New Rave: Interactive Character Storytelling

A fantastic author and friend of mine recently introduced me to yet another world to explore! I invited her today to share some information about this latest, intriguing genre called interactive character storytelling. RP World Group is a group of talented writers with a site dedicated to this genre. Enjoy the video below (The Aeonian Guard) - it's one of theirs!

Interactive Character Storytelling
By LaVerne Thompson
There is an interesting genre of writing right now that is popular on Facebook and other sites around cyberspace called Role Playing. But it’s not your Dungeons and Dragons kind of role playing. It’s a lot more adult. It’s where the writers tell their stories in character form and stay in character form even when they interact with their fans.
The most common dictionary definition for traditional role playing I found on Wikipedia is. NOUN:
1. Psychology A therapeutic technique, designed to reduce conflict in social situations, in which participants act out particular behavioral roles in order to expand their awareness of differing points of view.
2. An instance or situation in which one deliberately acts out or assumes a particular character or role.
The second definition is what’s popular now. Most of the role playing done on Facebook is really fan fiction based. In that the writers adopt the characters from popular New York Times authors and role play the published stories, usually without the permission or support of the authors whose works they are role playing. Sometimes, these characters are also from popular television or motion pictures. Then there are other role players who craft their own original characters and role play them in much the same vein. Developing a character and role playing the character on Facebook.
Then there are the role playing sites or groups that role play based on games, board games or electronic game programs or characters based on games. Much like Dungeons and Dragons. Interactive storytelling stems more from these electronic game programs.
Interactive Storytelling [IS] is a form of digital entertainment in which users create or influence a dramatic storyline through actions, either by issuing commands to the story's protagonist, or acting as a general director of events in the narrative. Interactive storytelling is a medium where the narrative, and its evolution, can be influenced in real-time by a user. Wikipedia.
Usually role players on Facebook or the other game sites just set up a character or group and begin to role play. Much of it is free form, in that anyone just begins to write about the copyrighted character and behave in a manner that may or may not be in line with the author’s work, sometimes it’s more organized in that it’s loosely done around events in the published works or the game goals. Good writing isn’t necessarily required sometimes it’s more important to know the book, or game, and the character you are role playing. And even in those instances where the characters being role played are original creations of the writers, there usually isn’t a real storyline or plot. Just loose events or more journal style writing. More character development rather than story or plot.
Neither type of role playing really addresses the most recent format and what’s being pioneered by RP World Group. RPW combines it all, what they are calling “interactive character storytelling”. Membership there is free, all that’s needed is an email addy and to create a password and the stories are free. This is where the original characters tell their parts of the story themselves but more importantly their original stories are actually plot as well as character driven. The writers are more storytellers who focus on the story as opposed to role players focusing on a role. They too post parts or a chapter at a time of their storylines, and fans come back each week to read the continuation of the story or book. But unlike a publication, the story is more like a soap opera because you get it in pieces. And the story is told from the point of view of each character within the story. It’s a fascinating phenomena, and one RPW is pioneering by having some of the most talented writers as part of their storytelling line up. For one thing RPW is run more like a publishing site, in that, unlike Facebook and other sites, you are not allowed to just join the site and begin to role play. You must go through a process. First submit an application to become a registered role player on the site. The application must have a bio of the character or characters you want to write, a brief of the storyline, and a sample of your writing. A group of five site admins go over the applications. And not everyone who submits is accepted.
So keep your eye on this new phenomenon. It’s another form of popular writing.


RPW is an awsome site, with some of the most talented writer's I've ever met.

I have the pleasure of being in their presence every now and then. :)

Please go check them out, you'll be blown away.

Great job LaVerne!
Oh, and if you sign up, you HAVE to come to Happy Hour on Sundays. You can meet the characters, find out about their storylines and just have fun!
Dariel Raye said…
Good morning! Thanks for visiting with me this morning,LaVerne. I joined RPW because I was impressed by the level of talent on the site. I'm still exploring. The characters are great.

Thanks for stopping by to visit, Stephanie! - Pen
Lady Isis said…
Thank you LaVerne for the article and thank you Stephanie for all your support.
Thank you LaVerne for your kind and generous shout out to RPW! There are so many brilliant writers on there and not one day goes by I am not blown away! So, if anyone has not joined up yet…..what are you waiting for? Membership is FREE! Oh and Stephanie Williams is right on with the Happy Hour on Sundays. Stop on by and say HI! *wiggles eye brows* I will be waiting…
Thanks so much, Laverne! I close my eyes and miss something exciting! Sounds fun!
Scarlet Hunter said…
Hi everyone! I can't say enough great things about RPW. There are a vast number of storytelling subjects on there and the best part is knowing you are reading original work from the gifted writers themselves. Including POETRY!!! *sighs* So, if you have not joined yet, let me reassure you this place is not one to look over. Join today (it's FREE) and become part of a world you will never want to leave!!!! *giggles*
LaVerne said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
supertatee said…
I have been a member at RPW almost from the begining. I love it, so many talented writers. You never run out of stories to read. They have something for everyone. So please come check the site out, you won't regret it.
Laz said…
LaVerne deffinatley knows a good thing when she sees it, and it dont come much better than RPW. The level of talent aboard this site is awe inspiring and fun. Along with the chance to meet and greet with the writers and players at social gatherings that run frequently RPW also boasts workshops where novice writers gain advice and support from other like minded writers that have gained more experiance
Vischeral said…
Thank you for the shout out LaVerne. We at RPW strive to provide the reader with a new interactive experience while telling our stories. As a former RPer on FB, I have to give cudos to RPW for providing us, the writers, with a place to write that is drama free and is solely focused on our work. In addition, I have partaken in several "writing events" that provided valuable information to a new author such as myself. The interactive events with the readers are fun and keep me in stitches.
Dariel Raye said…
Thanks for stopping by, LaVerne and RPW. I'm a musician and my Sundays are usually full, so haven't been able to come to Happy Hour. Hope to be able to enjoy the site despite that. - Pen
Unknown said…
Thanks for the shout out. It's fun, it's original and it's wonderful to be around such talent.
Unknown said…
I've seen some interactive storytelling around the book groups. It's actually rather fun to read along!
Unknown said…
I love RPW! There are some truly amazing authors on that site! They keep the reader engaged and never want the story to end. But alas, each chapter has to come to an end. And the reader has to wait...but the wait is so damn worth it! Check RPW out!