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Flyt-
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Greetings Kinmates

Yesterday I had a ‘presentation’ to make at Ales and Tales. Not a story as such but similar in nature; a verbal/oral presentation.

I have brought a new character to life, a minstrel, and named him Winnston Goodnough. If that name sounds familiar to you it should; he is the Mayor of that wonderful town we all love so dearly...Frostbluff. My intention was to bring him to Ales and Tales so he could present his thoughts on the recently concluded Yule Festival. He would not, in fact, be talking to all of you, the audience, but rather he would be addressing his comments to a group of Frostbluff citizens seated at a table in front of him that you, the audience, would be ask to imagine.

Such was the plan.

I arrived with Flyt around six o’clock (pacific time) and shortly after that I put her on AFK to log Winnston on and get him to the Dulliond. Ten minutes later I woke up to the sight of Flyt still sitting there AFK on my main monitor and the log in screen for Winnston on the other. I fell asleep! Mondays!!! Grrr!! However I ditched the idea of presenting Winnston and informed Lhinn...’maybe next week’ I suggested.

Falling asleep again was my main concern. Dozing away when I was given my nod to perform would be embarrassing and, for me, unforgivable, but there was another underlying issue that I would appreciate some input from anyone who wishes to comment.

Back in the day when I was telling stories on a semi-regular basis, I always wondered if those stories, any stories, are all that welcome at Ales and Tales. I know ‘Tales’ is part of the title for the event but I also know that ‘back in the day’ when the event began a lot more tales were being told. Not so now; few tales of any sort are presented now.

What has changed? A greater appreciation of music? And an accompanying lesser appreciation of stories? An appreciation of music that precludes anything else? Landroval is the server where music is held in high esteem.

I know of several web sites that offer a lot of stories. Why aren’t those told somewhere in-game? Do the authors of those tales know something I am missing. Is it due to basic lack of interest?

I am in a quandary. In part I gave up on storytelling because I perceived a lack of interest. I thought, ‘storytelling is a great opportunity for a fridge run or a bathroom break’, so why bother making the effort.

Anyway your comments would be appreciated. And please be honest; I assure you I will not be offended by anything you might say; if you prefer more music over stories then please say so. I simply want to get an understanding of stories both at Ales and Tales and tales in-game generally.

Thanks beforehand.

Flyt
Tearna Quickfoot
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

I think at least part of the reason we don't see tales on Monday nights as we used to is that those who were big tale tellers are not among us any more. And it is a lot of work to create a story and script it well so it can be shared. I've always appreciated a hand crafted tale.

I've not shared anything this past year because I'd not written anything related to the game. I've been working on a story to share over this time and am down to the last third of the tale, but it had some long dry spells. It is back on a roll again so I hope to have it polished and ready to share soonish. Happy

I know that the Bounders and Warders of Weald do a Friday story night once or twice a month.

I don't perceive it as a lack of interest in stories, but rather that it takes more work than playing tunes.


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

This is a comment from "way back in the day", so it might not apply anymore.

I didn't enjoy tales at every Ales and Tales because of audience noise. My poor old eyes require quite a large chat font and window. Sometimes they are tired and don't do well with fast scrolling text.

Sometimes the A&T audience sat quietly and listened to the story, allowing me to enjoy it. Other times, the audience would roleplay, applaud, and make what I call "feedback comments" (IE: "oh my!" or gasps) during the story. I remember one evening where the audience output had five times the volume of the storyteller. I know they were just trying to participate and give positive feedback, but I quickly lost track of the story and, shortly after, lost interest.

If you have a "noisy audience", that might be something to consider.

I really loved stories where someone played dramatically appropriate music in the background, even if it was just one musician or the storyteller themselves. If you're worried that some people aren't interested in stories, adding a bit of background music might keep them engaged until they discover how amazing the stories can be.

Best of luck and never give up storytelling!


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Echoing what Tearna and Kiralynn have said, I think that storytelling in LOTRO is fundamentally more challenging than playing music. I think it can be more challenging for the audience as well: with music, you dance and chat; with stories, you actually have to actively follow along. But I do think that folks are still appreciative of good stories, and those that saw the promo for last Monday's story were looking forward to hearing it.


