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 An opinion piece: How to give personality to your character.
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Maniak
 Monday, April 02 2012 @ 06:17 PM UTC (Read 13558 times)  
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In the past we've talked about everything that annoys the so called experienced roleplayer. This isn't about that. This is an opinion piece and the start of what will be a wiki article with constructive advice for budding roleplayers. This is about all the things that people can do to leave a good impression. In other words;

How to give personality to your character, and character to your personality?

First off, what is a good character? To me, and this is an entirely personal opinion, it's a character that is easy to interact with. The best roleplay comes from chemistry/interaction between characters, and to get that your character needs to have a personality. What can help you here is giving an insight into your character. Share why she does something, or what her motivations are for not doing it.

You can just downright tell people why your character does or says a specific thing (Shinji-kun was once bitten by a spiderkitty and has since learned to keep his colander on his head. "No thank you," he says, "I won't let you cut my hair until we're inside Joe's.") or work with body language. (Shinji-kun's face contorts at the offer of ice cream pies and he crosses his arms in front of his chest. "No.") Have a look at this image for some tips on how to animate your characters face.

Secondly, what makes for good roleplay? In my view, it's interaction. It's difficult for me to interact with a character that only talks, nods, shrugs, smiles and headtilts. Does the post you just made relate to the post you made before that? Does it relate to something your partner just said or did? Is there a theme in the scene you're doing? If you can do that, the scene will flow easier and might even write itself.

If you want to bring your character and roleplay to a higher level, here are some tips.

The general advice is 'Think about what your character would do, and how she would react in a certain situation.' I've seen tips like 'Fill out questionnaires the way your character would.' These are all good things you can do to improve your knowledge of the character, but good questionnaires are hard to find, and even worse, most will ask you the question 'What sort of sparkly vampire are you?' Characters from popular culture are created for the lowest common denominator and therefore tend to lack personality of any sort.

Some of the best roleplayers and characters play fairly one-sided characters, they have a shtick. That's what makes them recognizable and strong characters. It can be an object she carries with her everywhere, an outlook on life but often it's a habit or a way to behave. Mannerism also breathes life into a character. Does she have a scar she touches when she's nervous? Does she tap her foot or wiggle her legs when she's eager to go? It's the little details that will make your character memorable.

Here are some very Island specific questions you could ask yourself that will help you build your character.

- Does she smoke? Smoking gives your character something to do with her hands while chatting, so it might be a good habit to pick up. At the very least it's something to keep you occupied if you're in a passive scene.

On the other side, your character might be a former smoker. Chewing nicotine-gum is another activity she can do to keep herself occupied. Former smokers usually have a strong aversion to smoking, and may be bothered by cigarette smoke.

- How does she react to the fact she's being filmed all the time? This is something that a lot of people forget about, but the Island is still a TV-show. Does she have fans off-island? Her very own editor sweating in a booth? Does she enjoy being watched?

- What does your character do while you're not around? Does she sleep? Fight in the jungle? Knit sweaters? Cook? If you find her a hobby you're giving her a life, and don't be surprised if one day your character has a life of her own. Good characters can sometimes surprise their writers by going in a different direction than what you first envisioned.

- What is it she wants? That could be a question applied per scene or in general. If you have a sense of direction you can steer your character better. Is this a friendly conversation she's in, or does she want something out of it? A goal in general can be split into smaller scenes, each a part of a larger plot.

How to make a scene more interesting? Sometimes it happens, two characters need to talk about something. But rather than standing still in the town square and becoming just two talking heads, they could discuss whatever they need to discuss over tea. This gives the both of you something to do. Usually, adding a theme or a dynamic makes a scene infinitely more interesting than a back and forth conversation.

What new players often have in common is that, because they wish to be liked and accepted, they play a character that's easily liked. Someone easy-going who is always ready to help someone else, someone that let themselves be led. This is fine, The Island is a nice place with nice people! But most characters can't be naive forever about the televised war and will soon develop their own will. Remember what I said about a character starting to lead their own life? This is that, and that is a good thing.

There you have it. Obviously what this guide is lacking is how to get involved in a plot or how to develop your character, hence this forum post. If anyone has some tips on that, please post them. Likewise, I'm interested in your opinion on what makes for good roleplay.


http://maniak.cu.cc/
 
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Matthew
 Monday, April 02 2012 @ 07:01 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Maniak

It's difficult for me to interact with a character that only talks, nods, shrugs, smiles and headtilts.



This is a point of major contention for me. I find it kind of exasperating when I see people whose every post seems to follow the format of ": smiles/laughs/nods/grins. "Dialogue."" The grinning. Goddamn the grinning. Every once in a while, perhaps for effect, I can understand using that. If you have a reason to grin and call attention to that. It seems, though, like you should be able to find something else to talk about, your character probably isn't just standing there, rock-still with a constant grin on his face.

Most people fiddle with things while they talk, emote with their hands, concentrate on other things, something or anything to make that moment a lot more interesting than "Shinji-kun grins. "I am very sad right now, you can see it in my face.""


 
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Harris
 Monday, April 02 2012 @ 07:24 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Quote by: Maniak

It's difficult for me to interact with a character that only talks, nods, shrugs, smiles and headtilts.



This is a point of major contention for me. I find it kind of exasperating when I see people whose every post seems to follow the format of ": smiles/laughs/nods/grins. "Dialogue."" The grinning. Goddamn the grinning. Every once in a while, perhaps for effect, I can understand using that. If you have a reason to grin and call attention to that. It seems, though, like you should be able to find something else to talk about, your character probably isn't just standing there, rock-still with a constant grin on his face.

Most people fiddle with things while they talk, emote with their hands, concentrate on other things, something or anything to make that moment a lot more interesting than "Shinji-kun grins. "I am very sad right now, you can see it in my face.""



Ooh, glad the two of you brought that up.

*raises hand sheepishly*

Horrifyingly guilty of that, right here. Thank you; it'll now be easier to think of sommat in the way of other animation verbs in the future. Oops!

As for my opinion? Drawing on my pen and paper roleplaying game hobby, and some of the best advice I've ever gotten for character creation:

If you have no idea of what you want to play, don't be afraid to simply pick the class/race/age/sex that sounds the most appealing to you. It is a game, after all. If you're not basing the character around something you'd enjoy, throw it away, and start over. Games are supposed to be fun.

If you know what you want to play (what character class, race, sex), but know nothing else about your character, come up with their favorite saying first. Build your character around imagining what situation they usually say that in, what got them started saying it, how they define the words, and so on.

