Role-Playing with Tact: How to not suck at Role Play!

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Role-Playing with Tact: How to not suck at Role Play!

Post  Damxge on Fri May 06, 2016 10:48 pm

Hello! My name is Mike, AKA Damxge, and I'm one of the admins here on Ex (In case the red name and tag didn't give it away.) And while I handle the technical issues that plague the forum, I'm also an avid role-player, and have been one for well over six or seven years. In my time taking part in all kinds of various role plays, I've learned a lot about the finer points of writing in a collaborative environment. As well as taking part in a lot of very diverse role plays, I've hosted plenty of my own, some of which exceeded my expectations in their successes to blow up into thousands of posts and novels worth of story written by a dozen or more individual players with their own unique styles. I feel I've learned from all of these experiences and that gets me to my main point.

Here, I'm going to give you a guide on avoiding some of the pitfalls many role players fall into, and keeping your experience fun and exciting. Now all of this has to be taken with a grain of salt because it is MY OWN PERSONAL opinions and views on the subject matter. Your own opinions may differ, and that's perfectly fine, as long as you're having fun!

Some of the stuff I'm going to cover includes the following, cut into nice, tidy sections for your viewing pleasure.

The Players (Including You) and Your Characters.
Creating dangerous characters.
Keeping in character.
Indecisive Admins and players.
Dealing with difficult players.
Communication within the collaboration.
Godmodding and how to stop it. (As a player.)


The Stories!
The fear of progression.
"Milling" and other annoying posts.
The differences between individual character advancement and sidetracking.
Differences of opinion and how to resolve them.
Pacing advancement.
Originality is important.


The RP'ing Mindset
Dangerous characters - Extended.
It's for fun, so have fun.
Ruining immersion and how not to.
Being the least skilled RPer in a game, yikes.
Don't overload! You might explode!
Separating characters from players.





I'll be going down the lists in the fashion show above, just look for the orange text for the start of each new item. The list will be updated as I come up with more stuff to add and as people contribute their own experience or questions. So without further ado, let's get to business.





The Players (Including You) and Your Characters.


Creating dangerous characters.

When I say "dangerous", I don't mean they're going to jump out of the screen and kill you, nor do I mean they're going to kill everything in the game (though they might, depending on you.) What I mean when I say dangerous characters is that they are deeply connected to you.
The line between a character that IS you and a character that HAS some of your characteristics is a very fine line indeed. Extremely personal characters have a chance to blow up in your face, just because of how automatically attached you are to the character. If the character isn't received well, there's a good chance you're going to be offended on a personal level, as if the people are responding badly to you as a person rather than to a character you created.
For some people it's hard to create a character that isn't them. This is seated in the comfort that comes with writing from your own perspective. You never have to ask yourself "What would [insert character name] do?" All you ask yourself is "What would I do?". This complacency can lead to some very sloppy writing, character development, character interactions, and other issues.
So the takeaway is: Create a character that you can relate to on certain issues. This is really one of the best ways to feel that connection to your characters and give them some real passion, but don't craft them too closely to yourself, or you'll become repetitive and get bored, or worse, offended when your characters aren't received well, or if you're criticized for your characters.

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Keeping in character.

While writing, you may find yourself slipping out of character. Either accidentally writing in the habits of another character or simply writing as yourself. It can be very difficult to do sometimes, particularly when writing large posts or when starting a brand new character with a new personality. There is really no surefire way to keep yourself in-character, but there are some tips and tricks I've learned that may help one or two people out who are having this issue. And most of the time, this becomes less of an issue the more your write and the better you become at role-playing in general.

One good way to keep in character is to link one of their base characteristics to yourself, and then channel that characteristic when writing. Your creations don't have to be complete, living, breathing, feeling organisms; they can be simple, single minded in their motivations, and easy to grasp. Naturally as you get more practice, you'll want to progress to more complex characters with many layers. But don't feel bad starting out simple if you know you're having issues. Connect to your deep-seated need to be positive and create a character based around that. Or the anger you've got bottled up inside, ready to explode. Or even the deep sadness you feel in your soul. These characters can be solid, even without a ton of depth, and this base feeling can make for some very passionate characters and writing.
Just make sure to take into consideration what I said above about dangerous characters. There's a difference between channeling a few particular characteristics and just copying all of your own.

