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Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Windy on Oct 15th, 2010, 3:38pm

If no one else will do it, then I will!

This thread is made so experienced members can share advice to everyone on how to role-play better. If you have something you want to share, and it can help others improve their role-playing skills, post it here! There are just a few rules to make sure we don't go off topic:

1)Advice-only: If you have questions/comments/feedback, send them by private message to the person who posted the advice. Do NOT post them here.

2)Explain your advice: Writing a sentence or so won't help anyone. Try to make at least a paragraph of effort to help others understand.

3)Be friendly please: If you give advice, don't try to insult the reader, or try to point out specific groups/people to make a point.

If it can help others make role-playing more enjoyable, don't be afraid to post it here. To remind everyone, following the advice on this thread isn't required, but highly encouraged. It doesn't just make you a better role-player, it also makes your thread more enjoyable to read.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Kana Tokisho on Oct 15th, 2010, 3:53pm

I got something (YAY)

Please always try your best at roleplaying don't be scared of writing without a plan I did that and I ended up making lot's of friends and owning my own roleplaying site.

Plus don't be shy to ask for roleplay's or you will never get started as a roleplayer.

Ok that's it ^^ have fun future member's
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Windy on Oct 15th, 2010, 4:23pm

Windy's Tips for Role-Playing!

Topic: Dealing With Repetition and Redundancy

Doing the same thing over and over again can make a thread really boring. Typing the same words repeatedly can also be bad for the thread. Here's what I mean:

Kaa hypnotized Mowgli using his hypnotic hypnosis. Kaa watched happily as Mowgli was becoming hypnotized by his hypnosis. Kaa made sure to keep his hypnotic spirals locked on Mowgli, happy to see Mowgli become hypnotized.

A post like this is really bland by using the same words, but there are ways to make this post better through a few simple tips.

1)Pronouns and noun-phrases: Using pronouns (he, she, it, they) and noun-phrases (the sinister snake, the succulent man-cub, the seductive python) can really add flavor to a post.

2)Synonyms: There are many other words for 'hypnotic', and a thesaurus can help you find the right one you're looking for. Choosing which one will be up to you, but it will help make your post feel a little less stale.

3)Redundancy: "Hypnotic hypnosis" is a great example of how to make a post dull. It means to put out the same information more than once. Try to find words or phrases in a sentence that can be made unique. We could say, "Euphoric hypnosis", "Endless hypnosis, "Hypnotic rings", or even "Endless rings of hypnotic euphoria."

Let's fix the small paragraph with what we learned:

Kaa mesmerized the helpless man-cub using his euphoric rings. The sinister serpent watched with glee as Mowgli was becoming enthralled by the snake's colorful display. Kaa made sure to keep his hypnotic spirals locked on his succulent meal, overjoyed to watch Mowgli become entranced.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Crimson on Oct 15th, 2010, 5:58pm

Crimson's guide to the fine art of faking it!

The first rule of faking it: When all else fails, fake it!
When you really don't know what to do, sometimes the best thing you can do is write a bit (or maybe a lot) of nothing! It can inspire you as to what to do next or at the very least make it seem like you've done more than what you actually have. This should not be on a post-to-post basis

The second rule of faking it: Explore the mind!
Thoughts constantly pass through anyone's mind, and they give you a very convenient way of exploring your character, as well as a very convenient way of adding more in to your posts. What is your character thinking? Why are they thinking this? What motivations do they have? This can help any post and can be used for much more than "faking it"

The third rule of faking it: The characters aren't everything!
The first thing that people think of when they try to write a post is the character they are assuming the role of. While the character should be the basis around nearly everything that you do, it is important to remember that there is a lot beyond the characters. Things such as the environment around the characters or perhaps any other characters that might be around make good things to describe. This is something that can help, but can be overdone if you are not careful. Again, there's the potential for this to be used for more than "faking it".

Might add more to this later... I'll also be writing some tips for general role-playing.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Maverick Hunter Zero on Oct 16th, 2010, 1:37pm

Good grammar and spelling helps too.

Correct use of quotations and such can go a long way.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Alice on Oct 16th, 2010, 5:24pm

It sometimes helps to write a just a bit more than one sentence in RP posts - even three or four is a nice step up. It gives more for your RP partner to respond to, and it can also be fun. If you can't think of what to write, adding some detail to your post is probably the best thing you can do. Good descriptions can really add a lot to a role-play.

