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Author Topic: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]  (Read 1286 times)

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Offline OneirosTopic starter

Are you having trouble getting/keeping RPs? Do people complain about your spelling, grammar, or punctuation? Is English not your first language, and you feel you're not as fluent as you could be? Want to build your vocabulary and flex your writing skill? Or do you just want to help out others who might need guidance to improve?

When you want to get better at something, the main way to do so is to practice, practice, practice, and RP is a great way to do that - but can be difficult if your partners aren't interested in correcting you so you can learn from your mistakes, or if partners drop you because of your writing level. I want this to be a group RP for those who want to get better at writing within the context of an RP, complete with advice and critiques for improvement, and kind-hearted, patient people willing to volunteer to help them.

I want this to be fun, so I'd love to get input from people about what kind of game they would like best before starting. The game will certainly be LGBT-friendly, and if I get a lot of people who have severely contrasting tastes and we can't quite agree on a single story that everyone can agree on, we can split it into smaller stories.

Though this game is clearly for people who want to improve, and I won't impose strict skill requirements, all I request is that you genuinely try to learn from your mistakes and show improvement. If someone consistently refuses to accept advice and shows now sign of improvement after a reasonable amount of time, they may be asked to leave the game.  Please join only if you are serious about improving, or are serious about helping others improve.

So far what I'm thinking is that, aside from story threads, there will be an OOC thread for chatting, and Ideas thread for brainstorming, and a Corrections and Critique thread for having your posts analyzed, mistakes corrected, and writing rules you may have broken explained. So we won't be able to start until we get at least four people, but hopefully there will be more interest than that ;)

If you are interested, post here, and perhaps give your input as to the kind of story/stories you would like to see worked into the game! It's wide open right now. Please let me know if you want to volunteer as a 'teacher' or if you're joining as a 'student' as well.

Here are some rules laid out:

Rules! To be revised and added to as I see fit.
  • Make an honest effort. No joining, getting critiqued, and refusing to do your part to try and improve. You can only get better if YOU want to.
     
  • No being mean if you're going to correct someone. If you're going to critique, do so in a constructive way, explaining what was done wrong and how to fix it.
     
  • No getting mad about being critiqued. If you can't handle someone going over your writing with a fine-toothed comb and telling you everything you messed up, perhaps you shouldn't join.
     
  • No walls of text. Even if you're not sure exactly where paragraph breaks should be, add some, it makes it easier to absorb your posts. When someone critiques you, they can help you out with paragraph breaks.
     
  • Edit your RP posts after being critiqued to reflect the corrective notes you received. 

Interest? Questions? Comments? Feel free to post below.

Story Brainstorming
(Copied from below comment for ease of access)
We should probably start thinking of some kind of story or setting at least, so people have some idea what kind of game this might be. A modern, non-fantasy setting might be easiest, but it might also be a bit boring, so we should decide exactly how 'normal' we want to make it.

We also need to consider a setting that would allow a diverse group of people to interact, and right off the top of my head some kind of school setting came to me. A prep/boarding school (everyone 16+ of course) or college of some kind allows for a great deal of diversity, since people from all different backgrounds and types could conceivably go to the same school. If anyone else has any other ideas, however, feel free to weigh in.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 08:33:32 AM by Fedora »

Offline kckolbe

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 11:36:01 AM »
Can we be teacher AND student?  I am really good at ooc brainstorming and character development, but horrible at imagery.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 11:40:38 AM »
Sure! Why not? If teachers want to have their posts critiqued too, they can say so. The line between 'teacher' and 'student' isn't meant to be very well defined, after all, people never stop learning. :) One can always get better at something.

If someone is crazy enough to want to be a 'teacher' but not actually participate in the RP, that's fine too. They can just write up corrections and critiques for the others if that's their thing, chat in the OOC and discuss the story even if they don't want (or are too busy to) RP.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:41:53 AM by Fedora »

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 01:55:39 PM »

   Huh, that's actually a good idea. I spent a lot of time proof reading for folks in school, especially the hard science types that couldn't spell five letter words. I've got zip on the RP front so I might as well find something to use this keyboard thing for.

   Three questions:

   Should we be keeping critique in PM's and using only general examples in the threads for this group?
   Can we also see about people that know the trickier bits of forum formatting for when people want to include pictures into posts?
   Is our first concern editing or engaging people in RPs so they can get more comfortable with writing?

   As for the teacher/student business... well teaching is always more teaching yourself than it is someone else isn't it? Trying to sort it out for yourself and lay it out clearly is good exercise. That's the beauty of the one room schoolhouse.

Offline Carlissa

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 02:19:17 PM »
I'm always up for improving my skills, so this might be a feat experience for me. I'll be watching this thread for the story.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 02:23:25 PM »
Excellent questions! Let's see if I can get them answered.

1. I think everyone in the game can probably benefit from seeing other peoples' critiques, but it really depends on the exact content of the critique. Perhaps we can do corrections (paragraph breaks, spelling, punctuation, so on) in public, and if someone is doing an in-depth content critique, can do it via PMs - then ask if the person being critiqued minds it being made public.

