It's all in the details!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Diana, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Ocha gave me This Link and it was so funny, I just had to share!


    We always want to encourage roleplayers to add a little bit of detail to their posts. Details can set the scene, atmosphere, and be really fun.

    But there IS such a thing as too much detail and pretentious prose.

    The link was originally one whole paragraph describing someone's hair, and someone else broke it down in a very funny way.


    What cases do YOU think would be a bad time for too much detail in a roleplay post or story?
     
  2. First and foremost, from TV Tropes.

    Show Spoiler

    The nightfall, deeply saturated with every fibre of its being in the shadows of dark gloom and ocular turblence, encompassed wholly and thoroughly the dusty, unattended, dirty, untouched apartment building of one youthful, handsome yet very homely aspiring author of many tomes Report Siht, as he descended with a blindingly powerful glowing aura of casualty and sensual smoothness onto the slowly revolving Mid-Century Modern armchair that was currently situated betwixt and between his beige-coloured, antiquated digital binary computation machine and analysis device. The writer being spoken of gently placed beside his body the worn thesaurus (a thesaurus, of course, being a large tome containing lists of synonyms and antonyms), slowly yellowing and fading with the slow, constant passage of time, he had been delving into, he lowered his slender, pale fingers onto the black keyboard, his creaseless, silky hands striking the small intractable keys in quick succession while scrutinizing his search for a four-syllable phrase that is, to him worthy enough in all its purple glory to be written into his new masterpiece of literature to a veteran musician in search for the perfect melody to play to the masses, as they are entranced by the narcotic tune. But as he continued, at a tempo that only the smallest of snails could possibly envy, to turn through page after page after page of his wide, thick-as-a-doorstopper tome of words that he usually refers to as a thesaurus, he, over the course of hundreds of pages, begins to conceptualize that what was previously his treasure chest of multisyllabic vocabulary is now wholly exhausted, having used in some way each and every one of the words in some form or another. An "avarice" here, a "defenestrate" there, occasionally an "egregious" hiding somewhere within his vast, vast body of purple literature. He swiftly and instantly put down his once sacred book, and slowly, with a profoundly resigned look on his pale face, sighed in the general direction of his desktop-based computer machine, which, as you know, he is presently attempting to write his most ultraviolet magnum-opus.

    "Oh, my blimey Lord, or Buddha, or Jesus, or Brahma, or Shiva, or Vishnu, or Satan, or the Great Horned God, or the Wiccan Goddess, or Apollo, or Jupiter, or Zeus (Even though you and Jupiter are one and the same), or Juno, or The Other Juno, or The Bad Wolf," he mused, saturating the air with his entire wistfulness, while his unceasingly flickering cathode-ray tube of a monitor began rapidly displaying the laggard starting of his currently ambiguous "world-wide collection of computer networks connected by phones, fibre optics and cable lines" surfing program in the immediate preparation for transferring his extremely long-winded masterpiece he calls his work of art to a favoured collection of digital pictures and Unicode, Comic Sans MS-based text of his, an exceedingly vast, all consuming collaboratively maintained repository of all knowledge dedicated solely to the pursuit of identifying and cataloguing any plot devices, clichés and other oft-repeated themes in a multitude of different works of fiction. "For me, that is I, the infamous and often mocked and much hated writer Report Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenberg Siht, it is indeed very, very troublesome for me, Report Siht, head of the Department Of Redundancy Department for me to find overtly flowery, unnecessary figures of larynx vibration and vocalization considered by the vast majority of the population of this planet, Earth (or Sol 3) in the date of June 10 in the year 2009 A.D to be vastly unsuitable by my fellow troping comrades for such a strictly utilitarian device as a encyclopaedia of tropes and clichés in various works of fiction on a personal, digital desktop computer that was invented around six decades (or sixty years) before this particular Filler-filed sentence escaped from my full, blood-red lips. We, the writerfolk of the Earth were very significantly more productive in the vast, vast decades and years and weeks and seconds before the time of today, when our much-receded capability to apply creative epithets to our works of literature was not hindered by by the slow but eternal and inevitable march of technological progress and throngs of ungrateful readers spending Egregious amounts of their distasteful lives in expectation of our newest manuscripts, only to mercilessly pick apart their the flaws that said readers think they have unconcealed while reading my manuscripts with their friends, family and other acquaintances!"

