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Hints to RPing.

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Hints to RPing.

Post by Taiga on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:26 pm

Common Abbreviations:

RP: Role-play
RPC: Role-play-able Character
NPC: Non-Playable Character; also used as a verb to RP a character that is either inactive or can't be RP'd normally.
OOC: Out of Character
IC: In Character
OT: Off Topic
WIP: Work in progress
IE: Internet Explorer
FF: Firefox
GC: Google Chrome

Fonts & Colors:

Alright, first thing's first. Literally. What do you actually see first when looking at an RP post? The font and the color. A lot of people keep it simple and just use the default font/color from the forum. Which is Arial and the color is gray. If you're one of those people that use the default style, then you don't have so much to worry about.

A lot of this is common sense, if you do choose to pick a different font or color. Make sure it is legible. Meaning, you don't have to squint when trying to read it, and try not to use any color's that blend in with the background. Keep the font size to the default size unless it's for a special occasion.


Italics/Bold/Underline/Normal

Another way that can help with separating your Role Playing Characters thoughts, speech or actions without using color is by using different font styles. Font styles can also be a rather subtle hint to add personality into your RP post. Or at least to the eye, this does not enhance what is actually written.

Italics: I've most commonly seen this used when a RPC is thinking. For example, Gah oh my god... that guy was so hot, The flushed girl thought, I wonder if he'll talk to me.

Or

Some people use it for speech, always keep in mind if you see a quote around it, " ", it's a safe bet, that they said that out loud. For example, "Gah oh my god... you're so hot-", the flushed girl said, "Want to talk?"

Bold: Another way to enhance your RP. Like with Italics it's used as speech or thought. Again it really just depends on your personality or the personality of your Role Playing Character.

Underline: Yet another way to pretty up your RP, I don't see this one as often but can be used as speech or thought.



Writing Styles:

99.7% of the time, you are going to RP in 3rd person, and 99.9% of the time you will RP in 3rd person on this forum. Now what does that mean? Let's break it down, well briefly.

First person, is when someone writes from their own perspective. For example; I went to the barn yesterday.

Second person, is when someone is talking to another person at that moment, For example, You went to the barn yesterday.

Third person is where you write as if you are narrating an event. For example, He went to the barn yesterday.

The bonuses of using 3rd person are that you are able to describe much more, and give it from a bird's eye view. A character may not notice every detail in their surroundings, but you the narrator can describe what is around them to such a minute point. These details that your RPC can't see, help the reader understand what is around your RPC. Details are powerful in the world of RPing, and are needed to help yourself and others be able to imagine where you are.

Now that .1% that I left above. That .1% includes the time where you will use 1st person when your RPC is thinking.

See below how I Mix Third and First person.

Ankia sighed, her fingers trembling as she tried to spin the blade between her fingers. The blade would spin between each digit, but quiver as the girl trembled, the blade's movements controlled but indecisive. Just like her, a contained storm.

"Yare yare, this is going to take awhile," she paused, biting her lip in frustration, "I still have to get it done before the sun sets though. Gah, I hate waiting for people," she frowned, scowling into the far distance, half expecting a shadow to appear with an apologetic facade.

I used third person to describe Ankia's actions, and first person when Ankia was talking about herself. Since she's in the situation. (Ankia is not my Character. I just thought of the name off the top of my head)

Spacing/Paragraphs!

Nothing is worse, but to see a huuuuge chunk of words. A block. Literally. Someone can have the most well described, scripted and eloquent post, but if it just looks like a block of words, then it will make little difference. It may sound odd, but you have to attract people to your posts. And large blocks of text can actually turn people away from you.

So spacing is appreciated. <3

Now how do you know when to space? Do you just randomly hit the space bar?

Before I answer that, let me show you two short RP posts, and see if you can figure out where there should have been a space or not.