Another way to keep in character is to develop the character before jumping into the RP. Create a deep, filled backstory, develop their life, their friends, their motives, their loves, triumphs, heartbreaks, failures, develop them so thoroughly that someone else could write from their perspective. This is almost the opposite of the advice I gave above, which was to keep it simple and passionate, and it depends on you which one will work. They both worked well for me when I first started, and that's why I suggest them here.
Once you have a fully fleshed out character that leaves nothing to chance, you'll be able to go back and read over the character should you run into a situation where you're just not sure what to do.

Beyond these two tips, all I can really suggest is that when you find yourself slipping out of character, find the reason. Sometimes it's because you've been writing for three hours, in which case, take a break. Or you may just need practice, so just practice more and more until you're better at it. Sometimes it's because the character has become stale or you're bored with the story. In these cases you can take a break from the RP or the character for a few days, or shake it up a little. Do something big, make some dramatic character advancement to make them interesting to you again. It always sucks to become bored with a beloved character, but it can happen. Frequently a good Admin will see when this is happening and can help in mixing it up a bit to get you re-interested. I'll talk more about interacting with an Admin later.


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Indecisive Admins and players.

We've all been there. The Admin isn't sure where to go with their story, they've written themselves into a corner, they're generally inexperienced, they've run out of material, the sidetracking has gotten so bad they have no idea what to do, there's a ton of stuff that can screw with a good RP and short of full blown godmoddery and trolling, an indecisive Admin is one of the best ways to crash a game. But what do you do if you're involved in a game that has an issue with the Admin? This is a real issue when you're fully invested in the game. You've got hundreds of posts, tons of character development, a great sidestory going, awesome chemistry with the other writers, a great thing with an elf named Alyanna that really look- erhm, *ahem*.
You get my point.

What you NEED to do first is to identify what's wrong. Like I said above, there's tons of ways for an Admin to get backed into a corner that's hard to get out of, and instead of forcing themselves out, they just kind of sit there waiting for someone else to do the lifting. Once you know what's wrong, you and the other players need to take the situation into your own hands. Find out where the Admin wants the story to go and start making progress. Write an earthshattering post to get everything moving again. Just because they're not sure where to go doesn't mean the game has to end. It's a collaboration after all!

The main takeaway from this bit is to never wait around for the story to get good. MAKE it good, get it back on track yourself. Take command, or at least be forceful. The worst that can happen is you go back and delete a post and move on. Just be sure to communicate with the other players on what's going on, and never try to take the RP away from the Admin. It is their baby after all, even if they let it die a little.


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Dealing with difficult players.

Difficult people are in the Role Playing community as much as they are in everything. Meaning, more than likely, you'll run into them a lot. There's plenty of different types of difficult people, and with each kind there's a different way to handle the situation.
I'll list some of the most difficult attributes I've come across and well as ways to try to counter them.

× The "I'M SO GREAT YOU ALL SUCK" guy.
Yaknow, the guy who has the best character and acts like all the other characters are below him and his character. Often times they feel they're a better writer as well and that gives them some right to have a better character.
Most of the time these guys OP out their characters but not quite to the extent of godmodding. The best way I've found to deal with them is to let them do their thing. (You'll see this a lot on the list.) And when it comes your turn to write, just make sure you even the playing field. Just DO NOT try to do what he does. It'll just be taken as a challenge and the game will turn into a "My dick is bigger" game. If it gets too annoying, speak to the Admin. If they are the Admin, then good luck.

