We asked the leaders of our Fleet to share some insight into what and how they write. This Writer’s Workshop is part of this special subseries – designed to help everyone from fledgling officers, to those with lots of experience, enjoy all that Starbase 118 has to offer. A special thanks to Fleet Captain Toni Turner for sharing her thoughts on Personal NPC’s.
As a prolific writer, I found waiting 36 to 48 hours for others to respond to my Primary Character, sometimes boring, so I often used a name from my ship’s NPC list as a supplement, giving them a personality to my liking. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but I found that another writer would come behind me, changing my quirky version of the character into something tame. It was then I found the wonderful world of Personal NPCs, which meant that I no longer had to worry about someone changing its personality, because I was the only one allowed to write for the character.
Playing a PNPC is a great way to explore additional avenues of writing, and write more often without overwhelming other members of your crew, but there are right ways, and wrong ways, to delve into them. Ultimately, you will find that there are generally two steps to success.
Select a species, rank (usually one rank lower than your PC), a suitable name, and personality for your character, and then ask yourself, “Can I effectively make the character believable?” If yes, continue to the next step.
Before introducing your PNPC into the sim, it’s important to introduce it to your Captain. Captains can help to choose a department that has need of another character to round out a department that is lacking enough personnel. Some captains even have “rules” governing their use, such as your PNPC cannot be in the same department with your PC. This prevents one person from dominating an entire department.
Once having gained approval for your character, you’re free to make the character’s debut. “Break a leg!”