Ankia merely grunted. Annoyed, as she turned on the small lamp that was on her table. “People…” she grumbled, her fingers finding the novel in the darkness. It wasn’t the right one though. She smirked, no title. Her fingers lazily traced the binding before opening it up. Pages spilled from the binding as she opened it. “Whoa...” Her eyes widening as she caught glimpses of the fluttering pages. Maps? She grinned, this was a lucky find. Her hands immediately went to collect the diagrams. Fingers flying over the pages as she tried to restore them to their proper order. But her eyes, she couldn’t read them. The light too dim to fully understand and comprehend the topographic maps. “Che…” she muttered, rolling the papers and slipping them into her backpack. “For another day, I suppose.” She stated quietly, leaning back in her chair. It was past midnight, and the lamp before her was losing its glow. The soft yellow beam decreasing in size with every passing moment. It would go out soon…

Now this is how it should look.

Ankia merely grunted. Annoyed, as she turned on the small lamp that was on her table. “Damn people…” she grumbled, her fingers finding the novel in the darkness. It wasn’t the right one though. She smirked, no title. Her fingers lazily traced the binding before opening it up. Pages spilled from the binding as she opened it.

“Whoa...” Her eyes widening as she caught glimpses of the fluttering pages. Maps? She grinned, this was a lucky find. Her hands immediately went to collect the diagrams. Fingers flying over the pages as she tried to restore them to their proper order, but her eyes, she couldn’t read them. The light too dim to fully understand and comprehend the topographic maps.

“Che…” she muttered, rolling the papers and slipping them into her backpack. “For another day, I suppose.” She stated quietly, leaning back in her chair. It was past midnight, and the lamp before her was losing its glow. The soft yellow beam decreasing in size with every passing moment. It would go out soon…


Last edited by Taiga on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Hints to RPing.

Post by Taiga on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:27 pm

Interacting with other RPCs


This is probably the most important but basic part of Role-playing, interaction, and talking with other RPCs. Even 'Loner' characters, RPCs that like to be by themselves, need some sort of interaction, even if they're not a fan of it.

Post Order
Starting a Conversation is rather easy, just move your character toward another and say hello. The hardest part is often patience, since it's respectful to wait for the other person to respond before you keep going with your conversation. You would think this was common sense, ne?

But this common rule is often trampled upon when there is more then one person in a conversation. For example if there are 3-4 people in a conversation. We'll call it a 'round' when everyone has a chance to speak.

Person A starts the conversation
Person B responds
Person C responds
Person D responds

Person C responds again
Person A responds
Person D responds
Person A responds

In round one, everyone got to add input into the conversation, in round two person A got to speak again without having person B say anything to the last topic.

It's usually respectful to have everyone respond in a 'round', before continuing the conversation.

The round though doesn't have to be in a specific order such as;

Person A starts the conversation
Person D responds
Person C responds
Person B responds

As long as everyone has an equal chance of getting input. Though if someone has been gone for a couple of days, everyone can agree to skip that person's turn in the round. But you never want to skip someone's turn unless it's necessary, since people do have lives outside of the role-play, and not everyone can get on everyday. A lot of people think the essence of writing is writing, I believe its patience.

Now some people do follow a rule called 'Post Orders' these people follow a specific order, and will often say so in the beginning of the thread. People that follow a post order decide who posts when, and you have to wait till that order is met. So people that RP with this role will allow RP this way.

Person A starts the conversation
Person D responds
Person C responds
Person B responds

Person A starts a new topic
Person D responds
Person C responds
Person B responds

In conversations, this can be rather tedious and unneeded. The most common use of post orders is during spars or battles, which I shall explain later. But now that we understand when to talk, we can learn how to talk.

Role-playing a 'Shy'/'Anti-social' Character

Some characters, or the role-players are naturally shy, and don't want to be the one to start a conversation or carry it out. That's perfectly fine, but here I shall give you tips so you don't feel like you're just dragging the conversation on and forcing yourself to talk.

With shy characters, expression, thoughts and actions are going to be the dominant part of your role-play, since your character will probably not do a lot of talking.

Instead of talking, expand your post with what your RPC is thinking, and put details in it. Add information on the facial expression of your RPC, or what it would be, if you have a character that 'Hides Face'.