If you know what you want to play (what character class, race, sex), but know nothing else about your character, look at the attribute numbers (attack, defense, stamina, agility, charisma- whatever the game in question calls the attributes). Try to figure out logically why those numbers are the way they are. For example, if the numbers you have are high attack, but low defense, this could easily be someone with a very violent personality... if they're attacking harder than they're ever defending themselves, that logically says that they're more concerned with dropping their opponent than they are protecting themselves (otherwise, they'd be more careful about not getting injured in the process).


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Tuesday, April 03 2012 @ 11:19 PM UTC  
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I feel as though I have an nigh infinite amount to discuss on this topic. However, this not really being a good place for infinity, nor having the time to write for infinity, I will be concise. Well, as concise as I get...which is not very.

Time is short

Even those of us who RP pretty hardcore on Island rarely go* for more than 4 hours. And 4 hours is a LOT of pages of RP. If you assume a scene to last between 45 minutes to 2 hours, you're gonna want everything in that space. How to do that?

Tell a story

Every time I do a scene on the Island I liken it to a television show. Or a movie, or a play. And do you know what all those things have in common? They're telling a story. Each one is about a story. And every story has a few things.

*Setting

*Character(s)

*Action

Ideally it also has something I consider incredibly important:

A rising and falling arc.

I'll define that simply as Rising Action, Climax and Resolution.

Motivation!

The basic premise is that whenever your character is doing anything, anywhere, there is an underlying motivation. Maybe they're seeking the next Danquest monster. Maybe they burned their finger and are looking for medical attention. Maybe they're lonely. Something. Anything. You should always have your characters motivation in mind in ANY scene, no matter how trivial. It will bring them to life.

Yes we can get more complicated, but we're trying to simplify yes?

A short example with all of the above

A Looney Tunes episode. It's the desert, high noon. Coyote shows up. He's hungry. We can tell, he's drooling and has a thought bubble of a roasted chicken over his head. Oh look, there's a cloud of dust, it's that Roadrunner again. Coyote has an idea, a lightbulb flashes over his head. His image of dinner now looks a lot more like Roadrunner! And so, he finds a telephone, and shortly thereafter gets a package from Acme. A cut scene and now we have Roadrunner barrelling through on the road. We see Coyote up on the cliffside, still drooling with anticipation. Here it comes and BAM! The trap is triggered. Only of course, something horrible goes wrong, and Coyote is the one injured and hanging in the trap, face blackened with soot. Roadrunner is gone, then shows up again, beeps in amusement, and takes off in a cloud of dust. Coyote raises a claw to protest, and then passes out. Scene.

Ok so same scenario, let's break it down.

A Looney Tunes episode. Our Setting It's the desert, high noon. Our Character, the Protagonist** Coyote shows up. His motivation He's hungry. We can tell, he's drooling and has a thought bubble of a roasted chicken over his head. Oh look, there's a cloud of dust, it's that Our other Character, the Antagonist Roadrunner again. Rising Action Coyote has an idea, a lightbulb flashes over his head. His image of dinner now looks a lot more like Roadrunner! And so, he finds a telephone, and shortly thereafter gets a package from Acme. A cut scene and now we have Roadrunner barrelling through on the road. We see Coyote up on the cliffside, still drooling with anticipation. The Climax Here it comes and BAM! The trap is triggered. Only of course, something horrible goes wrong, and Coyote is the one injured and hanging in the trap, face blackened with soot. The Resolution Roadrunner is gone, then shows up again, beeps in amusement, and takes off in a cloud of dust. Coyote raises a claw to protest, and then passes out. Scene.


Extra credit

Spice it up

Just like a movie, or tv, or a play, it should be interesting! If it's fun for you great. If it's fun for you AND your scene partner(s), much better. Add something odd or funny. Often when I'm in a scene my personal motivation (as opposed to my characters) is to get the other narrator to laugh. Sometimes I do this with snide asides in the emotes. Sometimes I do it with short specials. However it's done, I know I appreciate it when my fellow scene partner is amusing, so I try and amuse them back. Big Grin

Raise the stakes

I don't remember what theatre textbook the idea of 'stakes' came from, but it's a good concept. What's at stake in your scene? Is it just the next meal for your character (IE the Coyote), or is it maybe much more important? It's one thing to save the princess from the bad guy. It's quite another to save the princess from the bad guy before he marries her which is in twenty minutes OMG!!!


Keep in mind

You are NOT your character

THIS IS IMPORTANT.

One more example, another Looney Tunes episode. Bugs Bunny vs Elmer Fudd. Pick any episode.

Now imagine you're playing Elmer Fudd, and someone else is playing Bugs Bunny. You are GOING TO LOSE. That's the way it works. And you know what, sometimes, LOSING IS FUNNY.

What works:

Bugs Bunny plays a trick on Elmer Fudd. He gets angry. He retaliates. It backfires. Everyone laughs. Good show.

What doesn't work:

Bugs bunny plays a trick on Elmer Fudd. Remember, in our example, you're playing him. And let's say you're personally invested in him winning. Which means YOU GET ANGRY WHEN SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS TO HIM. You godmod a fix to the problem, so that the trick doesn't work.

Now the scene isn't funny. You're angry, Bugs Bunny's narrator is annoyed, and all things are lame.

So remember friends. YOU are NOT them. Big Grin

Hopefully this is the sort of stuff you're looking to talk about Maniak.

Random quotes about art by Peter Brook that I rummaged for while thinking about this:

"Along with serious, committed and probing work, there must be irresponsibility."

"One needs to do the preparation in order to discard it, to build in oder to demolish."

-Rose

* ((I'm generalizing here I know, some of you out there ((I've read your logs I know!)) go for six hours or more REGULARLY))

**(arguably the antagonist, let's not get confusing)


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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Buddleia
 Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 01:27 AM UTC  
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Wow, there's lots of great ideas and advice in this thread! Thank you, everyone: I can tell already that this is going to improve my writing.

A few more suggestions:

1. Try playing with different people.
Even if you have found a good group and made wonderful friends, it is all too easy to get into a rut with your storylines, your scenes, your characterisations, your character background, and even emoting. It can even stop you from playing unless your usual group is where you want them. Writing with new people encourages you to read more, gives you fresh new ideas and examples, and can only help you improve.

  • Playing with new people who you don't know can lead to all sorts of new friendships and storylines.

  • Playing with people you admire will inspire you, and teach you all sorts of awesome tricks.

