on Writing

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on Writing

Postby Joe » August 4th, 2006, 3:36 pm

This is the official "talking about writing for your rp enjoyment and help thread". I'll be posting here occasionally, or semi occasionally anyway, some of the tricks and advice I've picked up over the years both in writing fictional stories, and in roleplaying. If you want advice, someone to look at a post, or feel like you have something to contribute, feel free to add on your thoughts. Please keep in mind while giving any advice you have that not all rpers have the same level of experience, and offer help and encouragement. Don't post to tear someone's writing apart. Flaming will not be tolerated, and any spam on this thread will be deleted.



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Postby Zuka Zamamee » August 4th, 2006, 4:57 pm

This is advice that I got from John Irenicus, who's been RPing for over a decade:

A truly great RPer doesn't RP the character. The character lives and breathes on its own accord while the RPer merely documents its actions.

Take Zuka and Akunosh, for example. They're both complete opposites. Zuka is a chaotic evil necromancer/vampyre, whilst Akunosh is a lawful good paladinic High Elf. I don't control what they do whatsoever in my RPs. They both act of their own accord based on their alignments, experience, and profession. I merely document what they're doing as if I were doing a biography on them both. The result: they're both truly unique characters.

Just some advice.
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Postby Ominous » August 4th, 2006, 8:32 pm

Three tips that I live by:

1. First-person is an excellent way to RP, but it's a bit hard. Don't riddle the text with "I" statements; describe the world around you, and make sure to place the character into a visible environment.
First-person narrative can be very excellent if put into good language and verbalization, but don't overcomplicate your prose. (This goes for third-person as well.) Speak casually, and make sure to have a strong, understandable voice that a reader can relate to, but that embodies the character well.

2. Be humorous, for God's sake! I can't begin to list the number of RPs that get intensely boring without some comic relief. Make sure, as well, to include different kinds of humor. I personally use slapstick, sarcasm, and dark humor, as well as creating humorous side-characters that are blazingly stupid so as to be a comic relief for a "straight-man" character.
Humor always beats out continuity, unless the continuity is integral to the central story.
Don't go overboard; be serious when you need to be. But, even tight, serious situations benefit from a joke now and then.

3. Be creative. Don't just swing your sword at someone if you can do an insane stunt with gusto like backflipping off a wall, kicking your opponent in the head, and then landing on your feet to lunge forward at him or her. Make sure to stay within limits, but realize that the characters RPed by most RPers have much higher skillsets than normal people.
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Postby Curulan » August 4th, 2006, 10:53 pm

Actually, Ominous, the general rule is to NOT use First-Person narrative.

Please use third person at all times, except in dialogue.
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Postby Dune4lyf » August 5th, 2006, 2:04 pm

I personally tend to shift back and forth from first person to third person. Any actions I commit myself are in third person, obviously, but sometimes a fresh first person perspective is just what you need for a nice opening line.

Something else that needs to be noted, not just in RP, but all writing; never start two sentences in a row with the same word.

I swing my sword. I take a step back. I get really damned repetetive really fast.

It's a basic rule of writing, most academic courses frown upon using the same word twice in a paragraph, if not an entire paper.

Also limit the use of the words "he", "I", "them". Your cheating yourself and everyone else out of some good descriptive writing when you do that.

Lastly the cardinal rule of roleplaying, break it and I will break you. Never...ever, ever, ever decide another characters actions in your post. Sure you can hit them real hard, it's assumed that they will be knocked backwards, but if you write in your post that they fall to the ground you just essentially decided their next action. That isn't for you to do, once that starts happening the free form system essentially breaks down.
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Postby Cheshire » August 5th, 2006, 2:15 pm

My senior english/lit teacher told us NEVER to use the word/letter I in our papers.

It was tough depending on the paper we wrote, but I suppose that did make us better writers (irony intended :P )
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Postby bow4lyf » August 5th, 2006, 2:18 pm

My English teacher said the if we write the word "I" in our papers we'd get a DT for 2 weeks. Most recently when i tried to rush the paper, i didn't know wt to write for the last sentence, so it was like "I hope you have enjoyed my paper and will take further intrest in it."





And boy did i get it..... :shock:
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Postby Curulan » August 5th, 2006, 2:48 pm

OK, if you need a "reason" to not post in first person, here it is.

Your character is not making the post. You are. You are not your character. "You" are not swinging anything, especially not a sword.