This helped me when I started RPing, since my character was rather anti-social, where in one post he might just say 'Pfft', but the rest would be her body language, and her thoughts.

Emphasize body language, so you can help the other RPer respond to your actions and comment on them if they are a "Social" type.

If both RPers are Anti-social or shy, you guys might be in trouble, but try to express yourself through expressions, like throwing a smile or frown. Leaning your RPC's body against a wall, looking lax, have their body shiver, or become tense.

Our RPCs are rather human when it comes to expressing themselves, so you can easily put yourself in that position and imagine how you would react.

Role-playing a 'Social' Character

One would that role-playing a talkative character would be much easier, since you don't have to worry about "Not knowing what to say". And I can't give a lot of advice for social characters, but I would recommend not skipping through a lot of different subjects, instead of making your RPC just ask about basic things; How's the weather, How are you? Make the conversations deeper.

How?

Well incorporate your characters beliefs and personality into the conversation and question the other person's beliefs. Asking about someone's past, usually gets you a sob story, and for a person like myself, I love that. But others don't, but asking about someone's past is always an easy conversation starter.

But I recommend avoiding going from topic to topic, or trying to start multiple topics in one post. It gets confusing, and frustrating, since everything just scratches the surface.
"Showing" what is happening
What I mean by showing, is expressing the RPC's mood and tone through your words. Since we all can't imagine what is happening in a RP, we try to help each other with details, especially with what is said or done.

A lot of people do the usual, "He said, She said" routine, which is all well and good, but you can add so much more then what is below;

"Hello Renato," Ankia said.

From the above all you can imagine is Ankia saying Hi to someone named Renato, not too overly excited or sad either. But you can add more moods and actions just by adding a couple of sentences.

"Hello Renato," Ankia stated with a smirk, a single brow arched as she slung her hand on her hip, expecting him to respond in his usual rude manner.

"Hello Renato," Ankia cried out, going on tip-toe to see the man as he walked away from her through the crowd.

"Hello Renato~," Ankia smoothly said, throwing a simple grin as she trailed each word with seduction, her maroon gaze fixated upon the beautiful man before her.

Now all the above, show different moods and tones when Ankia was saying Hi to Renato. First she was annoyed, excited, and then "SEXAY". But you wouldn't know which one if you just typed ""Hello Renato," Ankia Said." There isn't enough detail to tell what the other wants, and little to respond to.

Sometimes it may seem redundant, to say how your character responds, but it helps the other RPer a lot when you take the time to describe these things. It can mean saving an RP also, since you may say something and mean it light-heartedly but the other RPer takes it as a rude comment.

What you put into an RP is what you're going to get out of it. I'm not asking to write super long posts that have little relevance to the RP, but as you can see, just adding another sentence can make a difference.
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Re: Hints to RPing.

Post by Taiga on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:28 pm

What To Do
&
What Not To Do



No matter how good you are, how experienced you are, we all make mistakes. And it's easier to recognize these mistakes and correct them then having to RP or RP with someone with these mistakes over and over again. Until you realize that it is a mistake and maybe that's the reason people avoid RPing with you. Now! These things can easily be fixed, so don't worry.


What Am I Suppose To Do?


- Ask Ask Ask!
If you don't know something, Ask. No matter how much you think its "Stupid". There are tons of people willing to answer all of your questions, if given the time and patience to do so. Whether it is RP or something else, more people are friendly then scary, and my inbox is always open to questions, or a pleasant conversation. (Preferably the Chatbox though!)

- Spell Check~!
An occasional misspelled word is accepted, but we have spell checkers everywhere! Not just on Microsoft word either, you can do it right from the internet! Ha! Now, no more excuses other then pure laziness. Here I will provide spell checkers for the most common used browsers.

Internet Explorer: iespell.com

Firefox: It's already built in. If it isn't, then I highly recommend you update to the latest Firefox.