  • Occasionally playing with people who you don't admire can also help you.
    Even if you don't enjoy their characters or storylines or something, you can still watch their styles and stories, and try to work out exactly what it is you enjoy and don't enjoy. Even if there is one aspect that gets up your nose, remember the Don't Be A Dick rule (you don't need to become their best friend or a regular writing-partner, just don't break the rules) - but, most importantly (to this thread, anyway), you can still learn from them. There may be things you hadn't thought of, that you might like to try out. Of course, you may find yourself learning how not to do things; this is also useful.


2. Try playing in different locations.
If you play in the same place (which often also means with the same people too) all the time, likewise, you can get into a rut. Going to new outposts, exploring new Places, playing on the map - it shakes up the usual pattern, and gives you more things to react to and write about, and you get to see how different people react to the new environment/s. There is a huge amount of flavour text that you can read and admire and have your characters react to, both canon by CMJ, and by everyone else in Places. Don't waste it! It's awesome!


3. Log some scenes. Read some scenes.
Not all your scenes, and not everything you see! Just some. The occasional scene that made you laugh, that has important plot or character points, that interested and inspired you. Having examples to read back over later lets you notice and appreciate subtle points of scene-writing and emoting and character development.

There are many scenes logged in the Wiki of Lies; reading some of these can be a very useful exercise as well as entertaining and interesting. Look for things that worked well, and things that didn't work well, in story-telling as well as characterising and in the actual scene-plot.

It can be fascinating to read back months (or years) later, not just for the story and to recall the original enjoyment, but to see how you have changed and improved over time. (For instance, I used to be terrible with the whole [Buddleia emotes. "Dialogue."] thing; I went through a stage of expounding on her emotional states, and now I tend to do more actions than dialogue.)


4. Possibly, consider writing an interaction with an NPC (non-player character).
Many people write about their actions and interactions with items. For a step up, try writing an interaction with another character. This could be anything from an easy way for your character to find out something they didn't know ([Charactername asks the town guards how far it is to Someplace. Following their directions, she smiles thanks, and strikes out northwards], to obtaining an item or resource, or a whole long conversation and interaction, and maybe developing into a recurring friendship. It's fine to do a simple interaction where your player gets what they want. But it can be great to have a long scene doing things, talking about things, and developing a real story.

I am terrible at this, I know. I really admire people who can keep multiple characters in their head, especially when they can have several active at a time and interacting! Keeping straight who knows who and who knows what and what everyone is like can be really difficult. Thinking up dialogue for both sides of a conversation can be really difficult. But if it's done well, it's awesome: so much so, sometimes, that people wonder if the NPC is a real-live-person, not just an alt or /specials or being played by someone else.

Many people have pets. (Or servants, or friends.) These often act simply as an extension of the player: doing what the player wants, helping the character, being a Disney-style "wise-cracking animal sidekick". Being cute and charming to people they like, being aggressive or annoying to people they don't like. It's an easy trap to fall into. If you write a non-player character, keep reminding yourself that this is another person (or personality) with their own likes, dislikes, preferences, knowledge, background and styles.

Also, be aware that other people may interact with the NPC. (Especially if you are not using an alt account to make their posts, but simply writing them as part of your own.) They may even write for your NPC, saying what they are doing, speaking dialogue for them! This may help you, or hinder you. I've put a little more on this at the end of this post.




While I agree with nearly all of this thread, I'd also like to offer some comments and counterpoints. Of course, this is an opinion piece: a lot of this will come down to personal preferences and styles. People have different ideas, and like to do things differently; also, people change over time, and like to try out new things, and don't do the same thing every time.
  • How you roleplay depends on what you want to get out of your roleplaying.
    While it's awesome to write a story that everyone else enjoys, it is not an absolute requirement. You aren't being graded; there will not be a test. You are writing to please yourself, not everyone else. (Also, different people like different things, so you can't please everyone anyway.) While thinking about what your character wants in any scene or any story is important, it's also important to think about what you want.

    - Do you just want to have fun?

    - Do you just want to hang out with or play with friends?

    - Play with random people?

    - Do you want to write a story? What do you enjoy writing about? About who your character is, or what they are doing? How realistic do you want it to be? How much time/effort do you want to put in?

    - How much do you care about continuity? Most people have a character who is the same from one week to the next, and if something happens one week then next week it still has happened, but you don't have to. A "DK memory wipe" and "DK changes" is a perfectly valid way of having your character be changed from one scene to another, but bear in mind that other people may ask you about things that you have changed about yourself.

    - How much do you care about following the Island canon? Most people do follow it; some people are utterly scrupulous about staying within what the flavour texts have outlined, some people like to add their own modifications. Some people seem to go against it. Remember that all approaches are valid, whichever you follow, and whichever you enjoy the most. Arguments about "but X says nobody can ever leave the Island!" or "Elves/magic/dragons/Jedi/etc aren't real!" or "but there's no such race as X!" or "the Island is set in year X!" can be very tiresome and unproductive, in-character or out of character.

    - Do you care whether bad things happen to your character/s, irreversible or temporary? Does your character care? See above re continuity. Is something bad that happened to your character in one scene going to follow you for the next day or month or year, possibly inspiring and possibly inhibiting you?


  • If you just want to socialise and have fun, not caring much about stories, it's not necessary to always follow the suggested intro-buildup-climax-resolution style. You don't have to write in clear, coherent, TV-episode scenes. (Yes, II is televised, but it's the editors' responsibility to make entertaining episodes, not your character's.) Wandering in, chatting a little, maybe playing a game or sharing some food, and eventually going to sleep and/or wandering out is also a perfectly valid writing style and scene. Socialising with your friends is great: it's not all there is, but don't feel that you need to keep coming up with epic story/quests to be interesting, entertaining, or likeable.


  • Again, it's not necessary for everything you do to be exciting, active, hilarious, full of important plot points and character development. (Some people may find it exhausting or intimidating to play in such a scene! Some people may be even annoyed at you for disturbing or preventing/delaying their planned peaceful scene.) A calm scene of making tea or a bonfire, or searching for an item, or chatting can be just as engaging and entertaining, if it is well written. You don't need to be saving the princess every day; indeed, if you are, would it not get just as dull and repetitive as if you were just making tea every time?


  • Don't be afraid to join in or to start a scene without having a clear idea of what needs to happen, what you're going to do, and how to finish it. (For one thing, unless it's in a locked room, anybody else could turn up at any time, and "spoil" your scene by doing their own thing.) Open-ended is fine, and often more inviting! If something - a discussion or a "problem" - is unresolved in one scene, perhaps you could write about it again later, either with a second attempt at finishing it, or mentioning that you never did, or mentioning that/how you did.


