LESSON Getting Around Writer's Block in Roleplays

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY MECHANICS' started by Diana, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Writer's block it hits us all at some point. The best thing to do is figure out why you're getting blocked first. If you don't know why you're getting that block, it'll keep coming back.

    Here are the things that usually give me a block, they're probably true for most roleplayers too.

    Been away for too long and fell out of it.
    This is one of the easiest things to fix. Chatting with players and reading the rp over usually gets you right back on the ball.

    Getting BORED with the RP.
    No one ever wants to admit that they're bored with an RP, especially if they really liked it at first, but this is probably the most common problem. There's nothing wrong with getting bored. Sometimes no matter how much you love a plot or how great it start, something will change and you're just not digging it anymore. It's not "clicking". How to get through THIS will be explained down below!

    Problems with players/plots killing the mood.
    The second most common thing and harder to deal with. Occasionally you'll get a player that's playing a character or plotlines that really frustrate you. It doesn't always mean they're a bad player, it's just not working for you. Don't be ashamed to admit this too, because not all roleplayers are compatible with each other. We'll discuss some ways to get past this too.


    What to do if you're BORED with a roleplay.
    The easiest thing to do is just quit. Hey, ain't nothing wrong with dropping a roleplay if you've gone of the bored deep end and don't want to bother anymore. You could always hand it over to a new GM or the players. Usually this is the last resort though, so we're going to assume you DON'T want to do this right out! And get to some helpful advice!

    If you're bored because no one is posting or because a scene is dragging out too long...
    I've found that "SUDDEN ACTION" technique is a sure fire way to suddenly get people posting. The more dangerous it is to a Player's character, the more likely they are to reply and do something about it. Don't worry about making perfect sense. Clever plotting can fill in any plot holes. Most people want action and excitement, so this is a good way to give it. Monsters, demons, etc are always good in supernatural RPs. Realistic ones could have robbers, car crashes, fires, natural disasters. Starting a fight between characters is good too.

    If you're bored because everything feels "stuck"...
    *Points above SUDDEN ACTION.* A second thing to do would be starting a new Day/Week/Chapter. What happens is that you reach the end of where people have plotted their ideas, so they have no idea where to go from that moment. Starting a new day or chapter is giving you a clean slate. It's like starting over without needing to erase what's happened. To get stuff rolling again, you have to PLOT PLOT PLOT WITH PLAYERS! Ask them what they want to accomplish with their character. Do they need vengeance, do they need to fix a personality flaw, do they need hot sex, are they just in it for the explosions. Then you can pool everyone's ideas together and you have a fresh batch of awesome to play with!

    What to do if you have a PLAYER problem!
    This is always hard for people, because most of us want all of the players to enjoy themselves and we don't want to kill someone else's fun just cause we're getting frustrated. But at the same time, WE want to have fun too, so it kinda puts us in a difficult spot.

    As a PLAYER when you come across this problem the best you can do is talk to the other player and try to compromise the plots and scenes out. Most people are willing to compromise. If they won't and it's so bad that you can't get past it, it's better to drop from the roleplay all together. Your inability to post will hang up others players that are still getting kicks from it. Don't force yourself to play if it's not fun!

    As a GAME MASTER, remember that it is YOUR roleplay! You are the Master for a reason! You wanted to run a roleplay and see the plots achieve YOUR visions! A good GM always takes in player ideas and input, but all Players know that it is the GMs call on whether or not something is allowed in their roleplay. You ask a player if they can make the proper adjustment to suit your plot. Many players are fine doing this when it doesn't conflict too badly with their design. On the few occasions that they can't (we all have characters we don't want to change!) they probably aren't good for that roleplay. Don't be afraid to tell someone their character isn't working. Just avoid being rude about it.


    Here are some QUICK tips for jumpstarting your muse:

    • TALK AND PLOT WITH THE PLAYERS! Not only is it a lot of fun, but you can come up with so many ideas just by chatting about your characters and talking about things you want to do with them! Keep a list of these ideas if you forget things easy. You might not use all of them, but this plotting with each other keeps you all interested!
    • Don't go too many days between new posts in the roleplay. Even if it's not your "turn" to post or you are the last poster, post again to bump the thread and remind people the roleplay exists. A lot of people will see these frequent posts and not want to get left behind, so they will post more often just to stay involved. I would say two weeks without new posts is too long.
    • I like watching a favorite movie, reading, or looking at cool pictures. They always give me ideas of things I want to do.
    • Random generators like SeventhSanctum can offer you a quick "what can I do right now?" for a scene or roleplay. Just generate the idea and then post.
    • JUST POST ANYWAY. It might be bad, it might be tiny, just TRY to post. Sometimes it's all you need to get yourself typing. Ramble. If it's really so bad, you can always go back and edit it.
    WORKSHOP EXERCISE

    Exercise One: Have a plotting session with your fellow players in the roleplay you are having the most trouble posting in.

    Exercise Two: Come up with "three" events you really want to happen with a current character in a roleplay, and plot with your partners to find a way to accomplish them.
     
    #1 Diana, Jun 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2013