Subject: That sounds like something I might've gotten into as a kid.
Posted on: 2021-06-10 00:39:32 UTC

My friends and I used to play this game where we had contact with the spirit world, which existed as sort of a parallel dimension to the real world, and were privy via telepathy or something to all sorts of drama and whatnot between the ghosts living their afterlives. We all had "contact" with different people and reported to each other on what they were saying and doing, basically like RP. I think we all knew it was a game, really—I mean, it was very soap opera (especially with my friends' people [and they had multitudes compared to my handful]), and there were canon characters as well as OCs—but part of the fun was being borderline-serious about it. Like, how thrilling would that be if it were real? Especially the part where it would've proved our favorite books and stuff true. It was nice to pretend to believe it. {= )

So, my guess would be that "shifting" works the same way, where there's always the kernel of knowledge that this is a fantasy at the back of your mind, but also a whole lot of wishing it were real and enjoying the feeling of almost believing that something so extraordinary could happen to you.

I don't think we ever expected anyone else to take us seriously about it, though. At the very least, there was the whole trope about young people being privy to something important but not being able to tell the adults because they wouldn't believe it and might forbid it if they knew, which added to the thrill. As for other kids, of course we weren't going to tell anyone who wasn't special and cool like us. We certainly weren't looking for approval or feedback from anyone about the events we were "reporting."

Therefore, I think if the shifters explicitly seek feedback, that could be an acknowledgement that their journals are a work of fiction and make them eligible for critique, but otherwise I agree that this is something other than fanfiction and is probably best left alone. I feel like I should also mention my friends and I had grown out of the game by high school if not even by middle school, so I suspect the age of the average shifter may be younger than the average ficcer? I might worry about making sure they do know it's fantasy, and gently questioning things that don't make sense in a journal might be a good way to introduce critical thinking skills that will make them better writers later, but there IS such a thing as a wrong time and place to nitpick writing mechanics. {= )


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