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Forums » RP Discussion » Rejecting respectful RP improvement tips/requests

Hello everyone,

I’ve discovered a bit of an Achilles’s heel - I’m not comfortable with getting random tips or requests for improving my writing style, leaving things out that I usually include, and the like. But when they’re worded very politely and with a lot of effort not to hurt my feelings, I don’t know how to reject them.

The problem is that usually it’s the wrong timing - I do improve my writing style but it’s usually by inspiration, not when someone asks me to change something.

Another thing is that usually, I end up overthinking my writing as a result, which makes things change in ways I’m not sure I’m comfortable with.

Finally, I’m not usually sure how serious the consequences would be for saying an equally polite “no”. Was it important and are we going to drop the RP? Or was it just a thoughtful suggestion where the intention was to be helpful? So usually, if there’s an even remote possibility of me thinking I’ll pull it off, I say “yes”, then often end up regretting it.

Does anyone have similar issues? And how do you deal with them?
Hi Alecia,

I honestly try not to over think my writing too much to be honest. English is my second language, though I feel it has become my dominant one for writing. I know I make and will make errors, but I try very hard to go back and reread my posts quite often to improve.

I prefer for people to be up-front and help me correct errors so that I can improve. If the other person really feels I'm not literate enough for them or that our RP styles don't mesh for whatever reasons, I think it's probably best to part ways.

I just write for myself first and hope others I write with enjoy it.
For me, RP is a very low pressure hobby. I do not consider myself a 'writer'. When I'm RPing, I do not strive to make my posts beautiful, I intend to make them interesting, fun, and to push the plot along. If you like my writing style, that's just gravy. So I'll be using artwork as an example which I do stress over, and from what I've seen discussed in various art communities my thoughts are not particularly unique on the matter.

When people offer con crit I tend to accept it but also state "I may not act upon it". What if their edits would take literal hours? What if I just prefer my direction?

Con-Crit out of the blue is not appreciated. Ever. (When it comes to style, requests in regards to RP comfort levels etc are excluded from this)

1) You don't know what the purpose of the artwork was. It could be vent artwork which was never meant to please you. Their art could just be a low-pressure hobby and they don't really have any aspirations of becoming an expert. It could be a gift for a friend they don't want picked apart, it could be done how a commissioner dictated.

2) For people who do take art/writing has a serious hobby, chances are they are hyper aware of their own shortcomings. They may have gotten to a point where they're still fundamentally unhappy with the work but decided it is 'good enough' to be posted. At this point, people are just parroting things the artist already knows / is already sensitive about.

3) The artist / writer has already moved on. The writing / art has reached the 'good enough' point. Onwards to the next project. They have mentally shifted to the next work, and don't really have any desire to go back and fix things.

If your RP partners style is so fundamentally different to yours that you aren't having fun, you might want to consider moving on from the RP rather than putting the burden on your partner to match your preferences.
Alecia Topic Starter

Thank you, Falyn and Claine. This is reassurring.

I somehow felt there might be some general expectation to try to be open to these things, but apart from RP-partner points of real discomfort, I’ll just be more assertive and start professing my disinterest in the future. I felt like I needed to justify myself and that I didn’t have a strong enough justification, but based on what you’re saying, “it wouldn’t be fun for me” is probably enough.

Thank you, too, for the point on con-crit out of the blue. I thought maybe I was overly sensitive, but out-of-the-blue con-crit or writing tips (outside of the initial posts where these things + talk about preferences naturally come up) throw me off. Yet I thought I was expected to accept them.
I will say that while I don't mind con-crit, even if it's unasked for, I can understand why others don't like it and you're definitely not alone in that. I'd say this would be a big problem if you're doing professional writing or writing something to get published, but since roleplaying is just something you do for fun, you should be able to improve in your own time and in your own way.

If someone politely offers you criticism, I would just be honest, but equally polite. You could explain to them that you're doing it this way because it's easier or more fun for you, so while you appreciate that they're putting so much thought into the roleplay, you'd rather keep doing things the way you're doing them because that's the way you enjoy your hobby. If you wanted you could go into why you don't feel comfortable accepting criticism on roleplay, but that's up to you.

No matter how polite you are, there's a chance the roleplayer might decide to end the roleplay; they have a right to do that just like you have a right to turn down their criticism. But if that's the case, then the two of you probably weren't that compatible as partners in the first place. It's better for both of you to know that and move on. And if they react badly (i.e. being rude or insisting that you're not "doing it right") then they're the one in the wrong, not you.

I would encourage you to never say yes to something just to keep your roleplay partner happy, as it can led to burn out and even resentment. It's better to just be upfront and work things out; if you can't work it out, then at least you can part ways on good terms instead of letting it fester. I learned that the hard way myself.
Alecia Topic Starter

Hello Werepunk,

Thank you for your great tips and conclusion.

I’m having a hard time drawing a line between a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ if my feeling is ‘maybe’. I do a lot of things to keep people happy and while I’m happy to part ways within the first let’s say 20 posts of a new RP, if the styles turn out to be incompatible, afterwards it becomes a more complex issue.

I suppose in such cases I should just communicate my ‘maybe’ as such, and see whether that’s good enough to continue, or not.

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