  • While giving your characters problems, challenges and antagonists can be a wonderful way to improve and spice up and vary your writing, be careful. You can write yourself into a corner.

    As the roleplay guides say, not everything will go your character's way. They will have problems and challenges, and likely not be able to fix all of them instantly and perfectly. But you don't need to keep making it horribly difficult or unpleasant for them all the time.

    If you like to plan things in advance, some points to think about:

    - Do you want to fix the problem yourself? Could your character fix the issue, without retconning either the issue or your character? See Continuity, above.

    - Do you want to be dependent on somebody else to "fix" your problem? They may not want to; they may do not what you want, or even make it worse! (This can also make them feel unhappy because you are, deliberately or not, to some extent emotionally blackmailing them into doing what you want whether they wanted to or not.)

    - Either way risks godmoding a magic "k, all fixed, They All Lived Happily Ever After" deus ex machina scene-fixer (which is annoying and boring), or a self-pity or victimisation scene (also annoying and boring).

    - Again, unless you are writing in a locked room, remember that anybody else could wander in and "fix" your "problem" for you at any minute. (Or make it worse, of course.) They may be thinking "ah! they have a problem! I will be nice and fix it for them!", but it can ruin your planned storyline or scene.

    - If you are writing interactions with NPCs, and somebody else joins in: while you may welcome the participation, you may also find that it throws you off if somebody else starts interacting with - or even writing for - "your" characters. Be extra careful with in-game NPCs such as Mr Stern, Dan, Maiko, or The Watcher; everyone knows that they are canon, not "yours", and will a) be less careful about "not writing for other people" with them, knowing that you are doing it, and b) be more picky about what they do, knowing what the canon NPCs already do and do not do/know/say/etc.

End wall of text. Hope I haven't bored you all to sleep.


Improbable Reference Links - goo.gl/MRBnb -------------- Land Registry (map of Places) ---- goo.gl/bpkRR
 
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jenkins
 Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 02:01 AM UTC  
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I'm also terribly guilty of the Jenkins emotes "Dialouge" type deal. It's just too easy to do!
Anyway, my two cents!

Dialouge. Talking Heads. Yes. These should be limited. Even if I am a horrible offender on occasion, I usually try (When I really care enough to try) to make not too much more dialouge than action. Talking is all good and fun, but actual actions to go along with your fancy words is really awesome.
Actions speak louder than words.

Secondly,
Don't make choppy posts! Sure, sometimes you're just speeding through a post, and forget that your character wasn't only supposed to catch the ball, but throw it as well, so you jam that throw it on the end into another post, but try not to do anything along the lines of

[__m__s] Jenkins looks at his watch
[__m__s] Jenkins gawps at the time
[__m__s] Jenkins says "Oh dear me! I'm late!"

And lastly, before I finish my rant and hush, grammar!

Grammar on the island is lovely, capitalized sentences, commas, non-shortened words; It's all quite lovely. And, when I see the one contestant that has uncapitalized sentences in the midst of all those beautifully crafted posts, I cringe.

Okay, I'm done.


 
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quinn
 Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 03:03 AM UTC  
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Quote by: jenkins



And lastly, before I finish my rant and hush, grammar!

Grammar on the island is lovely, capitalized sentences, commas, non-shortened words; It's all quite lovely. And, when I see the one contestant that has uncapitalized sentences in the midst of all those beautifully crafted posts, I cringe.

Okay, I'm done.



Jenkins, I can't believe I'm agreeing with you here... (I kid! I kid!) But I can't stress this enough! I know that in many cases it's a small thing, but when the rest of the Outpost is capitalizing and adding in commas, periods and apostrophes and one person isn't, it kinda throws off the scene for me. I almost want to have my character start going "Im? What's an Im?"

Only I don't, because I feel bad just for thinking it.


Loving what everyone's said so far. I know for a fact I can fall into the grinning and headtilting at times, so I'm actually paying attention to all this!


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 04:27 AM UTC  
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Quote by: quinn

I know that in many cases it's a small thing, but when the rest of the Outpost is capitalizing and adding in commas, periods and apostrophes and one person isn't, it kinda throws off the scene for me. I almost want to have my character start going "Im? What's an Im?"

Only I don't, because I feel bad just for thinking it.


If they don't punctuate, I assume they are speaking too quickly to use punctuation, and I act accordingly. That should probably be on the don't list. (Both actions, mine and theirs.)

Speaking of this conventions nonsense: make sure to properly capitalize your character's name. If you don't, you'll grow attached to them, won't delete them, and be stuck with an improper proper noun forever. Unless you politely ask a Mod to fix it, or something.


 
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Count Sessine
 Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 04:56 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

Speaking of this conventions nonsense: make sure to properly capitalize your character's name. If you don't, you'll grow attached to them, won't delete them, and be stuck with an improper proper noun forever. Unless you politely ask a Mod to fix it, or something.

The Custom Colours lodge item will let you change capitalization, too. Just saying...


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 06:02 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

Speaking of this conventions nonsense: make sure to properly capitalize your character's name. If you don't, you'll grow attached to them, won't delete them, and be stuck with an improper proper noun forever. Unless you politely ask a Mod to fix it, or something.

The Custom Colours lodge item will let you change capitalization, too. Just saying...


Huh. Well, there's that, too, then, I guess.


 
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Ilovemath224
 Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 12:10 PM UTC  
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I know quite well I am not the best roleplayer on the island. However, there is one roleplaying tip I can give that I can be certain will help at least some people:

(I apologize in advance about the context of some of these articles, but there are tips in these articles that can be used for roleplaying.)

Look at the 34 StrengthsFinder Test Talent Themes, and determine which are the strongest for your character (Up to 5, but one or two is best,) and which are the weakest (Less than 10 preferably, as nobody's that bad at so many talent themes. One to three is best.)

Now, explaining what this is best left to the books (Of which that is only one of them) and website. Or somebody else that understands this topic. But for now I'll suggest you read some of the articles. That, and I think they explain[url] why the [url=http://gmj.gallup.com/content/409/Language-Strengths.aspx]strengths system is good better than I ever could. I can explain the application to how one would apply it to one's character well enough to where others could elaborate on it. (You know... I'm starting to notice I'm good at spotting problems, but not exactly the best at solving them.) (PS: The excessive linking is done for a reason: Those articles are useful to read.)

So I'll do just that. I'll lay out the framework on how to apply this system to yourself. But you've got to meet me halfway, and understand the system, or most of this won't make much sense.

