week or two) for other writers to sign up to participate in the story. This should help make sure that you don't have fifty different writers each writing two or three scenes about completely different characters/storylines. Basically, from what I've seen, you've got some authors who are really into the co-writing aspect of the Ditto Story, bouncing back and forth off of each other's ideas, and you've got writers who really mostly want to tell their own self-contained story and don't really get involved in the other plot lines. I think having both types of stories be allowed would give people the room to do what they want.

4. We should be allowed to use each other's established characters, but common courtesy should still be that we check with other authors if we want to use their characters and verify that actions/dialogue are in character.
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Aravanna » Oct 05, 2017 8:41 am

I've thought about this a bit, and I agree with almost all the recommendations. As much as I love the old Ditto Story in the Inn Between, it's become completely unwieldy. I think a lot of the authors have moved to other life stages and don't have time to write in it anymore. I like the idea of having short stories incorporated into Ditto Town somewhere. Two additional thoughts; perhaps give everyone a chance to post a goodbye post in the next two months? We could message everyone who was involved when it was active *gasp* about two years ago. (Perhaps some messages on Facebook would be involved as well.) My other thought is that the Forum is slow enough that submission periods for the Inn Between would probably need to be longer than a month. Maybe Ditto Town will become a hopping place as the Silver Chair gets closer to release, but for now, we're lucky to get two posts a month.

Shawna wrote:3. For multi-author stories, allow people to put up a first post with a general idea of the basic plot line and allow a sign-up period (something relatively short, like a week or two) for other writers to sign up to participate in the story. This should help make sure that you don't have fifty different writers each writing two or three scenes about completely different characters/storylines. Basically, from what I've seen, you've got some authors who are really into the co-writing aspect of the Ditto Story, bouncing back and forth off of each other's ideas, and you've got writers who really mostly want to tell their own self-contained story and don't really get involved in the other plot lines. I think having both types of stories be allowed would give people the room to do what they want.


I think that's what Hugh is suggesting for "The Fountain" and "The Inn Between." If people what to bounce off each other's ideas, start posting in the Fountain, and if the story gets popular enough, that's when sign-ups for a Featured Role Plays would occur, perhaps with closed participation if the main authors wish it that way. The Inn Between would be for those people who just want to tell their own story. Maybe the default Theme could just be "Ditto Town" or "Original Pieces" about half the year.

Shawna wrote:4. We should be allowed to use each other's established characters, but common courtesy should still be that we check with other authors if we want to use their characters and verify that actions/dialogue are in character.


If a balance can be struck on this point, I'd love that. Role Plays are like ad-lib, it works best if nobody says "no" and roles with the craziness! However, it only takes one enthusiastic person to spoil another author's intent. There's always the dreaded person who wants the most powerful character and will alter every other author's character to keep it that way. They tend to ruin role plays for everyone.~x( If the mods are okay with it, we could give this a trial run and see how long it lasts.

One last thought in general. I haven't been active on the forums for years, and I'm sad I missed the Mansions that had an RPG element to them, where luck determined whether your character got what they wanted. I'd love to participate in one of those at some point. Not the spring, it's my busy season with work, but some other time. ;))
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby narnianerd » Oct 22, 2017 7:59 pm

1) You know, speaking of the ditto story, I think I tried inserting myself into it like, five years ago. I'm not sure what happened to my characters, they are probably dead now. Poor fellows. I think that right there is a major problem, to be honest. So, my bad I guess.

2) I totally love this idea. Bring on the monthly prompts.

3) As a huge fan of Ditto Town lore, I'd love to see more stories set in the world of Dittotopia and this seems like a really good way to initiate newer writers, especially as SC nears and an influx of users happens. Reestablish the world and then branch off. Sounds good to me.

So these are my thoughts, overall I agree with Hugh on all points. I'm excited to see where this all goes, in the end what we really need is more active writers, so anything that looks to increase our numbers is music to my ears.
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Sonny » Oct 30, 2017 3:31 am

I really miss the Ditto Story. I was hugely involved many years ago. It's been around a decade since I got involved, and it was sad to see it sort of stop. I myself found it difficult to recover from the April Fools Day pot a couple years ago that fractured the timeline into four realities, and haven;t written since, sadly. I have no recommendations, but I would love to contribute to a less-demanding story line.
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Shawna » Nov 02, 2017 1:27 pm

Sonny wrote:I myself found it difficult to recover from the April Fools Day pot a couple years ago that fractured the timeline into four realities


It did WHAT? :-o

Wow, yeah, I stopped writing in it way before that (apparently), and even then it was getting hard to follow.

I actually printed out the stories I'd taken part in in book form to keep on my shelf for easy reading. Stories 1 through 4 are all in one 424-page book. Story 5, all on its own, is 730 pages. From the sound of things, it got even wilder after that.

I think the way forward is back.
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Varnafinde » Nov 03, 2017 3:38 pm

Sonny wrote:I myself found it difficult to recover from the April Fools Day pot a couple years ago that fractured the timeline into four realities


Not just a couple of years ago - 5 years ago, actually.
April and May 2012.

After a while we got into using different font colors to try to indicate what reality we were writing in (I only wrote one post after that, having my character live in one reality and giving her about an hour's glimpse into another), but it became too complicated to keep up, and within a few months the story stalled.

Even the other stories that have been written in the Ditto Town forum seem to get less attention these days. Perhaps the NWeb writers simply aren't writing here - or at all - as much as they used to.

So it's possible that it's better to do something completely different from the last Ditto Stories, perhaps by going back to the first ideas from the early years, as suggested elsewhere in this thread.
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Sonny » Nov 13, 2017 4:28 am

I think it stalled because it got too difficult. I tried several times to write new posts, but it was too confusing, and I had honestly made it more difficult on myself with my story line :P Maybe people could get back into it if we simplified it?
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Re: DISCUSSION: Ditto Town's Future

Postby Bob Saget » Dec 17, 2017 10:10 pm

Thanks for providing some excellent feedback, folks! We've got new writing threads coming out sometime soon. Stay posted in Ditto Town for further updates!
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