But make sure to stay in character, even if you feel something is morally wrong, but your character has no morals, then you'll be sure that your RPC wouldn't care if it was morally wrong.
- Save & Re-read your RPs!
-- I know.. Zomg, more reading. But look at it this way, you can read your old RPs to see how you progressed or notice mistakes you didn't notice before.

This also doesn't mean re-read them later for self-reflection, but also when before you post your RP. Read it! Proof read it. It's hard looking at a post riddled with errors, and you end up being Mr./Ms Editor instead of RPing.
- Be Receptive & Respectful
-- Be aware of what is going on in your thread, and be receptive. Be willing to accept constructive criticism and "OOCs" from other RPers. But also be conscious enough to detect which advice you should take, or respectfully decline.

You are bound to get criticism or praise, accept both of them. And you are bound to run into an OOC fight. But make sure to be receptive and respectful. Read what the other person has said, and respond using your best behavior. Don't ignore, or just single out one point and bash it, read their whole post.
- Know Your Boundaries
-- Some people are just buttheads, literally. With two cheeks and a speaking hole on their face, I wonder how they escaped the term. Not everyone is nice, and some people you RP with are just going to be jerks. Even when you've been respective, and kind.

This is when you leave.

Some drama isn't worth having, and before you get mad, leave. And if the other RPer is doing something against the rules, then contact a moderator, again my inbox is always welcome.

There are a lot of situations I could list where you could remove yourself from, but I won't list them. This is where you come in, know your boundaries. Know what you are comfortable with. Someone can RP something offensive, rude or the RPer themselves can be rude or offensive. And it's easier to just remove yourself from a situation then endure it, if you aren't comfortable. (I'm the type who endure's it though. I gotta fix that.)
-Know Your Pace & Be Adaptive
--Some people RP once every hour, some people RP once a day, others once a week. Know your pace and surround yourself with RPers that have a similar pace.

If you are one of those people that actively RP, and post almost every other hour then find other RPers that do the same. It's frustrating to be in a thread that is just going "Too Slow" or "Too Fast" for you.

But if you don't like the RPers that RP in your "Time Frame", then learn to adapt and compromise with others. If you want to RP with someone that RPs once a week, they are more then likely going to still RP once a week when they RP with you. People are pretty predictable, and no matter how much you prod they'll keep to their pace. Unless something really exciting is happening.
-- RP your heart out! <3!


What Aren't I Suppose To Do?


- Don't Mind Read
-- By far the most annoying thing someone can do is RP knowing everything your RPC is thinking.

Your RPC only knows what is said, and like stated previously people use different styles to show how their RPC is speaking. If you are confused on which things are thoughts or which speech is then ask.

Also something more subtle, do not RP seeing their thoughts through their face. Although it is very true that people can be expressive and show all their emotions through their face, if the RPer doesn't say their RPC's face looked annoyed, but thought it. Don't make your RPC know that the other is annoyed.

And haha, that may have been confusing let me give you an example.

Below is what you are not supposed to do.

Me: Ankia grinned, a usual expression that adorned her delicate features, and the grin did not falter as she admired the boy before her. "How was your day, Love?" she inquired, not with a single hint of sarcasm. Though beneath this tranquil facade she was annoyed. Bitter in the most at the vampire before her, the one she had confessed her heart to. He was late. And didn't notice that dinner had been waiting long before his arrival, and how she slaved over the meal and took extraordinary care in its preparation. No she wouldn't show this. Not in the very least.

Mind Reading RP: "My day was fantastic." He returned her grin, happy that she had asked, and took this opportunity to tell her all about it.” I had to escort the Pureblood today, Ankia. And what an interesting and fair fellow is he." He beamed like a little child, and his face glowed as he took her hand within his. "And how was your day, lover?" He asked, his tone dropping to a more subtle but serious note, his gaze fixated within hers he knew something was wrong and wished to figure it out. He was curious to how her day had gone, and knew she wasn't happy about it.

Some People might be used to the Mind Reading RP. However, I'm sure it can sometime's get confusing for the person reading it.