    With his current contemplation of purple, prose and everything eventually grinding to a slow and restful halt, young Report's poor, addled assemblage of neurons and grey matter inside his cranium was little more than a Brobdingnagian, reverb-filled empty echo chamber, almost but not quite similar to an empty theatre, where no possible thoughts could ever be retrieved and brought into the light no matter how hard he attempted to do just that. For you see with your very sapphire sightorbs, my dear, determined-to-get-to-the-end-of-this readers, what was once his normally infinitely vast supply of useful flowery nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives in the English language had dead run dry, much to his slowly seething and coming to the surface chagrin, a chagrin that caused him to curse the heavens and all life that lived under it. Hoping to replenish his normally wonderfully large warehouse of verbose language, he quickly stole a glance at his utile and diverting calendar, which displayed a new flowery linguistic unit for him to use in his contemporary works precisely once every twenty-four hours, no more and no less.. Egregiously, he had forgotten to turn the folio of his Word-A-Day Calendar and bring in the new one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes.

    Exactly eleven thousand, eight hundred and seventy seven kilometres away from the spot Mr. Report Siht was writing his ultimate work of inane, ultraviolet works of literature, on the other end of our diminutive azure planet of no cosmic importance whatsoever, a particular random, utterly unremarkable reader of literature who was usually referred to as Mister Jonas Quinn Averageson, who had, at this current time of nine-forty-five at night just returned after an extremely large in length distance traversed in his black, very, very slightly rusted Honda Civic fossil fuel-powered automobile from his place of current occupation, where he is paid exactly nine-fifty an hour to detail, with egregious amounts of justifying edits, exactly which character in Doctor Who he thought deserved to be called a show-ruiner extremely similar to a small puppy that called himself Scrappy-Doo, very exhausted and very frustrated after a particularly high in temperature argument with an unreasonable, though low in intellect, figure of dubious authority who will very, very soon be replaced by a Mister Fast Eddie (completely forgetting that this overly particular slice of life factoid was probably in absolutely no way at all relevant to the grand scheme of this very "plot", though he, Jonas Quinn Averageson, probably at this moment in space-time was completely unaware that there was at the moment a certain troper living thousands of miles away narrating each and every little thought, no matter how trivial it seemed to be to everyone, for the sole purpose of adding word count to this already excessively long entry describing the use of over-flowery prose in various works of fiction, but never mind that), eyed Report's newborn magnum opus with a sudden, hot-tempered fury building up at a sizeable alacrity. "This disgusting piece of pretentious trash is frakking inconceivable and it is an insult to all literature, even My Immortal, that this pierce of gamma-ray prose filled shiat would ever get published," he immediately ejaculated exclaimed with an incomprehensible amount of quickly-rising exasperation, his half-rouge, half-emerald orbs of eyes still scanning the two-thousand, five hundred and sixty six piece of trash-er, I mean, slice of literary heaven. "I really, really, REALLY wish with all of my cardiac muscles in my heart that person who's work I am currently reading attempted, no matter how impossible that task would seem to be for the person I am currently referring, to actually get to the point in a reasonable number of compendious sentences without using excessively flowery and annoyingly lengthy expressions, because if I'm hypothetically forced to proceed any further with this complete and utter nightmare of an encyclopaedia entry, it may quite possibly drive me to the point where my emotional state causes me to rapidly lose eye-liquid!"

    The nightfall, saturated with an incomprehensible amount of course, being a large in length distance traversed in absolutely no cosmic importance whatsoever, random unremarkable reader Joseph Quinn Average, who had just returned after a particularly high in absolutely no way relevant to use exactly once every little thought, no thoughts could be written simply in Fan Fiction criticism circles.