Be careful with spelling and grammar. Everyone makes mistakes, and that's all right. When you think faster than you write, you might make a typo. It's normal, but it's a lot easier to read a post that doesn't have many errors. It also makes it easier for your RP partner. If you read your post once before you submit it, you'll probably find any mistakes that you might have.

And, of course, have fun with it!
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Undercover Archangel on Nov 8th, 2010, 05:59am

I may not have thousands of posts, but I've done a ton of RPs through PM, and I feel qualified to say a few things...

You may want to look at my other thread, 'Anyone Ever Noticed...', where I put up a detailed point-by-point breakdown of both Mowgli encounters.

I think one thing people should do to get better at roleplaying is have a go at both roles. While people tend to get really good at one role (hypnotist or victim), it helps a lot to understand what goes into the other half. I know that sounds a bit stupid, but even if you just write a short story instead of a RP, it can really help the quality of future works.

Also, experiment a bit. Don't just stick to snakes and nagas. I saw an interesting one a while ago where a man's hands, upon contact, caused extreme relaxation. Not saying copy that, but dabbling into unique areas is always fun.

Oh, and Alice ^ took the words out of my mouth.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by HydroPump5 on Nov 10th, 2010, 4:08pm

I know I have a poor number of posts and really haven't been on here long, and I haven't learnt a lot, but I want to make a few things clear...

1. Be yourself
Don't try and act like a differant person, be yourself and keep cool. Don't obsess over RP's, and have fun!

2. Grammar
If you don't have good grammar, RP's can look a little... choppy. Work with people you feel comfortable with, and not a random person(like I did once...).

3. Breaks
This is a very important thing to adress. taking breaks from the forum is fine, perhaps to go on holiday? That's all cool, but if a break is about a month long, people will think you have left. It gets worse if you come back after a month, go about 3 or 4 posts, and take another long break. That is bad.

4. Timetable
Timetables are really helpful for organizing when and where you are going to RP. Keeping a little timetable up on your account is good too.

5. Have fun!
The main reason we do RP's is because it's fun! If you make an account and never use it, that just takes up space. Enjoying RPing really helps, even in the worst situations.

That's all the help I can give, so I wish all new KaniaKaa members the best of luck with their RP's!
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Smileyguy10 on Nov 12th, 2010, 7:26pm

(someone probably already said this but I'll say it again anyway)

All I can say is don't be repetitive, take a break from using movie lines or anything to cliché.
Also take a lot of time thinking about what YOU would do in a situation before choosing what your character does.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by endlessswirl34 on Nov 30th, 2010, 8:15pm

For me,

#1: Try your BEST to be unique. I'm always glad to see someone posting something intriguing that I've never heard before. I try to be unique most of the time, thinking about the one post that'll make my partner want to type back, spicing the story up more.

#2: Learn correct grammar. I am still working on that (I'm still in school) so I advise people who aren't to try. It makes the post easy to read and more enjoyable.

#3: Don't be afraid to spice it up.

#4: Do your best at all times and have fun with it. I know I hate replying to a boring RP, so don't be afraid to spice it up (Rule #3)
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Meta Knight on Nov 30th, 2010, 8:58pm

1. Think

Contemplate what characters will be used in your rp, with your rp partner, of course. Think of a topic that is unique and sticks out like a sore thumb.

2. Plan

After thinking about what you and your partner will be role-playing in general, mix it up with a formidable plot that you and your partner can both relate to. You can also plan during the time of the role-play itself. Add hints in your posts, plot twists, anything! It will definitely attract more people to your rp. That can also build your role-play into being even longer than imaginable, and interesting.

3. Just RP

Just do it. Express yourself, and never forget to have fun while doing so.


Oh.my.god. Please, NEVER, EVER, post something like:

The snake got an evul thot well hello girl cub how is ur day would u leik 2 come into my tree

..First. What the hell is that? It isn't even a SENTENCE; it is a sad excuse for a fragment. There are things in literature called capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and quotations. Please, use them. That's why they are there in the wonderful world of grammar. We understand that some people may not be that gifted, but common sense is in this equation too.

Correct version: An evil look spread across the insidious python's face as a devious thought bloomed in his twisted mind, "Well hello, sssweet, sssucculent girl-cub. It would be in your bessst favor that you ssspend the ressst of the night in my humble abode, sssafe from harm."

Even if this was changed around, it still looks like an interesting post. You know every emotion coming from the python, and probably the intentions that are swimming in his mind. Plus, everything was correctly used. No fragments.

