GAMEMASTER One x One Ads that Work: a How-To

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by Minibit, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Disclaimer: this guide is a personal recommendation based on years of modding the on X one boards and noticing which posts get results at which speeds. Site traffic and the size of your interest group will effect results.

    1) Start with a human intro! Posts which begin with a personal greeting make a friendlier impression than those which begin in the tone of a job interview, or which dive right into a 'rules' heading. Depending on the "writing level" you're after, some emoticons and slang may be acceptable here, but in general it's better to write a search in the same standards in which you would write a post.
    In your intro, try to keep it short and sweet. You may try using the PAWS approach, which is a job interview technique for that awkward "tell me about yourself" question. It stands for:
    Personal - something about your interests or personality
    Academic - if what you are majoring or planning to major in in school is relevant, or even the fact that you are in school is relevant, include it!
    Work - we'll squish this definition for Iwaku; how much roleplaying have you done in the past, and what kinds?
    Skills - what are some things you've picked up that would make you a good partner?
    E.g.: Hi! Minibit here, I'm a 25-year-old University student. Right now I'm studying English full-time, and also working, so I'd be a bit slow. I've been roleplaying for nearly a decade though, and have no intention of letting a silly availability issue stop me! I've learned to write in many genres, and in many different styles, and I'm looking forward to learning yours!

    2) Next, lay out what you need. Right after the intro is a good place to put your rules; it lets partners quickly see if they're likely to get along with you before they fall in love with a plot. You can do this in bullet points or conversationally, the style doesn't really matter so long as it is succinct and phrased in a clear way. The tone, however, is crucial, and often flubbed at this point in the request.
    Here are some techniques to give your rules a more inviting tone and avoid driving away potential partners:
    • Say what you want, not what you don't want.
      "Don't drop the RP for no reason" vs "If you get bored or want to drop the RP, please let me know. We might be able to adjust it, or at the least part on good terms." focusing on what you want instead of what you want to avoid creates a more positive tone; potential partners can read thinking "yup, I do that - hey, I like that, too!" rather than "Ew, I don't do that. Who does that??"
    • Avoid ALLCAPS and ¡exclamation points!
      Misuse can easily result in sounding like you're shouting. Use bold or larger text for your headings instead, and resist the urge to put emphasis on your 'Don't's, 'please's. Over-emphasizing makes you sound frustrated and desparate at best, prematurely angry at worst. Always remember that your rules are an explanation, not a warning shot.

    • The rules are not a rant zone.
      You've been hurt and disappointed before, we all have, and it sucks, but it's not your next partner's fault. Treat potential partners as innocent until proven guilty and remember that 99% of all roleplays fall apart for one reason or another, even though nobody wants it. Just try to have fun while it lasts!

    • Don't assume everyone is a moron.
      Odds are you've never actually had someone try to talk to you "lyk3 d1s", so cautioning your partners that 1337sp33k is not acceptable in the IC is a bit insulting. Similarly, I don't think any roleplay has ever been dropped for "no reason", although many times no reason was communicated. Avoid such exaggerations and assumptions of ignorance.

    • You're looking for a partner, not an intern.
      If your post reads like a job interview, reword it. Referring to your potential partner as an 'applicant', or referring to 'qualifications' or what you 'expect' of them makes your post come off like you're looking for a subordinate. Referring to your potential partner as any variation of a "lucky winner" is kind of arrogant, too.

    • Don't overload.
      You may feel like the only way to ensure you get a partner you can work with is to highlight every single desirable and undesirable feature you can think of, but this can make you come off really strict and fussy! People might figure you're so easy to irritate or clash with that it's not worth the risk. Take a breath, think about what's really important to you, list only those things, and then try these methods to check out whether those who respond will work with you
      • Read their résumé - literally the whole reason we have this feature. If someone has not filled out a resume, it is totally fine to politely ask them to.
        E.g.: "Hey, I was hoping to skim your resume but it's blank! It's pretty handy for finding partners, would you mind to fill it out? You just click your name at the top of the page and then select Personal Details."
      • Chat before starting - this gives you an idea of how your personalities work with each other. It's okay to start a chat with them and have a conversation about the roleplay before agreeing to start.

      • Snoop their old threads - lets you check how they say they write/behave against what they've done. Keep in mind that styles and attitudes often shift between RPs, and that no one is ever done learning and improving. Don't be afraid to mention concerns in a polite, constructive way.
        E.g.: "Hey, I noticed you typically write in present tense (Jack runs). I really prefer roleplays written in past tense (Jack ran), I find it helps to pace things and is easier to read. Would you mind if this RP is done in past tense?"

