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Read First-How to Roleplay
A Common Misconception: Roleplay is a writing art about story-telling, cooperation, and character development; it is not a contest to see who can write the least. If you can't write and know it, roleplay is probably not the thing for you.

Well, if you're here, it hopefully means that you want to get better at ROLEPLAY! I want you to get better too, so I'll make this as visual and hands-on as possible.

For the sake of demonstration, I will show you what decent posts look like, then explain what goes into a good RP thread. The following posts are taken with consent of the posters from a thread on a Naruto RP forum. It's a team introduction thread.

The posting order is: Raab, me, then Olordyx.

Raab's Post:

Raab Wrote:Alright...

This feeling was all too familiar. As Teishu stood with his arms crossed and his weight supported on his right leg. He couldn't help but actually feel incredibly nervous for the task at hand. He thought back to those two years ago when he was thrust into an identical situation. Of course, the means in which the situation was produced were in fact completely different. Teishu then straightened himself out, and had an aloof air about him. His head was cocked back, looking towards the cloudy sky. The clouds were dark, slightly ominous, and did not bode well for the young man.

That's the last thing I need...doubt...

However, Teishu closed his eyes, and then took in a deep breath. With a shake of his head, it seemed that all of his inhibitions and ambiguity were tossed aside. The young man then opened his eyes, and greeted the two young men that stood before him with a warm smile. His golden brown eyes turned first towards the boy with black hair, and then to the one with the oddly shaded green mop. As if mimicking the shinobi, the sky actually began to clear up, and a few stray beams of light showered the Leaf Village with warmth. we go.

Teishu unfolded his arms and slapped them down to his sides, trying to make his body language appear more open and friendly. His right hand rose to scratch the back of his head; the other was raised, bent at the elbow. The hand was held with the palm facing the sky, almost as if it were ushering the two boys forward.

"Well...hello! Nice to meet you. My name is Yamazaru Teishu. I'm a Chuunin of the Leaf Village, Nineteen years old, and..."

Moving away from his usual introduction, Teishu let out a great sigh, and finally finished introducing himself.

"I'm going to be your sensei."

Teishu's arms fell down to his sides once more, and then his hands moved towards his hips, propping them up for support.

No pressure. No...pressure...

Teishu then let out an awkard laugh, gesturing towards the two young shinobi before him by flinging his arms at them.

"Well! Go on. Introduce yourselves. We're not going to get anywhere if we can't have a simple conversation."

First impressions were everything...and it seemed that the the air was thick with maladroitness.

Notice several things here:

  1. He used a specific color for his character's dialogue and thoughts.
  2. He bolded his characters words and italicized his character's thoughts. You don't have to do it exactly like this, but this is the best looking and most common way of showing the difference between spoken words and thoughts in roleplay.
  3. He describes his environment in detail; just from reading his post, you find out that it's a partly cloudy day in the Leaf Village.
  4. His character, Teishu, has a easy-going, goofy personality and Raab accurately portrays this.
  5. He is descriptive with Tenihu's actions and feelings.
  6. He makes it obvious where he wants the thread to go; he wants Rai and me to have our characters meet Teishu.
  7. His character says and does several things in one post.... this is GOOD, because now I can step in and weave my post around his.
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Now I replied with my post:

Raith Wrote:He stood to the left of the other Genin, both of them before their sensei like young chicks. Just because he was in a new situation didn't mean he wasn't sizing up their small group the instant he recognized the members. This guy, his sensei, pretty much seemed to him one of those corny, breathe easy types. Could he even handle Desta? And, yet, the Hokage had decided this was to be Desta's sensei. For whatever reason.

An eyebrow cocked ever so slightly, he kept to himself with reticence. With an attitude like that, is he even a ninja? Well, I'm one to talk. But seriously, he's looking at clouds... I can't blame him, the weather's been nasty today.

Desta's hands, which were at his side, roguishly found their way into the pockets of his blue leggings. He was very perceptive to body language and easily recognized his sensei's unsettlement. He recognized the man's sigh as shrugging off any concerns, but Desta's interest moved on and his eyes scanned the sky momentarily--in search of some feature of the sky he had missed that his sensei had not--but there was boorishly nothing new. Back down to earth, his unruly features relaxed some, sore from training yesterday.

