Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jennifer's iBod .. and a question answered!

Alectra asked:

How much bigger can grow an universe for a captions series?, do you think making over 5 to 10 stories is long enough? or you could make it neverending? Do you think making a neverending universe will get bored of it?

Well, that is a bunch of questions wrapped up in less than 140 characters. I think I'll blow through a few paragraphs and see how many I can tackle without just listing answers.

Universes have their own little quirks and foibles, and I think that how they are defined is what limits their ability to survive and expand. Something like the "Magic Taxi" which is a favorite of Martha can be limiting, since you need to have a taxi, and or a woman getting out of a car, then filling out the backstory wrapped around all the rules that were put forth. The Spells R' Us universe is much more open, since you mostly have an old dude in a bathrobe that sells items or helps people much in the manner of a trickster from various folklore and myths.

One of the quirks with those is it is pretty hard to expand them, since they were created with certain set rules and I'm not even sure you could get in touch with the people that created them. If you did expand them somehow, you'd be bound to have people that would complain that it shouldn't be part of the canon of the universe you are using.The advantage would be that most people have a decent understanding of the setup of your caption, and your caption wouldn't need much back story.

If you are talking more about a universe that was set up by you, then it would tend to be more flexible and likely for continuation however you want it to be, either by yourself, or inviting others in to play in your sandbox with the characters you've created. The broader the range of plot and people that populate the universe, the more likely you'll be able to keep generating new captions AND the likelihood that others will want to read what you've made and possibly make captions in that world too!

The ironic thing about the caption universe above (iBod) is that 3 different people independently had the same idea. There was a story on fictionmania, there was my take on the mp3 player (I am big time into music) and someone else on the Haven did one as well, without knowing of my previous work .. even weirder was that they made their iBod caption FOR ME! That speaks to the universality of the idea (a device that changes you) with a method that also transcends cultures and geographical boundaries (music) so I think the only limits on the number of captions made is how many pictures you can find of hot women wearing headphones and/or ear buds.

I think I've made about 12-15 captions involving the iBod technology. I can't remember the last time I used it so its been awhile. Was I bored with it? Not really, but it just hasn't hit me in the gut when reading people's preferences. Will I use it again? Well, considering that I can often be lazy and use pre-existing universes to spin TG yarns in caption form ... I would probably bet on it. In fact, I think I still have some "girls with ear buds" images on a hard drive somewhere.

What does all these things mean for others? I can't speak for the masses though I can offer up opinions for them anyway, I think each creator has a good feel beforehand how fertile their universe is by the ideas it inspires.That plus input from readers can rally help you get a feel for what can be done. Perhaps the universe has 3 incredible stories in it, and then it needs to shut down as a complete work. Maybe, you tell more, and then come back to it like an old friend. Or it could be such a useful story telling tool that people are using it 16 years later (SRU has slowed down, but still quite viable).

DISCUSSION QUESTION: For readers .. What are your favorite TG universes to see in caption format? For captioneers .. What universes have you created? Would you mind other people playing around in it? If you haven't made a caption in those universes in awhile, would you revisit it at some point?


  1. Woahhh Dee that some very "wisey" wording ^-^, like speak to the oracle and you shall be answered :3, no just teasing...
    Thanks for answering, to talk about universes Smitty started the Darklights plot and i suggested him to expand it was very fun being part of a collaborative project, then Simone and Orva joined too, but as you said the darklights plot was becoming autoconclusive and when i ended the last chapter i left it open for epilogues or follows up, but yeah pretty conclusive :3.
    I started my own universe taking the Djinn Idea but with a twist, this djinn won't let you have three wishes but three forced choices, more than an universe is like mixed stories like tales of the crypt, that follows the same character but with different victi... er volunteers ^o^.
    That Ibod universe sounds interesting too, maybe i will try to create my own when i have more experience, i plan to create a world when lots of people can join without the need of an enemy like in the darklights, maybe that should help in not being autoconclusive...
    There is one thing though that i don't get clearly, to create your own universe, you need to set rules?, i find them a bit restrictive :3
    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

    P.S: I know i'm very talkative ^.^, but i find your responses quite good :3

  2. I've never been a big fan of TG universes. I'll admit that I've wandered the halls of The Great Shift, but that was for Martha, and she specifically requested it. I've probably invoked SRU on more than one occasion by talking about the 'weird store in the mall' that wasn't there before or buying something from 'the dude in the bathrobe'.

    I don't believe I've ever created something that would be a 'Universe'. I normally don't like to retrace my steps, so I don't put a lot of effort into the universe details, instead focusing it on the character's details.

    The closest I've ever come is "Happiness In The End" But it got almost NO response whatsoever, so I don't plan on revisiting it ever again. I wouldn't mind people playing in it, but I don't think it got nearly enough exposure for people to have interest.

    The most I've ever written in any universe would be Smitty's own Smittyverse. I've written all of three stories there.

  3. First off, I'm listening to this song right now! And you know I really enjoyed this cap, I'm a huge fan of music so this was a lot of fun.

    And now on to universe's. I know me and you were just talking about this in IM, But I have made quite a few universe's over the years. A magic brand of collars, TG/TF scented candles, a secret house in the middle of nowhere where they throw fetish party's, and of course the Jennifer story I have.

    I would not mind if people took any of these ideas and tried their hand at it in some way. Smitty did it for my Jennifer series and I loved it!

    I've also dabbled in other people's universe's. Simone's is a lot of fun to mess around with, I've done it a few times. Lately I've made quite a few for Smitty's suckubus and even one for his Smitty character.

    @ Caitlyn

    I thought your happiness in the end caption had a lot of potential and it's really a shame it did not get more attention. I also just really enjoyed the story you told for it and could see some fun tales being told in it.

  4. The MAU universe is by far my favorite. I also kind of like MoZ stories because I've seen some rather creative tales within it.

    I've created a series called Gendernote that I've never officially turned loose because I've never finished the origins. I have it in mind, but I don't know if it would be best as a story or a caption series. I do want to open it up but I wonder if there would be interests in it.

  5. @ Simone
    I thought you had opened it up to people already? I know I was going to give it a shot. It's a fun concept and I'm already a anime/horror fan. Gender note and Death note's core concept sounds like something you may have seen in a twilight zone episode And I'm a huge sucker for things like that.

  6. Yeah i was wondering about it too ^-^
    I loved Death Note and got me curious and eager too see it done.
    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

  7. Seems like we've got requests for people to continue certain universes! Lets get them going!