A good RP is like a game of catch. Your partner throws you a post, and you have to be able to 'catch' it and throw it back. How far you throw, or how complicated your trajectory only matters if your partner is able to catch it.
I agree with this wholeheartedly.
To me, being a good RolePlayer is more about OOC than IC.
RolePlaying is a multiplayer sport, and there is as much variety among role players as there is among people. I think itís kinda missing the point to focus simply on the content of somebodyís posts. Personally, I always have more fun with a game when I can laugh and enjoy myself with the person Iím writing with.
But even that isnít a requirement for being a good role player. Just because I prefer to be friendly and talkative doesnít mean thatís the way everybody wants to play. So here are the things that I think are vital to being a great role player.
Communication. If you canít talk to your partner about whatís going on in the game, youíre going to have trouble. A lot of drama can come up through lack of communication. How can you be sure that your partner is having a good time if they donít say anything? If you donít ask? How can you solve problems if you donít know that theyíre there?
Consideration. Again, this is a multiplayer game. You are not the only participant. When you play from your characterís perspective, itís easy to start to believe that the story is about your character, but itís not. Youíre only part of the story. Become invested in characters that donít belong to you. Enjoy them not because they are of use to you, but because they belong to your partner. Donít be self-absorbed.
Reading & Reaction. This one is huge! Read your partners posts closely. Maybe this is just a personal opinion as well, but for me there are few things as enjoyable as my partner picking out the subtleties of my writing. If I say first that the drawer was open, and that when the characters come back the drawer was closed, Iím utterly ecstatic if my partner notices this difference and infers that someone else was in the room, or even adds to the mystery themselves. Allowing your characters to react, or at least reacting via narration shows your partner that youíre paying attention. Conversely, talking about the sunny skies after your partner has mentioned the rainy weather can break the mood and, if done too often, make your partner feel as though you donít care about the story.
This is just a start, honestly, but... I would rather one small paragraph riddled with poor grammar that shows my partner is being considerate and thinking about my part of the story than five long paragraphs of beautifully written prose in which my character or contribution is completely ignored.
I would say that you can never truly judge a good role player from seeing one post, or even only their posts. Good writers? Sure. But you canít tell if they are being considerate to their partner unless you read the entire interaction over a span of time.
Also remember that good writing is often very economical and brief.