Also, do NOT repeat certain things from the film. We already saw it happen, we don't need to see it a thousand times more in the forums. It sounds like I complain, but it's always nice to see creative souls at work here. I've also heard that there is only so much you can do with a python such as Kaa, but there are other options, you could:

1. Add another character, preferably another snake of some nature.
2. Instead of hypnotizing all the time, ease out and let the victim use will over mind. It makes both characters communicate with their thought out minds.
3. Plot twists. Make one of the characters suddenly bipolar change in behavior and see what happens. Change the setting of the story, etc.

Many things can be done to improve role-plays, and the best thing you've got while role-playing is style!
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Splodeydope on Sep 22nd, 2011, 5:30pm

Avoid cliches. Every now and then it's fine to reference existing material, but there comes a time when you should try using your thinkin' brain to make your posts.

Try not to make your character(s) too unrealistic. Creating a naga/bear/duck thing is perfectly fine, but a character without a single flaw is boring. Try to give them endearing character traits and establish their drawbacks before tring to write with him/her/it. Once you have your character(s) down using them in a roleplaying session will be a heck of a lot simpler.

These are general RP tips since I don't really know how to play a hypnotist character.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Marik on Jul 29th, 2013, 6:46pm

Before I put these down, I'm just going to out and say I do not have a PhD in role playing. I'm not perfect, neither is anyone in this forum. However, I've been here a while and just would like to share my experience. Maybe other people can put their tips here too. Anyway here are mine

1. Do not just make bland ideas for an rp, especially just throwing some pre-established character into being hypnotized by Kaa. I was guilty about that back when I first started. If your going to do that, at least have some interesting factor to it. Regular Kaa and victim stories are good when you first start, but they usually don't end up going very far unless you have some good X Factor to it.
2. Communicate with the person you are partnering with. If you don't it usually ends with the rp dying with a whole mess of others in the forums.
3. DO NOT DUMB things down. Some people have the amazing talent of dumbing something that can be put in a page to a page and a half into a one line post. Such as 'he wrapped her up and hypnotized her'. DON'T DO THIS. It is ridiculously hard to reply to something like this and just plain annoying.

(This is my process of posting)
1. Put thought and care into every post.
2. Read the post. This sounds really trivial, but really read what the person you are rping is saying. Imagining whats actually going on is a great way to formulate a good response
3. Think of your character's initial response. This can be something they say or something they do. But this is the very first thing they do in the post
4. Try to put your character's thoughts about whats going on. Its one of the best things to do when it comes to showing your character's personality. The way that they think about a murder or even something as trivial as a fly buzzing past them can show you their character
5. Always put something that the person you are role playing with can respond to. Never leave with something that is just ridiculous to respond to. Try and end with some form of dialogue or action that can prompt a decent response
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Sparkles_7_7 on Aug 17th, 2013, 4:19pm

I suppose i'll contribute to this. I have been RPing, on and off, for as old as my account is (I really have no idea, it feels like forever)
I, like anyone else, has had his ups and downs, his bad and good moments, and sometimes complete fails, whether RP or otherwise, that would end up giving me and the other author a bad rep with each other.

So here are some good DO's on your RP's, your characters, and your overall writing style:
1. Respect your partner and their rules, if applicable. Remember, a good RP is a team effort.
2. Be creative. For me, this is a given. I have actually had one or two situations where I overwhelm either myself or my partner with the amount of precise detail that I give in each post.
3. Branching out from #2 is a very serious problem: Consistency. Usually, when people go for massive paragraphs of detail, they sometimes contradict themselves. The likeliness of this happening increases when you do not post for a while, and your mind begins to fall out of sync with the piece of art you and your partner are trying to create.
4. Correct Grammar and Spelling. This just helps you both, gonna keep that brief.
5. Keep a constant flow of communication between you and your partner. The second that flow is broken, your story will slowly begin to fall apart.
6. (This should be obvious) If your partner has a rule about the storyline or a certain character, follow it.
7. OC's- be sure your OC's have quite the history that can easily define who they are. Also... make them based off of you at your own risk.
8. Be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things. (That rule pretty much goes with surviving nowadays)
9. I'll say something that I agree with a lot: Don't be afraid to just start an RP with no idea how it will turn out. Sometimes generic ideas turn into crazy stories, given the authors are creative enough.
10. Don't be afraid of criticism and critique. It just makes you better, as long as its not just people "trolling" you.