× The "Specialist"
Mostly this guy has a character that is fine tuned to a certain skillset. Most of us do this to an extent and a lot accidentally cross over into "Specialist" territory. My favored character for wartime games, apocalyptic games, and most games involving guns, was the sniper. My guy was a crackshot with any weapon, a master of the scope, and an all around badass. Most of the time when I used this character model I would leave plenty of weaknesses and faults in the character to balance it out and I was happy when someone else showed interest in having a similar character.
The "Specialist" does this, except they want to be the ONLY sniper (Or hacker, or knife guy, or explosives expert, or whatever). They get pouty and mad when others creep into their territory. Such as if some guy who specializes with explosives picks up a sniper and starts killing zombies. The "Specialist" would get angry and it would eventually turn into a character competition.
The best way to deal with this is to simply avoid his class (Unless it's too broad to avoid, then good luck.) Try to make sure he still feels valued, fumble with the sniper, miss shots, etc. Most of the anger toward other characters is that the "Specialist" has so fine-tuned their character to a skillset and made big cuts in other aspects to justify their badassery (For instance, being great with snipers but being absolutely terrible at hand-to-hand combat.) It's understandable, just a bit annoying.

× The "Sidestory" Guy
This fellow likes his characters. He likes to develop them on a personal level and he likes to have his own adventures in the world the Admin has created. This can be fun, until they turn into the "Sidestory" guy and everyone else is drug along on his off course rambling. The best way to counter this is a good Admin. A solid Admin won't let the "Sidestory" guy drag everyone around. A great Admin will incorporate these frequently interesting sidestories in the main story so everyone is happy. If the admin is lacking in their control, try to gently steer the story in the right direction while letting the guy have his fun.

× The "MWHW" guy
Or the "My Way (or the) High Way" guy. These fellows want the story run their way and they don't care what anyone else wants. They have it in their head exactly how the story will go and they throw a fit if it doesn't conform. This becomes exceedingly tedious when they won't tell anyone about the story they want to take place and just get mad when people do the wrong thing. A solid Admin will nip this in the bud.
If the Admin is complacent, your best luck is to just leave the RP (Unless you do enjoy the person's story and direction.), or start your own side story and separate from the "MWHW" guy.

× The guy who can't stick their character.
These fellows are normally just new to RPing, don't really grasp how to stay in character, and tend to bounce around a lot. From post to post they may seem like they have multiple characters. The best way to handle these situations is to help the person. THE BLASPHEMY, I KNOW. But showing a little compassion and sharing your knowledge can really help an impressionable new RPer and possibly gain you friends. Just remember everyone starts somewhere. If they are a veteran RPer and they do this, then just do your best to ignore them and carry on, interacting only when necessary.

× The "Same Character" guy
This person uses the same character for every game with small changes. Most of their characters are carbon copies of themselves (or the better parts of themselves, or the person they wish they were.) These people might not sound like a problem, but after playing several games with one of these guys, I promise you, it gets frustrating. It gets so annoying having the same exact character in every game you're playing. (At one point I was playing in six different games, all with the same guy who literally copied and pasted his character sheet between each and changed the names slightly.) The best way to handle this is to let the person know about this negative effect they're having on you and your games. A lot of times they won't even realize they're doing it and will make an effort to chance once someone politely points it out.

These are some of the most common people I've run into, and with any luck, you'll know how each of them behave and how to counter it so that it doesn't end up bringing your games down.
In general, just remember that it's far easier to get angry and yell, but you're more likely to generate change if you're polite and understanding. As well, it's easier to have fun when you're not angry, shocking, I know.
If anyone has any people to add to the list, let me know, I'll throw them up!


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Communication within the Collaboration.

It's so easy to forget that you're in the game WITH others, to create a story that everyone can be proud of. A good game will never feel like a struggle to make yourself heard, feel like everyone is just doing their own thing, or like it's pointless. This is where good communication comes into play! Just talking things over with the other players can generate some awesome ideas and fantastic flowing story that's great for outsiders to read over, not just those who are involved.
If you're not sure where to start, just consider your options. You can use the in-forum messaging (PM) to talk to other players in your games as well as talk to the Admin.
Or you can use the sign-up thread for the game to discuss the game and your ideas and suggestions.
You can also use VOIP and IM services such as Skype.

