As a writer, the Aurelia experience has given me some new insights into writing which will benefit me in days to come. When the time presents itself, I will finally commit words to my long-overdue and heavily-researched first attempt at a novel.
I have learned that sometimes, the best of characters aren’t great and powerful heroes of renown but the common person who rises to the occasion in the struggle for survival. We all know how a lot fantasy is driven by these great epic adventures, but I think what helps make it a story worth reading is not this person who can defeat armies with a flick of a wrist or slay dragons like strolling through a park on a Sunday afternoon.
No, truthfully, we long for those common every day people who stand with the world against them and reach harrowing low points only to pick themselves up and prevail. These people are us. It gives the reader hope that even they, the common person can be something of greatness with perseverance and willpower.
In Aurelia, I watched a few characters have what we call the “god complex.” They fell short on their storylines. They’ve had a few interactions here and there with other performers, but the overall story fell flat and some of us breathed the sigh of relief when it was over. Our favorite characters were those of ordinary means, who for whatever reason rose to the occasion to do something out of the ordinary.
I have also come to realize that sometimes, life’s stupid mistakes, albeit fatal mistakes, often make for an enjoyable twist in a story. It’s nice to see our favorite characters survive great peril, but something about making it true to life makes a story resonate. For example, I played a character named Graccus who was a powerful Inquisitor for the Serpent’s Temple, tasked with tracking down heretics. Well, a “hot lead” led him to find another character who was drowning, and he offered to save that drowning man. But in the process, Graccus lost his footing and, while wearing heavy armor, ended up drowning. Harsh way to go, I’ll admit, but at the same time, very humorous and in its own way realistic in that sometimes stupid mistakes can be fatal.
Lastly, post-Aurelia, as I writer I have considered using a medium in which I could allow others to spin part of the story to make the randomness of life ring loudly in the story. It’s good to know small details of the character and to fall in love with each one of them. In this manner, the story takes on a life of its own and really pulls the reader in.
With the final curtain closing, I have to say, I’ll miss you, Aurelia.
A quick update on the show, where I (Lisa) talk show names, our growing roster of staff and artists, and what’s next for this project!
A lot of people have been asking us this question lately! And it’s understandable, considering that this type of mass-participation storytelling has only been launched a couple of times. How does the audience participate? What does a typical video look like? And what makes the story truly “interactive?”
Because our site is still under construction, I can’t send you there quite yet to get a taste of how it works. But the good news is, you can check out the original mass-participation web show that we’re basing ours off: Beckinfield. This paranormal drama about a small town with big secrets—some of which involve spooky happenings—began as a storytelling platform “by actors for actors.” Eventually it took the internet by storm as players from all walks of life jumped on board. With almost 4,000 actors, Beckinfield ran for two and a half years before terminating so that the Theatrics team could help other people (like us!) launch a show.
So have fun cruising around Beckinfield. Through our show will have different concept art, look, and user experience design, the core interaction will be similar to Beckinfield’s—with many (if not most) players using short videos to develop their character. Oh yeah, and our show will take place in an alternative steampunk-fantasy universe. So what does THAT mean for the players?
Well, as the Beckinfield team would say, “You tell us!”
Announcing an interactive show, based on the world of Rise of the Tiger, that allows anyone to create a character and help tell the story.