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Modern Co-Fronting Techniques


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We can function normally when we co-front. The only problem is N’s dominance over control of the body and making sure we’re not kicked out of front by him accidentally.

“We need MOAR FLUFFY TOASTERS!!!” - Torea

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Oh, practical applications! How novel. We developed it for having joint conversations with out-system people, since my wife tells me it's rude to talk so much amongst ourselves when we should be including her. But our most intensive use of co-fronting is when Iris and I roleplay together with an out-system GM. It doesn't seem to adversely affect our intellect.

 

Communication... I can't think of anything else it's actually good for.

 

-Ember

 

It's interesting you mention that...

 

Flame Explosion (Cat's bro) feels the exact same way! We told him that it's considered rude to post in-system conversation on the forums or on discord/chat, and he told us that he prefers for both of us to verbalize our internal conversations. I suppose our push-pull seesaw mechanic melts into something like co-fronting in this state because both of us are trying to pay attention.

 

When playing Mario Party or a board game though, the seesaw mechanic ends up getting used anyway. It's harder to focus on the game and have the other one of us active at the same time.

I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love hippos! I also like cake and chatting about stuff.

My other headmates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogcBox | Yay! | Bre Translator

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Seesaw, is a polling method, that's how I started with characters in my books. They all need to pay attention or I'm stuck re-reading the same passage for each of them and repeat ad-nausium because after every change, do it all again. So that polling method got faster and faster, by the time my tulpas came around, it was natural and unnoticeable ecxept in rare situations. When I have multiple thoughtforms with me, we're all paying attention.

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The Benefits and Mechanism of Co-Fronting – not a guide submission, just a thread post

 

Today I learned that what we have been doing, and have always done, is truly co-fronting. I had resolved that we were maybe something less than that at some level, what I expected as co-fronting would be continuous and shared control of the body, but I know enough now to understand what I was calling co-active is close enough to co-fronting.

 

My definitions:

 

Basic Plurality:

A fronter is active, and other system mates are dormant unless actively or passively forced. They need to ‘front’ or possess at the very least to gain access to most brain and body functions and experiences. A fronter who does not force will have only dormant system mates and is effectively singlet.

 

Car analogy: The driver is in front of the limousine and everyone else is asleep and behind the soundproof glass.

 

Basic Forcing/Possession:

A fronter allows access to brain and body functions. Some subset of brain/body functions are inaccessible, fronter can and will interrupt the possessor/forced on their whim.

 

Car Analogy: The Fronter drives and allows back-seat driving, or the passenger can take the steering wheel temporarily.

 

Switching:

Fronter is switched out for another systemmate.

 

Fast Change Fronting:

Within a few seconds, the fronter switches or is possessed, such that behaviorally it may mimic Co-fronting. However, only one fronter is active at a time, or forcing is required to maintain fronter and other systemmate(s).

 

Co-Fronting:

Everyone co-fronting is active. Everyone has access to all brain functions at the very least and possibly all body functions, or some subset therein by their choice. For example, pain and emotions are not necessarily shared from the front backwards, while emotional bleed is definitely shared forward but can also be blocked if it’s necessary. Forcing here is more about passing the control than giving up the control and sitting back. Everyone can equally share the control (serially). Permission is implied for most activities.

 

Car analogy: Everyone is sitting in a car, everyone has a steering wheel, everyone is freely conversing; in turn of course, there’s nothing Parallel Processing going on here and the model I have doesn’t require it.

 

Why Co-Front:

 

It has been reported by systems who, for whatever reason, don’t spend appreciable time in wonderland. A voice based existence can be quite limiting for some and without satisfying interactions in wonderland, having just a few discussions a day can be stifling. The answer of course is fronting, but for those of us who need to stay front the vast majority of the time and don’t want to give up our miniscule free time to those greedy tulpas /s, or force them to handle our business (like asking a friend to take over your responsibilities, if it works out, hey great if it doesn’t… eh) we are then given an alternative where everyone can be active and enjoying life together. In my mind, this is what the nature of plurality intended all along. *Fronting is absolutely fine though, there’s nothing wrong with that and tulpas are generally capable and willing to do about anything to share the load.