First, specifying which talents your character is strong in and weak in will only change your character in minor ways. This is (usually) a good thing, as your character (usually) will seem to become more of who he or she really is. If you had a character good with math and logic to boot, and you realize that he's strong in Analytical and start roleplaying with him accordingly, then your character will seem all the more realistic. (Yeah, this is a bit narrow-minded. So what? It's close enough.) Similarly, if you have a character that is bad with math and logic to boot, and you realize he's weak in Analytical, and start roleplaying him accordingly, the weakness will seem all the more realistic. Some people may not be convinced, but that's them, the majority should be. (If they aren't, there's a good chance you're doing something wrong.)

Second, and this is highly suggested, you should be strong yourself in the talents your character is strong in. iurl=http://gmj.gallup.com/content/406/Whats-Way.aspx]This article addresses the obstacles,[/url] and this article addresses how to apply your talents to finding the right job for you. If you're strong in Analytical, and you want to play a character strong in Analytical, then by all means, play a character strong in Analytical. If you're weak in Analytical, and you want to play a character strong in Analytical, please don't. You're not going to be very good at it. If you're not good nor bad at Analytical, it could go either way, but it largely depends on whether you are strong in the secondary talents needed to do the kinds of things somebody Analytical usually does. You do not have to do this for every talent, (Heck, I don't think I could remember all of those at once while I roleplay my characters,) but making sure your talents line up with your character's talents can make roleplaying your character all the more enjoyable. Because if you're strong in Analytical, you like using the talent of Analytical. Being strong in Analytical and not liking to use the talent of Analytical just doesn't make sense. Being "weak" in Analytical and liking to use the talent of Analytical just means that you lack the necessary skills to fully realize your talent of being Analytical.

And here's where the application to your character comes in:

By knowing your character is good in a certain talent, you can figure out how they would act in a certain situation. By remembering the word that describes each talent and applying it to your character, you can get a really good idea of both your character's motivations and what they're good at. I know this isn't the best example, but it's the only one I know of, so I'll use it: With Teague, I know he's strong in Analytical. Therefore, I often have him asking questions and just being curious about things. It'd probably upset him to not get down to the bottom of things, (I may or may not have played this quite the right way,) but one of the ways he's learned to deal with that is just to attribute those kind of things to "Improbability". If he doesn't know how something works, that answer is sufficient enough for him to stop asking, because he really doesn't fully grasp how Improbability works. Hey, that just gave me a plot arc idea. (Have Teague try to figure out what Improbability really is.) As you can tell from that revelation, if you prod around even one of your character's major talent areas, you can oftentimes come up with good ideas for that character.

Heck, I know I probably wouldn't enjoy using a jetpack past the initial exhilaration of being able to fly. It's too solitary of an activity to provide much enjoyment to me past the short-term achievement of being able to fly a jetpack. That, and I've got a minor fear of falling. (Word choice is deliberate. I'm okay with climbing up, it's when I'm faced with coming down that I start to get scared.)

Knowing your character's weak talents can be just as powerful a tool as knowing their strong talents. Not only are those weak talents something that just can't be changed by character development, making them persistent flaws, (not that they can't be overcome,) not to mention quite a wider flaw than most bad personality traits. Knowing one talent that your character is bad at and consistently showing your character is bad at that talent is enough to make your character seem human. If your character is bad at Empathy, then while they'll pick up the most obvious emotions easily, (Anger, sadness, joy, excitement,) they'll have more trouble picking up more subtle emotions, and occasionally may pick the wrong response to said emotions because they have no idea what the other person is feeling emotionally. This usually will take the form of them doing something under the assumption the other person is feeling something else. Nothing short of a drive kill will make that talent stronger. (And I'm sure we all know that's a bad idea. For roleplaying purposes and because it changes the character's personality, too.)

Additionally, you do not have to assume characters have the skills to back up their talents. Talents can be repressed. I can tell you a story about that. There was this one kid who was stuck in a rut in life. (He's not on Improbable Island, mind you.) His dad, his school, and the local government were all working against him. But the part of his story that applies here is the strict style of writing taught there, and how his strong talent of Communication was repressed. I'm not talking holding you to a specific style or format strict, I'm talking "This is what sentence one has to be written, this is how sentence two has to be written, this is how sentence three has to be written, and this is how many sentences have to be in a paragraph" strict. If one didn't do that, punishments were given out. This particular student, however, was quite strong in Communication, and was good at writing. Now, he's really bad at it, and can't bear to see himself write, because of the utter deprivation of the skills needed to do so. However... every so often he produces a drawing or sketch that's really beautiful. He can't spend more than 30 minutes working on it, however, because then he gets frustrated with the repression of his talent. His talent of Communication had been repressed by making attempting to use it frustrating to him.

Two things you should get from that: One, don't let that happen to your strongest talents; Two: If you're thinking of writing a character like that, they're going to struggle against the repression of their talent. Repressing a talent doesn't repress the desire to use it. It just represses how much of a strength that talent is.

Also, yes, it is possible to have an abused slave strong in Relator that is really shy because of the abuse. Yes, it is possible to have a dermatologist that doesn't like seeing people sick. Yes, it is possible to have somebody strong in Consistency and Competition. (And using this as a springboard for writing your character will likely get you to where you need to be writing that one.)

Of course, you don't have to take this approach. I screw this approach completely with Siques, not even considering what her strongest talents are. Of course, there's a reason behind that, and that reason is this: Her personality is so unique that I have a great idea of how she'd react to different situations. In fact, it's quite possible that some of her stronger talents have been repressed, but Siques doesn't know that, nor care. So I say: If you've got a brilliantly constructed character already, and you don't want to look at them this way, then go ahead and not use the advice given here!

I got really frustrated trying to explain this myself, so I decided to link to the spots where there are explanations of these talents and let the already written material do the majority of the explaining.


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 04:17 PM UTC  
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Thank you -- I hadn't seen this personality-modeling system before. Because it has so many variables, it's not nearly so likely to be used to pigeonhole people as... say, Myers-Briggs, or the Big Five... or the D&D alignment system. Still, the same caution applies. Models are useful ways of looking at personality. They can lead to very valuable insights, as long as you always remember -- they are only models.

The pitfall is to fall so in love with a model that you start thinking everything has to be explained by it, and facts that don't fit have to be waved aside or rationalized out of existence. Real people are more complicated than any model.

My own policy is to collect lots of psychological models. That way, if one of them isn't helping me understand something, I can switch it out for a different one.

Also...

Some writers will find such an analytical approach to character creation useful all the time, and for others it will be character-killing poison. And plenty of us will be in the middle, finding this a handy tool once in a while, and at other times feeling it's irrelevant.

