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Bex 05/16/2009 01:18 AM

Bexy's Simple Guide to RPing
Alright, as seen from the RP forum poll thread, there are a fair few people interested in RPing, which is fairly awesome! However, loads of people mentioned that they’d never RP’d before or had very little experience. So, although I’m not the Jesus of RP, I thought it might help if I posted a few tips on how to write an RP post. Most of these tips are based on my own experience, so if anyone wants to add, just give me a shout and I’ll add it on. There is, after all, tonnes of different RPing styles, so mine obviously won’t be the same as everyone else!

Hopefully, you guys might find something useful in here and it’ll help you on your way to starting your RP life!

First off, I just want to tell you guys that although RP might seem daunting for a newbie, it’s really not as scary as it all looks! The only thing I would really suggest is to read the rules of the RP section. Seriously. Memorise them, write them down, whatever - because that list is the Rosetta stone of the section! It’ll help you in writing prose in general RP format, which is quite different in structure from your standard creative style.

This tutorial will help you with writing your first few RP posts, and after your first few you’ll have no doubt picked up a load of techniques from everyone else.

Writing your first RP post.

Okay, so by the time you’ve got to this point, you’ve signed up to the RP and created a character (I’ll post a character tutorial in another thread soon). Now you’re facing the biggest hurdle of all RPers - The First Post. The reason why it’s so particularly hard is that you have zero character interaction to work with, you haven’t had a chance to play as that character before and a lot of the time, the world in which you’re playing is exceptionally vague, as it’s not been explored by many other characters either! One thing you will have to do before you write your post is immerse yourself in your character’s personality and the little context you’ll be given about the world in which the RP is set. Really try and empathise with your character, think about how they live, how they act and more importantly, how you can involve them in the context or how you can relate the context to them.

The worst problem you can have on your first RP post is actually figuring out a direction for your character. You get all pumped up after writing your bio, then you get to this point and it’s a bit like ‘ogod what now?’. I suggest that as you write your character bio, you draw a spider-diagram or brainstorm possible storylines for your character, they come in very handy! If you have real trouble trying to write an opening post, just look at your profile once again. You can introduce them through their profession, they could have landed themselves in trouble due to a personality flaw, they could be pursuing someone, or chasing up their past, hell they could even be sat in a bar having a drink or something! Plus think about the world they’re in and the story you’ve been introduced to in the Sign-up thread. Sometimes it’s also helpful to look at the opening post of an RP by its creator. Not only will this give you a chance to plot future interactions, it will give you an idea of the general atmosphere of the RP. So once you’ve got a few ideas, just write them down. Not only will this help you now, but you’ll be a lot better for it in the long run when you’re stuck with writers’ block (this happens a lot!).

For me, I actually find the easiest way to write a post is to do it with old fashioned pen and paper. Not only does this allow you easy access to a plan (which you will have written before you start the post), but it also allows for you to proofread as you type it into word and spot any mistakes, grammatical errors or incoherent points!
Find a tidy, clear area to work in, free of distractions.
Not like this :

But like this :

Print out the story summary in the sign-up thread, grab a pen and paper and turn on some motivational music. Like so :

Most of you will already know all of this, but use spell-check when you type up your RP posts! Correct grammar and spelling are really important and give off a real good impression. Plus - paragraph your post. It makes it a lot easier to structure and read! I would also suggest that you use bold every time your character opens his/her mouth, like so:


She paused in thought as Talon strode confidently towards her, meeting the girl’s bright sapphire eyes with his own.

"Same eyes you two...and you're quite the daisy Tobias bragged of. A good man he is, few I respect and he'd be one of them. This ain't no ordinary Nexus as you may have noticed miss, your old man helped make sure of that. I owe him a lot."

…Talon’s kindly tonality had considerably softened Lilith’s opinion of him, and she grinned before muttering sheepishly.

“Everyone says that, but Dad always said I have the same eyes as Mom…”

Lilith’s voice trailed off as she blushed, before smiling foolishly at the Pilot. She watched as his fixed beryl stare darted to the locked bridge bulwark.
Also, other people will find your post easier to read if you assign a different colour to each character’s speech, as seen in the above example. As for lengths of an opening post, I would say about 7 or 8 paragraphs thereabouts. Use 2 paragraphs to introduce your character, 4 paragraphs to develop the story and further establish your character and then use the last 2 to end your post in a place so you can easily follow on in your next one! I would recommend that your opening post be over 1000 words, but it’s really all up to you.

After that, write away, but make sure you always pay attention to your plan. It’s serious business and really helpful when it comes to structuring your post. So do it!

Writing a follow-up post

Once you’ve passed the opening post hurdle, it’s pretty much easy going! You’ll have grasped some of the technique involved in RPing and some pro-tips from others. Writing follow up posts is a little different from the opening one. First off, and most obviously, you’re further into the story. You’ll have more things to fit into your post which your character may have a particularly strong reaction to. Secondly, you’ll probably have another character to interact with, whether it be NPC or another RPer. If it’s another RPer, it’s best to discuss your actions and interactions with that person. More importantly remember the rules of god-modding! (see the rules section) As long as you consider these things and remember how you wrote your first post, it should be fairly simple for you.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how I would write a follow up post:
1) Print off your previous post and those of the other RPers who are involved in the same event:

2) Grab your pen and do some analysing. Look at how your character spoke, focus on the other character’s speech and your reaction to it. Consider your characters actions in the previous posts, and how this would influence a reaction from either you or the other character.

3) Write out your plan. Focus on a beginning, a middle and an end once again. Keep your character’s personality in mind at all times as you write your plan, as his/her speech and actions will shape the other characters’ opinions and future storylines.

4) Keep your plan in front of you and start writing! A follow-up post can be quite short or as lengthy as you want. I think it would be a safer bet to keep it over 4 paragraphs ideally, but once again, it’s all up to you.

Hopefully you guys have found this at least a little bit helpful! These aren’t strict rules or guidelines at all, but rather just some advice if you’re new to the scene and need a helping hand. Remember, in the end how you write your post is all up to you. As long as you stay within the rules of the section, you’re free to experiment! If you have any questions at all, feel free to PM Meteo or I with your query. :3

Best of luck with your writing!

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