"Well... hello! Nice to meet you. My name is Yamazaru Teishu." So that's his name. Teishu-sensei? Oh man, that sounds lame. Never again. Desta didn't have anything to say to that, so he kept quiet, amused with his thoughts. Teishu decided to press on, "I'm a Chuunin of the Leaf Village, Nineteen years old, and... I'm going to be your sensei."

A playful grin flashed across Desta's face. "I didn't see that one coming." On the surface Desta seemed fine, but the sigh Teishu let out was interpreted by Desta as thinking of the team like some petty chore to do before moving on with life. Their sensei really isn't the best at expressing himself, it seemed, as it didn't take much to misconstrue his meaning.

"Well! Go on. Introduce yourselves. We're not going to get anywhere if we can't have a simple conversation."

The heavens already started to clear when a sudden break in the clouds smothered the trio with slivers of sunshine. The breeze rustled a tree nearby as leaves dislodged from their vessel dived to the ground. As Desta took a step forward, he took charge and chose to go before the male next to him (who he had hardly noticed, right now his cloud nine sensei was more interesting) by calmly starting his introductions and all that jazz. He didn't even care whether his teammate wanted to go or not anyway. "I'm Shinkirou Desta. Call me Desta, not 'Des' or 'Dest'... I don't like nicknames. I don't really know what else I was going to say, so it's your turn."

Desta ended there and stepped back again, returning to where he stood before with relative indifference playing across his sinewy features.

If first impressions were everything, my team would be in a pretty sad state of affairs... really. I wonder if anyone got a cooler sensei. Are we allowed to trade? No takebacks?

Again, there are things you can observe:

  1. I used Teishu's words in my post to show that my character, Desta, heard what was said.
  2. I used a different color than Teishu's for Desta's dialogue and thoughts, because Teishu's dialogue is directly in my post.
  3. I'm descriptive with Desta's thoughts and actions.
  4. I'm consistent with Desta's personality, which is cocky and defiant punk but is analytical and sensitive; to describe something as simple as shoving his hands into his pockets, I used the adjective "roguishly" to show who Desta is.
  5. I make sure Desta reacts to the important things that Teishu said and did.
  6. I used many unique adjectives instead of the same ones that you use in everyday language.
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Finally, Olordyx's Post:

Olordyx Wrote:He released a slow, patient breath of air, mimicking the forest around his team with a sense of calm detachedness. Still, he was only mimicking. In truth, the young Onoda Rei felt listless and slow. He was twelve, only twelve, but jaded. He wasn't even certain he understood in its entirety what it meant to be "jaded". The world seemed dark and he didn't know why. He didn't have friends, no, but he was losing enemies. School yard rivalries were vanishing, like sand in a desert wind. All he had, he supposed, was his shinobi work and his parents. Still, his parents seemed more and more stressed lately. Especially his mother. Pain washed over her face with such startlingly frequency it became a mask, a permanent state of concern and worry. Rei, in passing, wondered if it was of his own doing, but dismissed that thought quickly. No, it was something much deeper...

But what?

Rei narrowed his eyes, contemplating particular matters deeply, as he responded robotically. "My name is Onoda Rei, of the Onoda Clan. My mother is Onoda Hiro and my father is Onoda Horyuu. I look forward to a rewarding, knowledgeable experience." He finished, eyes unfocused on the ground, before looking up slowly. His broken purple and blue gaze centered on his sensei before turning to his teammate, his mouth upturned in a soft, but cold, smile.

Here's the important things you can learn from Olo's post:

  1. Shorter is not always a bad thing! Much of the time, you're fine if you don't stray from the size of the other posts in the thread... barring anything less than a paragraph. This is Olordyx being lazy, and it still looks better than 99% of the old posts in this section. We seriously need to step it up.
  2. Like Raab and me, Olo bleeds her character's (Rei) personality into her writing; her very first sentence tells you so much about Rei!
  3. She has Rei reply to the most important thing that happened: having to introduce himself.
  4. She uses a different color than us.
  5. She doesn't repeat what we already know about the environment; because Raab and I have already fleshed out anything important about the setting, she doesn't comment on it because that would be repetitive. This isn't always necessary, especially when reacting to the environment.
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As you have seen, we all have different styles. We didn't follow every example the same way, or even at all!

