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Timber
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xx Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
« Reply #15 on: Jun 7th, 2015, 11:47am »

1. A way to spice up an RP to avoid it getting to the point too fast or it getting boring to quick is to add multiple victims and/or multiple predators. This way you can either switch between stories or do them all simaltaniously to have different unique takes.

2. Group stories are always fun. Don't expect to get lost cause it's actually real easy to stay on track.
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Prefers victim role but can play predator
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DiamondEyes
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xx Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
« Reply #16 on: Jun 16th, 2015, 3:33pm »

Alright, my turn. Not sure if I repeat anything someone else has mentioned, so bear with me.

When you're describing a character, only explain their appearance right away. Since it's a text based story, a thorough overview of the character's physical attributes and features helps the reader see what you see when they think about your character. Personality, however, is something totally different. In this case, 'show, don't tell'. Let the character's actions and words tell the reader what the character is like.

Secondly, don't 'god-mod'. God-modding is taking direct control over the entire story, often skipping steps in a story's progression and rendering it boring. Example: Kaa wrapped around the girl and used his hypnosis to make her his slave forever. His hypnosis was so strong that she obeyed him instantly. See the problem with that? It's no fun for anyone.

Dialogue is probably the most crucial part of back-and-forth storytelling. There are plenty of words used to use in a conversation other than 'said.' Seeing that word over and over can make each post seem bland, and it won't sound like the character is invested. Instead of saying 'said', you can use: replied, called, remarked, cried, told, explained, questioned, exclaimed, mused, cooed, chuckled, muttered just to name a few.

DO NOT make characters boring. Good characters have traits, faults, shortcomings, and other things that make them develop and change as a story goes on, while still fitting in to the setting. Boring characters come in many varieties. Like no character flaws or exaggerating the hell out of a single personality trait. Sure, no two snowflakes are alike, but the same could be said about two piles of manure.

To end this on a bit more positive note, Communicate with your partner before you begin posting. Discuss what you want to include, what you want to be explored or expanded upon, and what you're not comfortable with. As long as the two partners are enjoying it, there's no reason not to keep writing.
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Eve Rallon
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xx Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
« Reply #17 on: Jan 30th, 2016, 1:14pm »

Some really broad and general points from yours truly. I will probably include a more specific list of points and tips for writing mechanics, but for now, the basics of roleplaying.

Table of Contents
  • Overview - This post
  • Expressing Characters - Reply #18


Overview
Why do you roleplay? Because it’s fun, quite obviously. There is joy to be had in playing as unique characters in fanciful situations. And it’s better when you do it with others so as to through in the surprise factor, just to have someone else’s creative take on the story. But because roleplaying consists of at least two people, there is are multiple ways to improve roleplaying for the enjoyment of all.

Working with Your Partner
No, writing does not come first, because no matter how eloquent or visual the literature you can spew forth is, it matters not if it doesn’t help your partner roleplay alongside you.

Staying on the common ground: Make sure that there is an understanding between you and your partner on some level as to what should be happening. Plot twists and the like are fine so long as it doesn’t shatter a fundamental law of the plot that your partner had. It could be something thematic (nothing bloody, happy ending, etc.) or just an expectation that the plot is going to follow a general direction. If you take the plot in an unexpected way that your partner is not entirely enthusiastic about, then don’t expect him/her to continue the story.

Knowing what the common ground is: This is mostly a prerequisite to the above. This is more or less all of the planning in roleplays, where you establish the happenings of the story. As you roleplay, there could be details that were left out from the initial talks. If ever in doubt, consult with your partner when working in an important plot point that hadn’t been consolidated. Clear communication with your partner is key to make sure the backbone of the roleplay remains solid.

Letting your posts be connected: Before posting just about anything in a roleplay, there are two questions you should always automatically ask when checking over your work:

The first is “Could my partner write a response to this?” This probably sounds rather obvious to you, but there are cases where people don’t confirm this, and even worse in the case of a hypnosis scene. For example, say your partner is playing solely a hypnotized character, it becomes your sole responsibility to make sure your partner can always contribute to the scene. In an event where you simply don’t give him/her much to work with, you will end up getting back a waste post of a disabled character, and neither of you will enjoy it as much. In the event you realize that the answer to question is no, you either will need to write more to cover the story to the point that your partner can interact with it again, or be change your post to open up a bit of freedom for your partner to do something.

The second question is “Would my partner wanted to have respond to an earlier point of this post?” This concerns times where you simply cover too much or make too many assumptions, times where had you cut your post short, your partner would have caused the story to go off in a slightly different way. While usually not a large issue if this is violated a few times, repetitive violations could alienate your partner and make him/her feel that you’re forcing the story your way and pushing it along to be only how you want it to be.

