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for the storytellers among us:

Nov 29, 2010

    1. i recently sold all of my dolls (down to the last floating head) for personal and financial reasons. i had no intention of leaving the hobby permanantly, but the time without the dolls has given me the chance to re-evaluate my tastes and what i want, am looking for, and what actually works for the stories i'm trying to tell, whereas before, i feel like i was just buying whatever caught my eye and making a place for them, which was part of my unhappiness with my collection, to begin with.

      do any of you ever stop and wonder how the heck it is that you've ended up with these dolls that don't really fit into the story you meant to convey, and end up scrapping the entire thing in the form of getting rid of all the dolls to start over? or even wheedled your collection to those one or two that really mattered, and then rebuilt the story around them?

      i'm starting over from scratch, but i feel like i have a much better hand on it all, now, than i did before : ) victorious are those who... go through the process, mess it up, and start over to (hopefully!) succeed the second time?
    2. I started making characters for a single story then as I struggled to fit all incoming members in to it I decided the first batch were just the actors in the story like a troupe or players. Perhaps they get a bit typecast for their parts but once I let the strict ideas go my family grew in unexpected and delightful ways. Bram can always be counted on to be a hero, Guivnu will always be funny, Brenna will always use her wits to get out of trouble.

      Now the only confines the dolls have are scale, most of them are the same scale, but in the end there are no hard rules except if I can afford them. Don't let your stories be confined either, write what you want and let it flow.
    3. I'd like to commend you on your courage to erase the slate clean and start from scratch. Your new collection will most certainly reflect your experience in the hobby, and fulfill your creative aspirations more fully. Just like you, I consider my dolls vessels for the characters, not the other way around, so re-shelling a character is a perfectly healthy way to play with dolls for me. :)

      Best of luck with the new crew!
    4. For me, the story and characters stayed the same. I have quite the expansive cast, so I make myself selective and pick only those that I feel closest to. I've never bought a doll and then tried to fit it in; sometimes I just want it to be variable, not rigid to fit a certain image. I have however once sold a head because I had nothing to do with it..but that wasn't difficult for me.
    5. I've done a few minor "purges" over the years, generally because I've realized that I didn't favor a certain size of doll (first 45cm/MSD scale, now 26cm/YoSD scale) and have sold those dolls to replace them with larger (50-65cm) dolls that will represent the same characters. There was one storyline that I had been exploring, but decided to abandon, and I sold those three dolls and did not "re-shell" the characters in new dolls, because I just wasn't interested in the characters in the same way I had been previously. I've never found any of these changes to be negative - indeed, I am always happy once I have things settled the way I think they should be.

      However, lately I've also been thinking very hard about some of my oldest dolls, and possibly getting new dolls to represent THOSE characters, as well - not because I don't like them (I'm actually thinking I'll keep all of them, just "retire" them, so to speak) but because while the dolls may have been the best representations I could find for the characters at the time I purchased them, the market has grown dramatically and there are newer sculpts that look much closer to how I imagine these characters. It's a bit of a conundrum. Ultimately, I think I'm going to need more storage space...
    6. I tried to make the story first but it really didn't work out, since I didn't know where to go, so I got the dolls then made the stories.
      there's 3 novels in the series, and I have all but 2 of the characters, (another one doesn't actually have a body, she/he is some sort of demonic spirit)
    7. I know it isn't much, I don't have any of my story dolls yet, but out of a list of 30-40 dolls I want, I've narrowed it down to the 5 dolls I need. They aren't quite what I anticipated, but I know now the first doll I have to get, not the one on sale, but the one that's going to bring me the most comfort (as that character always does).

      That doesn't mean along the way I won't buy a frivolous doll or two along the way, there's also a certain fascination I have with trying to find a doll's perfect personality, style, face, that got me into bjds in the first place. They may not fit into any of the story lines of my other dolls, but that doesn't make them any less important to me.
    8. Most of my dolls have characters that appear in the stories I make, but I have a couple for several years now who have never appeared in any of the storylines. One day I may fit them in, or may not. I still love them (like my BW Soom Kanoa, and some floating heads, among others), and wouldn't think of parting with them. (Even though I sometimes call them the "freeloaders" in the group, since they're not "working" for their keep!)
    9. There have been many occasions where I have wondered where my story and the characters are going. I have often bought doll that don't really fit and just worked them into the story somehow, but I am happy with this arrangement :)
      I had to change the storyline a little bit to accommodate the new dolls but I'm happy with how open ended it is and I haven't treated it as a problem.
      For me all the characters (bar the minimee's who all live in their own little universe) are all connected through a common goal (which involves seeking out a rather evil character which I have yet to find a host for) and come to live together through their endeavours. That way they can all have their own pasts and unique storylines with needing to be connected to one another. Although to be fair quite a number of my character are connected anyway.
    10. More than half of my dolls were bought simply because I liked the sculpt or mold. Sometimes I build entirely different stories around them, sometimes I fit them in wherever their character seemed to go. Sense most of my (and my girlfriend's) stories are as of yet unwritten, or at the very least still in the first draft process, we both feel that we can do this. The storylines are still pretty fluid, and on several, we're still working on what goes where, who does what, and what happens when.