    The writer being a large tome containing lists of casualty and antonyms, slowly revolving armchair that it can make it eloquent by the slow constant passage of ages past, who at one moment in his new work of ages past, who had just returned after a particularly high in intellect, figure of one troper living thousands of one troper making an overly complicated and throngs of works of the Rome of synonyms and cable lines surfing program in intellect, figure of digital pictures and cable lines surfing program in extremely quick succession while reading my manuscripts with the slow, constant passage of time, he descended with their friends, family and thoroughly the dusty, unattended apartment of ages past, who had just returned after a particularly high in absolutely no matter how trivial, for transferring his black, slightly rusted Ford automobile from the writings of compendious sentences without using excessively flowery and utter nightmare of networks connected by my fellow troping comrades for the sole purpose of synonyms and weeks and antonyms, slowly yellowing and turbulence, encompassed completely forgetting that is worthy enough to mercilessly pick apart their distasteful lives in his black, slightly rusted Honda automobile from his place of literary pursuits: Bitch, your clothes, man.

    For you see, his flickering cathode-ray tube of dubious authority completely and thoroughly the above case, it's a strictly utilitarian device as a bad idea necessarily.

    Nut eternal and utter nightmare of youthful Siht, it is indeed troublesome to actually get to the slow but never mind that, eyed Report's newborn magnum opus with an unreasonable, though low in expectation of our diminutive azure planet of their distasteful lives in extremely quick succession while reading my manuscripts with this complete and between his body the starting of the plot, though he probably was not hindered by the slow constant passage of larynx vibration and analysis device.

    The writer being a large in length distance traversed in absolutely no cosmic importance whatsoever, random unremarkable reader Joseph Quinn Average, who at one troper making an extremely vast reverb-filled empty chamber where no thoughts could be written simply in temperature argument with a powerful aura of technological progress and bring in a reasonable number of digital pictures and other oft-repeated themes in absolutely no way relevant to proceed any further with dark doom and utter nightmare of networks connected by phones and fading with this complete and years and fading with a sudden, hot-tempered fury building up at a sizeable alacrity.

    This series of larynx vibration and utter nightmare of life factoid was not aware that was situated betwixt his analysis device.

    "The craft of ungrateful readers think they have discovered while reading my fellow troping comrades for him to be in his black, slightly rusted Honda automobile from his place of ages past, who at one thousand, four hundred and utter nightmare of our newest manuscripts, only to mercilessly pick apart their distasteful lives", in search for such a writer takes its birth from the writings of adding word for him to the pursuit of compendious sentences without using excessively long entry describing the Rome of networks connected by phones and years and fading with dark gloom and years and utter nightmare of flowery nouns, verbs, prepositions and fading with this complete and smoothness onto the black keyboard, his extremely long-winded masterpiece to find overtly flowery, unnecessary figures of their distasteful lives in time-space thusly unto a thesaurus, of life factoid was not aware that task would seem to proceed any further with their friends, family and very frustrated after an extremely vast collaboratively maintained repository of the plot, though he probably was little more than an extremely large in length distance traversed in extremely quick succession while reading my fellow troping comrades for the sole purpose of miles away narrating each and analysis device.

    The nightfall, saturated with the slow, constant passage of digital pictures and utter nightmare of knowledge dedicated to be in intellect, figure of course, being a large in length distance traversed in length distance traversed in preparation for such a multitude of life factoid was little more than an overly complicated and forty minutes At the slow, constant passage of today, when our capability to find overtly flowery, unnecessary figures of over-flowery prose in temperature argument with the whole flowery unnecessary figures of course, being spoken of quickly-rising exasperation, his beige-coloured, antiquated digital pictures and very frustrated after an extremely vast collaboratively maintained repository of eyes still scanning the dusty, unattended apartment of fiction, but instead decide to actually get through, Purple Prose when our capability to as purple in time-space thusly unto a personal, digital desktop computer that said readers spending excessive amounts of time still scanning the tattered thesaurus of a Wiki, of his, an encyclopaedia entry, it can make it borderline unreadable.

    The nightfall, saturated with the whole flowery unnecessary figures of course, being a large in temperature argument with the slow, constant passage of digital pictures and very frustrated after an extremely vast collaboratively maintained repository of life factoid was little more than an encyclopaedia entry, it borderline unreadable The nightfall, saturated with the slow, constant passage of digital pictures and very frustrated after an extremely vast collaboratively maintained repository of time still scanning the slow, constant passage of today, when our capability to as purple in temperature argument.

    The nightfall, saturated with the slow, constant passage of today, when our capability to as purple in temperature argument The nightfall, saturated with the slow, constant passage of today, when our capability to as purple in temperature argument The nightfall, saturated with the slow, constant passage of today, when our capability to as purple in temperature argument The nightfall, saturated with the slow, constant passage of today, when our capability to as urple in temperature argument The nightfall, The nightfall, the nightfall, the nightfall, the nightfall, the nightfall.

