Let's share advice

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Freyja, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. Everybody has tips and tricks,right?
    So, instead of writing awesome bookpages for posts and letting numbnuts like me continue writing dirt, you can share your tricks.
    An admin on a different site once complained, because he saw my 1x1 roleplay consisting of almost only one-liners with a friend. He told me this: And I thought it was great advice.

    As for things that you can write about consider your character's emotions, consider their thoughts and perspectives, consider your surroundings.

    Take your last post. If I read just your last post, I don't know what your character looks like at all, I have no clue what time of day it is or whether you are inside or outside. I have no clue what your character is feeling or thinking. I have no clue what their surroundings look like. I'm not saying that you have to repeat information over and over again, but there is a frightening lack of any kind of actual information in your posts.

    We as roleplayers tend to get into a habit of reactive posts, that is simply responding to what is post before us, rather than proactive posts, where you add something, or take something away, or change something, or otherwise push the story forward. In particular, be mindful of your character when they are speaking. The way the posts are made now, there is no sense of orientation, where the characters are in relation to each other, and no sense of life, because it doesn't seem as if they are doing anything other than talking, when they could be pacing, writing something down, drinking something, doing something.

    Now that said, let's focus on what we can impact immediately! If you want to buff up your vocabulary some, I suggest www.vocabulary.com and www.freerice.com The first, I feel, is a better program to learn new words, just the way they have it set up, while the second can help you learn new words while donating grains of rice to the hungry. A combination of both of them isn't a bad idea either.

    As for writing more creatively, I can tell just by the post times that you don't revise. What I mean is that I wrote something as long as some of your posts, and longer than others, in less than 5 minutes on my phone. What I can do on a computer is quite a bit more. So I suggest that when you write a post, when you've put it into your mind to actually write and not just pump out a quick one or two sentences, stop and take a break for about 5 minutes. Get a drink, listen to a song, watch a funny video. Then come back to it, re-read it, and revise.

    Hopefully, this will help you too or you can add some advice!
    #1 Freyja, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
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  2. Roleplay Institute Discussion~! Would you like me to move this there? Roleplay Institute is where we talk about writing and roleplaying and try to help each other improve!
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  3. @Minibit
    Silly for me to look over the roleplay institute!
    If you would be so kind to move it there?
    Thank you
  4. Only address the reader if you are writing in first person. (as the character.) An example in the correct setting:
    - I looked through the blinds, and you wouldn't believe what I saw.
    An incorrect setting:
    - She looked through the blinds, and you wouldn't believe what she saw.
  5. Good advice! Not only does it take away from your setting or depth of your character, it always makes it very hard to respond to with something that's non-dialogue (unless of course you're a completely submissive roleplayer and are comfortable letting someone else take your character and environment over completely, and if THAT'S the case, shit, you're boring!).

    I wanted to expand a bit on your second quoted paragraph, the one about dialogue and reactive versus proactive posts.

    A general theme I've noticed with newbie roleplayers or people who don't take interest in in-depth conflicts or plots, is that it becomes almost completely dialogue based. Roleplaying is much more than just talking under the guise of a character, it's about stepping into another world, losing yourself in an immense plot, learning about your character and letting your surroundings influence you. But this has already been covered, I'd like to talk specifically about dialogue.

    Now, Dialogue can be very entertaining, don't get me wrong, and sometimes is very necessary to advancing plot. But take time in thinking how your character would speak! For example, are they intelligent? Dimwitted? Are they from a region that has a particular accent? Are they lively? Brooding? Old? Young? All of these things can help shape the vernacular of your character.

    *As a side not here, I've also noticed a tendency for people who post one-liners and the like to play the dark, brooding characters. Just because your character isn't the talkative type doesn't mean you can't spice up the way they talk! I can give a very brief example

    Exhibit A: Dante walks into the bar he usually frequents and sits down at his usual spot. He is approached by a young female, obviously drunk
    "Hi" she says
    "Not in the mood" he responds

    Exhibit B: Dante walks into the bar he usually frequents and sits down at this usual spot. He is approached by a young female, obviously drunk
    "Hi" she says, the slur in her greeting betraying her young personality; fickle, easily manipulated, fragile
    "Not in the mood" he responds flatly

    ^While neither one of those are going to be considered all-star posts, the second gives so much more insight into the characters, even with just the addition of a few words about how they were speaking and as a result, is much more pleasant to read.*

    *I* have the unfortunate tendency to be too long-winded and in my character's head, a healthy balance lies somewhere in between
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  6. There is a thing I stress for people to look into. And it's to relate a character to a place that he is in, or failing that, relate the place to the larger area and it's history. For a GM, this is a super handy tool when setting the scene. All to often, one can find himself writing sparsely about his surroundings and make it just a set piece for the charachter to stand in. That's where this trick is best implimented.


    Cut and dry approach.

    ”Do you know what i Hate Mr Pigg?” Spat the man pacing back forth on the concrete floor of the downtrodded, abandoned factory. It was the hideout of the ultra violent Giants gang, another self contained unit in the the ever larger crew of madmen who followed the Fox.


    Relating the scene to history, building up the world of New Arcadia while also conveying the gloom of the place;

    ”Do you know what i Hate Mr Pigg?” Spat the man pacing back forth on the concrete floor of the downtrodded, abandoned factory. A near-ruined locale in the declining industrial outskirts of New Arcadia. The place was a proletarian nightmare, a testiment to the brutal reality of capitalism. The building was once the workplace of a solid 500 boots of man power, 500 people who let go in one swift motion of a pen as the company got a new owner. Years of decline in the local clothing production was due to cheaper labor overseas, That had been the culprit behind all those crushed dreams, along with old fasioned western greed of course. And now it housed around 60 boots, all leather and metal like the old days. The difference was that these were not factory workboots but the soles of the ultra violent Giants gang. Another self contained unit in the ever larger crew of madmen who followed the Fox.
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  7. When in group roleplays and you end up with any amount of storytelling power (Sub-GM, GM or anything else), always work with the players instead of against them. Learn to bend the plot and actions to your needs, or bend your needs to the plot and actions smoothly. It makes everything so much better.
  8. "Everything is flow, flow is everything."

    Analyze the situation (trapped in a facility), create an applicable long-term goal (find a way out), set a series of goal posts (explore facility/find a map/find others/arm yourself/acquire other useful articles/et cetera), use actions to move towards nearest goal post, move organically from one to another as time passes and adjust goal posts accordingly. If your character hits a dead end, create new goal post or even a new long-term goal if necessary, and begin again.

    "Everything is flow, flow is everything."
  9. Do not just record a catalogue of chronological events and emotions that occur during a given situation.
    Good storytelling is combining writing and plot to create feeling.

    The exact method in which you do this is up to you.
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