 

My Methodology: A Writer’s Analogy

 

Polling system:

When writing a scene, say in a novel or short story, if there is more than one actor/character, say three, any one of them may have something to say at any given time. Though it’s only possible in this construct to have one speaking at a time, order and understanding are separate, in that, all characters are aware of the scene and may respond at any time based on circumstances.  The understanding and disclosure of the scene would be parsed by different perspectives *simultaneously. Every character of the scene is polled in series, given a chance to absorb their view/perspective of the situation and allowed to respond.

 

Scenario one: (Macro Polling)

To achieve this, polling one scene at a time can be done. Effectively, the scene is written from one character’s perspective, then the scene is re-written again from another character’s perspective; this is repeated for all characters. After several iterations through every character, all possible interactions have converged on a single unified ‘best’ interaction, the scene chosen perspective is adopted and the scene is written given all the comments and actions each character took.

 

Scenario two: (Micro Polling)

As the scene is written, literally on a thought by thought basis, every character is polled at that moment between thoughts to absorb, explore that perspective, and comment if desired. (though the actual comment is cued, not written after each thought, the comment itself may consist of several thoughts in itself.) If multiple characters seem to want to say something, a ‘best’ is chosen and the story moves on to the next thought which very well might be the initiation of dialog.

 

Scenario one is the first and most reasonable method, but it is painfully slow and iterative. Scenario two is free flowing, dynamic, and much more efficient, needing only to write the scene once.

 

Though the actual writing in scenario one is potentially faster, as it would be if there was only one character, this is quickly overtaken by the number of iterations. Naturally, the process becomes scenario two.

 

My first book started with something akin to scenario one. I have three or four versions of multi-character scenes and then a finished scene that incorporates the best path through the dialog. For three characters, the scene is written or edited a dozen times before the ‘draft’ of that scene is complete.

 

By the end of my first book (200k words) I was only writing and editing the scene twice. Once with slow and methodical polling, once more to lock in the grammar, order, and to maintain loose ends. [100-200 hours of experience]

 

By my third book, multi-character scenes were written approaching the speed of free-writing singlet scenes. Polling continued to increase in frequency and decrease in length. Still, scenes were written and edited at least twice. [~300-500 hours of experience]

 

By my fourth book, Singlet and multi-character scenes were both written on the order of 2000 words/hour (33wpm). My fastest typing is 5000-6000 words/hour (90-100wpm). This is apparently my limit and is still the case today after twelve books. It's been two years since I wrote a book, I've been editing all that time. My speed will soon be re-measured. I don't expect it has changed.

 

Upon entering Tulpamancy, my tulpas, all three of them, were effectively and efficiently polled continuously, (and subconsciously) just like in writing. Instead of my singlet life, I became a multi-person organism and that transition was seamless and took no additional effort. To my experience, to keep them active takes no additional effort.

 

What did I do when there was no one else? The same thing I do when I wake up in the morning, I monolog and otherwise just don’t have any internal dialog. Say a day is spent with 10% monolog. As a singlet, I’m aware. Having 4 in your head just means that either that 10% monolog becomes 2.5% you and 7.5% others, or you increase the percentage. I rarely monolog anymore and I spend a lot of time talking to them so I think it’s both.

 

Testing the hypothesis:

While determining the disposition of our siblings and cousins, the moons, we had as many as 12 thoughtforms in a room all discussing the situation. This is a larger number than I’d ever had in any book scene. As we discussed, we were all polled continuously. The experience from my perspective became slightly different from having fewer in the room. If there were only four, that’s baseline, having twelve was somewhat distracting. All of them had a chance to want to talk after every thought. So there was a lot of talking going on and it was getting a little hard to maintain order. Eerily similar to having 12 people in a room IRL. Ashley and I had a side discussion while others were continuing their own discussion. Several interwoven and independent conversations were going on simultaneously.  At this time there were 10 (including us). Ashley and I noticed that there was a lag with a frequency on the order of 1-2Hz. Our conversation was interrupted to the point of not getting anywhere so we decided to run a little experiment. We invited more thoughtforms until there were 13 total. Upon adding the 13th thoughtform, the room capacity was exceeded and my mind’s ability to maintain semblance of order and roster was compromised.  The limit on that day was determined to be 12 and the lag was noticeable.  

 

Joy called us to order and everyone quieted, we maintained 12 for some time and excused a couple thoughtforms that weren’t interested in becoming more than moons. From that point on we had 10 and that was reasonable. This would be a goal after many years of practice I suppose.