2. I think it's an excellent idea to also offer tips and pointers on trickier forum coding. It's something not everyone knows how to do, and and might not be quite sure how to find out. Pictures and tagging systems are used in a lot of group RPs, so it's definitely something people could benefit from learning.

3. I'd like to see an equal emphasis on both, but I understand that one or the other might end up getting slowed down - if we RP too fast, people who are volunteering to offer critiques might fall behind, and if we wait for every post to get critiqued before continuing the RP, that will get slowed down. I guess we'll see if we can't maintain a nice balance. 

Also, very true. People who are 'teaching' will definitely still be learning, which is the way it should be. ^-^

In addition: welcome to the thread, Carlissa! Feel free to weigh in on what kind of story you think you'd be interested in. It's still wide open.

I'm also considering perhaps integrating a thread for more veteran members to give people advice on how to approach others for RPs/how to write a request thread. I see lots and lots of people here who really want to join in, but perhaps aren't very confident with their skills, or aren't sure how to approach others or how to write a request so it catches peoples' attention. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:25:55 PM by Fedora »

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 02:47:48 PM »


Sounds about right.

Quite a lot of things about request threads and other pages come down to style. As long as the first thing in mind is that short and long posts, literary and conversational approaches are just styles, not good and bad in themselves that should be fine.

It's largely why I bring up the pictures. I don't much care for them but when they're an option with the internet so better be integrated rather than pasted on with gobs of horse glue. Same goes for colour coded conversations and other computer gumbles.

Offline AribethAmkiir

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 02:51:45 PM »
Interested.  Like KC, I'd want to help and be critiqued. 


Maybe a game set in the modern world would be easiest for people to relate to?  It might also be the most appealing to the widest range of players.

As far as writing request threads, I think we could give examples, but if members of the group are wanting help I think it should be an open and inviting atmosphere where they can feel free to simply ask for it.  I'm not sure that a thread devoted solely to request threads is necessary.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 03:04:25 PM »
Quite a lot of things about request threads and other pages come down to style. As long as the first thing in mind is that short and long posts, literary and conversational approaches are just styles, not good and bad in themselves that should be fine.

Very true. A very common complaint I see is "No one ever responds to my requests! What am I doing wrong?", when they're not actually doing something wrong,  per se. I think it might be something people could be interested in getting input about (I'll continue this a bit in a minute below).

Welcome, Aribeth. ^-^

Maybe a game set in the modern world would be easiest for people to relate to?  It might also be the most appealing to the widest range of players.

Thanks for the input. I do agree that a game set in some kind of modern setting in which people can relate to easiest might be a good place to start, where we won't have to get into critiques about sci-fi technology, magical powers, fantasy races, or if someone's post is historically accurate.  Perhaps we could branch off into different settings or genres if we get a lot of interest in doing so as time goes on. 

Quote
As far as writing request threads, I think we could give examples, but if members of the group are wanting help I think it should be an open and inviting atmosphere where they can feel free to simply ask for it.  I'm not sure that a thread devoted solely to request threads is necessary.

Also a good point, which I did consider. It's not something that really needs to have its own dedicated 'space', but perhaps could be a 'lesson' that could be conducted in one of the OOC threads, much like the forum formatting, which also doesn't really need its own thread. If people would also like more personalized advice, they can also bring up their questions for input.

Offline Top Cat

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 03:40:42 PM »
Color me tentatively interested, as a Writer.

Very true. A very common complaint I see is "No one ever responds to my requests! What am I doing wrong?", when they're not actually doing something wrong,  per se. I think it might be something people could be interested in getting input about (I'll continue this a bit in a minute below).
If there's no interest, there's something wrong, but it may simply be a case of too narrow of scope, or too vague of an idea. Or perhaps just that it's being posted at the wrong time of day.

Or, perhaps the would-be players feel that the GM him/herself isn't putting enough effort into the setup, taking too much of a hands-off approach and/or spreading themself too thin... Not that I could be referring to anyone specific, mind you. ;)

Offline Lockepick

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 04:06:52 PM »
I would love to learn more. Elliquiy in general has made me terrified that I'm shattering all sorts of grammar rules in my posts. I would love to have my writing torn apart and the still beating heart shown to me! Honestly, it would be a great honor that somebody else was willing to put effort into critiquing my work like that. Color me interested.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2013, 04:09:49 PM »
Welcome, locke! I'm glad to have you aboard. ;D

ETA: Whoops, wrote this up in a different window and forgot to post it:

Welcome, Top Cat!

If there's no interest, there's something wrong, but it may simply be a case of too narrow of scope, or too vague of an idea. Or perhaps just that it's being posted at the wrong time of day.

Or, perhaps the would-be players feel that the GM him/herself isn't putting enough effort into the setup, taking too much of a hands-off approach and/or spreading themself too thin... Not that I could be referring to anyone specific, mind you. ;)

Good points, though I was more thinking of one-on-one RP requests. Usually you get SOME interest in group RPs as long as you have a broad enough appeal, but getting people for one-on-ones can be a different ordeal entirely.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 04:11:48 PM by Fedora »

Offline Top Cat

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2013, 04:35:10 PM »
Ah, I see what you mean. From what I've seen (admittedly, not all that much, in the 6 weeks or so that I've been here), the "Wanted" things that go unfilled for long are ones that are too specific, where the entire scenario is completely filled out, without much room for the prospective partner to put his/her mark on the story; or ones that involve too many disparate kinks all at once. But even those can be filled eventually if you're just patient enough.

