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Forums > RP Discussion > Time Expectations

Hi there, I suppose this is a discussion/rant in nature. But I've been generally curious about this topic and hoped to get some feedback.

I've been running into a problem where I'm finding myself blocked(or the character deleted, I'm not sure which) after one message asking how my owed response is coming along. I respond with apologies that it's taking me so long and that I'm still very much interested and working on it. I understand that at times it takes me a few weeks because of real life obligations(this time in particular I'm getting over an illness, last year it was an endless string of my children's major science/math at home projects that got sprung on the parents) but I've put on my page that every now and then there will be delays and that doesn't seem to help. A lot of people still seem to expect replies every other day.

I'm wondering if there are people here like myself who take a good long while to respond on occasion? Or is every other day the expected response time? Is there even an expected response time? I feel really bad that it's taking me so long to respond which was why I took an extended absence before. I feel like I've found a handful of really patient writers this time around who understand the extended time between replies isn't my normal and is just how things are right now for me. But there are still a few who've recently just blocked me or deleted while I've said I'm trying to catch up.

On that note, how many storylines is the average for all of you to maintain? I top out at anywhere from 5-8 and I'm currently at 5. Just curious where I stand with the population of this particular website.

My personal response time depends on two things 1. the other persons response time 2. my muse for the RP.

I currently have about... 26 RPs. (I've had as many as 40 before, but I managed to whittle myself down. I'm at about all I can comfortably handle.) They are divided into four sections.

Every Day Replies

Twice a Week Replies

Once a Week Replies.

Bi-Monthly Replies.



Now, this is an approximation. I don't always reply to the Every Day, every single day. Sometimes I'll have a Bi-Monthly RP creep into Once a week territory, or Twice a Week creep into once a week or so.

I'm a very patient person, so I don't mind waiting a week or so, or even two weeks when it comes to the bi-monthly; however I am usually more invested and excited when I can get tons of replies out on a frequent basis. I do better with Once or Twice a week where me and the other person dedicate a couple hours of just shooting back and fourth once or twice a week.

There are only a few RP's that I am excited enough and have enough muse for to reply to 4-5 times every single day. It's more likely that will only happen 3-4 times a week and not 6 days a week. (I take Sunday off).

Thankfully even when I have a block and don't reply to anyone for a week or so more than they're used to, they are patient, excited for the rp to continue, but patient for the most part. Mostly just check in with me to make sure I'm okay.

I don't really RP with anon characters because of the deletion thing, I haven't had someone delete or block me for not replying quick enough in a while, maybe 5-6 months.

The worst was someone (a very long time ago) who blocked me because I didn't reply to their OOC message (their second message to me) soon enough. It was like 17 minutes since their message which ended up being 'I'll just go rp with someone who is actually interested' and they had blocked me for not answering their OOC message in 15 minutes lol.


Long story short, people who actually like you and care about you as a writer/player and your rp together will stick around or let you know that it's a bit difficult but not disappear entirely. For the most part people are pretty patient. :)

I personally keep my responses on a rotational reply schedule, just replying to the oldest 1-3 messages in my inbox every other day or so; sometimes I go about 4 days before I get out a reply, and a good majority of the time it's more like 1 reply every other day than anything else.

I have something like...15-ish RPs going right now? But several of them are slower than the others.


I'd say the biggest issue (granted, it wasn't mentioned in the OP, so idk if it's something you already do or not ^^;) is making sure to let your partners know up front how long it usually takes you to get out a reply.

In my LF RP posts, I always say "Once a week to once every two weeks on average" I'll get out a single post; Quite often it's less time between than that, but I like to be safe.

I would also say (again, wasn't mentioned, so idk if you already do this) that if you're going to take an extended break, try messaging your affected partners directly; Putting it on your profile isn't necessarily a bad practice, but I know personally that I rarely check my partner's profiles after I get a general feel for how they write unless I specifically know that said RP partner often posts updates on their profile; Even so, I know a lot of people probably wouldn't look at someone profile, updates being a regular occurrence or not.


Sometimes it's also just finding the right people. Not everyone is as patient as they say they are, because people often like to believe the best in themselves or get too excited and jump into something that they aren't necessarily capable of handling. Sometimes it's just about finding the people you actually vibe with versus the people you think you'll vibe with

People are impatient, at least here in America. We expect prompt results when it comes to getting coffee, ordering food, getting a package shipped, dieting, working out, anything. When people don't get what they want as quick as they want it, they tend to move on to something else. I could see that translating over to roleplay. And they don't want an uncomfortable interaction, so they just avoid it altogether. This is just my speculation.

I have a warning on my profile about how busy my life is, and that it takes me some time to reply. I am aware that people just skim those things a lot of the time.

