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Forums » RP Discussion » Hmm! Opinions I need, yes! (About Roleplaying))

▐ I need some opinions about something important regarding RPing
I will try my best not to ramble too much...which I am very prone to do.
I will also try to be entertaining in the process!

SO! I had this thing where I have been roleplaying on other sites one being Gaia Online. Where people would join an rp (whether its group or 1x1) and what would happen is that it would die out waaay before things even get started! Sometimes it would die out:
» » » Because of the lack of interest « « «
» » » Because of people leaving « « «
» » » People taking longer than beyond normal to respond. « « «
(Which could lead back to the first one)

Your normal everyday problems of RP. But we always have to put into consideration that people have lives, jobs, and situations they have to deal with on a constant basis that will inconvenience them and their partners.

But What I want to focus on is Interests.

Even people that have a similar interest would have an RP die out pretty fast. So I have been trying something new to me. Creating Story Arcs or Plot Outlines (As you would writing a regular story) and implementing these into RPing. Now, this was a recent thing that I started. So far I've only tried it with one type of rp. Or one type of story Which is my favorite Guardian/Bodyguard in Feudal Japan. (Here, you can have a look) It's only a 1x1 with NPCs to the use (and kill off if you're feeling frisky). But I'm running into problems!

The first problem is Me. I already know what should/could happen! You'd think that I would no longer be excited or interested in something I already know. It's quite the opposite! And it makes me want to write out really long posts. (Long posts for me is about five paragraphs tops. Or three THICC paragraphs). Though this is an RP website (my most beloved RP site ever, might I add,) RPR community probably has a different scope on things than my other previous sites. I already feel (not fully sure) that these posts I make might be too long and people not wanting to take the time to read it and enjoy the story.

The sub-problem to that is I am trying to rush to the part that stuff starts to happen because I fear that they will lose interest quickly! I want to pace things and allow everyone to show their character's personalities and to soak it in. I do run into problems with peoples RP style here...because I fear I gave too much for them to respond to and in return, I receive little to work with. This is near the point in the plot where trouble will start to brew. But...Because the story I have going starts with a Festival (and the fact its a 1x1) my character doesn't interact enough! But I know once we get passed it things will get more interesting and my character will be able to interact with my partner's more. So basically:

-I'm Rushing to first conflict to keep interests
-Main characters not being able to interact with each other much
-Main characters interacting with NPCs instead.

Which that last one I feel is still good because there is
some interaction but sometimes it comes off one-sided.

CharacterA: "Hi"
CharacterB: "Hi" -leaves-
CharacterA: -Still hanging waiting for more interaction-

NPCharacter: "What's your name?"
YourCharacter: "My name is Confused~!"
NPCharacter: "Ok cool!" -Interactions stops-

That there is dramatized. of course there is a bit more but it stops abruptly with me trying to rush to the conflict of the story. I'm seeing this all before my partners say anything, IF they say anything.

The second problem is: I don't know how much this messes with their (my partner's) RP style. (Which that will be in a different discussion entirely!). Which in retrospect, technically shouldn't mess with their writing style at all. At least not to my knowledge.

For me, having an outline/story arc for an RP means:
1. These things should happen.
2. They can happen anyway.
3. They can happen anytime (depending)
4. Each time these points are met we move on to the next!

We can stray as much as we like because the outlines are still there we can take our time to get there. I was already told by a few people that they want to know how this will play out and that its interesting...But I guess paranoia is setting in too where I think I am not entertaining enough or I'm too slow or moving fast all at the same time!

To anyone asking/thinking if these "Outlines/Story Arcs" will be in every RP. No, this is only to start off the initial/main story (or subplot whichever you choose) and end the initial/main story (or sub-plot). After that...your characters' have history and things of that nature where an outline can still be implemented but doesn't really have to be. (Doesn't have to be at the start but I feel that it might help? Help in the area of "Interest")


TL;DR - So I guess after all that stated. The opinion(s) or even insight I need from you is...

1. Could an outline be effective? Would this keep your interest?
2. Am I right to rush into the first conflict? (Are their signs of someone becoming uninterested where I have to rush?)
3. What is your thought on momentary plot drop to have some character development?
4. Should I really just forget the Outline and just let the story flow (Which in only my experience these die quickly without resolution...)
5. [A follow up] Do RP stories need a resolution at some point?

My own point that I gathered is that all RPs should be fun no matter how/when they end. But I also hate it when RPs end prematurely...
Some gifs may not make sense.
But they are indeed reactions I had while writing this...
i don't know whether it will answer the question or will give you any insight, but i will reply anyway lol

I have joined an RP in which everyone was posting at high speed, it died out because people couldn't keep up. I have joined in an RPin which everyone was posting at snail speed, it died out because people couldn't keep their interest in. So, i don't know lol (uh, i know it's not answering anything)

And i think outline will do great for a group game, but i don't really like to outline when doing one on one. Especially on slice of life RP. But a group game with adventure theme will do great with outline (i think), you seems like a good GM.

Yes, RP stories need resolution. Except maybe slice of life genre, i prefer that one to wander, but at least each character should have a goal in mind, whether they will achieve it or not is depends on the story flow itself.

(I'm really sorry for this meaningless reply lol)
I read it all, but I'm replying to the TL;DR questions.

