Getting the Best Out of Your Sims – Part 1

Getting the Best Out of Your Sims – Part 1

Lieutenant JG Evanna Blackwood recently created some very nice pointers for simming. As we are always looking for ways to improve our writing and simming abilities, finding a concise resource such as what she had put together is always helpful. Her series comes in five parts, each covering a different aspect of simming within the Starbase 118 fleet. Read on to learn some things that you might not have realized already.

Sometimes you might get stuck, and find it difficult to think what to write or how to move on with your character. Fortunately StarBase 118 has a lot of resources to help such as the wiki and writing related news articles. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
1) Point of View
This is possibly the most important thing to remember. Our sims are about our own characters and how they interact with the plot. Getting to know the characters is half of the fun so be bold and show us who they are. Remember as well it is third person (he/she/it) and past tense (walked/did/felt), not the present tense (walks/does/feels).
Sometimes when people have tags to answer they just hit reply and simply add their bit speech on top of what has already been written. A better approach when doing this to go over the sim before writing your part and take out anything that is not relevant to your character. This takes out clutter and makes room for your character, it also cuts down on repetition and makes the sim easier to follow. Your character may overhear a conversation between other officers, but is not directly involved with it. Remove it if it isn’t needed and just make reference to it by writing something like. :: Craig worked at his duty station while the helmsman talked to the engineer about a few technical concerns he had. ::
Here is an example sim from Ensign Junnie that has tagged Ensign (Lee) Craig. He has hit reply. Marked inside square brackets are suggestions for changes to be made before Craig goes on to answer his tags:
((Messhall, Deck 4))
[Whenever your character changes location use the above to show where they are. Each ship has deck layouts on their wiki page, with graphical maps. Use these to determine your exact location or in some cases find new locations to mess about in.]
:: Junnie and Yensen ate their lunch in silence, exchanging cold looks across the table from time to time. Most other officers coming into the Mess seemed to pick up on the tension between the pair and chose seating away from them as if to avoid “trouble”. Junnie stabbed another potato viciously as accusing eyes glared at Yensen. She wished looks could kill right now, and imagined him spontaneously combusting under a particularly nasty look. ::
Junnie: You make me sick… you know that?
Yensen: Don’t start. I can’t be bothered with it.
Junnie: ::Bitter laugh:: HAH! Why am I not surprised? You can never be bothered with anything.
:: Junnie saw Yensen rub his brow, he looked wearied and somewhat sad. ::
oO Heh! He’ll crack like an egg any time now. Serves him right. I’ll have my victory over him yet. Oo
[Delete the above. Craig wasn’t there so it’s not relevant to be in his sim.][Change the following action. This is where Craig makes his entrance, make it from his point of view.]
:: Right before another scathing remark could be fired off she spotted Ensign Craig saunter past. He grabbed something from the replicator and she shot him a warning glare. oO Don’t you dare come over here mister! Oo. He either didn’t notice or didn’t care because he sat down next to Jensen. ::
Yensen: Hello Lee
Yensen: Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to run it.
Yensen: Yeah I know. I want to. It sounds really fun. ::Glancing at Junnie:: I’ve… just not had the time.
:: She had just stuffed another big mouthful of food into her mouth, but did not let that stop her from speaking. ::
[If you left this action as it was it would read strange. Craig is a male but this action is from a female point of view. It would be better to reword it as an observation from your characters point of view, perhaps about how gross it was to see her talking with a mouthful and crumbs spewing out. Otherwise it would be better to take it out altogether. ]
Junnie: Don’t look at me! It’s not my problem. oO Look at them… chatting away as if I don’t even exist. Oo
[Delete Junie’s thought bubble, if you aren’t telepathic you don’t know she is thinking this. If you are you might not necessarily pick up on it, and if you did you might want to display your reaction to it rather than simply keeping it there. ]
[This is where you take over. Don’t just answer tags, take a shot in the drivers seat. Do you want to have a confrontation with Junnie and ask her what her attitude problem is all about? Maybe you want to ignore her and carry on your chat with Yensen. Start a food fight? Get up and leave to go do something else? It’s your imagination, take us for a journey.]
Ensign Junnie
USS Plankton
[Remember to sign off with your own character, and check the subject line, changing the title something fitting to your character. ]
Read the guide in its entirety on the forums:

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