If people aren't consistently taking months to reply, then I'm tolerant of them taking a week or two to get their reply out. Sometimes people gotta think about what their character would do, they got other replies to get to first, etc.

I've been on basically a break for about a year now (wasn't intended that way, but that's how it is), but when I was still active, it varied. With few exceptions, I usually took a few days to a couple weeks to respond.

Although I mention it in my profile, I bring it up again when setting up expectations prior to actually starting a game, to be sure it's understood and accepted (especially since some don't actually read profiles). I also try to communicate when I'm having some difficulty that might make a delay, or if I'm taking longer than they might be accostomed to just to let them know I haven't forgotten and to apologize. And if that's not enough for them... then we weren't a good pairing. *shrugs*

I do understand it stings. It is a rejection of sorts, and rejection always stings. I think it is good you are trying to learn from it, but it is possible that those folks just aren't a good match. Not everyone will be, and there's nothing actually wrong with that.

I am in about 12 campaigns and counting. I can reply several times a day or take up to a week to reply. I have a lot of real life obligations to tend to and all. But beyond that I have a particular format to what order I do my replies in.

Let me say this, the faster someone replies to me does not equal how fast I reply to them. I do get bugged by at least one person daily for their reply without -actually- asking me directly about it (But I know whats up, I know when im getting pinged) and frankly I just ignore it unless there is a reason for me to respond to it right away. I am not trying to be rude or anything about it but I am not really a person who holds peoples hands. My OOC notes on my reply frequency and my schedule are clearly posted on my OOC main profile for anyone to read. I mean its there for THAT reason.

I am not a hypocrite about it either, I -never- ask people an update on where my post replies are or if they are ok if I haven’t heard from them. I assume they are busy, and im extremely patient..

Although I have a folder for “gone dark rps” if its been 2+ weeks and no word has been given that they are like on holiday or something. I don’t delete the thread or block them.. I just move it there and if it lights up it lights up. I suppose I should ping those people.. but who knows.. they are either super super busy, live crisis or maybe they just didn’t know how to tell me they weren’t feeling the rp. I am not gonna judge for that.

I don’t understand why people block anyone just because replies are slow or whatever. Its weird to me.

Some folks have a lot of free time on their hands! Or - if not free time, exactly, are able to structure their days enough that hammering out a couple of replies in a day isn't overly onerous.

...I miss those days, hahah.

I used to be able to keep up in two swiftly-moving community RPs and also maintain five or six ongoing one-by-ones, back when I was in university and didn't have to worry about full-time work, family obligations, and assorted other roadblocks. Nowadays, I've got a single weekly-scheduled session of Pathfinder, and a single one-by-one with an excellent partner who's got incredible amounts of patience. (And, seriously, I mean that - I had a dry spell of a year where I just couldn't marshal my brain into a good place to post. He was so good about it.)

Even now when I'm in a place where I've been able to crank some words out, it can still sometimes be a week or two between posts for me when things get busy - and then every now and then I'll have a day where I'm able to get out four or five, so it sort of balances out. I don't think this is at all uncommon for some folks of a certain age or writing disposition!

The trick, I think, is finding writing partners for whom that works out - someone whose schedule is flexible, much like your own is, and who's okay with waiting for the type of storytelling that the two of you produce. There's nothing wrong with wanting more of an instant-gratification style of RP - that works really well, for some folks - but there's also nothing wrong with needing to take more time and having plots and posts on the back-burner sometimes.

Thank you for this topic!

I personally don't expect a certain reply rate from my writing partners. I find that if I place the expectation on them that there's less desire to respond and that the interest fades a bit quicker. I do have writing partners who enjoy being asked to get the reply out as soon as possible and even reply back multiple times within a day. However, when it comes to my own personal reply rates they can vary sporadically. There are times where I can reply to some roleplays within minutes, some stories take me days, some stories take me weeks, and some take me a few hours. I can also sometimes just stop replying to everything I have for several days, weeks, to even more than a month or two at a time. Life is far too hectic to demand a set schedule on me to get a reply done in time.

However, I can also understand that for some people waiting causes their interest to taper off to nothing. It's a fast pace world out there sometimes, but some people require some quicker responses so they don't lose interest or forget things within the story.

I know for myself I don't do this with every story, it has happened with some, but I have also been patient enough to wait an entire year and a half for someone to be able to reply to a story and still have it going today. It's quite frustrating, but I think there's a benefit that when I talk to people about RP, either they approach me or me approaching them, where I make a solid point to break any part of the conversation and be very straight forward that my writing partner needs to expect that I will somehow get busy and disappear for an undetermined amount of time and be unable to reply. That I will more than likely be actively doing other things openly on the site, or that I will be responding to specific public stories within the time period that that person may still be waiting because my interest towards specific character types can fluctuate just as sporadically as my reply rates.