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Personally, I LOVE the stories and poems! Generally, what I will do is filter out emotes during a story and open my chat window up so I can follow along easier. But I do love hearing a tale or poem and often wish we had more of them!

I don't think it's a lack of interest so much as a lack of folks having tales to tell. Music is a bit different....once a song is transcribed it can be used over and over again. But a tale usually has to be new and fresh each time so it time to keep coming up with new stories or episodes. I would LOVE to see more tales at Ales & Tales so I do hope you will bring us the tale you're workin on, Flyt and you, too, Tearna! Perhaps hearing more tales would inspire others to dust of their notebooks and put pen to paper and come up with their own!


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Tomeoric
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

To assist in listening to stories at large events and/or just managing the channels at events:

1) Chatterbug : Plugin that opens a window which allows you search for any text across all channels. If you specify the storyteller's name, the window will just display the story text and anything that specific character says. This also works the same for song lyrics. It also helps you find text directed at your own name while there is a lot of other chatter going on - so you don't miss someone's "wave" or "hug".

2) Babble : This plugin can eliminate all the emote "spam" when the crowd all mass-claps, mass-cheers, mass-any emotes, etc. It can also remove/block repetitive NPC chatter as well as those trolls who just don't want to shut up. Really cleans up the chat channel at events.
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

It is very hard to spin and tell a tale within a game. It is an aspect of social play that I have always enjoyed though. Perhaps ask more in Ales and tales for not only songs, but stories and poems. Aeroo is always willing to share a tale of eating the public

Maybe even make a special Ales and Tales once a month, not extreme that is devoted to stories. We can even offer small prizes.


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Tomeoric wrote:
To assist in listening to stories at large events and/or just managing the channels at events:

1) Chatterbug : Plugin that opens a window which allows you search for any text across all channels. If you specify the storyteller's name, the window will just display the story text and anything that specific character says. This also works the same for song lyrics. It also helps you find text directed at your own name while there is a lot of other chatter going on - so you don't miss someone's "wave" or "hug".

2) Babble : This plugin can eliminate all the emote "spam" when the crowd all mass-claps, mass-cheers, mass-any emotes, etc. It can also remove/block repetitive NPC chatter as well as those trolls who just don't want to shut up. Really cleans up the chat channel at events.


OOoo... thank you Tom! I have Babble and love it! I'd not heard about Chatterbug... I'll check that one out. Happy


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Flyt-
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Thank you everyone for your comments; they give me much to think on. I didn’t realize there was a ‘promo’ for Monday and apologize if I set everyone up for a ‘presentation’ and then was a no show.

I rather like the idea of a once a month focus on stories. It might attract those who find such efforts of interest, either telling tales or just listening, which could maybe...just maybe...get some creative juices flowing again.

Thanks again...next week I will be there with Mayor Goodnough.
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

One other thing. I have considered music and chit chat between the musicians as was mentioned. I do have two such presentation nearly ready to roll out. I thought it was a good way of combining music, which everyone loves, and storytelling in the form of an amusing or interesting, in some way, conversation between the musicians. I just need to get more settled in presenting music which I am told is just a matter of practice.
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Hey Flyt, I like tales and I too have noticed a bit of decline in tales at the sake of extra music. Not necessarily right or wrong but a noticed difference for me. I like telling tales, not sure if they are any good, but I like it just the same. I was thinking of doing a Story time on a bi weekly basis just to see if there is any interest.

Drummor


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

I have to agree with several of Kiralyn's comments. I enjoy tales.....and poem recitations. However, some people scroll their lyrics so fast I can't keep up. I'm not a speed reader.

Another problem is when the audience isn't very polite and won't sit still and be quiet....It would be nice if they would pretend they were in a library during the librarian's story reading time, and sit still and not chatter. When audience members starts to chatter it disrupts the flow of the story or poem. I find it an irritation, too, when people visit in the say channel while a band is singing lyrics to a song. To me it is quite rude. However, I can understand in the past, when the say bug afflicts someone, they may not even realize a band is 'singing.' Hopefully that has been corrected with the most recent update.

