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 University of Roleplaying Tips for Improving your Roleplay

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The Dreamweaver

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Posts : 57
Join date : 2012-01-24
Age : 26

PostSubject: University of Roleplaying Tips for Improving your Roleplay   Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:47 am

Welcome to the University of Role Playing!

Have you ever been accused of "One-lining?" Has your character ever
entered a thread only to be ignored or worse, have the other characters
leave almost immediately? Do you want to know how to improve your role
playing skills and increase your character's activity and depth?

If so, then please read on. This site has been dedicated to those who
wish to improve their skills at role playing and move past the
"one-lining stage."



Definition of a "One-liner"

A "One-liner" is a person who posts only one line of action and/or
dialogue and expects an appropriate reaction to their post. One-liners
are notorious role players, racking up large post quantities but failing
in what matters the most in role playing: quality. You see, in order to
really develop a character, it is not the quantity of your posts that
matter, but the quality of what you have written.

Proper Posting Techniques:

A proper post should have the following components (parts): The
beginning of the post should be a physical and/or mental reaction to
what was said/done in the previous post. That should be followed by a
bit of dialogue and more physical description. The dialogue can either
end the post, but I find that if you include a post-movement, such as
making the character move, sit, stand, dance, jump, etc., it rounds
things out nicely. Now then, lets break down each part to give you a
better idea of how to do it.

React:

Generally speaking, only one person begins a thread and everyone else is
reacting to how the thread began and/or what was posted directly above
their reply. So, if you are starting a thread, a reaction is not
necessary to the dialogue, but you can put their reaction to walking
into what ever area they are and what they are doing there. When I say
your character should react physically to what was said/done in the
previous post it is only mirroring real life. If someone says something
to you, you have a reaction. Even a non-reaction is technically a
reaction, because your character is attempting to look as if they are
not reacting. If that is confusing, let me give an example.

RP example:
John listened as Maria explained the reasons as to why they could no
longer be together. Inside he was seething with anger at her lame
attempts to explain the situation, but outwardly he barely gave a hint
of what he was feeling. If she looked closely, she may have seen the
little tick of a muscle in his jaw as he stood before her, but she was
off in her own world.



In this example you see how no or very little physical reaction can be
played out. After all, think of it in real life. Put yourself in John's
shoes, how would you feel in his place? What would your reaction be to
what Maria was saying? Put yourself in your character's head and get
your character's responses. Remember to keep yourself out of it. This is
a totally fictional character you have created and the less you react
as if it is a personal attack and react as if it were an attack on John,
the better your post will be.

Remember to put your character's thoughts into the post, whether you do
so in third person, such as saying "John wondered why Maria would seek
to hurt him so" or in the first person (usually put into italics to
differentiate between description) "Why does she want to hurt me like
this? I thought things were going great." Often the difference is
simply how deep you want others to read into your character. But know
this: Posting your character's thoughts is as important as posting their
actions. While the other characters may not be able to react as if they
know what you are thinking (unless they are mind-readers, in which
case, only give out what you want known), it develops your character to
put their thoughts out there. It makes them "human(oid)" and gives depth
to your posts. If you have ever read a fictional story, a good one
anyway, you will find the pages littered with thoughts, a necessary
addition to create the best story possible. Without the thoughts, you
have no clue what drives this character, what makes them who they are.

Physical movement should also be included at this point, whether they
take a drink of something, walk across a room, or sit in a chair. Be
sure to include a description of what ever the character is physically
interacting with.

RP Example:
John crossed the wooden floor, his sneakers squeaking on the worn
boards. He found an old chair and plopped down carelessly, sending a
poof of dust flying from the old cushions. His finger played in a hole
on the arm as he listened to Maria, tearing the fabric of the chair even
further and releasing some of the stuffing that had yellowed with age.