Thank you for sharing this, Selkieborn!

i don’t know if there’s a general expected time period but i always think it’s a good idea to discuss with your partners how often each of you’ll be able to reply ^^

DragonFire's Post
Dragonfire wrote:
Some folks have a lot of free time on their hands! Or - if not free time, exactly, are able to structure their days enough that hammering out a couple of replies in a day isn't overly onerous.

...I miss those days, hahah.

I used to be able to keep up in two swiftly-moving community RPs and also maintain five or six ongoing one-by-ones, back when I was in university and didn't have to worry about full-time work, family obligations, and assorted other roadblocks. Nowadays, I've got a single weekly-scheduled session of Pathfinder, and a single one-by-one with an excellent partner who's got incredible amounts of patience. (And, seriously, I mean that - I had a dry spell of a year where I just couldn't marshal my brain into a good place to post. He was so good about it.)

Even now when I'm in a place where I've been able to crank some words out, it can still sometimes be a week or two between posts for me when things get busy - and then every now and then I'll have a day where I'm able to get out four or five, so it sort of balances out. I don't think this is at all uncommon for some folks of a certain age or writing disposition!

The trick, I think, is finding writing partners for whom that works out - someone whose schedule is flexible, much like your own is, and who's okay with waiting for the type of storytelling that the two of you produce. There's nothing wrong with wanting more of an instant-gratification style of RP - that works really well, for some folks - but there's also nothing wrong with needing to take more time and having plots and posts on the back-burner sometimes.


Dragon's post pretty much sums up me and my RP'ng. I'll add that I'm pretty erratic at my response time. Sometimes it flows and I can slap out a post a day or more in certain RPs, and other times I have nothing. The fact of having time on my hands or not is a factor, but I found sometimes I write a brilliant reply when under a time crunch to get to work, whereas I may have a free day and I can't muster two sentences.

The style of RP determines a lot as well. I have a novella RP that my partner and I average a post a month, and I have a couple 100 word exchanges that may get a cycle or two in a day on average. The point is with me, I can't determine what mind will show up at the keyboard on any given moment. I've got some really patient co-writers, and I'm always patient with my co-writers.

I will say that I find any extended gaps in posts does tend to have me lose the storyline some and requires some back reading to get back into it, but it is always such a fine experience writing stories with other people! I can't put my finger on any 'expected' time to reply for my co-writers. My RP's stay open into infinity and will rest in a 'dormant' folder should they go an extended perood of time without answering posts. It always brings a smile to my face when I see I have a new unread message in that folder. :)

Personally, I'm generally pretty flexible with my partners and I expect them to be the same. I don't necessarily have the time or stamina to post every single day, no matter hos amazing the RP is. I've had partners whom I've bugged daily about posts, but mostly because we were friends and it was kind of friendly banter between us. Then I have partners that are highly inconsistent with their posts - sometimes it can be as much as several times a day, and then suddenly the next post is two weeks under way. The partners I currently RP with have been excellent in shooting me a PM if they knew something was coming up, and they wouldn't be responsive for a while.

For myself, my time period not only depend on life, but also the post I need to write. If I know up front that it'll be a short one, consisting mostly of dialogue, I'm more inclined to squeeze it into an already busy day, whereas if I know it'll be a longer, more intricate one, I'll pick a day/time of day where I can really get into it without being disturbed. On a day like today, I have work before work(currently procrastinating), and then I have to meet up with my employer from Job A while I'm on Job B, plus be home super late. Needless to say, I won't be posting to my RPs today, and tomorrow will probably be the same. I don't post from my phone while I'm on the go, so if I don't have a laptop and a fitting amount of time to spare, then I simply won't be able to post.

I think it's already been said (or at least more or less), but I think we need to respect each other's lives and adjust time expectations to that. I usually tell my new partners that they're more than welcome to give me a nudge after week or two, or just PM me to hear what's up. We can't demand that our partners always have time for us, or are willing to spend precious time away from family, friends and life, so they can post. But we can ask them if they'd be willing to talk about it, so we can reach a better understanding of one another. Basically, what I'm trying to say comes down to "be nice, respect one another and communicate".

Having read all of your responses I wanted to extend a thank you to all of you for your input. I was wondering if I wanted to change things or if it was a 'is it just me?' type of issue. I think I will be much more vocal about my schedule from now on so that I won't be feeling anxiety or guilt over something that's supposed to be fun. Thanks again for the support and advice! <3

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