Author Topic: Is self-insertion acceptable?  (Read 908 times)

Strongheart

  • Posts: 70
Is self-insertion acceptable?
« on: August 15, 2017, 10:46:52 PM »
I know that no matter what you're writing, you ought to write it well: obviously making the plot interesting, the characters real and multi-dimensional, and the language engrossing. That is when it comes to literature, though I am curious, have you guys ever been guilty of putting yourself in your PC? We're all unique in real life, but does that make it okay to insert you into Arm? I've been wondering about this recently, and I feel a bit crappy in how unimaginative it seems to be. I suppose I'd just like some discussion about it here, though it's possible there is another thread with the same question. Personally, I have no issue with self-insertion, as long as it isn't negatively impacting roleplay.
Die gedanken sind frei.

Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 11:55:48 PM »
As long as self-insertion doesn't just become a lazy way of saying "I'll just do things how I want and not roleplay or anything". If you're playing 'you' in a game, react to things how you would react and play things out as you would. Not as you WANT to.

A good 'self insertion' should end up feeling like a genuine, indistinguishable person, because it's a genuine person just as any other. Self insertions become annoying when they're clearly being used to be the 'easy way out', to avoid effort.

Edit: To play off this further, explore your flaws. Explore them to the core, with genuine interest and focus. And let them unravel you if you feel like they would. Play things out to the bitter end, and grow from it, both as a character and as a person. Learn and grow just as any other character would.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 11:59:37 PM by MatisseOrOtherwise »
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Strongheart

  • Posts: 70
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 06:45:49 AM »
Well said, Matisse! ;D it actually gives me another question to consider based off the choice of race/sex, but I'll save that for a future post. Additionally, I know my posts aren't very popular due to my considerably "fresh off the boat" status and rather bland personality. I just wanted to start a dialogue that I find neat even though I am certain many on this board would rather discuss newer topics or less contrived ideas.
Die gedanken sind frei.

ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 117
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 07:47:09 AM »
ehehehehe

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 08:55:36 AM »


Let me ask your question a different way ...

Is some level of self insertion inevitable?



WithSprinkles

  • Posts: 315
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 08:59:48 AM »
When most folks write -anything- in which they have to characterize another person, they bring with them their own traits and mannerisms painted over the template of their fictional character. I personally think that when I read a book and I end up disliking almost every single character, that I have no common ground with the author. When I read a book and all the female characters are written.. let's just say, with extreme character traits (Robert Jordan), it makes me wonder about the author's perception about that gender.



If you listened to that at all, Mary Sue-ism is mostly an unpopular writing style. (she goes into gender in depth, but it's not really my point) It's annoying when it's blatantly obvious. In context to this game, folk come HERE to blow off steam and have fun. Arm ITSELF is a self-correcting environment where characters that step over the line of too annoying will likely get stabbed in their perfect faces.

We should remind ourselves that people don't have to stay to play with us and can choose to spend their free time elsewhere. A fact that is perfectly fine for some. When people say that players weren't right for the game setting, I shake my head when there is surprise at the lack of overwhelming enthusiasm and investment in voter threads and overall player retention.

Rather than be unhappy with behavior we don't enjoy, we can spend time actively mentoring IG, reaching out and giving better examples. If someone needs dire correction, point it out to staff. Threads like this are good for discussion, don't get me wrong. Sometimes they get people to step back and think about what story they are trying to tell in their characters and even nudges some folk toward more desirable behavior. No one's going to listen to anything said, however, if the tone of the message isn't helpful and there are few tips on how to fix things.
"Let's get started! Ready, Steady, Go!" - L'Arc~en~Ciel

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 09:29:42 AM »
Any character I've played has at least a little portion of me, and in some cases a large portion.

I'm not a gambler or a risk taker, but I've played PCs that are and it kind of curbs any "I should buy a lottery ticket" feelings for me.

I am a very asocial person, and sometimes my PCs are as well, but I try to explore what its like to be social and telling engaging stories.

One thing that often leaks through is I'm always interested in other people, so my characters are often that 'sit back and listen' or 'ask how someone felt about that' kind that quietly observe.

Admittedly, I struggle with taking on a character trait or personality quirk that is anti-me. I've put in things like stamping their foot, tapping when impatient, glaring at someone when upset, etc.... but to be the kind of person that becomes irrational or starts swinging fists in a fight is so NOT be that I can't do it outside being a Bynner.

