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Author Topic: The blog of Raphael - my personal role-play guidelines  (Read 1783 times)

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Offline RaphaelTopic starter

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The blog of Raphael - my personal role-play guidelines
« on: November 15, 2010, 09:46:22 AM »
I have been introduced to role-playing as a form of writing only quite recently; as I go, and as my first dozen role-plays progress, I learn.

Recently, I sat down and I collected everything I've learned so far into a single line of thought, and I wrote it down: I formulated my own rules of thumb, guidelines, and general principles of role-playing. Now, I am trying to learn to follow these rules.


Here are they:

- Create a deep character: bio, physical appearance and features, motivations and aspirations, psychological and emotional characteristics should intertwine to create a consistent, logic-based, dynamic personality. (see Amelia's Blog - Character Creation and Development for some further advice.)

- Develop my character through the story: make them change in some way, learn or understand something new, add, remove, or change their aspirations and motivations.

- No post without a purpose: make sure each and every one of my posts does -at least- one of the following three things (and just one is a bare minimum, usually I'd go for at least two): reveal character, develop character, advance the story.

- Allow my characters to act:
let my character contribute to the plot, not just react and interact and follow the story idly or passively without adding to it.

- Plant at least two hooks in each post:
hooks are dialogue lines, actions, emotions, or events in my post that my role-playing partner can use in different ways to their choosing - or with other words, things that my partner can choose in what way to use them, can have multiple options and the opportunity to decide for themselves. The more options I give them, the better. For example: "Hey!" he said, staring at her breasts.  --- with this hook, my partner can decide whether their character is angered, upset, amused, indifferent, embarrassed, happy, sarcastic, aroused, whether she fights, hides, responds, ignores it, etc - it gives them quite allot of options to choose from.

- Keep dialogue lines and flowing action short:
no matter how long my post is, I try to keep dialogue and action short enough to allow my partner to keep up easily and to make the interaction intense and fluid.

- Make each of my posts full: no matter how short my post is, it should always have - something external (dialogue, action, reaction, expression of emotion), something internal (internal emotion, internal monologue, flashback), hooks, and description.

- Follow the story rules:
each RP has a certain story world, certain setting, certain mood, certain boundaries. I always follow them to the letter, or at least as best as I possibly can. This goes especially for group role-plays with a thorough and detailed setting. (see the Oath of the Drake for Group Role-Playing).

- Description is for my partner: description of scenery and characters should be used to help me and my partner stay on the same page, to visualize the setting and the story the same way.

- Role-playing is about playing a role: the essence of my role-playing should be internal emotion, internal monologue, character progress.

- Stay away from the story: I should try to stay away from the story as a writer, I only participate through my character.

- Make no mistakes: I try to make as few mistakes as possible - anywhere from typos to misunderstanding my partner's latest post. I always read my post at least twice before posting it. My mistakes will spoil my partner's experience.

- Don't be demanding: I never demand regular posting or post length from my partners. Miss Muse is a tricky thing to handle, so I try to leave my partners alone. If they're good partners, they'll come around on their own.

- Always seek to have fun: with each and every post.

I am publishing my guidelines in my blog for two reasons - to see what others think and to further motivate myself to follow them. Comments and discussion are welcome.


- Raphael
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 10:15:39 AM by Raphael »

Offline Damned Eternally

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Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 10:46:19 AM »
I have found these tips and pointers very helpful. Having not long started RP-ing, I still struggle with certain aspects of writing.
I am an impulse writer, I post straight after reading posts and I shouldn't.
I don't think it helps that I started RP-ing on twitter, which is pretty much instant RP, as with IM. So having the opportunity to put descriptive detail into my posts and spending time working on a storyline and progressing my characters and their situations, is all new.

Thankfully I have understanding RP Partners who are helping coach me to be a better role player. I am fortunate that they believe there is some potential in my writing.

Thank you for the advice Ris xxx

Offline mrsjaz

Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 08:41:39 AM »
Yes, you have more or less covered all my misstakes (lol).

Your tips are very good. They may seem too obvious to some,
especially if you understand the Oath, but to people new to role-playing/writing,
they should be useful guides as to how to get along, and help them avoid many
mistakes.  :-)

Offline RaphaelTopic starter

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Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 08:54:55 AM »
Thank you both for your comments! I appreciate it that someone took the time to read my blog ;D


Your tips are very good. They may seem too obvious to some,
especially if you understand the Oath, but to people new to role-playing/writing,
they should be useful guides as to how to get along, and help them avoid many
mistakes.  :-)


You're right, these aren't some deep and difficult guidelines or tips :-) Most of them are more or less obvious and common sense. But following them all at once - that's something even very experienced writers sometimes can't do. I listed them down neatly so that I can look at them and remind myself to follow them ALL. Sometimes the obvious is most difficult to follow, because since it's obvious we'll assume we can do it on an instinct, like breathing or walking. But we can't.

Offline mrsjaz

Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 11:10:33 AM »
Suppose you were given the skeleton of a “good” role-play to read,
a guide for newbie role-players, (maybe even in the form of a role-play).

Would that have helped or hindered you?

I’m not saying good stories are hard to find as I’ve read some dam good ones,
but role-playing for me, is not so easy. As you have said,even more experienced
writers make errors of style and grammar and the like.

I agree with D.E, the impulse to write can rule over our senses at times.
Pride, ego, and lots of other basic motivators like being lazy, can make role-playing a newbie nightmare. Anything that helps improve that is good   

Offline RaphaelTopic starter

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Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 11:15:27 AM »
Suppose you were given the skeleton of a “good” role-play to read,
a guide for newbie role-players, (maybe even in the form of a role-play).

Would that have helped or hindered you?


I'm not sure, to be honest. ;D Perhaps rather hinder me than help me, because what IS 'good role-play'? It's different for everybody, I believe.

Offline Zandy Allen

Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 04:58:23 PM »
This is a great help thank you

Online Oreo

Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 01:25:48 PM »
Thanks Ris. This is a very good construct of what I try to do with my posts. Leaving that hook is near essential for partner interaction. The other things I try to remember to include are the five senses. Utilizing them helps bring life to a post. We often think to incorporate sight and sound, but miss out on the feel, taste and scent of things.

I look forward to the further revelations of Ris :D

Offline RaphaelTopic starter

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Re: The blog of Ris - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2010, 01:28:58 PM »
Hey :-) Thank you, Oreo and Zandy Allen for your comments!

I try to remember to include are the five senses. Utilizing them helps bring life to a post. We often think to incorporate sight and sound, but miss out on the feel, taste and scent of things.

I agree! I forgot to include that into my rules. It's a part of the description techniques I use. Maybe I should write about description... lol. All in due time, though :-)

Offline Sandman02

Re: The blog of Raphael - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 07:20:29 PM »
  I've never seen the word "hook" used before in that context. If you coined the term, good job - that is a very good, solid term to keep in the back of one's mind when writing a post.

  I've roleplayed before but I've never compiled a list like that to help me along. I agree with everything you say, and would like to think that I adhere to them without question, but I admit that I impinge upon certain guidelines, either while being rushed or perhaps just multitasking. Writing these guidelines down would definitely help prevent that - I think I'll take a lesson. It was good to see someone else's serious, well thought-out opinion on the subject. Thank you

Offline RaphaelTopic starter

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Re: The blog of Raphael - my personal role-play guidelines
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2011, 02:55:22 AM »
I'm glad that people actually think I'm helpful :-) I have no idea if I have the right to claim the word "hook" as mine, I believe people have been using it before me, one way or another. But I do agree that it's a term that sticks, kinda hooks you up and doesn't let go. :-)