There is a lot of description in just those few lines, enough to give
your reader a clear mental image of the layout and the actions that John
is taking. You don't have to say "the chair was old and smelled bad"
rather simply by using alternate words, you can say the same thing this
way: "the chair looked ancient and had an odor that usually accompanied a
landfill." A great way to find alternate words is the use of a
thesaurus. Plenty are available online or in most kinds of typing
programs like Microsoft Word. Also, when you are trying to compare
something, think of an example, such as replacing "smelly" with "odor of
a landfill." Even if you have never been to a landfill, you can imagine
the noxious fumes one would find there.

A character's dialogue are the words that character speaks out loud that
can be heard by other people in the room. Here's a hint: never have you
character say something, even under their breath, unless you want it
heard by someone else. Just like in real life, you never know who is
really listening, so watch what you say. There could be a character that
enters the thread claiming they were "invisible" to you at that moment
(ex: hiding behind something such as a door or chair) and over heard
what you whispered to yourself.

When writing dialogue, be sure to use proper grammar and punctuation.
Spelling is also important. Nothing shows that you put no time into your
response more than a post filled with misspelled words and bad
punctuation. Spell check is available on most boards and I highly
suggest using it before any posts. Dialogue should also avoid using "he
said," "she replied," and "he asked" (and any other version of these)
repeatedly. One time is okay, twice is pushing it, and beyond that is
ridiculous. Dialogue should be written as if it were really spoken. A
tip is once you have written the dialogue, read it out loud to see if it
sounds okay. Some things look fine written but don't work once you try
saying it.

This should not be attempted by a novice role player as it takes
practice and experience to write an accent properly. The best suggestion
I can give here is to go find examples of the accent you wish to use
that have already been written. Good resources are cheesy romance
novels. Romance novel authors often use accents in their work and most
times just by looking at it you can get an idea of how it should be
written. When attempting to write in an accent, be sure to write it so
people still understand what it is supposed to be. A good way to do this
is to write how it sounds.

Example of light Scottish accent:
"I didna think tha' is what she meant ta say, but ifin that be th' way it is, then there's no' I canna do aboot it."

Example of French accent:
"I weesh you 'ad told me zis beefore, beecause now I 'ave no way of getting ze informatiĆ³n to 'er."


Another thing you can do is simply tell people you are speaking in an
accent by saying something like: "His deep voice spoke with a hint of a
Romanian accent." By doing this, you don't have to write in an accent
while still speaking in one.

"Do"s and "Don't"s of Role Playing:

A Few More "Do"s and "Don't"s:



Do:


Include lots of description and comparisons in your posts.


Use dialogue that other people can understand.

Include movement such as walking, drinking, smelling, etc.

Use your character's five senses.


Describe the surrounding environment.


Research before you post. If you are responding to a particular topic, learn about it before you just make something up.


Follow the guidelines of the universe in which you are posting.


Remember to use good grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It is appreciated.


Think of creative titles for your threads...they are more likely to attract others to come post.

Be realistic.


Use links to pictures rather than including the images in your post. People appreciate not having to wait for them to load.


Chose an avatar for your character quickly. Avatars really do have a lot to do with how much "action" your character can get from other players. If no one knows what you look like, they really don't think about you.



Don't:


Take an insult to your character personally. It is just a character, insulting another character...that is all.


Use less than 6-8 sentences per post. While they don't have to be novels, less than that and you border the "one-liner" category once more.


Break the rules of the universe in which you are role playing.


Think your character is invincible. If they are, then they aren't a very good character. No one wants to role play with a god, especially if they always have to be right.


Post song lyrics unless your character (as in ~you~) wrote them. It chews up space and drives others nuts. And in most cases, they don't even read them, just skip over them to the other parts.


Use large pictures for your signature. Some people still have dial-up and it takes time to load those large pictures.


Get mad if you don't get a boyfriend/girlfriend right away. The boards aren't meant as a dating service. RP romance is more than acceptable, but it takes more than 5 minutes of talking for people to fall in love.
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