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Anon (played anonymously)

I'll be blunt - I'm sick of writing opening posts. In the past 10 or so RPs I've been in, I've written the opening post for all of them. Even in situations where it'd make more sense for the other party to begin (for example, in the OOC build up we established that their character would approach mine) I'd ask whether they'd write the opening post or prefer that I do. Every single time, they ask that I do it. And in once case, where I was feeling burnt out and I really put my foot down about the other party starting, they just vanished on me.

I understand that writing an opening post is hard, probably the hardest in the entire RP. You have to set a tone and plot up that will carry through the entire RP. Especially if you're writing with a new partner, you might be shy about things like whether your post is too long or too short, worried about making out-of-place assumptions, and if they're the kind of person to cause a stink over a wayward spelling or grammatical error. They're also quite a time investment because (in my experiance at least) they tend to be a little longer than an average post and also require quite a bit of additional thinking in regards to setting and mood.

I don't want to seem like a 'difficult partner' right off the bat, so if somebody asks me to start, I always do so without complaint. If it makes sense for my character to be the one to set the scene, I even offer. But I find that writing an opening post is something that partners will try and delegate to others if given the chance.

So to all of you
What are your thoughts about opening posts?
How often do you write them?
Would you consider it rude if a brand new parter stated "I'd like you to start."

Please keep this topic civil even if you have any negative experiances.
Hmm.... I personally like to write the opener as it gives me a chance to frame the scene and setting. Usually if it is someone elses RP prompt, I sort of expect them to write the opener as I think they have a scene and setting in mind for their idea. But sometimes I'll offer if I have some inspiration to open the RP.

What are your thoughts about opening posts? - I don't mind it.

How often do you write them? - Quite a few times, though I will confess to being a bit of a salvage yard with my openers. If I have written a good opener and the RP doesn't go anywhere (a 'three and out'), I will rework it for new RPs if it fits.

Would you consider it rude if a brand new parter stated "I'd like you to start." - Depends on whether it is my or their RP prompt getting the RP going, and the context of the OOC discussion. I have abandoned potential RPs when I sense the other party seems to be a bit lazy with their RP prompt.
oof, I relate to OP hard.
My former RP partner, by far the longest running writing partner I've ever had, always had me write starters, and I cannot count how many individual RPs we had running the number was so high - He would never write starters, and so for a while after he and I stopped writing, I stopped RPing for a while altogether - the thought of writing another opening post was just too much for me to bother starting any RPs at all.

Luckily I've gotten past that burn out, but the bitterness still lingers on occasion.

Personally, I try to follow the rule of "If I post the LFRP ad, then I write the starter", but I always give my partners the option if they want to take that route. If someone else posts the LFRP ad, unless we discuss it OOC before starting writing, I'll rarely offer to write the opener - I just kind of prefer to let whoever came up with the RP idea be the one to lead the way with tone / setting / etc.

The only time I ever really get a bit bitter anymore about openers is if I respond to someone else's RP ad with interest and instead of saying "Would you like to start?" they say something like "Alright, so when should I expect an opening post?" or anything similar - putting it on my shoulders without option really rubs me the wrong way, again, probably due to past experiences with that.
I’m generally okay with writing starters, but when a partner asks me whether I’d like them to start us off, I often say yes. And often I also start us off, if it makes more sense for me to do so.

Would I find it rude if a partner told me that they’d like me to start us off? Yes. It sounds like they kinda don’t care what I want to do, only about what they want, and I have terminated communication because of similar ways of phrasing things in the past, because it sounds rude to me when two equals are negotiating.

On the other hand, saying, “Would you be okay with starting us off?” is perfectly fine while also conveying your preference for the other partner to do it, unlike when you’re asking for their preference. Probably even “I’d prefer that you start us off, would that be okay with you?” sounds perfectly non-rude. Maybe I’m missing something about the phrase “I want you to...”/ “I’d like you to...” due to not being a native English speaker, but unless used in specific contexts such as a doctor, teacher or a boss giving another person instructions after some initial trust-building, I find it rude.
I’m very comfortable writing the opening post. I will usually offer to do so unless my partner, or partners in a group prefer to do it. I like to set the tone and introduce my character(s). It also lets my partner(s) get a feel for my writing style to see if we mesh or not.

How often, probably one out of two times at least, so 50%. I think it really comes down to communication with your partner (s).