I think there are very few people that have -no- self-insertion, because what makes a character in literature feel real is the fact that you can empathize with their plight, and that usually comes from real-world experiences and irrational thoughts or foolish decisions in the heat of the moment.
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valeria

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Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 12:24:34 PM »
I usually try to give my characters some mix of traits I identify with, some traits I don't like in other people, and at least one or two flaws or obsessions that I haven't given any previous character.  It gives me a good mix of things I love while keeping it fresh.

nauta

  • Posts: 2206
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 12:49:08 PM »
Interesting discussion.

I'm probably all sorts of multiple personalities (in a non-technical term) because I feel that I self-insert all the time, but it's hard to separate that from immersion.

I'd rather see people self-insert than not try at all.  In a way, making someone else (your PC) perform actions that you would perform in that situation is a great way of understanding yourself and a good exercise in character development.

Hehe, I remember some self-insertion on one of my first PCs.  When I go to a bar, I sit at the bar and read.  So I was sitting at the bar, and had my PC start reading a virtual book...
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

TheGoose

  • Posts: 127
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 12:54:13 PM »
I am constantly playing some version of my 10000 multiple personalities and autonomous mental constructs.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 01:15:47 PM »
Interesting discussion.

I'm probably all sorts of multiple personalities (in a non-technical term) because I feel that I self-insert all the time, but it's hard to separate that from immersion.

I'd rather see people self-insert than not try at all.  In a way, making someone else (your PC) perform actions that you would perform in that situation is a great way of understanding yourself and a good exercise in character development.

Hehe, I remember some self-insertion on one of my first PCs.  When I go to a bar, I sit at the bar and read.  So I was sitting at the bar, and had my PC start reading a virtual book...

Weirdly enough, the more IN to my character and what's going on around me at the exact moment, the more I "forgot" to roleplay and that aspect of my personality I've crafted into a complete character comes out.

My characters start out as a nebulous concept and a skillsheet. They get fleshed out with mannerisms, speech patterns, etc. But they all have sort of a basic theme to them and I have a really hard time breaking out of it.

But recently I've said "fuck it" and have stopped trying to break out of that theme. I have a type of character I like to play and based on kudos, people like me to play it. So I am fine with rolling up that type of character time after time.

senseofeven

  • Posts: 332
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2017, 01:16:25 PM »
I totally mistook the thread title as something erotic. :D

I don't put any part of me into my characters, rather I try to play them totally different from me. It would feel more like a story/movie, I don't want to have my PC be very relatable to me. It's more fun acting in some way.

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 01:16:54 PM »
Hehe, I remember some self-insertion on one of my first PCs.  When I go to a bar, I sit at the bar and read.  So I was sitting at the bar, and had my PC start reading a virtual book...

I had a Templar that would do exactly this. Only with real books, because TEMPLAR.

he learned a lot about the Copper War
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2017, 01:20:07 PM »
I totally mistook the thread title as something erotic. :D

I don't put any part of me into my characters, rather I try to play them totally different from me. It would feel more like a story/movie, I don't want to have my PC be very relatable to me. It's more fun acting in some way.

Okay, so maybe sometimes you're loud and brash, but only with your closest friends. Don't you ever wish you could be bold and brash all the time instead of just when you felt really safe and comfortable?

So you roll up a character whose personality is bold and brash ALL THE TIME and you wear him around as a costume for a few RL weeks to try it out.

You really don't do this?

LucildaHunta

  • Posts: 258
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2017, 01:58:30 PM »
I wonder how deep the op wants to get with this.

In the meantime, my short answer is you always are going to practice some degree of self insertion because your idea of your pc comes from within you. Now if self insertion means "playing yourself" it's going to come down to the player. Some players play the same kind of character over and over, some players are unrecognizable from one character to the next. One isn't inherently better than the other; it's just the range of the player.
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Strongheart

  • Posts: 70
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2017, 02:46:01 PM »
Incredible stuff, guys! I felt that my question seemed a bit shoddy, though I'm pleased to see all the unique experiences each of you have had as well as opinions you share in concerns with the topic. Thanks to you folks, I don't feel so ashamed for putting a bit of myself into my characters, and it has eased the odd stress I've been having over it.

Oh, and please go as deep as you feel! I enjoy reading each of them.