      But I do still buy dolls to fit a particular character, for a particular story.
    11. I've had some dolls like that. There's only one I'm definitely passing on though. Several others have been shifted around characterwise and experimented with -- some are still in process. It's true that I ended up with a lot of my dolls fast, and now that I've been forced to slow down I've begun to re-evaluate. The difficulty I have is that with the number of dolls I have I don't want lots more. Yet, there are other directions I would like to go in as well, so I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don't really want to have a big sell off, yet I'm not sure how to go about doing all that I want to do without thinning the resin ranks a bit. I'm not doing anything drastic at the moment, and I'm hoping that if I give it some time, things will become clearer.
    12. I have been in this hobby for a very, very long time.

      My first doll was a Volks SD13 Kohya, whom I loved and cherished, but who, in my fifteen-year-old head saw as a thirty-ish, well built zombie commander. I suppose at the time, with the limited diversity between kinds of dolls and their bodies (I remember the 'new' Souldoll boy body, the first muscular one that couldn't even pivot on it's center joint that was semi-celebrated as a first of its kind) that imagination was more employed as a tool in the hobby, what with us having to make-believe the dolls we envisioned in our heads come to life.

      As I grew older, though, I discovered, beyond the fact that my story had evolved and changed (because on a whole, that didn't matter so much for me since Phir, my zombie lord, was so special to me as a character) and the cast had grown so large that I could never hope to even complete it in part, let alone in a few select, special dolls, that maybe choosing a fat faced, lippy, anime-esque sweet face with a fifteen year old body at best wasn't exactly a good fit for my character. When I got my second larger doll, a Nanuri 2007, this feeling was only compounded because Solace looked much more realistic alongside Phir, and they didn't look like they belonged in the same place, let alone the same story. I was disheartened by this, and even more disheartened by the thought of actually potentially changing my collection that I decided I'd veer off in a new direction.

      I started collected mini dolls at that time, thinking I could create a 'smaller', more feesible story, but it didn't work out for me because I've discovered that over the years, my tastes are pre-disposed to ideally, 58cm dolls. I sold my minis (despite still owning one now, solely on a 'but-the-character-is-a-kid' basis) and went back to the problem at hand after my failure, which was my Kohya, of course. Fearing the worst, and honestly, kind of feeling like I'd be 'betraying' my doll if I sold him, I decided to lavish all my attention on Sol instead.

      In 2008, I think, or even 2009, I got Solace his first body. I bought him a Soom body, and though I was generally pleased with him, I also had alot of work left to do on him, and he didn't look anything like how I envisioned a blue, ghostly, palid gyrating dancer thing at all. I was reconsidering owning him, after that, since realistically, I knew I'd probably never have the time to mod him to look like the siren I'd wanted. So I put him back on the shelf, as well, next to Phir, and then I had to start thinking about wether or not continuing the story in doll format was worth it if I was left so-so feeling about having the dolls around in the first place.

      I laid low for awhile, carefully calculating my options and putting dolls on the backburner while I worked on my stories instead. I was still diligently working on my zombie war story, and generally, I spent alot of time fleshing out my characters and updating them, since the last time I'd done real work on them was when I was fifteen and I craved realism.

      About the time the Super Gems came out, I stepped back onto the doll scene, hungry for change, and having made up my mind to at long last, finally turn over my Kohya. After keeping a jaundiced eye out for 'the next Phir', I settled on Euclase, awed by his grey skin and muscle, and made the steps to offing my entire collection to buy him. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I thought I would be getting a new zombie warlord, plus one, who I was thinking of making his doppelganger. Both Phir the Kohya and Solace the Nanuri moved on to greener pastures, as did my Too (whom I'd never loved anyway), as I prepared to wipe the slate clean for 'the new Phir's' arrival.