There many ways to imagine a character into existence. This one might help -- so do whatever works for you!


 
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Ilovemath224
 Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 06:04 PM UTC  
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You're welcome.

And thanks for explaining how not to overanalyze things using a model. I've been unfortunate enough to do that once or twice... Fortunately, I'm no longer doing so.

And I must agree with the analytical approach part. That same comparison applies to all talents in that model, as some people excel in a certain talent, some people are horrible with a certain talent, but most are just somewhere in the middle. You can't learn much about a person just from their talents that lie in the middle.

Also, that model can be used as a character improvement tool, if done right, just as much as it can be used for character creation. It's much of the same process as using this for character creation, with an intermediate first step: See which talents your character is already strong and/or weak in. Then apply the model.

As for using this model, I probably will do so, if only to improve the quality of my roleplaying with Teague. I'm going to keep it simple, though. It's hard to keep track of more than five topics while reading things, and I'm sure the same applies to writing.


 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Saturday, April 14 2012 @ 12:25 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Buddleia

[*]How you roleplay depends on what you want to get out of your roleplaying.
While it's awesome to write a story that everyone else enjoys, it is not an absolute requirement. You aren't being graded; there will not be a test. You are writing to please yourself, not everyone else. (Also, different people like different things, so you can't please everyone anyway.) While thinking about what your character wants in any scene or any story is important, it's also important to think about what you want.

Budd, you are so right. I completely agree with you. And wanted to say so because probably my last post makes it seem like I hate everyone who isn't telling stories. That's not the case. I just only ADORE the people telling stories. I myself sometimes just 'want to mess about' on Island. Thing is, even when I do that, I'm usually trying to tell a story anyway. For my own amusement normally.

I've been thinking on this some more, and as an avid stalker of RP and log subscriber I thought of some great scenes which I think clarify my personal opinion on what makes for good characters.

As Maniak said, many good characters have a few elements to them that are easy to describe. And many good characters show their feelings in many different ways. I like to add a lot of movement to my scenes, emoting regularly and extensively, but there are many ways to RP your character, bringing them to life.

Some examples of great characterization (apologies that all colors are off):

Description: Escemfer starts a scene by playing Mouse Racing at the Sunny Spot.
Log Name: 11/16/11 Mojitos for All! - Kitt

Mostly-Dead Escemfer stands in the corner, sipping her third drink, happily plinking tokens into the mouse racing slots.
Mostly-Dead Escemfer hums a cheerful tune as the mice... go go go! "And the penguins go rolling along, hmmhmmhmm!"
Mostly-Dead Escemfer grins her gap-mouthed grin as the green mouse jerks and clanks its way to the finish line. Yes! If this keeps up, she'll slowly win back the req she wasted betting on all the mice, every time.
Mostly-Dead Escemfer taps the glass. "You're all winners on the inside!" she tells them encouragingly, plinking more tokens into the machine.

My take: Already I want to read the rest of the story. She's moving, talking, even singing. She's working with an item we can 'see' in the Sunnyspot but not actually interact with visibly just by roleplaying with it.

Description: Escemfer and Ebenezer have a simple conversation.
Log name: 12/01/11 Friends have Coffee

Ebenezer twists around until he's got the packet of biscuits out of his pocket. With a crnkl, he unwraps the wax paper, takes the biscuit from the top of the stack, and holds it out to her. "N-never know when you m-might-might need biscuits."
Mouser Escemfer nibbles the biscuit happily. "You're real prepared, huh?"
Ebenezer explains, "The ty-typo gremlins like them. Al-always best to have a way to, erm, to di-divert their atten-tention, you know?"
Mouser Escemfer ohs and nods. "Those guys are kinda weird, aren't they?"
Ebenezer says, "V-very well-behaved little chaps, if-if-if you, erm, you know how to d-deal with them, I think." He dunks a gingersnap into his coffee.
Mouser Escemfer tries to hide a grin behind a cookie. "Chaps?" She imagines the gremlins in little caps, like proper chaps.
Ebenezer pulls a face. "Oh, d-do you-do you think that's funny?"
Mouser Escemfer tries to look serious again. "No."
Ebenezer tests, "Chaps."
Mouser Escemfer's mouth twitches.
Ebenezer grins proudly into his coffee.

My take: E + E manage to have a static scene with little movement, yet their simple facial expressions convey a lot of emotion. Normally the 'head nods' are obnoxious. Not here. There is a lot to be learned in this simple interaction.

Description: Laurence and Micha meet in the PSK
Log name: 0106 : Twiggin' on Daquiris: Kew, Micha, Tag, Laurence

Laurence enters the outpost from the north, damp and cheerful. After a quick look around the square he heads to the PSK.
Laurence gives Dan a nod and makes a quick gesture with his hand as he enters then heads for a table in the corner.
There is already someone at that table, staring fixedly down at the scarred wooden top. By the glimmer of rhinestones against her skin as she inhales, it can only be one person.
Laurence blinks, startled. "Ah...didn't see you there." He quickly adds, "Er...heya, Micha."
Spangled Micha slowly rubs a finger against the wood, then sticks her nose right up to the surface and inhales, closing her eyes. It smells like beer. But deeper than that, it tickles like the half-caught side of a fish just slipping away.
Spangled Micha slides her eyes up to Laurence, not taking her nose from the table. "Hello," she agrees. She kicks out a chair for him before sitting straight again.
Laurence jumps back like it's a snake striking, nearly bowling over Emily carrying a couple pints of Dan's finest in the process. "What!" he barks, his eyes flickering wildly for a moment before he recognizes the wooden form of the aggressor.
"Oh," Laurence says, eyes focused on the chair, half expecting it to slither towards him.
Spangled Micha goes back to smelling the table while Laurence works things out.
She's unflappable like that.

My take: Another example of using Island NPC's for storytelling. Also, Micha does something here that I see her do a lot of and I LOVE IT. Smells. She deals in smells. It is always deeply evocative in story and really brings something special to her RP.


Overall:
I think good characterization and good storytelling go hand and hand naturally. I personally love the above use of colors, font styles and emotes (as well as the specials that Micha used in the PSK). The scenes above amuse and inspire me. Maybe they will for you too. (I can go on and on, but I thought three examples was plenty).

Thanks to Escemfer, Ebenezer, Micha and Laurence for letting me quote their scenes.

-Rose


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Genevieve
 Tuesday, April 17 2012 @ 08:18 PM UTC  
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This has been a really enlightening read, if I do say so myself. When I first started I had just an idea, applied my own personality to it (my own name, even, I wasn't very original but I had never RPed before) and it changed a whole lot between then and now.

