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 Easy post guidelines, tips and tricks

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PostSubject: Re: Easy post guidelines, tips and tricks   Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:52 pm

Hey ya'll!
So everyone knows what its like to be new and not having the expirence as some other roleplayers. Or, just being stuck and cant think of anything to post. We've all sat there looking over posts, thinking to ourselves "Argh! I cant think of ANYTHINGGGG" and then dealing with the disappointment of a short or bland post. Well here are some simple guidelines, definitions and ideas that may help.


Enjoy.


Grammar
This does not come naturally to many people and can take a while to get used to. The best suggestion for finding the proper grammar of a sentence would be to read it out loud and see if it sounds right. If it doesn't, re-arrange the words until it sounds right.
Here are some simple rules for grammar:

  • Every sentence should ALWAYS have a capital letter at the start. Every. Single. Sentence. From what I've seen, some people will put a capitalized letter in the beginning of one sentence, and then forget it the next.


  • Capitalize all of your isolated "I"'s, such as I went to the park, not, i went to the park. Even if it's in the middle of the sentence or at the end, the same rule applies. If it's by itself, then 'I' is capitalized.  


  • READ BOOKS. This one kind of is for everything, but I'm putting it here because it's important, and I want you to see it before you ragequit this thread.
    Reading Books can help you SO much. Do a web search for 'best rated fiction books of the year' or something similar, order them offline, go to your nearest library...etc. The reason I'm such a stickler for grammar is because during all of my child years, I read maybe four or five books a week. I saw what was good, what was bad, and I slowly drew all of the 'good' grammar stuff into my writing style.  

Ex: Kara ate the bunny, hesitant.
to: Kara hesitantly ate the bunny.
Even though it might not seem like a big thing, it can make all the difference that your sentences flow together, otherwise people will need to stop and re-read you post and suddenly they find that the immersion is broken just because something doesn't sound right. By re-reading and revising your posts, you will see a world of difference.


Spelling
The thing with spelling is to look at the word and ask yourself if it looks right. If it looks odd, change it around until it looks better. If you do that and it still doesn't look right, you can look it up in the dictionary or ask someone to correct you.
One simple way to ensure spelling is right is to utilize the spell check option.
Proper Spacing

  • EXAMPLE:

The female climbed up to the top of the hill. "Finally," She muttered. "I made it." She sat down, taking out a flask of whiskey and a tarnished cup. She poured the wine into the cup, savoring the smell. "Perfect. Just the right age." The female grinned, ready to take a sip. Suddenly, a blade came from nowhere and nearly killed her. She leap to her feet and dashed away, leaving the whiskey behind for the blade-wielding stranger to drink.
NOW...that is what we do NOT want. See how everything it pushed together? It doesn't flow, it breaks up the momentum of a post. The general rule to follow is that whenever a NEW character talks, thinks, or moves, you put a paragraph break. Sure, it might elongate your post, but it will be MUCH easier to read. Lets put that same paragraph into proper format.

  • PROPER EXAMPLE:

The female climbed up to the top of the hill. "Finally," She muttered, "I made it."
 She sat down, taking out a flask of whiskey and a tarnished cup. She poured the whiskey into the cup, savoring the smell. "Perfect. Just the right age." The female grinned, ready to take a sip.
 Suddenly, a blade came from nowhere and nearly killed her. She leap to her feet and dashed away, leaving the wine behind for the blade-wielding stranger to drink.
Notice how each time a character does a new action or speech, there is a paragraph break in? It breaks up the paragraph and makes it much easier to read and interpret. Granted, it wasn't the best example, but I make do with what I have.


Length
The length of a post can be subjective to the situation. The ideal post is one that is around two to five paragraphs in length. Any more and people will start to feel their eyeballs drying out from staring at the screen that long. If you are having a back and forth conversation, short posts are fine, but at least try to put in a whole paragraph to keep interest up. There are few key things in a post that should always be covered.

  • Setting: If it hasn't been established, establish it. Nothing makes it harder to imagine what is going on than if the characters are just floating in a 'white space.' Give them a world to interact with. Describing a new setting should probably take up a full paragraph.


  • Action: What is happening in this post that makes us want to read it? Action does not have to mean that fighting is going on, action simply means that something is happening. It could be internal conflict, it could be Kara found a seat at the bar, Blaze might have picked some lint out of his belly-button. It doesn't matter the specifics of the action, just that something happened and you made us interested enough to read it.


  • Resolution/Suspense: You post must contain a logical end to it. You can use these to hint at what you would like to happen next. Such as, "Blaze fired his shotgun at Blade, hoping that it would hit him. If it did, then his plan would begin." Naturally Blade is going to be curious to see what Blaze's plan is, so he's now more likely to let the bullet hit him. The ending of your post is crucial in that you finish your step and wait for someone else to start theirs. Give them something to work with.