Now some DON'Ts for your RPs:
1. Do not EVER do one liners.
2. Do not make jokes about other races or religions (just to be safe... you do not know where your story may end up)
3. Do not RP for the sake of personal satisfaction (sexual or otherwise). Do it because you love to do it!
4. Do not limit yourself. The biggest example I see of this is people saying "Oh, I don't do predator/prey, I only do..." whatever it is they do. Or "I don't RP with people like that". You get my point. I for one love RPing, and will do it with almost anyone. It allows me to be creative in an enviorment where 1. I know someone will read it and 2. It keeps me on my toes. You never know which direction a story will turn.... but thats the fun about it!
5. Do not go overboard with the sexual topics. This website, and others like it, have a strict PG-13 policy, and I abide by and respect that every day. There are fine lines, and they have been acknowledged.

Alright, I think I have said all I wanted to say. If you would like to RP with me, please PM me. I'll add more to this as I think of them.

Happy RPing! cheesy
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Hannah on Aug 20th, 2013, 08:29am

Look, I'm not even going to pretend that I have a huge amount of experience with roleplaying, but there are some things that are general rules of roleplay.

1. Never use text message abbreviations such as &, u, ur, liek, etc. Save them for your friends, but use quality when on this forum.

2. Think differently. While playing a naga or a snake is easy, it isn't always the best route to take when you're roleplaying. I am currently doing a roleplay as a victim to a naga who is part rattlesnake instead of python. It was a cool idea that I'm fairly certain hasn't been used before.

3. Follow the rules. I don't know how many times I see people on this forum describe sex in-depth. DON'T. DO. IT. Seriously. You can have the best thread with great language and everything, but if you add sex into it, forget it. It's getting deleted, most likely by myself.

4. Be realistic. If you met a snake in the jungle and they hypnotized you, would you be in love with them after a day? No. It's just plain unrealistic. I know that snakes that can hypnotize people are plenty unrealistic, but we're talking about emotions, which are real things.

5. Keep up communication between your roleplay partner(s). It helps to improve quality of the roleplays.

6. Give what you want to get out of the roleplay. If you're writing paragraphs in a roleplay and the other person is only doing one-liners, tell them to expand a little.

7. Be open to new things. A person should never be strictly victim or strictly hypnotist at first. Try both and see which one you're better at playing.

8. Use punctuation. It gets confusing if you don't add a comma where you need to or if you don't add a period where it's necessary. Just make it easier on everyone reading the roleplay.

9. Well, typos. We all know about them, we all have them, and we all hate them. I know. Why do I even have to mention this, you ask? And I answer like this. Let's say that you flip two letters around in a word. You have the option to fix it. I don't care about how long it takes, just fix it. The reader and your roleplay partner(s) will be grateful for your consideration, especially if you show a little dignity for what you wrote. That little blurb at the bottom of a post is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Read your posts before you send them out. Like BlockingMars said, (shoutout, Marsy!) people who add in a lot of detail can occasionally contradict themselves. Just rereading your posts can help you catch things that you didn't notice before.

11. Don't RP with people before you read one of their stories. It'll save you a lot of stress.

12. Don't see how far you can go to bump up against the imaginary rule line. You'll get a strike eventually because us mods read your posts. I know, shocking, right?

13. Never accept more role plays than you can handle. It's a lot more courteous to partners and potential partners if you keep the list manageable. I can't tell you how much I've felt like a jerk when getting a message from someone asking to post.

14. Building off of rule 13, be patient with your RP partners. People do have busy points in their lives where they need you to bear with them and not pressure them into coming back.

15. Be willing to accept feedback. Even if you don't like what you hear, realize the difference between people trying to cut you down and people trying to help you improve.

16. Don't challenge someone to beat you in post length, and don't brag about how wonderful your writing is. You aren't making me want to RP with you by trying to one-up me. That just makes me want to stop RPing with you.

17. If RPing with someone feels like an obligation, stop doing it. Wait it out and talk to your partners about how you're feeling.

18. Don't use RPing to fulfill your "physical needs". That's unfair to the people you RP with if they don't consent to it. This site isn't meant for that type of thing.

That's all I got. If you do these things, you will gain a reputation in the forums and get more requests to roleplay. I really like reading roleplays, but when people make simple mistakes, it pains me to read them. Please, for the love of Kaa, just put in effort.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Timber 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.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by DiamondEyes 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.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Eve Rallon 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

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.
Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by Eve Rallon 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:

”[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.

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!):

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:
”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:

“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:

[...] 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.

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.

Re: Tips for Role-playing (Read before posting)
Post by HypnoticDragon 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.