But what should you be communicating when you talk to your co-collaborators? For starters, what you want out of the game and where you'd like to go with your character and their development. It's important to keep others informed on what your character is doing, their motives, and how it may affect others. Be it through repercussions or them coming along for the ride with your character.
It's also important to understand where the Admin is going and where the other players want their characters to go. In the end, it just breaks down to talking to one another about the game and planning out big events that could otherwise be very messy and confusing.


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Godmodding and how to stop it. (As a player.)

The best way to knock out Godmodding (When a person makes their character overpowered to an extent where it's completely unfair to others involved.) is to talk to the Admin of the game it's going on in. If they haven't noticed then there's a good chance they'll take care of it once it's brought to their attention. They can either straight up remove the advantages the person has given themselves or talk to the person and tell them to cool it.
If the Admin is already aware and has no intention of fixing the problem, just write down the person in question's name and try to avoid them in the future. Also try to warn others of this toxic individual so that they have to change their ways to play in new games. Beyond this, there is really nothing to be done except grit your teeth and ignore their annoying posts.
If the Admin IS the godmodder, you're better off to just leave the game and not join any  more from that individual (If it is that big of an issue. If you don't mind, by all means, continue playing.)
For the most part, preventing godmodding is just spreading around who the godmodders are so that they can be held accountable and will eventually have to clean up their acts.


And that brings us to the end of the Players and their Characters section of the guide. I hope that you've enjoyed the read so far and have learned a little something about roleplaying. Next up we've got the Stories! Section, which focuses on keeping the story going, what to do in certain situations, and keeping yourself from falling into some common pitfalls. So here we go! Part Two!



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The Stories!

The fear of progression.

We'll start off with a big one! The absolute fear of progressing the story yourself. This is a massive issue in a lot of games because people aren't comfortable with their writing, they feel like they're stepping on toes when they push ahead, or they're scared that they'll mess up. I've seen this completely wreck a good game. People are scared to progress, the Admin has disappeared, lost interest, or isn't sure where to go, and the RP dies prematurely. Really all it takes to kickstart a RP is one motivated person who knows what they want and isn't afraid to post.
My biggest piece of advice when it comes to these situations is to PUSH FORWARD ANYWAY! If you're communicating effectively with your co-writers then you'll have a general understanding of where the story is going, so don't be afraid to write big story progressing material, particularly if no one else is doing it.
If the Admin or other players don't like it, they'll tell you and you can either just remove the post, or, they can steer it back on the right track if they're a competent Role Player. There's really nothing to be afraid of here.


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"Milling" and other annoying posts.

Milling is a big irritant for me. Like a fly buzzing in my ear. There are some RPs out there that are NOTHING BUT milling, or staying in one spot doing nothing. People are posting, but the story is going nowhere. It comes from the fear of progression I talked about above, and when a whole game is full of Millers, it can get boring fast. So don't be a miller! Progress the story, push forward, forge your story! Just keep in mind that miller posts really frustrate and annoy others. If you're not going to do ANYTHING, then just don't post.
This being said, there is a difference between character advancing dialog and milling. It's all a matter of perspective. The back and forth between two characters for a post discussing flavors of ice-cream may seem like milling for some, but for others it can be character building and getting to know other characters better. Just make sure you don't make your posts pure milling material.

Some other annoying kinds of posts are single line posts; posts where they write out a few sentences and post. This can be a simple reply to a question without adding any new detail, or it can be asking a simple question without adding anything else. Or they might just want to say that the wall is really tall and have nothing else to add. Whatever the reason, these posts are almost never acceptable.

We've also got ego buff posts that are almost like miller posts, just that they develop a single character in some aspect without affecting the story or other characters. For instance, in the middle of a war someone posts about an awesome fight their character has with ten Trojans. In the end he kills them and then runs back to his group, having neither progressed the story nor added anything to the group. He just wanted to show how much of a badass his character is. Again, there is a difference between a purely ego buff post and character development and it's important to find that line and stay clear of it.