Respecting your partner’s characters: This is a big one. Your partner should have total control of his/her characters unless there is prior agreement otherwise. The term ‘godmodding’ refers to breaking this sort of respect and is simply just wrong. If you have an intention with your partner’s characters, you can hint at the intention (by crafting a hypothetical situation if you have it your way or expressing your intentions through another character), but you can’t make it final without your partner’s permission. If you are in - say - a fight, and you have your character throw a punch on one of your partner’s character, it is up to your partner whether or not the punch will land. Naturally, it could be possible where both of you are desperate to win said fight, and the issue of powerplay will come up (both roleplayers start using really unrealistic means to handle situations without godmodding), but that problem is not as bad as godmodding, so I won’t be covering that.

Writing Better
Now you know what you want to write. The question is how does one write to make the roleplay more enjoyable? There are many, many factors, but I’ll be covering the basic ones that should more or less do the trick.

Grammar. Seriously: No one needs perfection in grammar to enjoy a roleplay. However, if your sentence structure and spelling is garbled to a point beyond total comprehension, you have simply lost your partner. More often than not, they’re going to either ignore the offending portion and wing it rather than ask for a rephrasing or a clarification, and the relationship between partners gets disrupted. Spend an extra minute to confirm your sentences are actually sentences. Know the rules of punctuation and know words (and how they’re spelled). Don’t let your ideas and expressions get buried under a sea of difficult-to-understand text. I would assume you’d want your partner to enjoy your posts, not spend time trying to figure out what you’re trying to say.

Detail. Detail. Detail: More descriptive posts give a deeper and clearer imagery of ongoing tale, helping everyone imagine the story to savor and work with. Details should be meaningful to highlight the main parts of the post, either to maintain a theme along the post or to suggest focus on a certain part of the post that your partner should more strongly react to. Adding detail isn’t really too difficult: Pick a sentence that you want to expand or emphasize. Then from there, you either add to this sentence or create a new sentence to extend off of it. Apply this steps a few times, and you will get something that much more filling than the original.

Getting the big picture: Don’t forget to make sure that you’ve addressed all of the relevant parts of your partner’s previous post in yours. If you ignore or fail to deal with a part of your partner’s post (unless it did not need to be addressed), then this pretty much falls back to a lack of respect of what your partner is trying to do. Please don’t do that for the sake of your partner.

Being consistent: Stick to the facts that you establish in the story. If you gave your character a personality, make sure that the character holds onto this personality through the during of the roleplay. Contradicting yourself in the middle of a roleplay will make your partner question your credibility. Remember that when you’re roleplaying, you’re to act as your character, not yourself.
« Last Edit: Mar 12th, 2016, 10:15am by Eve Rallon » User IP Logged

Eve Rallon
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xx Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
« Reply #18 on: Mar 12th, 2016, 10:11am »

(For a table of contents of my tips, see Reply #17 to this thread)

Expressing Characters
Characters tend to be the most important aspect out of a roleplay. Even if there’s an underlying plot or some sort of theme in the background, ultimately, you are almost always interacting with your partners through your characters. Naturally, your posts require you to express your characters’ feelings and thoughts. Because writing is a subjective subject, I will be exploring the methods of character expression by trying to compare them to each other, highlighting their strengths and drawbacks.

Direct Expression
A very standard method for getting the character’s feelings straight to your partner. This form outright tells the emotion being experienced by your character. This general approach easily gets the point straight across as to the atmosphere around this character. The issue is that this method tends to be very lacking by itself, leading to only a few statements that lead to many open implicit questions. For example, take the following statement:

Quote:
”[Some dialogue],” he says with excitement in his voice.


The emotion here being portrayed is obviously excitement. However, that’s the extent of all one could really see for sure in this segment. There are many ways one could be speaking in an excited tone. Objectively, one could imagine something along the lines such as a louder volume (signaling investment) or in a faster tone (implying eagerness). Excitement could be a result of anxiety, nervousness, or just a zeal towards something that’s coming up. Each expansion has their own particular take on that single concept.

Occasionally, the vagueness from direct expression can still be powerful when combined with other means of description. The conciseness of being direct effortlessly pushes in dense impact. A sample of such technique is listed below. Note that there are many ways to incorporate such expressions within the paragraph structures; it need not be its own paragraph.

Quote:
Candle half burnt out, the woman finally seats herself down at the square table. One hand arranged the two glasses, the other hand opening the bottle, thumb pushing against the cap to twist it open. She pours both glasses to the brim, setting the bottle aside without sealing it, for picking up one of the glasses and performing the rest of the annual ritual comes first. She starts the event for the anniversary, choking back tears as she knocks the glasses together, a pure tone sounding out in celebration. Salty drops meet her drink before she could lower her head enough to drink away.

Many years have already passed, many such mournings done, but the pain she felt never dulled in the face of time.