But what I have now is fun! And what I think made personality come so easily to some of my characters (Carlynne and my NPCs) is that I've given all of them jobs.

It's kind of silly but when I wrote everyone for the Port I thought "Who would run a meat stand on Improbable Island?" And so I thought about the game, everyone hunts, and is capable of getting meat from whatever they hunt, I knew Kittymorphs were the more meat-driven race, but I also knew that Mutants had the best steak! So I said "Okay, so, I'll have a Mutant run the meat stand in Port Foley. Male, Female? What would they look like?" So I thought well, this is a Pirate port town, so they'd have to be a tough bastard, so I envisioned someone scary looking, decided they'd be male. Now I've got Githinji, a six-armed, three-eyed Mutant who sells meat and thinks of everyone around him as potential meat (since many Monsters in the Jungle are just Contestants gone awry... That Guy and such.)

I think the Island itself is such a rich place it is easy to impart a personality on who you put in it by dictating how they'd interact with what's around them. How does your character fight in the Jungle? Do they clean their kills or prefer burgers? How has fighting affected them? The weather? The trees? (When I first wrote Genevieve she was from a sort of Fallout-esque world that didn't have grass, and I think I spent my first week on the Island describing her getting excited at trees and water. She's totally different now.)

It is also fun to use what the Island has given us in terms of canonical behaviors for races. Kittymorphs are sexy, yes, that's a lot of fun to play, but what about being easily distracted, lazy, and fickle? How else do cats behave? I have two Kittymorph NPCs in Port Foley, one is a sexy, tactile person (who does piercings) but she can't be bothered to do much else beyond her work, the other is short-tempered and focused, always cleaning. Mutants are described as being sad all the time and writing awful poetry, if you're having trouble RPing a mutant it can help to explore those thoughts!

Also: Think about what races your character would absolutely loath to be. Carlynne hates being a 'morph. Even though she's a Badger right now (which is awesome) she hates being "wan af them squishy weak 'marphs" because of their defense debuff. There is so much information given to us when we start the game, you could spend hours and hours by yourself just imagining what your character would do with the data presented to them.

And I suppose a bit of reality is fun, too. I feel that not enough people ask themselves the question "When my character needs to take a crap, where do they do it?"

You'd be surprised how much you can learn about someone when you inquire as to their bowel movements.

Terribly sorry, that was long and rambly.


 
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Hairy Mary
 Friday, April 20 2012 @ 01:43 AM UTC  
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Been reading this, it's interesting.

Just to bring out something that have already been more or less said.

There are (at least) two different aspects to RP. Scene creation, and social interaction. Most RP is a mixture of both, although there are plenty of bits that are almost exclusively one or the other.
Some people, once they've written something, consider it done, the fun was in the interaction and that's now over. Some people like their writing to stay up on the front page for a little while, or even post a copy in the wiki.
There's a sort of tension between them. The more interactively that you're playing, the less control that you (or anybody else) has over where a scene goes. Either way (or any other) is of course entirely cool, but it's worth remembering that other people might be playing from a different perspective to you.

Just thought that that was worth explicitly stating. I reckon that thinking about what you enjoy in RP should help you in thinking about how to improve your enjoyment of same.


 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Sunday, May 27 2012 @ 11:48 AM UTC  
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On a related topic, I read this article by Greg Rucka this morning and loved it. Don't be put off by the title, it's not just about feminism.

Great quotes from it include:

Writers don't write Men or Women or Dogs or Salmon. Writers write characters, and at our best, if we do it well and with care and with thought, we invest in those characters a spark of life, a realism and nuance that makes them believable and relatable. We seek to craft characters who inspire empathy, characters our audience will care for, and as a result, will care about what happens to them, and thus will share the journey we have charted. A story, after all, is the character's journey.

No character - no well-created character, at least - is defined by only one trait, by one aspect. Sherlock Holmes is not simply brilliant. He's also a malfunctioning human being who, perhaps ironically, possesses a strong moral compass and such a compulsion to pursue justice that it eclipses any fealty to the law. He's also a junkie.

as well as a bit about research

If I'm writing a story about a pilot, it might, conceivably, be of use to me to know something about how to fly a plane. A pursuit of a pilot's license all my own would certainly make me more convincing, but sitting down with some solid reading, and perhaps an interview or two, would help to cover my bases.

This isn't a matter of authenticity alone, though certainly anything that helps invest a story with verisimilitude and I would argue that such investment comes via character far more than it does via plot is worthy of pursuit. Rather, this is a matter of respect, for both the story itself and for the audience receiving it. The reader is smarter than you. The reader is always smarter than you. And the reader knows when you've taken a shortcut, or phoned it in, or are trying to pull a fast one. And the reader don't like it one bit.

These words are the stuff of gold. I want to have someone cross-stitch them and put them over my toilet, or maybe guest bed.

-Rose


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Laser Towel
 Sunday, May 27 2012 @ 02:05 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Maniak

stuff about animated interactions and conversations



This. I tend to repeat things at times, rather more often than I would care to admit, but the only time I resort to Talking Head Syndrome is when I am in Banter, or when Exposition Calls. In the latter case, it is a side effect of double- or triple-posting.

I find giving Arthur odd shapes and forms forces me to be creative with my emoting. (How exactly does a floating robot-thing with absolutely no distinguishing features aside from satellites, a black colouring, and a spherical appearance emote? Simple! His satellites have the ability to unfold into hands, among other things. Still building my vocabulary of synonyms for words like "unfold" and "thin" and "long", however.)

Sometimes environmental interaction can be an efficient method of emoting. If your character does not have a face, he/she might express dejection by kicking a rock on the ground. There are many things you can do to increase your character's immersion in their current activity and environment. Of course, while shooting yourself in the foot can force you to think creatively, it also helps to avoid using a high-caliber rifle to do so. Overdoing a good thing can have the opposite intended effect.

Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey

((I'm generalizing here I know, some of you out there ((I've read your logs I know!)) go for six hours or more REGULARLY))



I would venture to say that this can be both good and bad, depending on how it plays out.

