A Conflict of Styles

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, May 18, 2012.

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  1. A Conflict of Styles

    Everyone has a slightly different style. We roleplay differently, portray characters differently, and even use different slang and have preferred grammar bending. The problem comes in when we find ourselves in a roleplay with someone whose style conflicts with our own. We may suddenly find that reading their posts throws confuses us, falls flat to us, or even throws us out of immersion. This can be a big problem.

    First off, I want to say that there is a difference between style and poor grammar skills. Many times, people will write in a casual style or one that is tempered by dialect, slang, or bending and creative breaking of the grammar rules. Writing in such a manner is a stylistic choice. It can sometimes be an annoying stylistic choice (try reading the first bit of Pygmalion aloud sometime), but there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes, it lends great depth to scenes and characters. People may also be using a certain style or grammar bending to convey tone, mood, or intensity.

    However, it can sometimes be a style that conflicts with one’s personal style. Those who like action may not want to read four paragraphs of scenery establishment, while those who love poetry may find direct posts bland. In the worst cases, these RPers may just have to avoid playing together for their own sanity. However, there are often other options.

    The simplest is to take a deep breath and just read through that section with some inspirational or mood enhancing music in the background. Sometimes, the music can help you subtly relax or get into the scene (or at least hang onto your immersion.)

    The second method is to read it once, then reimagine it as you would have written it. Do this privately, so as not to insult or spam.

    The third and probably best method is for every player in an RP to respect the styles of others and, if they wildly vary, try to temper your own. If everyone gives a little bit, players may all stop falling without the circle and actually be standing within it. This way, everyone can enjoy the RP and one another’s posts without one person having to sacrifice everything. I do this most commonly with IC post length, often letting the length reflect not only the intensity of the scene and the necessary information but also the flow and length of my partners’ posts. Of course, there are times where you just won’t be able to manage this, and that is alright. Just make an effort.

    The final method is to ask the GM to talk to the other player(s) if something is really bothering you. This is a last resort and should be used only if the grammar rules are making posts unreadable, you are getting only one liners you cannot respond to, or the prose is so artificially inflated that you can’t understand what the person is actually doing. From there, the GM can either talk to the player(s), translate the post for you if need be, or try to set the mood and style through GM posts with an encouraging note in the RP’s OOC thread.

    In the end, style must fall secondary to respect. While most respect should be earned, there is also a general level of respect for one’s fellow man that is expected in a community. If you cannot be respectful, keep your snark and advice to yourself or, if you must, rant to someone you trust. Then drop it and move on and try to enjoy the roleplay. You never know when that one line poster might just be the shy person waiting for someone to draw them out with beautiful words for them to respond to.
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