Would I consider it rude if a partner asked me to start? Not at all, so long as we have clear communication about the overall plot and where we want the RP to go. I prefer a partner that can communicate what the want well and lets me start the opener rather than having to completely edit a post because they’re not clear on what they really wanted in the first place.
What are your thoughts about opening posts?
Starting posts with new partners or old partners are often a good way to break the ice on writing any story. They're often viewed as "difficult" and I am someone who has, in the past, struggled immensely with writing them. However, I found that I benefited more if I spoke with my partners about the starter and where to get things moving, it made them easier for myself or even them to write them.

When it comes specifically to new partners, I try and gauge the amount of dedication to plotting to see who would be better suited to write a starter, or where the plot specifically is centralized. If my character seems to be more of a focus, then I'll write the starter, but if their character is more of the story focus then I'll ask them. I will also ask someone to write the starter if I feel they haven't contributed equally to plotting. This is usually my way of finding out if someone's actually interested or not.

How often do you write them?
I'd say right now it's roughly 50/50

Would you consider it rude if a brand new partner stated "I'd like you to start."
Absolutely not.
So this thread got me thinking. I went back and checked several of my active rps to see who had written the starter. I found a couple interesting things.

1. Usually who ever created the rp prompt wrote the starter. I've found this is often the case unless the prompt itself was vague and we agree in our discussion that it's better for the other person to set the scene based on how the initial meeting goes, especially if it's a familiar setting and no extensive world building needs to be done.

2. At least one of my partners really likes writing starters cause she wrote all of ours. XD I just found that amusing cause I hadn't realized it until now.

3. Even if the other person wrote the initial starter, my response was often just as long and scene setting as theirs. A couple of times it was actually longer!

That last one is the one that I found the most interesting. Admittedly with a new rp partner it can be a bit nerve wracking to make the first post since you don't know their writing style yet and how it will mesh with yours. How much is too little or too much, etc. The thing is, just because you're going second, it doesn't automatically mean your post will be shorter or less detailed. There's still so much that may need to be set up around your own character and their situation. The first post you make in an rp is still a starter even if it's not the very first post of the rp. It may not set up the entire world, but it should set up your character and their world.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make. Certainly not to discount your own experience. It is absolutely exhausting to have the weight of that first post placed on your shoulders over and over again. Especially if they are gonna be dicks about it as it sounds like some people have been. Honestly I think that might be the take away at the end of the day. Don't be a dick. Don't expect others to carry the weight of an rp, first post or onward. My guess is that most people who automatically expect others to put out first posts are the type who also expect the other person to do most of the work through the rest of the rp as well, which makes it all the more exhausting in the long run.

TL:DR! Don't be a dick. I feel that sums it up!
I forkin' love writing starters, so I usually write the starter for every RP unless I find someone else who really wants to. Usually I don't even ask if they want to, I just give the option. Ie: I can write the starter but if you'd like to you are welcome! They almost always want me to, which is fine. (as long as the RP is balanced in terms of leadership and ideas.)

I feel most comfortable being the one writing the starter, whether it was my LFRP ad or someone elses, because I like being the one to put things into motion, make sure things get off on the right foot. Espeically with new partners. I want to show them how I write immediately before they post, and give them a good starting point. I'm more likely to want someone to write a starter if I've been writing with them for a while so I already know how they write and that there's little chance that their starter won't really set things off how I'd have prefered.

I don't mean to sound like I'm saying 'I write starters better' LOL, I just have experienced that people tend to be less confident and not totally sure where they want to go when writing starting posts, where as I tend to know exactly what I want and be pretty confident in starters, so when it comes down to it, my partners usually prefer I start the RP, and I usually prefer I start the RP, because we know I'm going to get us started off well and then we can just get writing.

I essentially take the pressure off my partners who may not enjoy starting the RP by starting the RP. A lot of my partners don't like starting, and I love it, so it just works out.

When it comes down to you being tired of writing starters, the issue isn't you. That's totally valid.

The issue is that unfortunately some people really hate writing starters at all, and those people aren't people that are well paired with you. You don't want to write the starter, they don't want to, neither of you are required to and can't be forced to. So you just have to cut the loss and find someone who will write the starter.

I would suggest very early on OOC before any plans are made, or even if your LFRP post or in your message about someone elses LFRP post, to put 'I write starters very frequently for my RP's and I'm growing weary of it, so I'd prefer doing this RP if you could write the starter.' that way if they say don't want to, you can just move on without losing much of your time to planning.
I don't have nearly as many RPs under my belt as you guys do, but I also would say I usually enjoy writing the starter. I think I have only requested the other person start once and it was because their LFRP ad was pretty vague and I was trying to gauge their level of interest/commitment. Another ad I answered the other person offered to start, though that may have been due to it being literally my first one. So some of my nerves may have come through subconsciously.