When done well, a lengthy roleplay shows that the parties involved are just that. Involved. It shows that these people/animals/things/whatever are here to do something, and they are not just popping in for a quick chat or brunch. It shows dedication and a genuine interest in what is going on presently, both for the character and the narrator. Example: In Real Life, if a person haphazardly greets someone, only to interrupt the conversation five minutes later with "Oh! Gotta run, see ya!" followed by a swift exit, or in some cases they just leave without notice, this indicates that either a) they are extremely busy, b) they have little vested interest, or c) both. While it is understandable that people will have busy lives and schedules, it is also a good idea to properly invest time in the things you enjoy and may wish to continue at a later date - otherwise, people will think you are a disinterested individual and act accordingly. Again, in Real Life, sometimes people come to the realisation that they have other commitments, and yet they decide that what they are currently doing - namely, interacting with an individual or environment - is more important than whatever it is they had planned prior to their foray. They then make the necessary adjustments, and continue with what they are doing.

On the other hand, you do not want to let things drag on for too terribly long, as one or more parties involved may eventually lose interest and the entire thing will fall apart at the seams. Timely replies, as well as knowing when to quit while you are ahead, help to prevent this from happening.


Another key element is mood. Some people prefer to keep things lighthearted and silly. Others tend to take a more serious approach. While both are fine and well, as with everything, moderation is key. If you are having difficulty finding others who are willing to RP with you, perhaps it is because your character is a bit on the heavy side. Does he/she ever laugh, or smile, or otherwise indicate that they are enjoying themselves? Or perhaps other characters avoid yours because they have a tendency to constantly act as if everything is One Big Joke. Some people* may be discomfited by this, or feel as if they are not taken seriously enough. There is nothing inherently wrong with either of these approaches, but if you do not change your gameplan from time to time, you may find that certain groups avoid you consistently, while others rarely seem to leave you alone. Think about what you want for your character, realistically, and then act on that.

That being said, the most important thing to remember is to have fun, preferably not at the expense of others. Good writing and invested time are signs of this, but not prerequisites.


Yes, Arthur is one of Those People. However, this does not mean that I do not enjoy his discomfiture at times. Wink.


Dent
 
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TeddybearofDeath
 Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 06:30 AM UTC  
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Like many other have begun and stated here, I feel the need to say, I'm not the best writer. Nobody is really. But I still feel like I have some things to contribute/expand upon in this article. People are doing a fantastic job of pointing out great tips for serious roleplayers. There's just a couple of things I'd like to add, if I may.

Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey



Keep in mind

You are NOT your character

THIS IS IMPORTANT.



THIS IS VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT. I don't think enough rules, or guides, or advisiors hit enough on this note. I can't spaz enough about this. You. Are. Not. Your. Character. I don't care if they have the same name as you, the same backstory as you, or the same personality as you. You do NOT live on an island/tv show with an improbable drive. You do not live in the post EMP setting, or your computer would not be working. You are not a kittymorph/zombie/joker with glowing eyes. YOU ARE NOT THEM!

Every character is just that: A character. They can be based on you, but you absolutely HAVE to remember to keep a certain ammount of distance from the character too. If someone's character wrongs yours in story, it does NOT mean their NARRARTOR has something personal against YOU. In fact, you might end up being friends, even if your characters don't get along, or even want to kill each other! On the other hand, if you and another person's character have a relationship, it doesn't mean you're actually dating the other narrator, or that you should get too many personal feelings invested in the fictional relationship.

I feel like it's important especially for newer roleplayers to learn this, learn it well, and learn it early. When veterans have been around for ages who've never learned this, and things start not going their way, it can lead to unpleasant ridiculous drama that drives people away from that person. It's even driven people away from the island altogether! That's why I can't stress how important it is to remember that you are NOT your character.

On a less rant-tastic note of the same subject, I want to continue to expand on things the intelligent and delightful RoseMoo has brought to us:
Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey

On a related topic, I read this article by Greg Rucka this morning and loved it. Don't be put off by the title, it's not just about feminism.

Great quotes from it include:

Writers don't write Men or Women or Dogs or Salmon. Writers write characters, and at our best, if we do it well and with care and with thought, we invest in those characters a spark of life, a realism and nuance that makes them believable and relatable. We seek to craft characters who inspire empathy, characters our audience will care for, and as a result, will care about what happens to them, and thus will share the journey we have charted. A story, after all, is the character's journey.

No character - no well-created character, at least - is defined by only one trait, by one aspect. Sherlock Holmes is not simply brilliant. He's also a malfunctioning human being who, perhaps ironically, possesses a strong moral compass and such a compulsion to pursue justice that it eclipses any fealty to the law. He's also a junkie.



I love what this guys says, because again, writing a character. Some people say, 'I don't know how people can play the other gender/animals/etc.' What that tells me in some cases, not ALL, but some, is that they might be inserting themselves too much into the story again. You're not necessarily pretending YOU are a woman, as a male narrartor. You are just WRITING a female character. Do books with male authors write only male characters? Not usually. Yet they are male, writing a woman's actions. I frequently reccomend to people to think of roleplaying as writing passages to a book as a collaberation with other authors when it comes to character variety. You are writing a single character's actions within a grander, narrative novel. That's how I've always thought of roleplaying, especially before I even knew the term 'roleplaying' was used for it.

And on a side note..
Quote by: jenkins

Grammar on the island is lovely, capitalized sentences, commas, non-shortened words; It's all quite lovely. And, when I see the one contestant that has uncapitalized sentences in the midst of all those beautifully crafted posts, I cringe.



Everyone has pet peeves about other people's writing. Everyone has differing degrees of what is acceptable to post in regards to grammer, spelling, etc. But in another thread here recently, CMJ pointed out something I feel like everyone should keep in mind.. Some of our players are BLIND. They're using some program to type blind, text to speech or something. And it sometimes messed up grammer or details! So while it's probably acceptable to encourage other players you see with proper spellings, a reminder to capitolize, or whatever issues your eyes home in on, without being a dick of course.. It's also important to be careful you're not berating a blind person out of control of the specifics! Just saying, try to go easy on people, especially if you don't know the situation. : )


"It's hard to get pumped about this, without someone nice n' fuzzy around."
 
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Full Metal Lion
 Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 04:26 PM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
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Quote by: TeddybearofDeath


Some of our players are BLIND. They're using some program to type blind, text to speech or something. And it sometimes messed up grammer or details! So while it's probably acceptable to encourage other players you see with proper spellings, a reminder to capitolize, or whatever issues your eyes home in on, without being a dick of course.. It's also important to be careful you're not berating a blind person out of control of the specifics! Just saying, try to go easy on people, especially if you don't know the situation. : )


Am I the only one(The answer is no.) who finds this deliciously impossible-sounding? It's like the clue in Encyclopedia Brown that the blind man isn't really blind: he was playing a text-adventure game. Kids these days and their gizmos for overcoming adversity...

In the future, I will be sure to ask "are you a blind person? Because you type like one." That should make everything good.


 
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