The final kind of annoying post I'm going to list is the offtopic post. This is a post that is IN the RP thread but doesn't actually do anything in the RP. they try to discuss story, talk about a previous post, or just chat with others. These posts should be deleted ASAP and are no allowed in any quality RP. Do not post offtopic posts in an RP, it reflects poorly on you.

There are plenty of other pointless and annoying posts, but I'm going to limit it to these since they're the most common. If you have others you feel should be added, just let me know and I will add them up.


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The differences between individual character advancement and sidetracking.

Another fine line in the sand. How far down an alternate storyline do you have to go before it turns from character development into sidetracking the story? Well this is a difficult one to answer, simply because it can vary from person to person and at what point in the story you are. If you're in a heavy part of the main story, it might be a bad time to work on your character's lovelife if it detracts attention from the primary story. If you're really good, you can include sidestories along with the game's primary story, if you're not so good at that and need your own tangent, I would suggest limiting it to two or three posts at most. If you have others in on it, they can help speed it up. Sidestories are only fun if everyone is involved and they don't take so long that everyone forgets what was going on in the main story.


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Differences of opinion and how to resolve them.

You're going to disagree with people. A lot. Okay, all the time. Probably at least a few times in every game you play. You want to go left, they want to go right. They want to fight the dragon, you want to tame it. It can range from little issues to full story impacting disagreements. How do you go about settling differences though?
TALKING! Believe it or not, you can usually reach a resolution if you just talk to one another. See why they want to take their course, explain why you want yours. Maybe you can sway their opinion or maybe they can sway yours. If not and you remain in deadlock, just go to the Admin and ask what they want. If it doesn't matter to them which direction the game goes then put it up to vote to the other players, see what their opinions are. If it's still a deadlock and the Admin refuses to act, flip a coin. Yes seriously.
Or come to an agreement that they get to use their idea this time but you get dibs on the next one (Or vice versa).
There are plenty of ways to settle a disagreement peacefully.


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Pacing advancement.

If you're all gung ho go go go! and want to pack as much content into as few posts as possible and rocket the story along at a breakneck pace, you may want to slow down. Pacing is a big deal in a good RP. The Admin should forcibly pace the game to their own views, so you don't have to worry as much about main story progression as you do your character progression. It's kind of awkward to set up, date, and marry a love interest in a single post without taking into consideration real time or what other characters are doing. Or worse, take into consideration what other characters are doing and force unwanted progression on them as well.
The best way to pace yourself is to follow the pace of the main story being directed by the Admin. If you're moving fast, then by all means, develop your character quickly. If the Admin and other players are comfortable taking leaps of days or weeks at a time then you've pretty well got the okay. But if they won't even skip one day, you skipping ahead three weeks to improve your swordplay might be taken negatively.
Pacing is important for another reason, besides keeping the RP consistent and fun for everyone. It's important to pace your character so that you don't run out of ideas and get bored almost immediately. I've watched plenty of people do it. They progress their character to what could only be described as their "Final Form" in a matter of ten or eleven posts and then just get bored of the game and leave. Leaving the other players with an empty slot or a tagalong character they can't touch because it belongs to another person. (Please, if you leave a game, either kill the character or make them go away so people don't have to worry about writing them in all the time.)

In short, pace yourself! There's really no good technique for pacing that I've found besides watching how the story is progressing time-wise and just match that. And don't do more in one day than you could do IRL in one day. It's kinda hard to become a sharpshooter and swordsmaster in sixteen hours.


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Originality is important.

That's right, it really IS important to be original. Why you ask? Because it gets so boring reading the same thing over and over again from different people. Even if your character is trapped in a predefined world like a movie or book or show. There's no reason to just adopt what everyone else is doing and roll with it. Be original, bend the rules if you can, add on, make it yours. Here are a few things to avoid:

Angsty vampires. Just no.
Angel-Demon hybrids. Well overdone and drilled into the ground. You've gotta really bring something new if you use this model.
Brightly colored Wolf/Fox/Cat people. We get it, you like furries, but don't fall so heavily into the stereotype of bright blue or green or red or whatever animal people.
Gruff antisocial guy. Overused as all hell. You better be good at writing in that form or it'll get old for everyone fast.
The bookish guy who's secretly a badass. Yes, this is extremely common and yes it gets old. Particularly in zombie or war games. You wouldn't be there if you were just a bookworm.