      When he finally got here, after four months of layaway, he really wiped the slate for me in the most literal sense. I thought I'd be starting my zombie story over, but no, when Euclase arrived, he instead took form as one of my other, more macabre characters from a completely seperate story. He became Kratos, the Lord of the Manor and Plaguegod. Subconsciously, I guess, I decided to retire not only my doll collection connected to my zombie war, but the story itself - at least in doll form. I wanted something I could have fun with and play with. Not just think, 'okay, I have this part, so now what's missing'. It's like the arrival of Kratos revolutionized my entire way of doll thinking.

      So, that's what happened when I started from scratch. In all honesty, except for the extreme rate of turnover my dolls had in that blustery time period, I'm glad I did it. I get way more satisfaction out of owning my dolls now, so much so that I even like taking pictures of them and sharing them with others.

      I'm preparing to wipe the slate clean again, in the future (a semi-exit from the hobby in an attempt to buy myself an education) but I figure that if the first time around actually turned out to be a blessing, then if there's a second time, it'll be amazingly worth the wait when it happens. :daisy

      Sorry for the long post.

      tldr; I have started from scratch before. Mostly because the types of dolls available back in the day when I started in the hobby were much less diverse than the ones we have now. I also switched the doll story I was working on when I started up again, after retiring the old dolls, and the new project ended up being a major highlight for me.

      Change is good! :daisy
    13. Eventually, I do want to complete the crew from a project I keep trying to write, but I love so many dolls (and have so many characters floating around in my head anyway) that completing one story's crew wasn't really a priority for me.

      My problem in buying dolls to represent those characters is that there are dolls which look DEAD ON like the girls in terms of face sculpt, and both from the same company, but that company only makes one good-looking boy in the same size range who looks like one of the fellas, and I'm left waffling on the rest of the menfolk, wondering if the doll that looks most like the character will fit in aesthetic-wise. I don't think I'll be too bothered if they wind up in a variety of styles, but it's something to consider in the planning phase...

    14. I've been writing seriously since I was 17. Well, no, I wrote before then, but that was always for school. These were the first characters I considered mine. I didn't actually start shelling the characters, until I'd bought four or so dolls. I write several things at a time. So, I have a story I've abandoned, that I was writing when I was 17, called Elements. Seek, Echo, Kurenai and Luna are all from this story. Then I have a story called The Druid Grove, where I recycled Luna to be a part of that, but that story is on the back burner for the moment. What I'm working on now are two stories one called Savage Moon, and the other called Blood Pact. So far I have plans for 6 dolls from these stories.

      To round it up, I have cut my collection down. I sold all but one of my dolls that I owned before shelling. (Which is Jung-hee, my much-loved shine.) Also, even though I abandoned my original story, Seek, my favourite character from that story is still my favourite doll. He is beyond perfect.
    15. It seems like I'm one of the few who's never purged or sold off any members of my custom family. After the trying to make all the dolls characters in my stories came the opening up period, wouldn't have got Little Walken, House, Rian, Eloise, Dr Gibb, or started on the path towards my website and making my own heads to fulfill the character need in me if I hadn't loosened up. Had I got rid of some of my early dolls because I didn't have something more for them I'd miss them terribly, same thing with new ones that I don't immediately bond with. The moment of discovering what a doll's purpose is can be so wonderful then they stick around because they're such a dear friend.

      Sounds like all of us writers could have fun just recording the journey the dolls go on trying to fit in to our characters.
    16. I've never been a dolls-for-the-story collector, so if a doll doesn't fit into my collection, it's more because I can't really come up with a story for it. I have at least 3 dolls that weren't planned (not counting two of the floating heads who probably will never have bodies...) and that wasn't necessarily good, but it wasn't that bad either. I just sort of built them into a loose story, and then as I collected the others, it's filling itself out pretty much. I don't think I could bear to part with all my dolls- even the ones that weren't initially planned. I understand what you mean though about trying to figure out what you like and what you want for your collection. I personally am glad that mine sort of grew spontaneously until I tightened up my wishlist, because I was eyeing certain dolls that I realized later I'd never have really wanted in my current collection. I am having trouble with the story at the moment, but it's more that I haven't gotten all the characters in that I need to really make certain adjustments.
    17. Well, I go both ways. I started buying for a story that never really got finished. Those guys have recently been transitioned, I guess would be the term. It's sort of complicated for me to explain, so I'll try to go with it as it comes.

