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Where did all the stories go?

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Where did all the stories go?

Postby ottoatm » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:54 am

Hi all!

Mods and Admins, this may be the wrong place for this thread so please move if you believe I'm mis-posted. It seems odd for one mod to say this to others, but hey - worrying about that sort of thing is one thing that makes you a mod! :)

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As I gear up to return to my beloved collection in the US and restart my story I've come to realize that Lego storytelling in general has... well... stopped - why is that? And not just at CC but around the web in general - I am unsure why?

We get a trickle here and there of a short story sure - and Grandfather's tale is pure brilliance. Yet this is a whisper compared to the really cool stories we had before from people on CC and CW (a much smaller group of mostly CC'ers, I confess).

Sure there is the LCC(is that right?) that is very active in building and posting. This seems to me as a far cry from the golden days of Ikros, Andrastavia, the Lone Falcon and more. I used to love the Photoshopped madness of armies with their little lego heads spinning in the air. :)

If not for Grandfathers tale and my (much slower developing) story there would be very little in terms of epic comics these days as well.

So what do you think happened?

Sorry if this comes off as whining - it's not! Perhaps pining for the "good ol' days!" 8)
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Bluesecrets » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:13 pm

Everything goes in cycles here at CC. Stories exist, but the people who were active at the time are no longer active...right now. Some sites get some nice progressive stories going. We had a few for a while, but right now it comes down to the people who were writing aren't active here right now. Here is hoping it will change.
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby ottoatm » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:42 am

Agreed - I would love to see a resurgence at CC. :)

It seems that this phase is longer than most - with no real writing for the last 2-3 years - both at CC and on the internet in general~
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Bluesecrets » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:45 am

Well not that I've written anything for CC. I have for the Cove a lot. Right now my writing is in a bit of a slump. Which happens when I'm building. Here is hoping we can get more of us working at it.
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Formendacil » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:21 pm

I think part of the thing is that the "way of the Internet" has changed. Back in the days of Ikros and Andrastavia, there were far fewer LEGO websites and (if my memories are accurate) when you when Googling (or whatever one did before Google was everywhere) sites like Ozbricks came up rather easily. For example, I found Ikros via the "LEGO Lord of the Rings" search that led me to Bruce's website. In those days too, the entire community online existed on Lugnet.

I think the "second generation" of LEGO Interneting, when the big forums were the norm--Classic-Castle, FBTB, Classic-Space--was also good for storytelling because although we were starting to diffuse the community, we were also concentrating the likely readers of a particular genre (LEGO Castle for instance) in a particular place--and in a place where, back then especially, they were used to reading blocks of text and ready to participate therein.

The decline of the forum method of LEGO online interaction coincides with the decline in storytelling. After all, to speak from experience, it is a lot more motivating to keep writing and producing when you have readers interacting with you--even if it's as little as "I like that" or "what about this character?" (Obviously, the more complex the better, but in terms of simply putting something out there, any sort of positive response will help.)

Now we're in the Flickr generation--and I think that it's doing a good job for MOC sharing and commenting, which has always been the bread and butter of the LEGO community and always will be simply from the nature of the brick, but such an image-based venue is not conducive to storytelling, at least not in the longer 'story' sense. I think the LCC is a good example of how the forum and Flickr can build back and forth into each other--the MOCs subforum has gone through a boom cycle of incredible MOCing thanks to the LCC, MOCing that is grown on the technical end by Flickr and on the community ("rules of LCC" and such) end by Classic-Castle.

Unfortunately, no such symbiosis is likely for storytelling, because Flickr is not an ideal platform for sharing it. Flickr is designed for mixing photostreams and multiple users and, in general, for finding specific photos rather than following a set of photos--and certainly not for interspersing picture and photo in the older "Ikros" method. And the community of potential readers (forums like Classic-Castle) are no longer as full as they once were (I don't think CC is "dying" by any means, but it IS slower) and the influx of new members on the LCC model are generally not as willing to participate the in read-and-write method that used to exist.

All of that said, I don't think LEGO storytelling is dead--but I do think it has changed. Similarly, the boom days of LEGO webcomicking have passed with the decline of the BCN forums and a number of their prominent members going on hiatus, but I see more and more comics on Flickr. It still exists, but the model has changed--it now resembles memeing on Facebook more than an old-school self-hosted website.

Perhaps my point is merely that you and I are throwbacks. :wink: It would be nice if there were more of us, though.
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby AK_Brickster » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:46 pm

Nice commentary, Formendacil.

I think another contributing factor is that people (myself included) have become more used to being visually overstimulated. Most people on the forums would rather skim through a filmstrip of Flickr images, stopping at the ones that interest them, rather than spending 10-15 minutes reading through a lengthy story.