There are plenty of other overused models that really just get beaten into the ground. Not saying that it's impossible to play as these or that you should never use any of them, just make sure that your writing is solid and enjoyable before trying the characters, otherwise you just look like another copycat. One character that uses one of these models and does it well is LordTomyh's Londain, the Ancient One. A vampire from the Hidden World series. He plays the character exceedingly well and shows that a brooding vampire can have a great personality and rich story.

In short, just be original. If you see a lot of people playing as a certain type, try something different. No one likes reading the same thing over and over, especially when it comes from different people.


I hope this section was enjoyable and you got a better understanding of how to form and advance stories in conjunction with others. If you have any suggestions, questions, or advice of your own to plug in here, just let me know and I'll add it!
Now on to the last section, the RPing Mindset. Because it takes a certain mindset to become truly great at RPing.
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The RP'ing Mindset

Dangerous characters - Extended.

That's right! I didn't feel I went into enough depth on Dangerous Characters. I also felt that the topic fit in better here with the mindset stuff, because it is all in your head. When creating a character you have to gauge whether your connection to them will be entirely creative or if you'll become emotionally attached to it. It's extremely unprofessional to become so emotionally attached that you get angry at other players for picking on the character (in or out of character) and begin acting out against that person even if it is all in good fun and they don't realize that you're so attached the character. Crafting the character after yourself can increase this distress when the character is attacked or criticized because it's not only taken as an attack on your character but also as an attack on you personally.
Any form of character that draws a heavy emotional reaction from the creator is considered dangerous. Because it's just fine to love your characters and feel them as part of you, it's entirely different to try to live your own life and ambitions through them in a serious manner.
Basically what I'm saying is, RPing is RPing, not real life. It's not real, as much as you may wish it were.


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It's for fun, so have fun.

Never take your games so seriously that you stop having fun. We do this for fun, we do it in an effort to escape from the real world for a bit, we do it for a laugh, we do it to hang out with friends with like interests, we do it for creation, we do it because we love it. If you ever find yourself hating a game, a character, other people, even RPing as a whole, take a step back. Take a break for a week or two and come back fresh and ready to have a good time.
RPing isn't worth it if you're not enjoying it. And if you're not having fun, you're going to drag everyone else down with you, and no one wants that.


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Ruining immersion and how not to.

RPing is, arguably, all about immersion. How you get into the game, how you let it surround you and draw you into it's world. There are a lot of ways great RPers develop this immersion. Through heavily emotional and believable characters, a style favored by a personal friend of mine, Conor. Or those who try to "visually" craft scenes and worlds for you to lose yourself in, worlds that you can almost see as you read, which is the style I favor, though have not yet fully mastered. And yet others do it through clever storytelling, witty dialog, there are so many ways to create an immersive experience that just grabs the reader and pulls them into the world.
What breaks immersion is what I want to talk about here, though. Creating it will come with time and practice, but breaking it is so easy. The biggest and easiest way to break immersion is to throw in a comment. You know, those little notes in [brackets] some people throw into their writing. Either to further explain something that they don't have the words to do in their writing, or to hold a conversation with other players in the thread itself. This absolutely crushes any immersion the writer generated, pulling the reader back into the real world.

Another way to disrupt immersion is through inconsistent writing or characters. A character who was just angry and crying doesn't just turn around and go "So! Who wants ice cream?" (Unless their character is batshit crazy). Or when someone who has been describing in detail the entire story up to a point then they just stop and say something like "They walked into the room and sat down." End of, no description, no flow, just an abrupt style change.
What can you take away from this? Stay on character and stay consistent with your style of writing.