At least, I hope not.
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Postby Ominous » August 5th, 2006, 8:50 pm

I get the point, guys. You don't have to throw salt in my wounds. You can delete my post, if you'd like, since I'm apparently doing it wrong.
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Postby zipcat » August 5th, 2006, 9:14 pm

Something that took me a while to figure out was how to put voice into my character's thoughts. I like to write with a lot of zip's ideals and how she thinks things through, or sees things, um.. maybe an example.

Instead of just saying something like; "There was a cat on the window and snow outside."

Someone might put in what their person things about the cat and snow, such as; "There was the most adorable cat on the window, she (or he) just wanted to give the furball a hug. The snow that was outside looked so very cold, it made her want to hug herself."

Eh.. that may not be the best example, but I hope it gives you an idea of what I'm saying.
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Postby Zuka Zamamee » August 5th, 2006, 9:22 pm

I can expand upon that in a different direction taking upon what someone stated earlier.

Bad idea: Akunosh swings his sword and kills his opponent.

Good idea: Akunosh breathed heavily and brought his longsword to a Jar-Kaii defensive stance, the blade running parallel to the ground and the tip aiming at his opponent's face. The paladin studied his enemy's techniques, trying to find a weakness to exploit. His opponent seemed to be fond of using rushes and cleaving movements, and the elf decided to use this to his advantage.

Already you can see that its a lot more writing, but it is far more creative, far more realisitic, and far more in depth. It paints a better picture than Akunosh swinging a sword and killing his opponent. How did he kill his opponent? Was is a decapitating move? Or did he simply gut him in half? What kind of sword was it? How was the enemy attacking? All of these things were answered (or were going to be answered) by the second style.

Keep in mind that whilst you can see the image in your head, others aren't blessed with telepathy, and therefore they don't see what you do. You must paint the picture with words, description, feeling, and personality. I must admit that it is difficult to paint a clear picture into other people's minds at first, but with lots of practise, it becomes easier over time.
My Signature

I am the freezing touch that takes life away,
I am the one whose soul is unclean.
A master of dreams, awakened to the night
I haunt the Astral and reap the mortal life


Through the moonlight's mist
I enter your soul
Which withers from purity I defile
I am the Darkness, the Night that lasts forever


The Lich King
Lord of P'leik
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Postby Curulan » August 5th, 2006, 11:04 pm

It's perfectly acceptable to give your narrative through your character's mind and eyes. However, the important thing to remember is that it is only that: a narration.

If you want to use the first person, one thing I like to do is post my character's thoughts. In the terms of the RP, they would be considered OOC knowledge, but they can add flavor to the post.
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Postby zipcat » September 3rd, 2006, 9:33 pm

Another thing to do is talk about RP's OOC, so many things can be helped or understood if you just ask a question boldly. It may be hard to do, but it's something you should do in many cases. Like when you have any confusion about what something means, how someone did what, or anything. There are even Moderators that you can talk to if you need to, and I'm sure they'd like to and can help.

It's really important.
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Postby omin_of_deat » June 12th, 2007, 12:02 am

I had this huge nice post loaded with details, and a few hyperlinks, and right before i hit post i thought should i copy? and I said no, nothing would go wrong. Then I found out I cant post URLs yet and it didn't work. So im gonna sum it up real quick.

Spell check is good, but it is never enough. It is very important that you make sure that you go over your work to check that the words substituted by spell check are the right words, and also to check for fluidity of sentance structure. As these posts are meant to be read like a story, the reader deserves a piece ready for production.

Also this websight is a wonderfull host of resources for RPers.
Search google for Writing-World, it should be the first link (on page at top you see a globe with a feather pen infront of it). Once you get there, go to the bar and look under Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. This is where i have read some the better articles for this kind of writing, but i have no doubt the rest of the site is great too.

Look at any and all that interest you. In my opinion, the most important there are the "What type is your charicter" by Paula Fleming
and "What's the Magic Word: Defining the Sources, Effects and Costs of Magic" by Lital Talmour

all the others are really great too, especially "The Care and Feeding of Fictional Horses" by Mary K. Wilson, if you intend to use horses. The little details of grooming horses and just generally bonding with horses may not be imperative to the plot, but it adds realism and details.

"Profread carefully to see if you any words out."
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Re: on Writing

Postby zafar » December 26th, 2008, 1:52 am

I'd like to say thx,I'm not a great writer,but I have fun.I encourage everyone to join in,although some of the better writers probably won't.I encourage everyone to have fun with their character as I have done for many years.I try to keep up but I am getting too old to be on the edge as it were.For all who join in on the role-playing,good for you and thx for having fun with my lack of vocabulary.Merry X-mas and Happy-New Year to all. :pimp:
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