The Importance of Good Writing Edit
One of, if not the, most important parts of doing this Roleplay is to have fun interesting interactions with your fellow role players, be it in a fight to the death, a trip to a pub, or invading a Marine Base. These interactions may be fun to you, but to reader, they can be a bit lackluster if you do not put in the proper time and/or energy into your posts. This can be done in quite a variety of ways, like vibrant word choice, vivid imagery, or with interesting character development. Let's look at the different aspects of role playing and see how we can make each part of a more interesting, overall higher quality.
Writing a Starter Edit
Every good chain has to start somewhere, that place being at the beginning. The Starter is one of the most important parts of a role play, as it not only sets the mood for the rest of the chain, but also needs to draw the attention of the viewer. In my opinion, their are two different types of starters, Passive and Active. Let's look at both in detail.
- Passive Starter~ This type of starter tends to be a bit more boring and leaves little room to respond to or draw out. This isn't always a bad thing, as it should work just fine for a day at sea or a training session. These tend to be shorter responses and should not be used to start a chain in an exiting thread. One thing you can do to make a passive starter more interesting is to use good imagery and explain the setting.
- Active Starter~ This type of starter is great for action and is made to give as much room to respond as possible. These starters are always fun to read and tend to work in all situations. A good active starter will have very interesting elements, include lots of imagery, and will include plenty of details about most aspects of the situation. These are much more engaging then the Passive Starters, in that they are designed to grad hold of the readers attention.
If you do not want to write your own starter and you want to hop on someone else's chain, that's fine. But we have to be realistic. First of all, you must join in a logical fashion. The thread starts with the Marines and you are a Pirate. What are you doing hanging around the Marines in the first place? How did you get there? Many times you simply cannot think of a good reason for your character to be in that place at that time, so you have three options.
- One: You can start your character in a different location and wait for the plot to advance before joining the others.
- Two: You can switch to another thread. Oftentimes, no matter how cool a thread is, their is no logical way to join. If this happens, you can just find a new thread that makes more sense for you.
- Three: Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Just because you enjoy a thread, it doesn't mean that you need to join it.
After you have successfully joined someone's chain or get a response to a starter you have written, it is now time to start posting. This is often where the most fun happens like fights, shopping, or talking. Despite all the fun, there are quite a few do's and don'ts for posting
This is the thing that every decent Role-Player hates to see. To God-Mode is to use another person's character without their consent. This can range anywhere from putting words in their mouth to killing them. Minor control of someone else's character isn't always a bad thing, but remember, you get one reaction and one action. If you need someone else's character to say something, make sure it is in character and does not effect the plot/character development in any real way.
Too Liberal Use of NPCs Edit
Too liberal use of NPCs, especially ones that are crucial to others' story, can also sometimes be harmful. Take for example if you were to say that you were taking on an army of NPC marines while trying to run away with your crew and your character defeats the entire army of NPCs without letting anyone else interact with them. Just like God-Moding, you want to avoid doing this. A little rule is that no matter how many soldiers you defeat, the army is always bigger until that phase of the thread is over.
This does not come naturally to many people and can take a while to get used to. The best suggestion for finding the proper grammar of a sentence would be to read it out loud and see if it sounds right. If it doesn't, re-arrange the words until it sounds right. Ex: Luffy ate the muffin, hesitant. to: Luffy hesitantly ate the muffin. Even though it might not seem like a big thing, it can make all the difference that your sentences flow together, otherwise people will need to stop and re-read you post and suddenly they find that the immersion is broken just because something doesn't sound right. Don't let it get you down if you don't have good skills when it comes to grammar. To get better at recognizing the structure of sentences you should read other posts and perhaps pay attention in high school English class.
The thing with spelling is to look at the word and ask yourself if it looks right. If it looks odd, change it around until it looks better. If you do that and it still doesn't look right, you can look it up in the dictionary or ask someone to correct you. Many people make the argument, "I didn't come here to spell good!" No, but it is important that the person you are trying to communicate to understands you. A little spelling error every now and again is nothing to fret about, but five in every sentence? Yes, you do have spell check, but that won't help you for other instances (IE. Their, There, They're). Of course, it makes your RP look much better. Don't hesitate if you think your spelling is really bad, just ask around (with an OOC: post after the main post) how to spell those things, ignore teens that don't know you're having trouble with it and all should be fine.
The length of a post can be subjective to the situation. The ideal post is one that is around two to five paragraphs in length. Any more and people will start to feel their eyeballs drying out from staring at the screen that long. If you are having a back and forth conversation, short posts are fine, but at least try to put in a whole paragraph to keep interest up. There are few key things in a post that should always be covered.
- Setting: If it hasn't been established, establish it. Nothing makes it harder to imagine what is going on than if the characters are just floating in a 'white space.' Give them a world to interact with. Describing a new setting should probably take up a full paragraph. We are pirates and marines going on a massive adventure! Tell us about yours!
- Action: What is happening in this post that makes us want to read it? Action does not have to mean that fighting is going on, action simply means that something is happening. It could be internal conflict, it could be Zoro found a seat at the bar, Zoro might have picked some lint out of his belly-button. It doesn't matter the specifics of the action, just that something happened and you made us interested enough to read it.
- Resolution/Suspense: You post must contain a logical end to it. You can use these to hint at what you would like to happen next. Such as, "Usopp fired his shotgun at Broggy, hoping that it would hit him. If it did, then his plan would begin." Naturally Broggy is going to be curious to see what Usopp's plan is, so he's now more likely to let the bullet hit him. The ending of your post is crucial in that you finish your step and wait for someone else to start theirs. Give them something to work with.
This is the meat of your post. Describe, describe, describe. You are painting a picture for people to look at, so you should make it good. What ever you do, do it with a description. Don't just say that you ran from the enemy, say you ran like a pirate from Impel Down. Say that the table wasn't only green, but that it had marking from the void century on it. Did you kill something? Well then say how you killed it. Now too much detail can be a problem sometimes, but if you are having that problem, just back off a little bit and you'll be fine. The point of description is just so that people reading it can get a mental picture of what is going on. You don't want your character to just stand there with his hands straight down at his sides while he talks.
- Use different forms of the word said. This one change can really liven up a post and make it look of a much higher quality. Click here for a list of alternate words for the word.
- Use a thesaurus! If you feel like you have used a word to many times (like more then twice), then you need to look for a synonym for that word. That is exactly what a thesaurus if for. Click here for an online thesaurus. Travel to a library or your living room for a real one.
- Use lots of descriptive words. Proper use of imagery can really bring a post to life, so don't forget to add some. Click here for a decent list of adjectives, but by no means limit yourself to only those.
- Read over your own posts before posting it. I find that over 90% of all issues can be cleared up by just seeing if things sound and look right.