      I'm one of those dolls have souls people. I've had way too much odd things happen. I also believe in muses, but as I work with these guys I'm beginning to understand their not exactly the characters they would like me to believe them to be. I think they make things up just as much as I do. Sort of like, an artistic collective.

      They're actors in a play, but they have sections. Sometimes they get reassigned to other sections. When I first started collecting, it was for a story I'm no longer working on. So those guys have been reassigned into roles I'm more interested in. I have no idea who they are, just that they're not who they were. They're still the same spirit, but they now go by different names in different outfits with similar attitudes to what they had before.

      Same person, different character.

      Actors in a stage of my bedroom. We create together. "And so, then what did they do?"

      When I buy a new doll, when I'm searching for someone, they come with a new personality. That personality sticks around and helps the story I'm currently piddling with along. It makes it grow and someone in the group will react to this person. They'll make a partnership or an enemy, and it's like a little world or family inside the four walls of my room.

      But under everything, they're still the same spirit, the same soul. Even if they have a different name, a different set of clothing, or new hair and eyes.

      I'm reminded of Toy Story here, just slightly.

      When Dolly said, "You're going to stick with that? New room and all." XD

      But to get off my tangent: they may not all "fit" into the story I'm working on, but I love them just the same. Rejects, rescues, and wanderers. They find a place in the story because I write it as I go. If not, I'll make a new story for them. Every actor needs a play. Every story, a main character. And every journey starts with a single step outside your front door.

      Or for them, it starts with a mailbox...

      And I now have thirty-six, when I said I would stop at thirty-five (and thirty, and twenty-five, and twenty-one, and twenty, and so on...)
    18. I actually once did exactly what the OP mentions...sold my entire collection and started over from scratch.:o Best decision I ever made.;) You see, I just wasn't happy with my collection. They were beautiful SDs with wonderful faceups, nice clothing, eyes, wigs, etc. And each one was an interesting character. But still, I wasn't happy...something always felt wrong...off...even though I couldn't figure out for the life of me what it was. I tried all sorts of fixes and adjustments of course (both storywise and character wise) but that didn't work either. Finally, in a fit of absolute frustration, I just threw up my hands and put them all up for sale.

      And eureka! Once they were gone, I could instantly see what the problem had been...their size had been all wrong. I swear I just couldn't see it while they were still here (as in not being able to see the forest for the trees.):doh But the moment they left and I looked around at my empty display spaces, I knew immediately it had simply been a size issue all along. So two years ago I began collecting MSDs and smaller. And suddenly everything started clicking into place storywise. The hardest part of course, not surprisingly, was finding the perfect sculpts for my characters. But by now I had a lot of experience under my belt so I was able to make good decisions much more easily (understanding the need for patience and careful research, knowing where to find the perfect eyes and wigs, having experience with things like group orders and how to use layaways to budget purchases.) It was all much easier the second time around.

      I am so delighted with the cast of characters I have now. Each and every one has their own quirky personality and look and place in my story, with plenty of room for future character development down the road. And I feel so good about my journey. This is truly a collection that can grow with me creatively over the coming years (without constantly having to add new resin)...which was entirely the point from the very beginning. ;)
    19. I don't worry about making my characters into dolls or my dolls into characters. I just buy dolls I like and make characters for them... or not. It doesn't matter, as I said.

      I have dolls who inspire me to write about them, but I don't need all my other dolls to be the supporting characters in their story! I've got a ton of stories running around in my head and some don't fit dolls and some dolls won't fit the stories... I think life is easier if I don't require it all to fit together! :D
    20. I can't see myself as ever purging my collection (unless it really was a dire financial situation and I had no other options). I've found the dolls, as they are secondary versions of the characters, don't have to be perfect physical representations of them. They just have to capture the spirit of the character in some way.

      I've got three (sort of four) different stories represented in resin. I've had dolls come along and create new characters for these stories, too. I did sell one doll because not only did I just not quite get along with his quality/design, but also because he was in yet another story that I will one day shell but I don't think right now is the right time. That story is a very important old one to me, and will require at the very least six dolls all in the SD and up size range . . . So I need me a house first :sweat.

      I have reshelled another recently, too, from a Crobi Nao to a Crobi Zack. The sculpt was just more appropriate, I felt. So small adjustments, yes. A sudden sell-off, no.