I feel like everything I type now is sexual innuendo, thanks senseofeven!

"Oh, and please go as deep as you feel!" -  This Shmuck
Die gedanken sind frei.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2017, 02:51:55 PM »

There's an elitist attitude about roleplay (not just here, but everywhere) that if your character is even remotely like you then you're a bad roleplayer, which I find just terrible.

Because one of the maxims of writing is "write what you know", and what we're doing is similar to writing a novel ... only one in which RNG and other players have 90% of the editorial control.

Play what you enjoy and it will be grand, not just to you but to the other people around you. Someone having fun is intoxicating to be around. Look around and notice the groups in game where people naturally are gravitating to and at the core you'll find someone having a blast with the character they've created, and if you knew that person well you'd probably discover some fragment of their own personality has been made the core of that created character.



Kryos

  • Posts: 878
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 03:06:00 PM »
I really like a number of posts in this thread.  Its great to challenge yourself, diverge from your comfort zone if you can, play a person not a foil or caricature and so on.  But I'll jump on the idea Miradus said most emphatically. 

In the end, the most important, ruling over all other rules perceived, implied, or decreed:  Have Fun. 

Disclaimer:  Kryos is not responsible for the consequences of fun.  Fun often results in dismemberment, emotional scarring, and death.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 03:07:35 PM by Kryos »

Riev

  • Posts: 4796
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 03:23:28 PM »
I would also like to jump in that one of my more favorite short-ish-term characters was a Tuluki, tried and true. Wanted to be a Mercenary just so he could someday join the Legions. But when he went in for a meeting with a Templar (I don't remember why), some magick things happened that weren't related to my PC. The Templar attributed what happened to my PC (despite other PCs saying that stuff had been happening all over the city), and decided to banish me from the city.

Broken. Beaten. He made his way to Allanak where he joined the T'zai Byn, finally. Maybe he could fight his way home, prove he's not some witch-lover. Except he got one asshole of a Sergeant. His personality actually began to split, as the meek, downtrodden persona ready to explode at any moment was being protected and taken over by a stoic, do-as-you're-told attitude.

Then the Sergeant kept poking. Threatening to have him killed. Saying he's lower than the shit he's shoveling, etc etc. So he had a mental break, and just starting going -off-, and before his protective persona was able to get a hold of him, I was OOCly shaking and almost crying.


My next 15 characters were dwarves that grunt/nodded their way to mediocrity.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1758
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2017, 03:40:25 PM »

About 1 in 7 of my characters "stick" and turn into something I have fun with. Some don't get a good chance to really shine, and some aren't really going to shine ever no matter what the circumstances.


Lizzie

  • Posts: 7491
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2017, 06:50:20 PM »
I consider it acceptable and inevitable, and, basically, expected.

My characters ALWAYS have some aspect of myself in them. It's intentional on my part, it makes it easier for me to play them. I can't get into a character if I have no common bond with them. It's not always the same aspect, and it's always exaggerated, or twisted to fit the setting and background.

For instance - I'm not a snappy dresser. So maybe one of my characters will be a total slob, never care about using cleaning solution on her armor, and won't ever wear a matching or coordinating outfit. I also have trouble growing my fingernails. So maybe one character will be a nail-biter. I have ADD. One character might concentrated on just one person at a time in crowded situations and totally ignore everyone else. I have a perennial herb garden, so maybe one character will have a farming background or take a special interest in growing plants. So on and so forth.
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Dar

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2017, 11:11:46 PM »
I notice my characters start to resemble myself a lot when they end up in leadership positions. But when the charas are by themswlves, they can be anything.

chrisdcoulombe

  • Posts: 1051
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2017, 04:58:12 AM »
I generally start my characters meek and have them grow into their role, I try to leave myself out of it as much as possible, but I know I leak through.  Its hard to separate yourself entirely, however, I like to take my characters out of my comfort zone and do as they would do, not as I would do.  I really like to build off of my characters experiences and allow that to shape them.
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BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8257
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2017, 01:10:12 PM »
Self-insertion is fine, so long as you ask for OOC Consent for those around you (or who might be hidden) before getting explicit.
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WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4474
Re: Is self-insertion acceptable?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2017, 02:45:27 PM »
My characters are always just me with one aspect of my personality magnified outrageously, like my love of radical violence, larceny, drugs, or whatever.
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...