Description
This is the meat of your post. Describe, describe, describe. You are painting a picture for people to look at, so you should make it good. What ever you do, do it with description. Don't just say that you ran from the enemy, say you ran like a deer away from a fire. Say that the table wasn't only green, but that it had elvish runes carved into it. Did you kill something? Well then say how you killed it.
Now too much detail can be a problem sometimes, but if you are having that problem, just back off a little bit and you'll be fine. The point of description is just so that people reading it can get a mental picture of what is going on. Remember 'white space?' You don't want your character to just stand there with his hands straight down at his sides while he talks.
THINGS TO AVOID IN YOUR POSTS



Rules against godmodding, metagaming and powerplaying are likely some of the most common rules to be instituted onto RP boards, yet very rarely do they appear to be described in a fashion other than 'Don't to this, because it is bad', or when they are described they are contradictory and confusing. This guide aims to clarify the three terms in the simplest way possible in order to enhance the role playing experience.


GODMODDING

Godmodding in its simplest terms is controlling another player's character without their permission. By imposing your will on their character without their permission, you are gaining 'godlike' or 'divine' powers, hence the origin of the term. Godmodding can be as basic stating that a character is holding a drink in their hand at a party, or mentioning a type of clothing a character is wearing. It can also include actions, such as Character A swinging a punch and breaking Character B's nose. In this scenario there was not any opportunity for Character B's player to respond to the action, maybe their character dodged the punch entirely or got a black eye instead, perhaps it hit but not strong enough to actually break their nose. By stating the end result of the action, the player of Character A is removing the ability of Character B's player to contribute to both the scene and the mood of the thread.


Avoiding godmodding is rather simple, the easiest way to do so is to leave an opening for the other player to respond to. For example this Shaking her head, Jane frowned at Steve, clearly disgusted by him. "You've had enough, you drunk," she snapped as she reached out and snatched the glass out of his hand. could easy be changed to this Shaking her head, Jane frowned at Steve, clearly disgusted by him. "You've had enough, you drunk," she snapped as she reached out, intending to snatch the glass out of his hand. Only a few words were changed, yet the second one isn't godmodding because it gives Steve's player the chance to respond and decide what happens next.


The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to avoid godmodding is to give the other player the chance to respond to the action.


METAGAMING

The easiest of the three to define, though likely the hardest to avoid is metagaming. This term comes from the Greek word meta meaning 'about' or 'beyond'. Hence to metagame would be playing with knowledge beyond the scope of the present game, plot, or scene. This knowledge can be gained various ways, either through historical research, threads that occur at a time later than the one that is currently being worked on, informational topics posted on the board itself, or chatting with other players about their characters and gaining knowledge about them, as well as other ways.


Unless the board administration keeps every single detail of the plot under wraps and does not let it progress to the next major event until all the past threads are complete so the board can move forward together, all roleplayers are at some point privy to information as the player that realistically their character would not yet know in game. This could be as simple as commenting on a pregnancy that isn't common knowledge/announced to the public yet, or having a character be angry that their partner was having a clandestine affair, all the way to having a character avoid going on a mission that ended in failure despite hopes in the beginning it would be successful.

The most important thing to keep in mind to avoid metagaming is that just because you the player know something, doesn't mean your character will.


POWERPLAYING

Powerplaying is when a player manipulates their character's abilities, powers or skills so that their character always has an advantage in the situation. This could be as simple as always knowing the best spell, or having a black belt in every type of martial art known to man. Powerplaying is most often confused with godmodding, and while the two are quite close, the difference between them is that godmodding is more controlling the other players character, while powerplaying is focused on your own character and manipulating the scene through them.

Any experienced RPer will tell you that the most believable characters have strengths and weaknesses, and if they don't then they face the dreaded title of Mary/Gary Stu. No character can ever be the fastest/strongest/bravest/smartest/whateverest all the time, and saying they are is powerplaying. This is most often found in battle threads and physical contests when it is often left to the player to determine the effectiveness of attacks and extent of damage given. No one wants to play with a a character that always wins! No matter how awesome your character may be, there will always be one out there that is better.

The most important thing to remember when trying to avoid powerplaying is keeping in mind that no one is immortal, and they all have weaknesses, as well as keeping the bounds of reason in mind.
Conclusion
Avoiding godmodding, metagaming and powerplaying is far simpler than it sounds, the easiest way is when in doubt ask the other player. Remember the saying about assuming things, 'it makes an ass out of u and me'. It doesn't take more than a second to zip them a PM and see what they thing about the action you're planning. This will prevent confusion and will prevent any hurt feelings that may arise from one player 'controlling' another players character. Also, remember to give an out. Never post with a definitive action, always give the other person the opportunity to decide if they want the action to be complete by using words like 'attempt', 'try', etc. By following these simple steps you'll be able to avoid the most common pit falls of RPing.

For site rules on posting/fighting which includes the restriction on godmodding and powerplaying
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Written by Kara
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