    3) It's a good idea to point out what you're offering in yourself as a partner. Some things you may want to outline are:
    • Posting Speed, and your attitude about reminders.
      some people really appreciate posting reminders, others get supremely annoyed. People tend to err on the side of caution, so if you don't mind a friendly reminder should you run late, say so!

    • Your posts.
      Writing style/level? Past or present tense? Third or first person? How long? Do you write with lots of embellishments and details, or do you prefer to write more concisely and get to the point? Do you use font colours or other formatting do-dads? Do you like to use pictures in your posts?

    • Brainstorming
      Do you like to do 50/50 idea generation with your partner, or do you pretty well have the main story defined, but don't mind if your partner throws in some of their own flavour? Maybe you work better embellishing other people's ideas and would prefer a more aggressive partner?

    • Endings
      Do you like to have roleplays with a planned conclusion or ending, or keep them going and start a new plot when the first one peters out?

    • Characters
      Do you have a gender or style preference with your characters? Go ahead and say so.

    • Profiles
      Do you like to use pictures for character description? In combination with written description or in place of? Do you use character sheets? How detailed? How do you feel about faceclaims?

    • Meta data / Power-playing
      Some players don't mind if their partner borrows their character for a post if it helps the scene move. Some want to discuss the use in OOC and sign off on it before it's posted, others just request the other player keep their character consistent and not do anything too crazy to them, still others don't want anyone controlling their character but themselves. Lay out clearly your preferences in this area.

    • Thread or PM
      State they preference!

    • Resume link
      In place of or in addition to this section, a note that potential partners should have a look at your Roleplay Resume is always helpful! Make sure to fill it out in the Personal Details part of your account settings; it's a really useful feature.
    4) Once you've talked about who you are and what you need from a partner, you can dive into the fun part. This is where get to outline all your fun roleplay ideas! Here's a few pointers for this section.
    • Invite Submissions
      If you're open to ideas or plots from other people, say so right away by the heading! The default in forum roleplaying is to select from what the requester has laid out, so people may be shy about putting their own ideas forward if you don't invite them to.

    • Define player roles
      If you have a preference for which role you will play, highlight it and note the method in which you do it at the header.
      E.g.: If I have a preferred role, it will be bolded
    • Define favourites
      If you've got a few that you're particularly craving, higHlight them as you did your preferred roles and point it out. Make sure to update as your mood changes!

    • Separate your types
      Ideas come in many different shapes and colours! If you separate by type, it's easy for potential partners to find the kind of idea format that appeals to them. Typical kinds of idea types are:
      • Pairing
        This is when you have roles in mind, but no story or scenario in particular.
        e.g.: Vampire x Vampire Hunter
      • Setting/Scene/Genre
        This is when you have a setting or a specific scene you'd like to play or start at, but the longer plot needs work or has yet to be conceived. Sometimes these types have roles in mind and sometimes they don't. Fandoms often fall into this category, but if only characters are in mind they may be a sub-category of Parings
        e.g.: Steampunk world, Final Fantasy, Survival Island
      • Plots
        This is when you have a story in mind, it often comes with at least a concept of setting and a way for the story to get started. Sometimes it's a vague concept, sometimes it's really detailed. Sometimes there are specific or conceptual roles in mind, and sometimes it's open to any character. The common denominator is a present, defined storyline.
        e.g.: In a dystopian future, animals have been genetically engineered with human DNA, resulting in Anthros. they were engineered to be servants as well as pets, and are not legally recognized as human, because they have less than 50% human DNA. However, since they are intelligent, subjugated, and have numbers, there is an underground group of them planning an uprising. We would play an Anthro and a human sympathizer as they work to help the cause and avoid the social and legal repercussions.
    5) Give it a once-over! Try to read your post from the perspective of a potential partner. Specifically, look at:
    • Tone
      Try reading your phrasings out loud; do they sound harsh, focus on the negative, or come off kind of pompous? Aim for an inviting, positive tone.

    • Format
      Is information written as concisely as possible so that it can be read quickly? Remember that more detail can be discussed after first contact; you don't need to put up every single detail you've thought of for your favourite posts, or the entire character profile of every role. Check also that the sections of the resume are easily distinguishable from each other.

    • Order
      Are the sections of your request ordered in a way that makes sense? I personally recommend the Intro, Rules, What You Offer, Plots/Pairings order.

    • Load time
      If your post is loaded down too heavily with gifs, videos, music tracks, and large images, it might load slowly on phones or users with bad internet connections. Keep in mind that a LOT of Iwaku users browse from a mobile device, and take it easy on the bling!

    All right! You're all set to rake in them partners; good luck!
    #1 Minibit, Jan 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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