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Forums > RP Discussion > need help becoming a better role player

hi everyone. each role play i've been doing is going create. but i feel like i can write more then just a few lines. sometime i would be considered a "one liner" but like i said before, i know i can write more. at times i feel myself become board or just dont have anything to write at that time. does anyone have any tips to help me out. Also as a side note, i like to start stories but seems like i dont get a lot of hits. i have a huge story i wanna work with one person or more people with/on and i am not sure how to start it.

Without seeing a post example, the best thing I could suggest is to consider what kind of details you're incorporating into your posts. And I don't mean just fill the post with unnecessary fluff to pad it, but genuine 'behaviors' of your character. Don't just write 'She nodded', for example, (not that simple isn't okay!), but try things like 'A soft hum of consideration rumbled in the womans throat as she considered the strangers advice'.

Something else you could do is be descriptive not just of your characters actions during a scene (how they're standing, if they move or gesticulate as they speak, their expressions, etc.), but consider the environment as well. What is around them? Are they in a building, on the street, in a forest? What does it sound like, what does it feel like, smell like, etc. This kind of detail gives not just you something to have your character react to and interact with, but it gives your rp partner something as well. Little world building details like that help everyone envision the universe better and can make posts easier to come up with.

Another thing to consider is thoughts in rp. I know some rpers dislike it when posts incorporate character thoughts, primarily because those are parts of a post that can't be reacted to without metagaming. However, I feel there are times when incorporating thought narratives in a post could benefit a scene, particularly when a character is having a conflict of self - thought narrative can help validate a characters decision, or establish a character flaw that can give you something new to write about later. The thing to remember with 'thought fluff', however, is to keep it ic only. From personal experience, thought fluff in rp can be used to the benefit of a scene, and it can be used as backhanded attacks (because thoughts are silent and can't be reacted to).

Keep in mind, too, however. There is nothing wrong with short posts if they get the point of your narrative across. Writing 'more', doesn't necessarily mean 'better'. Ultimately, I'd suggest looking at the -quality- of your posts over the -quantity-. Sometimes the thing to fix isn't how long your posts are, its what you're posting, and this is a matter of grammar, punctuation, tense, point of view (first, third, etc.), and so on. A rule I hold for myself, for example, is to try to never start sentences with the same word back to back.

'She nodded with care, brow furrowed at the heaviness of the dark revelation. She did not feel things would go well anymore.'

To me, this kind of sentence structure lacks punch. In a short post that is only a few sentences long, too, this repetition feels like it would stand out a lot. (Again, this is personal preference!) So I'd change the second sentence.
'She nodded with care, brow furrowed at the heaviness of the dark revelation. In her gut, the woman realized the future was grim.'

This version of the sentence feels more impactful and less 'stagnant'. (Again, personal preference.!) How you write and your personal preference will vary, but I would definitely examine what you're posting for the quality and how consistent that quality is through a scene. If you can start noticing where it dips, or where you start to lose interest in the rp, that would be the best place to start finding what caused you to feel that way, and from there, find a way to fix it.

Hope any of that helps!

There are plenty articles and whatnot designed exactly for helping folks with writing! First, I do want to point out that quantity doesn't mean quality. Short stuff can be great! But it's still nice to round things out with relevant details like:

  • Things going on around your character, whether it's just to build atmosphere, or actually is providing potential plot stuff like setting up a Chekov's gun or having hints (posters, conversations, atmospheric oddities, etc) that could be useful for the plot.
  • Sharing some of what's going on in your character's head. What do they think of the situation? What do they think of other characters present? What are they noticing?
  • Consider if there's something outside of your character that could add to your RP. Maybe a useful NPC makes an appearance, maybe some strange event happens.
  • Detail things to help your partner visualize them as you do. How tall is the tree? What material and style is the armor? What sorts of decorations fill the castle hall? Some of these are just helping to visualize, and some descriptions can relay other info - like in the castle example, the decorations can show their ideology and values, how rich or poor the land feature tapestries that relay relevant history, etc.

Anyway, trying doing some searches about writing tips, here or on Google. Pick out what seems useful to you. :)

I also recommend working a bit on spelling and capitalization. Your post shows you're a little inconsistent with those, and they can become even more important for understanding longer posts. Actually, reading back through your posts a couple times should help with both that and with writing more, just by reading it and asking yourself, "What's missing? What could I explain or describe better? What could I add that would improve this game?"

I wholly agree with the two above and would like to offer a few insights of my own.

  • Having an understanding of what your character's motivations are besides what the plot calls for. If you know what your character wants, it's a lot easier to get into their head. This allows for a lot of depth. Saving the world is one thing, but subplots create a lot of interesting nuances to explore.

    Maybe while they're trying to look for the missing piece to complete some ritual, a character is struggling with the feeling of being useless and tends to react to the opportunity rashly, ignoring the obvious solution.
  • Don't describe more than is necessary. I know that this is a pet peeve for a lot of players. That they don't have every single piece of information about the visuals from the start, but just because you describe everything from the buttons to the laces does not make that post a good one. As a rule of thumb, blocky walls of text are, in general, difficult for other people to read. While it doesn't apply to everyone, it does bring me to the next point which is;
  • Perspective can be a double edged sword. While those above have touched on what is around, also think about what your character wouldn't notice. What is their state of mind? Are they calm, are they angry? If they're distracted, there are things that they definitely could've missed. Your characters do not have to react to everything that has happened in the world, and having a little chat with your partners over what they didn't notice and what consequences that can have for your character is very fun and fulfilling (personally)
  • And lastly, and this is a definite tip that I feel can benefit everyone.

    Become a sponge. I know that there are a lot of people who get up in arms about copying, but that's a lot of what learning is. And as long as you aren't outright plagiarizing, I say it's fair game. When you read, what do you enjoy about it? RPing is definitely a collaborative effort, so when you read a post that really resonates with you, consider why you like it. Trying to incorporate those things into your style can help you grow, and building on top of those foundations can create a style all your own that you can enjoy looking back on.

And of course, practice. Writing on your own and writing with someone else are two very different experiences. More than that, talking to other writers and how they pick apart characters, their development, their design, that stuff can really give you a look into how you build and create as well.

Having a basic grasp of grammar is really only one part of the puzzle. But it is a start. Ultimately, it'll come down to being a good communicator both in character and out of character.

One thing I've always liked to add to a point was how what my character said or was thinking related to something that happened in their past. What was it that inspired or caused this character to think this way or take that action. It can be a bit tricky to play out but I always felt if done right it made for some great writing. Especially if you can lead it seamlessly back into the present (and not dwell on the subject)

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Forums > RP Discussion > need help becoming a better role player