I do a fair amount of OOC and plot with a partner before starting though, so I feel like we are usually on pretty much the same page. I agree with a lot of what has been said here and can absolutely understand how the added pressure/obligation could build up over time. For me personally if someone asked me to start, as long as we have been getting along and they're polite, I wouldn't be bothered.

Also not sure what point I was trying to make, but agree with the: "At the end of the day don't be a dick" statement the most.
When I initially read through some of the posts here, I didn't feel up to typing a proper response, but there were a few comments that struck me as concerning (though it's possible I misread at the time, too). Now I'm feeling more up to responding, but not up to reading through things again, so this might come out a bit messy or something. Sorry. ^^;

It's understandable to be tired of having to be the opener all the time. It's not so bad if it's someone you've played with before, but especially when it's someone new, there's a whole lot of unseen emotional labor that goes into those!

Now let's see... It's actually been awhile since I actually started a new game with a new person, I think. Even the more recent-ish ones that arguably count were in a context that made it a bit easier, with a lot of things already established, and mostly were with people I had a chance to get to know a bit before even thinking about playing with them.

That said, I don't really have strong, consistent feelings about opening. I tend to figure it defaults to whoever put in the initial request, whether that's a cold approach or an ad post in LFRP or something, unless otherwise specified. Very often, I immensely appreciate the other person opening, so I can see the sort of tone and such they set and try to sort of match it; when given the option, I'll usually defer to the other person opening even if it wouldn't bother me to open at all. On the other hand, sometimes I get a strong idea or have things I want to set up or something, to where I would much rather be the one to open, and I'll ask them if they'd be cool with that. And then I have one friend who I've had a lot of games with (we've taken to basically doing chapter-games instead of doing the entirety of some epic story in just a single message string), and other than when there's a really solid reason to break order, we just take turns opening to keep it pretty even.

Would you consider it rude if a brand new partner stated "I'd like you to start."

I guess I can sort of see why some might feel that way, but... no. Context could definitely cause it to be rude, but I don't see it as inherently rude. I'd actually be sort of glad that the person appears to be comfortable making that request. Now, it's possible that I might refuse (if I have reason to), and even more likely that getting an opener from me requires a wait (and possibly a reminder, because my brain is dumb). Someone making a request or stating a preference does not automatically obligate anyone to oblige them. But being able to make a request or state a preference, and being able to give and take rejection on that, are key to anyone's ability to express... having a preference in the first place. So like... I'd encourage you to tell folks something like, "Hey, I'm burnt out on writing opening posts, so would you be willing to do that instead?"
For me personally, it largely depends on the context and the other roleplayer. If it makes more sense for my character to start, or if it's an original setting I created, then I'd actually prefer to do it.

If it would make sense for either character to start, then I have no strong preference either way. I find that a lot of people simply aren't confident writing starters, and if they're a new partner, then they might still be nervous about getting to know someone new. I completely understand that so I don't mind starting if it makes them more comfortable. On the other hand, if they're someone who likes writing starters, or if I'm roleplaying in a setting they've made themselves, I've got no problem stepping back and letting them set the scene.

And I have also had off days/writer's block, and those are times when I find it extremely helpful for my roleplay partner to start. During those times, I might say something like... "I don't think I can write a starter tonight, but if you'd like me to start I can do so tomorrow. Or if you'd like to get it started now, I might be able to write tonight if I have your starter to build on."

I wouldn't consider it inherently rude if a partner said "I'd like you to start." Oftentimes, I'll ask what their preference is like, "Would you like to start, or should I? I'm happy to do it either way." But even if I didn't ask, and they just stated their preferences, I wouldn't find it rude. In fact, I'd appreciate that they're letting me know what they like in a roleplay. It's a good sign that they're a communicative partner.

Now, if I said I'd prefer not to start for whatever reason (brain block or it'd make more sense to start with their character) and they continued insisting that I start anyway, I might have a problem. If they got very pushy, demanding, or even nasty about it, I'd definitely have a problem. And if they ghosted me over it instead of communicating with me about why they'd rather me start... We probably wouldn't have been a good fit for roleplay partners anyway.

I think it's totally valid to not like writing opening posts, especially if you've done it so much you're burned out from doing it-- it's just a preference. I do kind of prefer partners that are a little more flexible, but I won't refuse to roleplay with someone who doesn't like writing starters... So long as that person isn't being rude, pushy, or entitled about it (which I don't think I've ever encountered, but I could just be lucky.)

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