I do enjoy the writing and storytelling that has come out of the LCC, but I agree that it is a totally different breed than what you guys are referring to as "stories".
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Albatross_Viking » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:47 am

I'll jump in and add my two cents here:
I believe I've been a part of the latest little bout of Castle storytelling with the Castleland Group Stories (and everything Napoleon put his hands on, heh...) some years ago. Since then, the focus has, as has been pointed out, moved to more picture- and MOC-based systems, starting with Guilds of Historica, I believe, and then expanding with multiple other RPGs/build-reliant stories like LCC, Brickdom, multiple Apoc/Modern ones and most recently the pirate-themed Colonialism. While GoH and LCC have their "mother pages" on EB and here respectively, many of the other groups are solely located on FlickR, which complicates the writing of longer stories.
All in all, it seems we are in a time where Lego storytelling is getting more reliant on bricks and less on words, which I actually find quite sad.

On the other hand, here's hoping we can get CW back up and running now that people seem to begin coming around again.
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby ottoatm » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys and gals, that was very educational for me :) It does indeed answer my questions and although I hope that things change in the future (I agree that even a little feedback goes a long way for a writer!), I can accept that the reasons you all gave are most likely correct.

Blue, I'd love to read your stuff at Cove if you wanted to share :) I've never heard of the Cove before.

All in all, it seems we are in a time where Lego storytelling is getting more reliant on bricks and less on words, which I actually find quite sad.

On the other hand, here's hoping we can get CW back up and running now that people seem to begin coming around again.


Agreed! :tasty:
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby ludzik » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:11 pm

forgive my ignorance: what's CW?
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby ottoatm » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:29 pm

ludzik wrote:forgive my ignorance: what's CW?


Sorry ludzik - I was lost in reflection when I was posting that first time and didn't consider the new folks. :-)

CW = Castle World. It's a forum I stared quite a few years back for Lego Castle stories.
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Albatross_Viking » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:00 pm

ludzik wrote:forgive my ignorance: what's CW?

Like Otto said, it's a forum for medieval/fantasy Lego storytelling. It's not too active at the moment, but we're sort of trying to revive things over there these days, so you should really consider joining (commercial break, yay).

On an off-topic though CW-relevant note: Quilly, I'm writing something. I think. Hoping to have a chapter up tomorrow or the day after. If nothing else, this comment can act as an extra spur. Try poking me with a spear if I can't get the gears running :wink:
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Bruce N H » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:30 pm

Hey,

I think that the trend is really down to what Formy wrote above. Back in the day when the internet was young and unruly, it was the home of site designers. If you wanted anything more than a Brickshelf gallery, you pretty much had to learn some rudimentary HTML and find a web host. That is, still, the best way to put together a long form story. As web2.0 developed, we got sites like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and blog services like Blogger, WordPress, etc. People that couldn't create their own webpages would go to those prepackaged sites, and, since they got so much more traffic, those who could create their own sites ended up going there as well.* Those sites are all a lot better at showcasing individual things, rather than putting together a series of text and images in some layout. Even a blog, which is more text based, posts up in inverse chronological order, which is kind of annoying if you want to start reading someone's story, and you have to dig back through the archives to find the start. So while I agree with Blue that some of the story writers of the past are less active now, I also think that Formy is more on the money that the structure of the web today, and how the community fits into that web, pushes people towards different methods of presentation than long-form story telling.

Bruce

*One other place I've noticed this is with the now defunct Classic-Castle Cool Links section. I've considered (but rejected - there are other projects I'd much rather focus on) restarting that, but I really think that if I did there would be almost no links to select from except from this Flickr stream vs that Flickr stream.
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby ottoatm » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:24 am

Thanks for the feedback Bruce - I agree with you (and Formendacil) more and more each time I visit this thread.

It's a bit of an odd feeling to be "out" or "behind the times"! Having been an IT programmer/consultant/entrepreneur all my life I always try to stay "bleeding edge" and all that stuff... and now to be behind the times regardless! :D

So it makes the next question come up... how to stay relevant? Because I'm really unsure how....

How do you write Lego stories (which I really enjoy and very much want to continue) that are relevant and will draw people interested in reading them?

Or is the whole idea dead with the format change? I think Flickr is interesting and sparks the imagination - is it enough to take out the art of Lego Stories/comics?

If not, how to make something that can reach people?
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby Fry_slayer » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:43 am

ottoatm wrote:So it makes the next question come up... how to stay relevant? Because I'm really unsure how....

Interestingly this is what I have been conceptualizing for the past few months. The key, IMO, is to utilized LEGO's strength as a medium while avoiding its many obvious pit falls.

As for the part of being relevant; well that is simple enough, tell stories that is true to the core quality of LEGO: being timeless.

If all goes well expect me to be more active in the story section in near future. :eyebrows:
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Re: Where did all the stories go?

Postby ottoatm » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:13 am

Fry_slayer wrote:
ottoatm wrote:If all goes well expect me to be more active in the story section in near future. :eyebrows:


Very good news indeed - looking forward! You had a great comic before.

I wonder what "being timeless" looks like in a story/comic?
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