Below is what you should do in this situation, you are allowed to hint of course. But the second RPer shouldn't know that she was mad or bitter in any way since she never hinted it. Only in her thoughts.

Me: Ankia grinned, a usual expression that adorned her delicate features, and the grin did not falter as she admired the boy before her. "How was your day, Love?" she inquired, not with a single hint of sarcasm. Though beneath this tranquil facade she was annoyed. Bitter in the most at the vampire before her, the one she had confessed her heart to. He was late. And didn't notice that dinner had been waiting long before his arrival, and how she slaved over the meal and took extraordinary care in its preparation. No she wouldn't show this. Not in the very least.

Perfect RPer: "My day was fantastic." He returned her grin, happy that she had asked, and he took this opportunity to tell her all about it. "I had to escort the Pureblood today, Ankia. And what an interesting and fair fellow is he." He beamed like a little child, and his face glowed as he took her hand within his. "And how was your day, lover?" He asked, his tone dropping to a more subtle but serious note, his gaze fixated within hers as he tried to search behind this barrier he was still trying to break within her. He was curious to how her day had gone, and to see if she was just as happy as he was.

-Nothing & Nobody Is Perfect

-- People have flaws, RPCs have flaws and it's always nice to see someone that is just "Regular". He isn't the knight in shining armor with perfect hair,eyes,body, and She isn't the princess in distress, yearning for love with the perfect hair,eyes,body. RPCs need flaws it makes them more relatable.

-Don't Just Follow Along

-- Don't always expect someone to carry the RP for you, add actions, add dramatic twists, and make weird people show up. Don't always wait for someone to add "Drama" into a thread.

You are in for a very rewarding RP if you and your partner can coordinate a plotline together and go from there. Not just one person calling all the shots.

---Now there is a difference between being dramatic and over dramatic. I would discourage an RPer to RP their RPC getting kidnapped so that someone else can save them. I see this with a lot of "Princess" RPs, and well if the other RPer is a "Prince", then I guess it doesn't matter. But I find it annoying if I have to save someone else's RPC in every thread.

Be weary of many NPCs. You can have a dramatic RP surrounded by villains of some sort, but don't just have it so that your RPC is taking them down with ease and only your RPC gets to fight the "Boss". And this goes the other way, don't make your RPC the helpless victim, and is smacked around just by everything, and needs saving.

- Don't Bring Personal Issues to the RP

--I understand that Role-playing for a lot of people is stress-relieving and helps people to just "Get Away". But please don't bring your personal issues to the Role-play. If you’re angry, it's okay to make your RPC angry. But don't cause havoc and just annoy the hell out of everyone around you.

Don't let personal issues affect your RP, if you have to OOCly say you have to leave, then just leave. We all have bad days, and know how it feels to have one so more often then not, they will understand.

- Do not RP someone else's character

--This is probably the most annoying thing someone could do, and that is RP someone else’s character. Usually people do not do this on purpose, but accidentally, and we shall correct it now.

In your role-play post, you should never RP an action for your opponent. You are allowed to re-emphasize what someone said. For example;

As Grimm ran, Ankia bounded after her.

NOT

Grimm ran toward the building, Ankia ran closely behind.

See the difference the "As" makes? And plus if you use "As", it makes it seems like your doing the action at the same time.

- Do not God Mod

-- I consider this "Godly moderation', this is where all the hits you make hit your enemy. This term is used very loosely, and everyone does a bit of godmoding. But there is an accepted amount.

- Do Not Be An Expert

--Basically, no one is an expert here, no matter how old, how high your ego is or how much experience you have. This role-play is fictional, and things can be easily made up. Though we try to have a loose base of realism, its frustrating when someone is bashing your work, and because they feel they are an expert at it.

We all have time to learn, and all have to learn new things. ^^
So I don't mean to be harsh, but I would like to say, please don't be quick to judge, and insult someone if they do something wrong.

Instead teach, and be patient, because its way easier to throw stones, then pick up one to build a foundation.

-Admin ; Taiga
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