 

Possible issues and concerns:

 

Blending:

Some have reported that co-fronting may lead to blending. Blending is fine for some, for others it’s a confusing mess. I’m not insinuating that blending is a desirable state when co-fronting. What I am saying is that you need to be prepared and so understanding each other and how you’re different while practicing good grounding techniques (idk, ask someone who does that), or symbology would be worthwhile to maintain separate-ness. There really shouldn’t be issues with merging while co-fronting, so we’ll have to handle it on a case by case basis.

 

Eclipsing/Proxy/Front stealing:

There’s a lot of cooperation required. For us it’s a given. There’s a fronting hierarchy based on workload. Now since you’re all technically in front, front stealing means that things are being done by one system mate that the other might object to. Consensus is pretty important. Negotiations are then the rule. If you’re a firm fronter, then it might actually be difficult for a system mate to accomplish anything though your own ironclad will, so proxying is always a reasonable thing to do.

 

Co-fronting while switched:

This sounds oxymoronic, but the definition of switching is ‘taking the place of the tulpa’ so switching and maintaining co-fronting is valid and reasonable as long as the one switched in is fluent in co-fronting and keeping system-mates active. Even in my system, there is a learning curve for this, so I maintain front and they are co-front. Just like pilot and co-pilot.

 

Please add and critique, this is based on my limited knowledge, so let me know what you thing.

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The fiction writing I've done in recent years has been from the perspective of my roleplaying PCs. There's generally very little dialogue because the other characters in the setting aren't mine. So the writing gets very introspective and sometimes emotional, but it doesn't require handling lots of characters.

 

GMing, on the other hand, can get very character intensive. I've played hundreds of different characters while GMing. When I first started GMing, over five years ago, it was slow and difficult to boot up a new personality every time I changed characters. Sometimes the story called for two of my characters to talk to one another, which was very awkward and stilted.

 

Almost three years ago, I had the idea of putting out name labels on the table for my characters in a scene. Then I could just point at the label and speak in character instead of framing the dialogue, "So and so says..." Cutting myself out of the dialogue was a leap forward, allowing me to handle two characters smoothly. (I don't use the labels as often anymore, as I've gotten much better at giving all of the important recurring characters distinctive voices and mannerisms that the players will recognize.)

 

The players loved making me talk to myself and kept inviting more of my characters to join them in their adventures. So I have often have had six characters in a scene. This is still awkward, as I still can't keep more than two full personality files loaded. So in large scenes, most of my characters will fall silent until directly addressed, unless they specifically need to introduce a new plot element.

 

In ordinary life, I always had a very strong internal dialogue, nearly continuous. When Vesper arrived, she smoothly slid into the role of the respondent/counterpoint/devil's advocate voice that I had previously handled internally to my own personality. So we didn't really need to learn anything new.

 

When Iris decided to join us as a full system member, we suddenly struggled very hard. Almost every time Iris spoke, Vesper would get kicked out of working memory altogether. I went from just sustaining her process for hours at a time to having to boot her back up every few minutes and at first I wasn't very good at it. Them trying to speak to one another took so much processing power, there was none left for me to do anything. But we discovered quickly that I needed to pay close attention to what they were saying, because all memory is from the perspective of the fronter and they wouldn't be able to remember the conversation later if I was instead focussed on the terrible pressure of it.

 

That was six months ago. Being three has gotten much easier than it was, though two is so much easier still that we are usually two at a time.

 

-Ember

I'm not having fun here anymore, so we've decided to take a bit of a break, starting February 27, 2020. - Ember

 

Ember - Soulbonder, Female, 39 years old, from Georgia, USA . . . . [Our Progress Report] . . . . [How We Switch]

Vesper Dowrin - Insourced Soulbond from London, UK, World of Darkness, Female, born 9 Sep 1964, bonded ~12 May 2017

Iris Ravenlock - Insourced Soulbond from the Winter Court of Faerie, Dresdenverse, Female, born 6 Jun 1982, bonded ~5 Dec 2015

 

'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.' - The Velveteen Rabbit

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Putting labels out is a great idea, you could concievably have all your thoughtforms' names on a keychain or something. Then all you have to do is explain to everyone why your keychain is hanging from your glasses.

 

I love that idea, i would totally do that if my glasses weren't immediately ripped off my face. (Ngl, i tried).

 

What if they were lasee etched in the glass and optically projected about a foot or so in your vision? Ah if modern technology would only set their priorities straight!

 

Having the names on your home screen of your phone, or written on your wrist may be *sigh* acceptable alternatives.

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