But together, we weaved an interesting introduction that shows what our characters are about with crystal clarity, which was part of the reason Raab made that thread. From that round of posting, you've learned a lot of things: setting, personality, character positions, and history are a few.

You don't have to be carbon copies of us to be a decent roleplayer, you just have to act or react with your character and leave things for the other posters to pick up on.

Threads: There are two main types of threads--open and closed. Open threads mean anyone can join and RP in it, and closed threads mean only people with your permission are allowed to post. You can show what type of thread it is by putting the words "Open" or "Closed" in your thread title.

Cohesiveness: If you have difficulty RPing with others and building up synergy, make a closed thread with close friends of yours. Friends you talk to often will be better to roleplay with because you guys are in sync with eachother's thoughts. Even though it's occasionally good for your character to meet new characters by making open threads, a closed thread prevents any random derp from interacting with your character in a way that drives him away from the end-plot that you have in mind.

And speaking of plots, always have a plot in mind before you roleplay with a character. Do you want him to be some hardcore thug by the end of his plot? Then interact with characters that will help him reach that goal!

But Here's Another Great Tip: While following what's expected of your character will help you reach the pinnacle of your plot, you can make things interesting by making your character the OPPOSITE of what you want and have him gradually become the character you want him to be over time. Developing your character is immensely important.

I'm way too tired to keep this up, so I'll finish this post in the morning... ::yawn::
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This is very informative and will help you as a writer. THINK OF THE DOLPHINS!

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Nice Chart.

there are a lot of other words that fall under here as well, other than those that is. Some words have regional spelling, and has to be treated as such.

I.E. Honour, Armour,

Also, words people always seem to misspell: accidentally, Sergeant, Vacuum
(no Idea how many times I have seen people misspell vacuum vacum.)

Also, here is a link for you all.
CeFurkan Wrote:
@Nitz_X u really should leave this game
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Writing: Body Language and Emotion

Today's class will be about how to write emotional responses and body language!

Everyone cheer!

Conveying emotions can seem easy at a glance. "Dawn was angry." "Deidara seemed unamused." "That made Guider sad." I mean, the emotions are right there! You know what they are, it says it!

The issue with simply telling emotions they feel is that the reader is disjointed from it. They may not necessarily be taking that emotion along for themselves and feel the story is disconnected.

The other issue is POV (Point of View). How does one character know what the others' emotions are? This is where the body language comes in, of course, but one issue affects the other.

So, we begin!

Show, don't tell!

The foundation of good writing mandates that we show the reader what is going on, not tell them. How can you tell the difference? There's an easy little trick for it.

Are you using an adverb?
An adverb, in case you have forgotten, is a word that modifies a verb or adjective, it usually ends in -ly.

Example: "Deidara walked angrily to the next room."

Grammatically, it's a perfectly acceptable sentence. We can tell who walked, where they walked, and how they walked there. Right?

Well, sorta. We know that Deidara walked there "angrily" but what does that mean? There are a lot of ways for walking somewhere angrily, but is there a better word available to clarify this and remove the adverb? Is there a technique to use to improve how clearly we see the emotion?

Why yes, there sure is. In fact, there are two.

Technique 1: Showing with dynamic verbs.

The quickest way to change telling to showing is to remove your adverb problem by replacing your "verb adverb" combination with a "better verb." So, the above example of "Deidara walked angrily to the next room" could be modified as such:

Deidara stomped into the next room.
Deidara seethed into the next room.
Deidara stampeded into the next room.
Deidara exploded into the next room.
Deidara stormed into the next room.
Deidara hissed into the next room.
Deidara raved into the next room.

