I’ve been trying to catch up on some blogs for a blog that I’m currently writing, and I’m getting to the point that I’m really, really frustrated with the state of blog writers. So this is a plea to bloggers to stop doing some things that I’ve seen a lot of from the early days of the Slenderverse.
1. Please, for the love of God, no fucking binary
Marble Hornets was, I believe, what introduced binary to the mythos. It was used because it looks creepy and provides a code. With Marble Hornets it works because it was a stylistic choice. Sometimes it can work well as a stylistic choice. I’ve seen it executed well. But most of the time it’s used as a “code” for some strange reason. It doesn’t look creepy on its own, and translating it is just a quick Google search and copy/paste away. It’s not clever, we’ve seen it too many times for it to even look scary, and it’s half-assed by the standards of any sort of code. If you’re using binary, use it because there’s cause to use it, not to jump on the bandwagon.
2. Survey says seven out of ten proxies are hackers
I’ve got rants on proxies themselves, but let’s ignore them and focus on the fact that there are far too many accounts of a proxy hacking into a protagonist’s blog just to taunt them. Let’s ask ourselves a few questions: do you know how to hack a blog? Could you hack one of my blogs? What would hacking one of my blogs accomplish? If you do, what message am I supposed to be receiving, exactly? Am I supposed to be afraid that you’re coming after me? Really, most people don’t seem to understand how hacking works. It is either far more complicated or far simpler than people make it out to be, and really…there’s no point to it. All that hacking someone’s account tells you is that they can access your blog account. That’s all. It might make you feel violated and frustrated, and if you’re running some big website and someone locks you out you might have cause to panic. But if someone hijacks your blog and then hands the reigns back to you, there’s really no point to it. All you’ve done is given your villain an unexplained skill that they’ve ultimately used to accomplish nothing.
3. You have no idea how multiple personalities work
Ever since Dreams in Darkness introduced TheArsonist as Damien’s evil side, multiple personalities have been “in.” Everyone wants to write multiple personalities, but they do it terribly. First of all, the current term for “Multiple Personality Disorder” is actually “Disassociate Identity Disorder” (the fact that Dreams in Darkness is abbreviated DID is actually coincidence), so if your character knew anything about it they would refer to it as such. Second, don’t write a character who has one personality that’s a runner and another that’s a proxy. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works, and you can achieve a better effect by having your character trying to fight off subconscious influence from the Slender Man itself. Third, introducing more than one additional personality just gives readers more names to remember and confuses them. Finally, TheArsonist was never another personality to begin with, but a sort of parasitic idea dwelling within Damien (don’t ask me how it works; I didn’t write it). So please, stop. It’s almost never written well, and we’ve seen it too many times for us to enjoy it anyway.
4. Don’t jump off of a bridge just because everyone else in the Slenderverse is doing it
I’d like to make a distinction here: the Slenderverse =/= the Slender Man Mythos. The Slenderverse actually refers to several things: the fandom, an interconnected community of vlogs, and an interconnected community of blogs. So writing in the Slenderverse means adhering to someone else’s canon. If you want to tell a story, tell it. You write it however you want to, so don’t feel like you’re required to do what everyone else is doing or to let them write your plot for you. If someone does something that isn’t congruent with your canon, disregard it. Don’t feel forced to use something because someone else has, because all you’ll end up doing is forcing a square peg into a round hole.
5. If you’re going to write in the Slenderverse, at least try to adhere to its unwritten rules
I see…a lot of bullshit writing. Stuff that really shouldn’t be congruent in the Slenderverse. I can buy some of it, but you can really only get away with one or two things. First: I see some people using the astral plane. Records of an Impossibility was the blog that introduced that, and it could get away with it because it fits the tone and story of Records of an Impossibility. Your story? Probably doesn’t, and you shouldn’t accommodate because it will not fit (see square peg, round hole above) and you probably don’t know how to write it. Likewise, if you’re going to use the Path of Black Leaves, try to stick to the original interpretation. The Path of Black Leaves is usually described as unhealthy for humans to spend long periods of time in. Make it so that it causes physical deterioration and causes the user’s body to fall apart. Make it so that it causes mental deterioration and causes the user to go insane. Throw monsters into it so that it’s physically dangerous to navigate. But whatever you do, don’t use it as a way to teleport around.
Research, research, research, because almost everyone who introduces some sort of power includes some sort of catch. Nick could use the astral plane because he had a gift from birth and had to hone his skills for his whole life. Usually only proxies can use the Path, it’s usually only certain ones, and there’s usually a catch of some sort. Using these sorts of things but ignoring the rules others have set up causes everyone else to go “nuh-UH! You can’t do it like that!” This is a form of gamejacking known as canonjacking, since you’re forcing your canon onto others. This is bad, mmkay? And it can usually be avoided by following tip #4 (again, don’t put square pegs into round holes because they just don’t fit).