Hello and thank you for taking a few moments to look at my request thread. :)
This is always a tough topic to tackle, so please bear with me.
I’ve been roleplaying and writing in one form or another for nearly 30 years; from the ancient BBS and MUDs to chatrooms and IM's to tabletop and LARP. These days, I'm only interested in writing/roleplaying in forums.[/justify
Blindness and Role-Playing
[size=22]I am blind.[/size][/i]
What this means is that while I can write in a descriptive, even colorful fashion, I cannot see images of any kind. While I appreciate that people like to have visual prompts to fuel their imaginations, I'm afraid that I can't see these images. This also means that I cannot offer images of my own for you to use without assistance. For what I feel are understandable reasons, I am reluctant to ask others to search for and provide me with an image for a story with another player. What I can do is give you as thorough of a description as you might like of the character that I intend to play and continue to add detail to the description to aid you in visualizing the character. If you must have such an image, I welcome you to pick something that would work for you and use it with my blessing. There is a detailed explanation on how I use computers in a spoiler at the bottom of this post for the curious.
A quick note on names, grammar and spelling. Because I don’t always get the correct spelling of names, due in part to how my screen reader pronounces names, I not only welcome corrections when I make a mistake, but ask for these corrections. As an example, Dana and Donna are pronounced differently, but my software pronounces both of them as “Donna”. In the same way, some words are not pronounced correctly and I make mistakes in spelling them. While I strive to get everything correct, if I make typoes, or everything isn’t grammatically perfect, I don't get overly concerned about it. As I suspect is true of most of us, I don’t have a Harvard English degree, so, if you expect a publishable level of quality from your partner… well, I may not be a good fit for you. This is a hobby, not a profession and I try to get things right; like everyone, I don't always succeed.
In a similar vein, some forms of punctuation are vital for me to understand what is being written. Proper usage of elements such as the period ).), apostrophy ('), capitalization, and the comma (,) allows my screen reader to properly read material that I'm trying to read. If you don't use a period and capitalization in particular, understanding what you are trying to convey is very, very difficult.
I love to take the time to talk about the story, the characters and what each of us would like to get from a partnership. I believe that open lines of communications are a must. I love the process of developing characters, so you should expect some time to be spent before we think about starting a story; it's just one of those things that I need to do and this, coupled with discussions of the story itself, might take some time before I'm ready to start the easy part of writing in a thread. It's when I feel rushed to begin the actual thread that I begin to feel my enthusiasm for the story diminish and I become reluctant to begin at all.
While I love to pre-plan a lot, I’m also a fan of letting the story flow where it will. When the characters take on a life of their own and they begin to guide the story, it really comes alive for me; It’s a living and breathing thing and we are just telling the story for it. Nothing is more enjoyable for me than to discover where things are going to go once we give it breath. Structure is good, but freedom is better!
Writing and Posting Patterns
I am a strong believer in the concept of quality over quantity. I don’t require a minimum number of words or paragraphs because it’s a flawed assumption that numbers make a good story; Any 5th grader can fill a page with words, but a word-smith can do the same with a paragraph. If you can get across what you’re trying to say in 4 or 5 sentenses, it’s fine. If you need 1,200 words, that’s ok too. If you require a certain number of paragraphs, or so many words in a post, I may not be the right fit for you. I can (obviously) produce a lot of content, but what am I really saying if my goal is to just put a lot of words into a post? I've read that politics is the art of saying nothing with as many words as possible; so lets try to not make role-play an example of political theory, shall we?
I try to respond to all of my threads within 72 hours. Unfortunately, life, the ISP or even the muse just doesn’t allow me to keep to this time frame. I have responded as often as 10 to 12 times a day if everything is working the right way, or a post every couple of days may be more realistic. If you don’t see a response from me by the end of a week, drop me a PM; I may not of seen the post or, as seems to happen more and more often, , my own post never got into the thread.
I always write in third person, past tense. This is just what I'm comfortable with and works best for me. I will not ask my partner to use the same writing style, but it is what I'm most comfortable with.
I play both male and female characters; I’ve been told on more than a few occasions that I play a convincing female. Of course, if you’re determined to find a flaw, you will, but overall, I think that I do a good job. At any rate, the sex of my partner and the sex of the character that they play has no bearing on my willingness to write with them. If you’re male and want to play a female, a hermaphrodite, a dog, hell, if you want to play an asteroid, it’s fine with me. Same with a female player. As long as you want to try to do it well, I’m happy to write with you.
I am very old school about common courtesy; even if it’s not-so-common these days. If you PM me, I will give you a response. I feel that if you put forth the effort of writing to me that you deserve the respect of a response, even if that response is only a “No thank you”.
Yes, I Really Am Blind. So, How do I write and use a web-site?
I've been asked about this dozens of times since I've joined E, and I don't mind answering the question; if you never ask a question, you'll never get an answer, right?
But, after explaining it so many times, it dawned on me that perhaps I should just add it to my introduction and hope that while someone is hopefully reading this post, they'll read this part as well.
The short and sweet of it is that I use what is called a screen reader. This is a program, software application, or simply an app that converts text on a display into an audible format via speakers. The software "reads" the screen to me and then reads back to me what I type on the keyboard. The application is called JAWS, or Job Access For Windows, and is produced by Freedom Scientific in Florida. The program is pretty robust, but it has some limitations. First of all, it can't describe, or even tell me that there are graphics on the screen. So, when you send me an image, I don't even know that it's there if you don't point it out. I still can't see it, but i'll know that it's there at that point.
Another limitation is that it doesn't usually tell me about formatting in post or PM's. If I quote the text, I can see the marks, but just reading, it all looks the same. I do obviously use formatting, and that isn't a problem... just seeing it. Spelling of some words and names are also difficult, so I may not be aware that a name is spelled oddly or a particular word is misspelled. Some of those misspelled words are actually the correct spelling of a similar word and spell-checkers won't catch them. Typo's are a way of life for me and if it's an issue... there's not a lot that I can do for it.
That is, in a nutshell, how I communicate via the internet, computers and E with all of you. I hope that this has made sense to someone out there.
Thank you for reading this and my most current request can be found in the next post.