Offline DS2K

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2013, 05:54:59 PM »
I'm always up for improving my skills with someone can put up with my bad spelling. I'll be watching this thread.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2013, 08:29:29 PM »
*waves*  I'd like to offer help here too.  I write a monthly column for the Elliquian Herald & Post titled "RP Tips & Tricks."  The topics are pulled from questions I've seen asked around the site or problems I've noticed others struggling with.  There may be something in there that could help or something that might generate a question.  Feel free to read the RP Tips articles going back for more than a year and ask me anything you want here in the thread and I'll try to answer you.

You can click to the April issue from the link in my signature.  The current article offers a few suggestions for writing action scenes.  I'm not an expert; just someone trying to help.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly]
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2013, 08:18:49 AM »
Welcome DS2K, and Beguile's Mistress! The H&P is something I tend to keep forgetting exists, so thanks for pointing out that you write a tips column there :)

We should probably start thinking of some kind of story or setting at least, so people have some idea what kind of game this might be. A modern, non-fantasy setting might be easiest, but it might also be a bit boring, so we should decide exactly how 'normal' we want to make it.

We also need to consider a setting that would allow a diverse group of people to interact, and right off the top of my head some kind of school setting came to me. A prep/boarding school (everyone 16+ of course) or college of some kind allows for a great deal of diversity, since people from all different backgrounds and types could conceivably go to the same school. If anyone else has any other ideas, however, feel free to weigh in.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 08:33:17 AM by Fedora »

Offline kckolbe

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2013, 09:22:03 AM »
If you want to do a school setting, I can make up a very simple system as an intro to system games once I have a better idea of the setting.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2013, 09:33:00 AM »
I think that might be an interesting idea. Using a simple system, perhaps just for grades or something else that doesn't affect the story too much, could be a good way to introduce people to how systems work, without alienating people who don't really like systems. It could just be for 'flavor'.

Offline kckolbe

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2013, 09:58:23 AM »
I figure it would be something like ability in different classes, nothing special, just enough to introduce objective dice-rolling.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2013, 10:00:44 AM »
Exactly - I do like that idea. :) I guess we'll see if people are for or significantly against it, but I do think rolling for school performance to introduce people to systems could be fun.

Offline Sarah Morgan

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2013, 06:19:50 AM »
This sounds like it could be fun!  It's also a unique idea, and one I haven't come across in the nearly two years I've been on E.  Count me interested as a participant in the RP, and I can also help in critiquing spelling.  I do pretty well with grammar, but I'm not sure I'd be able to explain rules well enough to help someone out who's having trouble.  As far as my own writing goes, I feel like I could use advice in being more descriptive, as I feel that sometimes is lacking in my posts.  I haven't had any complaints, so it could just be me being too critical of myself, but because of my visual impairment and not having ever seen objects in reality before, I'm always afraid I'm not putting enough details in when I post.

As fa as the setting goes, I think a school would work pretty well, though we'd have to come up with a premise for it, I'd think, unless we stick to the day-to-day activities that go on.  As far as a system, I generally tend to stick to free form games myself, but only because I've found that a lot of rule books aren't made available in a format that I as a blind player can use, though if we can come up with something simple without a lot of rules or mechanics, I'd try it.

Offline yobo

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2013, 09:48:36 AM »
This looks really interesting. English is not my first language, and I am very much up for improving my English. As well as my writing in general. So I would sign up as a student.

One question, and this might have been mentioned earlier as I must admit I just skimmed through the last posts. How about students reviewing other students texts as well? Not as thorough as a teacher would of course, but I've had some experience doing this as a student with academic texts, and it is a great way to learn and see how other is doing things. It would be more informal, and maybe only for those who wished to participate?

Offline Thorne

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2013, 09:59:12 AM »
In the spirit of 'there's always room for improvement', I'm interested.
And especially with my RP posts; I've gotten into some bad habits (I think) that I'd like to run down and fix.


Offline Andi

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2013, 10:53:28 AM »
I'm definitely interested. Practice is always welcome. Would like to see more about the proposed setting, admittedly.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Re: Writing for RPs 101 [Interest Check - LGBT friendly - Brainstorming]
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2013, 10:58:26 AM »
Welcome, newcomers :) Sadly I'm busy with after-Easter visitation stuff right now so I can only check in, but I'll be back later today to give everyone a proper greeting!

Since the setting is still not set in stone, feel free to come up with ideas of things you'd like to see worked into the game. Things you like in a story, what kind of drama could happen, so on. I'll join in when I get a minute!

And I do think letting 'students' do corrections and critiques is a good idea. Correcting work is a good way to learn how to spot mistakes and avoid making them.

Anyway! Back later!