    This series of oral sounds or glyphic images takes its birth from the writings of Horace, that illustrious personage of the Rome of ages past, who at one moment in time-space thusly unto a student in the craft of literary pursuits: "Bitch, your story is okay, only chill out with the whole flowery language thing. You ain't sewing purple patches onto your clothes, man."


    More seriously, it really depends on the situation. Details are great at setting a scene and describing a character - but beyond that, I feel they should be used sparingly. It's nice to see them include some of the little things that people do, espically when talking, but wen don't need to know every moment they adjust their hair - or that it flows like a waterfall of wheat over their hands. Besides backgrounds and descriptions, I don't see the point - and even then, in moderation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Yay for spoiler button!
     
  4. Yeah, I really don't see the point behind details to be honest. The only time that it should be given is for opening ICs, character introduction, and perhaps new chapters if they are given. Don't get me wrong, I like detail but having 5-10+ pages single spaced of just one post that only involves one character and action is too much and obnoxious.
     
  5. SUPERFLUOUS BULLSHIT!
     
  6. WHAT HE SAID!
     
  7. What cases do YOU think would be a bad time for too much detail in a roleplay post or story?


    Someone rping taking a crap!!!

    -runs away before Diana can hit her with a broom-
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Or someone rping EVERY DETAIL OF BUTTONING THEIR SHIRT.
     
  9. *eyeroll*

    Oh, great. From one extreme to the other;the whole board is going all Hemingway on me this time. :P

    Purpose, purpose, purpose... and pace!

    If it doesn't really show you anything important about something in the story--be it the individual characters, setting, or themes--then it's probably just extra.

    Still, writing fiction/roleplaying is expression. And if you limit expression too much, the exercise becomes as tedious as forcing false expression where the writer adds more detail simply to meet certain expectations.

    It's like when people say "Show! Don't tell!" when what they really mean is closer to "show what's important." Details of minor significance that warrant inclusion are often glossed over with a simple summary. Nothing wrong with that.

    But by the same token, good writers sometimes use detailed descriptions of small actions significantly in order to show, rather than tell, what a character is feeling or how an event may have changed them.

    A detailed description of buttoning a shirt might be out of place when it comes from nowhere and goes no where, but put it in the context of a talented artist who just lost his fingers, dressing himself for the first time after his accident.

    Maybe he's been avoiding thinking about the ramifications of his injuries and it's only at that moment that the realization of what he's lost and the difficulties he'll be facing afterward really hit him. Things like that.

    The best thing is to keep asking yourself "why am I writing this part?" and if you can't tie it to the bigger picture, then you may be going overboard.

    And I'll admit I go outside of this sometimes. Most times I go for theme and events, but since roleplaying is supposed to be fun and recreational too, I sometimes go for "visual style."

    If you want me to start using less words, pay me. XD

    Oh, and what Odd said. :P
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. That's exactly the point I was trying to make, Coffeekins. But... but with less words. >:D


    *Runs off cackling!*
     
  11. *Hands Coffee a twenty*
     
  12. Not exactly the same topic, but related... this all reminded me of a text-based RPG I used to play called Dragonrealms. People would buy tons of verbose items, like, "a gleaming silver-white plate etched with the proud visage of a mighty lion" and wear dozens of them at once. I don't understand how they think people will read through all that frivolous crap!
     
  13. *returns to thread*

    *conserves detail*

    I am... pleased--pleased and grateful. :)
     
  14. Sounds like an everyday conversation between me and Palonis.

    This is an example of a bad Herald Post. :|
     
  15. What does? What is? I'm confused. Is it from lack of rest? Tell meee!

    おしえて呉れ!
     
  16. .....*Wonders if she needs to put her glasses back on*
     
  17. People want to know things in 25 words or less. That is what my dad always told me when I tried to explain something growing up. Obviously this is not always possible but the idea is your need to be clear, concise, and to the point. A description is nothing more than an observation on something, it is not poetry.

    Failing that making any sense the below is my 25 16 word answer:

    Anytime they add an alteration, metaphor, or poetry to a description when one was not requested.