1. I love outlines. Even if it's tentative, but if gives me an idea of where to go next myself, so I don't stray or wonder if I'm saying somthing my RPpartner will understand. A lot of people, I've noticed, like to jump in, and it makes me not as responsive. Also, I've been that person that was like, "I'm fine." As a one line because of it. I get worried that I won't go the right way and scare the person off. I don't even know.
2. I feel like the first conflict needs to happen fast. That OR there needs to be a good juicy start that can postpone it, but still keep it interesting. If it's not interesting in the beginning, cool, but if you postpone the conflict and maintain that lack of interest, I'd expect it to die real quick.
3. I think it's needed to care more about your partner's characters. If Bob and Jim just go plot line and you don't learn, it makes it harder to care when the character needs help, or somthing. It's like reading a book to me, if you don't care it's not interesting.
4. That's just going to be an opinion. Like I said, I prefer at least a basic outline, so if we stray off too much, we have ideas on how to keep the story going. If it starts getting dead, we can look and see, "Oh, Bob is supposed to die at the store, so I should have him start talking about grocery shopping." (Yes boring example, but an easy one.)
5. Depends on the story. My friend and I had an RP that actually did not have a resolution, but we would just cram them in rooms with each other (They hated each other) in a different situation (Same world) and see how they reacted to it. and so it was just a series of unfortunate events that they kept getting smashed together. (Eventually one killed the other, but that's another timeline) But you can always add, too. If you have a resolution and you want to keep going, invent another conflict. Maybe a time passing, and the characters reunite to start a new journey!
NamaTamago wrote:

(I need to start learning how to quote people XD) But no! That gave me some good insight there. Thank you a bunch for replying. I'm totally going to always keep that point in mind. An outline may do great in a group rp but may not so much in a 1x1. Thank you! ^_^
Clearlow wrote:

Thanks a bunch for reading it all. I wanted people to understand what it was I was asking when I got down to the bottom lol I hope it wasn't too boring or rambly....

1. Thanks a bunch I know you can't speak for everyone on it but this can kinda at least give me an idea.
2. This question was probably the most I will definitely take that into account and try to speed up to the first conflict.
3. Part of me already sort of knew that. but I wasn't sure. I always tend to second guess myself. But that just bought up another question that I might have to ask way later. You took the time to read that is enough. so yea.
4. Makes sense
5. Makes sense
Haha.. I don't know. I don't know. But how hard you try at making it work really makes me want to when I'm over my burnout approach you for an RP because you sure sound enthusiastic and like you'd wanna make it work. *mentally makes note*

In answer to the questions:

1. Could an outline be effective? Would this keep your interest?

I've never tried an outline...except once. The other person came up with it. That RP is still going on and I think it will reach it's conclusion ultimately because we both seem to want it.

However, I've finished a couple of roleplays the other way...where it's all instinct and it's all a surprise. Those are fun, in my opinion. But yes, some like that have died off. So i dunno. I think whether this style works depends on how well the writers play off each other and takes each other's cues. How compatible they are. And even sometimes then it can lose steam. But spontaneity is great sometimes. In 1x1s. I only do 1x1s, pretty much. Groups have so far never worked.

2. Am I right to rush into the first conflict? (Are their signs of someone becoming uninterested where I have to rush?)

I think yes. I say one post of character development each and then they meet. And face some kind of problem either together or against one another.

Signs of disinterest...meh, i dunno. It's too variable why people have delayed responses. Who knows.

3. What is your thought on momentary plot drop to have some character development?

I think it's important sometimes. For like one of two posts each, I think. Fluff without plot development can be nice sometimes. Banter, making lunch, etc.

4. Should I really just forget the Outline and just let the story flow (Which in only my experience these die quickly without resolution...)

See above answers.

5. [A follow up] Do RP stories need a resolution at some point?

I like it when they have them, but they often don't. I've only finished 3 RPs in total, I think. Or two. The other ones died or are still ongoing.
Ok so I dont have opinions on all of these but I just want to mention what I think about 4 and 5.

For 4: Correlation does not equal causation. Sure all of the RPs that werent methodically planned out may not have gone well, but that doesnt necessarily mean they went south *because* they werent methodically planned out. For my part I would recommend maybe a less... drastic solution. You can definitely have things planned for the future without making the entire story be unswervingly based solely on a roadmap you already have.

Some plans for things that will happen, or could happen if they make sense, is probably a good idea, at least for RP's with, you know, plots. I always find myself planning out things that could happen, even in RPs that arent my own. (or I did back when I had RPs going I guess-) However if the entire plot is planned out from the start, the other person doesnt get the ability to do any of that, which for me anyways would make me lose interest. What you said about being excited about things further on- Thats completely reasonable, I get that too, and thats probably the reason why I wouldnt recommend having "everything" planned out; It detracts from the other persons ability to "also" get excited about things they planned out.

then for 5), I would be very hesitant to suggest ending an RP that is going well... with how hard it can be to find a partner and RP that really "fits" and that you like, honestly, I think I'd rather just run it into the ground rather than try to end it, unless you just got really bored of it. But, and this is just me personally, I think I would be very happy with just a "perpetual" RP that never really ends. Waaay back when I started I had some RPs that went for months and while I did eventually lose interest in them, they were still the most fun RPs I ever had, and I dont think I would've gotten as much out of them if I had ended it as soon as the first big story bit was finished.

Postscript: I decided to say something about 1, since it kinda ties together with what I said about 4.

To be honest if you "are" making a full outline of the RP, for me personally, I would find that knowing that would kill it even more because I would lose even the illusion of control. At that point it kinda feels like just a story one person is writing. HOWEVER. I dont think its necessarily an entirely bad idea, with some people it would probably work. WIth other people I might suggest a more measured response. Perhaps in the intro to the RP mention just a few of the more exciting things you intend to happen more down the line, just as a hook to get them interested, and explain that you need a little time to get there and ask them to hang with you.

Having said that I'm hardly an expert, and RP's dying off for whatever reason is hardly something unique to either you or me, so you can take everything I say with a couple thousand grains of salt.

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