External Description
External description refers to the detailed portrayal of your character’s movement and doings. Such details can lead to the sort of mindset your character is in just from their apparent actions, as every gesture is accompanied by a connotation that most people pin it to. As a result, they can push general stated feelings in a direction unique to what is directly expressed. As demonstration, from one of my own roleplays, Never Too Late (shameless plugging, my goodness!):

Quote:
Head swinging down to curve up and away from Armond, Hera closes her eyes while sporting a rather devious grin, confidently exposing both her gleaming ivories as well as the section of the throat not covered by her golden mane. Her tail spirals over her back around the same time, and her ears spring upwards by virtue of the smooth checkmark trajectory the canine’s skull takes. The Flareon holds the position for a second, too occupied being amused by Armond for another part of her conscious to remind her that she should start walking[....]


The second bolded part of the section is quite clear in its meaning, directly expressing that Hera is being entertained by Armond, to a rather strong degree because she was distracted by this emotion to be staying still until she is ‘reminded’ by ‘another part of her conscious’. However, the overall picture suggests that Hera isn’t simply finding Armond to be just funny. She looks away from him and closes her eyes, literally not looking at him, signalling that she’s originally looking at him and decides to start disregarding him. She’s flashing her teeth, probably just grinning or something vague. More importantly, she’s exposing her neck, a motion that reveals a vulnerability, a motion of confidence and arrogance. Under this train of thought, one could assume she’s considering that Armond had said or done to be laughable, something that she doesn’t need to seriously take as she acts in condescending fashion.

Parts of external description each provides parts of ambiguous meanings that, when put together, consolidate into a precise meaning. What you have in precision, you lose in brevity. Solo actions could only go so far, and whenever you’re on a time crunch, sometime it’s better to just tell rather than try to show. Compare and choose for yourself which phrase you’d rather go with as a writer:
Quote:
”Giving a sad smile, she[...]”
“Sorrow painted on her face, she[...]”


Internal Expression
Basically the ‘Everything Else’ category, internal expression is done by many ways, though I will primarily discuss two subcategories: Inner monologue and narration skew. These methods reflect certain emotions and perspective characters take, occasionally open for interpretation but makes clear the inner workings of characters.

Inner monologue is self-explanatory. The character is talking to himself or herself, mostly on the inside. It is similar to dialogue, but since there is only a party of one in this conversation, the character is either doing personal reflection or making clear of some intention or inner turmoil. See Armond in Never Too Late first run through the prospects in his head before voicing out the hesitation bubbling inside himself:

Quote:
“Woah woah hold on, if I use this on Enola, then she’ll be able to come along with us… but that also means she’ll be trapped inside the Pokéball until I let her out again. Besides, what if she doesn’t want to come with us? I don’t want to force her into this, especially after all she’s done” he thought to himself, his arms shaking a tad but never loosening its hold on Chikorita.

“I-I don’t know if I can… I don’t know if I could…”


Inner monologue need not be actually written as words mentally spoken. Such pondering thoughts could not only be directly spoken by the character on paper, but also written from the perspective of the writing itself. In my personal taste, this is a strong option for cases where there’s not much of this monologue, as it avoids the quotation marks and the isolation between the thoughts and rest of the paragraph via some variant of “he thought”. It also lends to the illusion that the character is almost speaking to you. Take a look at an amnesiac character in Mew am I? wonder about his origins:

Quote:
[...] Yes, he remembered the beach, from… from… He frowned. Where did he remember the beach from?


Narration skew is a general turn from standard narration to focus on something that the expressed character is rather interested in. In this sort of exposition, the emphasised details can reveal some things about both the character’s mood as well as his or her values and morals. This skew is useful when you wish to showcase something that’s important to a character, in turn allowing readers to understand the perspective behind the character’s sentiments. Another section in Never Too Late, Armond forms an ‘instant smile’, to which this implied joy is clarified by narration skew.

Quote:
Before he pondered too much on a future date, Hera’s voice caught his attention as well as the adorable Chikorita scurrying toward him. An instant smile appeared on his face at the precious sight. Here was a Pokémon he’d only just met a day ago, sprinting fast with a smile as wide as his. His heart was touched that a Pokémon was actually running toward him, that she was actually happy to see him.
« Last Edit: Mar 13th, 2016, 10:20am by Eve Rallon » User IP Logged

HypnoticDragon
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xx Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
« Reply #19 on: Jul 19th, 2017, 9:28pm »

Let`s say for instance your partner leaves you a response that you cant reply to may it be lack of detail or just a brain fart. You can then do one of two thing:
1.(Lack of Detail) We all love nice descriptive thought engaging roleplays right? But what happens if the reply is bland or just lacking enough detail? I think the best way to handle the situation is to pm your partner and ask them to change their answer to give you something to work with. If this does`nt work then proceed to #2.

2.(Brain Fart) Partners can leave good and bad answers. Either situation can lead to a barin fart. In this situation and this situation ONLY pm your partner for ideas or part of a plan they may have. Never do this any other time or it ruins the rp. The whole fun of roleplaying is you never know what happens next! Please for your partners sake and the rp`s just go with the flow.
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