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Author Topic: How much of roleplaying is Writing and How much is Social Interaction?  (Read 558 times)

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Offline Love And SubmissionTopic starter

I like to think of myself as a decent writer. I'm far from a professional and my characters tend to have overlapping traits. Yet despite all the talent I believe myself to  possess ,   I seem to have a hard time keeping a  roleplay going for long periods of time. I have no trouble writing nor do I lack inspiration , It just seems that in my experience on this site , there's this huge  social side to roleplaying that I don't grasp.

Is there anyway for me to fix this? I enjoy roleplaying because I like writing. It's a fine hobby that I wish to continue but I seem  to be at a loss when it comes to the outer mechanism of roleplaying. I seem to focus  more on my character and the enjoyment I receive writing them then I do my partners enjoyment of the story. How do I find a balance in this? Is there a balance to be struck? Do I simply need to search harder for people whose writing styles match my own? What about group games?  I tend to prefer group games. The vivid imagery of  my character's actions within in a society brings me unparalleled joy yet at the same time I find difficult in tailoring my character to match the others who join.

Does anyone have any tips on how to do this?

Offline rou

Re: How much of roleplaying is Writing and How much is Social Interaction?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 04:26:14 PM »
I may not have very much in the way of specific tips, but I’d like to add to the discussion.

To me, RP is a social activity and an interactive activity equally. The non-social aspect of RP, that makes it different from just writing, is the in-character interactivity. You do something, and someone else reacts. The world reacts. You can’t do that by writing by yourself. You don’t necessarily need to be social to get that. But either way, it’s not another character reacting. It’s another person. There is somebody else just like you, sitting at their computer just like you are, putting effort into writing. It’s a bad idea to forget that.

I seem to focus more on my character and the enjoyment I receive writing them then I do my partners enjoyment of the story.

Maybe this is your first problem? I understand, because it’s difficult not to do this. We see the world from our perspective. But the other people around us are, in fact, people. The character playing opposite yours isn’t an NPC. It’s a multiplayer game. This is as much their story as is it yours. Learn to appreciate reading as much an you appreciate writing. It’s important that you learn to love and care about the other characters, and not just your own, because like in real life, this imaginary world does not exist solely to tell your character’s story.

As far as trying to keep games, I suggest starting a conversation with your partners. It’s harder for them to forget they owe you a post when you’re in the middle of discussing something with them. In my experience, I enjoy the games far more when I talk about them with my partner. Sometimes it’s planning ahead. Sometimes we just discuss things that have happened so far or are happening right now (“Oh, I really love their chemistry. It was so hilarious when your character said ____.”) and when I have been feeling a little worn and tired, those discussions have renewed me eagerness and enthusiasm, and made me post faster because thinking about it made me crave it, like seeing food commercials on TV.

When you don’t socialize with your partners, you’re out of sight and out of mind.

I apologize if this was a little messy and didn’t make much sense. I’m sure I have much more to say on the subject, but I’m tired and it’s Thanskgiving. x.x;

Offline Crimson Caine

Re: How much of roleplaying is Writing and How much is Social Interaction?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 05:02:04 PM »
I think roleplaying has always been more about the social interaction if you come at it from having done table top RPGs.  I mean, I hung out with some strange people in my time, people I probably wouldn't have if it wasn't for RPGs.  Half the fun of game night was going to someones house, ordering food that was bad for you, drinking and laughing your butt off at the dumb jokes and the various interactions.  I think if you come at it from a writing perspective, it's a little more difficult.  Mine kind of coincided.  I was into RPGs a little before I got into writing when I was young.  Writing is typically not a social interaction at all.  It is lonely, quiet work.  If I didn't have that table top RPG experience I think I would have gotten lost a bit when I first started.

My advice would be to do what you are already doing, join the group games.  Get into the OCC and chat away.  My first RPG experience was a PBEM game with a person who'd written their own RPG.  It was an established group and I kind of felt like an outsider.  But they would do an IRC game ever few weekends and getting to chat with everyone, as well as chatting with the main woman writing the character mine was dealing with in IM, I really got to open up and take in everything.  If you focus only on the game and the character, especially only yours, you are going to have a miserable time.  I've been in those group games on some boards were I didn't put myself out and I grew to dislike the game.

I think you have to approach things from a joint perspective.  If you were writing a joint story for something, it would be a collaboration. You have to have given and take. To me, that is the fun of things and I think you have to learn to enjoy that.  I know a lot of people what a story that is set on rails, they want what they want.  To me, I've come to love the curves my writing partners can throw into a story, to me it makes a better story.  That's the point I think of these types of one on one games.  A lot of my ideas are vague, a starting point.  I probably could design it into a full fledged solo story but when I get a good partner, those stories blossom into something totally unique.  I get perspectives and ideas I would never have thought of because I'm limited by my point of view.  Yes, it does come with some inherent risks, but I think it's something you need to embrace.

I think you do need to look for people who's style you match.  You need to talk with them.  Both about the game and just stuff as well.  When they throw out an idea, look at it and see if it adds to things, what interesting paths will it take the story.  Don't just dismiss it because it's not yours.  It can be difficult, you will probably have to write and drop a few stories.  Be honest with your partners and dare.  That's my best advice.