I have babble, and that helps with the emotes.

I'll have to give chatterbug a try. That could be very helpful to be able to target a story teller's name.


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Tearna Quickfoot
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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

Yes, random chatter and even crowd feedback can be an intrusion. That is why I prefer to read the story in the bubble over the speaker's head.

I don't incorporate emotes you need to read when I script my tales. I use them to animate my character but without a comment of any kind so that folks can just watch Tearna and the bubble over her head, not the chat box. However, for some folks who need the text BIG, I do understand that text bubbles are not ideal.

And yes, learning to pace yourself so you aren't "speaking" too fast is something I had to practice and learn. Friends got to be my guinea pigs. hehehe Part of that is learning to divide up long passages into smaller bits and learn how to still make it flow.

Telling a good tale is as much about the scripting as it is about crafting a good tale to start with. Happy


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

A story night would be great for sure. But start at once a month to give folks time t prepare their tales and the audience something to look forward to. And perhaps hold them in a room or area that promotes calmer actions. Holding stories at the same time as there is to be music and dancing too often leads to a keyed up audience that is waiting to boogie rather than folks coming to hear stories.


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re: To Tale Or Not...That Is The Question

(I cannot make it to Ales & Tales very often these days. Like, maybe once every three months or so. Any preferences I might express about the event should be weighted accordingly.)

One concern I have for a tales-focused Stouts & Stories (Poems & Porters? Casks & Chronicles? Pints & Plots? Fables & Foam? Sagas & Suds? Yarns & Yeast? Quips & Sips?) edition of A&T is how much audience there would be. Sure, there are some folks who just love seeing recitations as a refreshing change from the all-music programmes and would enthusiastically attend every minute of a two-day-long Skaldstock poetry jam, if there were such a thing. But, for most others, even those who truly enjoy story presentations, an entire session of it might approach the limits of their capacity for appreciation.

Unlike listening to music, reading along to follow a story is an active, not passive, exercise that requires continued attention. Take your eyes off it overlong (maybe chatting with a kinnie or sneaking off to the kitchen for pudding), and too much may have already scrolled by for you to catch up.

Granted, such an event is not *intended* to be everyone's cup of tea. A&T would tend toward just bland, lowest-common-denominator content if the goal was to fully entertain *everyone* every week. Special activities are important for keeping A&T fresh and varied, and often that means occasionally focusing on an interest shared by a smaller subset of the regular crowd (or even some outside of it).

Certainly, there are some avid story fans who would appreciate an all-recitation A&T…and ‘some’ is enough. So, my concern isn't that it would be somehow *wrong* to have an A&T that might find a more limited audience than usual...it's ‘Why should it?’ Have there been a lot of music fans in the past expressing displeasure over a story having caused them to fall short on their daily quota for dancing? What would be the purpose behind putting all the stories and poems (and maybe plays) into a single session? When such performances come only one or two per week during a ‘regular’ A&T, the performer can present to the whole, regular-A&T-sized audience, including those who might like stories, but would not have attended if there was not also music. Would not storytellers generally *prefer* a potentially larger audience?

I understand that there are courtesy concerns with recitation (especially with the extended /say range), but I think those may be largely addressed through education. (And perhaps a polite IM to someone who's being a bit chatty during the reading.) And, well, I also understand that some storytellers and poets might really like to have a focused programme so they can all present their compositions to, and hear from, their peers and idols.

But, as to music, I have maybe only once or twice seen a storyteller invite the musicians to continue playing during their presentation. I've often wondered why stories do not have musical accompaniment more frequently. I mean, of course many stories (and especially poems) are better without any background music, and the music would need to be suitable for the story it accompanies. (Of course, no lyrics. And hold your cheering until the end of the story, not the song.) But that shouldn't be hard to do, and it might result in more people sticking around to read. (Instead of leaving the computer as soon as their toon sits down, and then not returning until they hear the applause.)
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