Each one still conveys the motion of Deidara going into the next room, but each sentence now conveys a specific level of emotion and physicality. Stomping shows outward and explosive anger as well as shows a guy who is comfortable with expressing himself and probably doesn't care what people think. Perhaps his anger is indignation, like he was insulted. Seethed, on the other hand, makes it sound like he has contained his anger, fuming angrily. Perhaps his shoulders are slunched and he's bowing his head, and though his walking stride isn't drawing any attention, he's clearly peeved.

The "seethed" example is a good example of what I call "word reassignment." Seething is an emotional state, but it's not a walking verb, per se. It's not "strode" "skipped" "stepped" or "stammered" but we still understand he went from one room to the other. Unless Deidara can fly or teleport, we understand that he's walking. We save a verb by skipping the walking verb, which is obviously implied, and replace it with something that indicates his emotional state.

This is a fun way to make a sentence more interesting. Let's try a few!

"Deidara walked drunkly to the door."
"Deidara slushed his way to the door."

"Orboknown pushed his pen angrily into the paper as he wrote."
"Orboknown chiseled the words into his paper with the pen."

"Raith spoke to the guards smarmily, charming his way past."
"Raith laughed his way past the guards."

The words "slush" "chisel" and "laugh" are not used in their traditional sense, but they make the sentences more interesting, allowing the reader to paint visual images of what happened in their head without describing every last detail.

The only way to improve with dynamic verbs is to expand your vocabulary! Reading is the strongest way, watching how other people use words and trying them out for yourself. For example, a book I read used the word "brace" to describe someone standing at attention; "He braced at attention." I had never thought to use the word in that sense before, and so I added it to my toolbox.

Technique 2: Showing with analogy/metaphor/simile.

In this technique, we replace the use of the adverbs by way of comparison rather than by improving the words. This is a very common technique, and used in my opinion exceptionally well by humorous authors, though anyone can do it effectively and have it improve his writing.

"Deidara walked angrily to the next room."
"Deidara rushed into the next room like a tiger with its tail on fire."

Clearly Deidara is not a tiger, does not have a tail, and no piece of his body was on fire. He probably wishes he was a Chimernue, but that's for another time! Anyway, we get the sense of the urgency, pain, and ferocity by which he moved.

This technique can be used at any time, though it really shines when you have difficulty describing something. This is particularly true of facial expressions, in my experience. For example, a smile. There are only really two words you can use for smile: smile and grin (you could use beamed or shimmered, etc but that falls in the dynamic word category). Sometimes it's best to just leave the smile or grin alone, or add a simple adverb, but if you really want to show something peculiar about it, then add the technique:
  • "Quanto Konami smiled like a madman discovering someone who'd believe him."

  • "Garbagekeeper smiled like a mother seeing her baby for the first time."

  • "Dark Flamez smiled a dead man's smile."

    Each of these conveys a different emotion, and yet all used the word "smile."

The first two are similes, because they use "like" or "as." You can also do this with a straight metaphor like the third, if you can come up with one.

"Hungry Rollie was a ravenous beast feasting on a fresh kill."

Instead of saying something was "like" something, you say something "is" something. It's a little more tricky than just using a simile.

The reason I said this technique works with humor is because you can make your comparisons more and more absurd. For example:

"Furkan thought that was about as useful as a man using spaghetti for fishing line."

"Garbagekeeper thought the woman was about as classy as a ham sandwich deep-friend in mayonnaise."

Or even:
"Deidara was about as clueless as a snake in zero gravity."

It serves the same function, but in an abstract way.

If you want to really go bananas, you can use this technique the way the British do, and say something is not like something else.

"Dawn was both beautiful and genius, completely unlike a shoe-shaped peanut butter jar."

...Yeah, the English are weird.

A note on facial expressions: There tons of different facial expressions and tons of different ways a person can quietly convey an emotion. To study it, you shouldn't read, but instead, watch TV or movies. Not anime, things with people in them. TV and movies have the burden of conveying an emotion visually, rather than with words. There can be some benefit to this, but it's also a challenge to do well. Study actors and their expressions, then try figuring out how to use analogies or dynamic words to get those emotions across.

That's all for now, hopefully you start applying this to your writing. Raithy, out!
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