Five Inconvenient RP Truths As roleplayers, we revel in the written word. It is what carries us in a scene, gives us our background and details our motivation. We are writers, one and all. Even those RPers who just do tabletop and never pick up a pen are creating, and thus suffer the same problems as those who describe in prose. These problems may be easy to overcome or seem nearly impossible. However, chances are that you will run into the following truths somewhere in your RP career. Everyone Gets Writer’s Block Even you. Haven’t had it yet? It will happen. Suffering badly from it now? Give it time, it will break. Some people say just keep writing, others say to distract yourself. Find what works for you. Incompatible Moods Happen Your character is a bubbly, happy girl and you feel like writing about a loner hardass gunslinger. Yet, you need to post for the bubbly, happy girl. It can be annoying and spawn writer’s block if you don’t find a way to handle it. My suggestion? If there is no one to RP your loner badass with, write a short drabble or vignette, use it to get in the flow of writing and then post for your bubbly girl. Incompatible Characters Happen Somewhere in your career, you are likely to have a character you just can’t write well. Something is off between their personality and your own and it just makes sticking with it more like torment than fun. You have to be able to make a tough choice here: -Keep going and hope it gets better. Often, looking at the motivation behind the character will help with this. -Tweak the character. Make them a bit more compatible. Like pruning a tree, this should be done a little at a time so that you don’t cause major transformations. Be sure the other RPers in your group know you are doing this. -Rework the character. Full makeover and reimagining time! -Lose the character. Often a difficult choice, the choice to shelve a character sometimes must be made. Triggers Will Show Up Everyone has them and they are going to show up, eventually, in RP. No matter how careful you are to let everyone know that you can’t handle certain things, someone is eventually going to not read or slip up and mention or describe one. You can take two routes to deal with triggers: Be sure you are RPing with people you trust and that the RP is not going to contain triggering events. This is difficult and limits your options for RP choices. The better option, IMO, is to ask the GM and other players what triggers might be mentioned and ask them to gently let you know when one is going to be coming up in a scene. Some people might even spoiler tag them for you. I’ve honestly begun to find working with RPs with triggers cathartic, so long as I am informed ahead of time that one is going to be coming up or that the game will be full of them. Finally, you can hide triggering events behind spoilers with warnings or request that the players in the game do the same. This is the preferred option for many people. The Story Has to End Otherwise, you have a story that just keeps making up ways to continue on, like a cobweb. It gets disorganized and feels bland. Ending the story while it is going strong is the best way to go out. And if you really liked it so much, you can always do a sequel. Be careful, though. Too long in any one universe with the same players can get stale. Just think of how many many many Star Wars books there are now. When you are so out of things to do that you have to turn a legacy like Star Wars into a deadly soap opera, it is time to at least look at a new angle or find new characters to follow around in an unrelated storyline. Don’t fall into the trap of loving your characters so much that you only want to focus on them for all RPs ever for all time. There may be other characters in other settings waiting to tell their stories. Well, that’s it for inconvenient RP truths for now. Can you think of any others? Which of the listed ones affect you most often?