The last thing I'm going to mention is immersion breaking through stupid story decisions. A twist ending might be great if done well, but if done poorly, it can leave the reader with a bad taste in their mouth, particularly if the story was good up to that point. A twist without a LOT of support to back it up is less of a twist and more of a "HAHAH You thought he was a good guy because he was a goodguy all along but no he's bad now." You have to earn the twist. Show inconsistencies throughout, provide plenty of evidence at the time of the twist, show your work, essentially. How did they get there and why did the twist occur.

Immersion is applicable to all forms of media, so similar rules should be followed when writing solo as well.


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Being the least skilled RPer in a game, yikes.

You just joined a RP. A great one. Awesome story, a great Admin, well structured communicative group of players, fantastic writers and amazing RPers. A little too amazing as you realize that you're totally outclassed by all of your co-writers. This doesn't necessarily have to mean that they're a better writer than you or they know bigger words, but that they're simply better at Role Playing, for whatever reasons. Maybe they have more experience, maybe they are simply better writers, maybe they just know the ins and outs of RPing, maybe they're more creative or imaginative, what do you do if you feel like more of a burden than a contributing part of a RP?
Don't sweat it. That's all. Continue on as you would, only instead of blindly following your own patterns and tendencies, take a look at the others in your group. This should be done regardless of the others' skill levels in comparison to your own, but especially when you realize that they do in fact outclass you. Observe their writing, their habits and styles. See what it is exactly that makes you feel inferior to them. And just remember there's nothing wrong with it. There's always someone out there who's better, even if it's just by a little. You just have to be able to recognize that and build off of it. And ask questions! People love questions!
It helps boost their ego because they feel important, they feel needed and skillful when someone else asks them questions about what they do and how they do it. Trust me, you'll make a lot of friends just by asking questions and you'll improve tremendously as well.
I've filled these shoes on several occasions and I feel I'm a better RPer and writer in general for having stuck to it, learning as I went.


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Don't overload! You might explode!

Might seem simple. Take things in moderation. You'd be surprised how many people forget this simple rule. You WILL become burnt out, you WILL get frustrated, and you WILL make mistakes because of it. Make sure you take plenty of breaks when you write. Don't just sit there for twelve hours writing post after post, it'll drive you insane. Instead, write for an hour or two and then go for a fifteen minute walk. Spend some time with the dog or go see if you can bug your neighbor for a bit, get that social interaction in for the day. Just get away from the writing and the stories and the characters for a bit and unwind and relax. Because even if writing is relaxing and therapeutic, a single person can only take so much concentrated writing at a time.  You'll feel better for it and you'll be fresh to continue writing!


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Separating characters from players.

I saved this one for last, but it is by no means the least important, it's just kinda hard to link it in with everything else if it goes first. I told you to make sure that you keep yourself reasonably distant from your characters to avoid becoming one of those people that will start a war because someone said that blue wolf people are kinda overused. But it's equally important not to get too drawn into other peoples' characters. It's easy to do, your character, the representation of yourself in the game, interacting on a personal level with this other character, pretty soon the line between character and player blurs and you begin seeing the person POSTING as the character AS the character.
You can never lose the ability to distinguish between a character and a person. A masterful RPer will make you believe in their characters, they'll draw you in and make you genuinely care about that character, particularly if your own character is interacting with it constantly.
This is increasingly important when "romantic interests" become a part of the equation. It can get really messy if another RPer stops seeing the love between two characters and starts seeing the love between two people. People become too involved in the RP and soon someone gets hurt because they thought it was "More than just the game" when in reality they're both just playing characters. This is extremely easy when RPing with people of the opposite gender (Or whatever you're into.)

So as a final note to the RPing Mindset, it's important to keep your identity separate from the games you play and the characters you create. People who are depressed or extremely lonely, or any number of other things, find it more difficult to keep life and game separate, which is why it's very important for everyone make the distinction.
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And that's it! Thank you for reading and I hope I helped in some aspect to improve your RPing or even writing in general. If you have any suggestions for more topics to discuss or any questions, just drop them down below and I'll add them to the topic.

Have a wonderful day and I'll catch you later,
Mike (Damxge)

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