Problem/Help Thread

New members should first read the Member's Manual and then return here if you wish to ask any questions. Here you can also casually learn how to roleplay and hone your skills outside of all story lines.

Moderator: Academy Instructor

Forum rules
New members should first read the Member's Manual and then return here if you wish to ask any questions. Here you can also casually learn how to roleplay and hone your skills outside of all story lines.
Post Reply
User avatar
Seamus
Staff Corporal
Staff Corporal
Posts: 192
Joined: 2011-04-26 04:50
Custom Title: Hammer 4-4
Organizational Unit: 213th Armor Division
Location: Emporer's Right Hand
Contact:

Problem/Help Thread

Post by Seamus » 2011-08-20 00:30

Wasn't sure where to put this.

Made this thread so we can all help each other out, and ultimately become better at writing.

I'll go first.

I gotta picture in my head. Of how I want my next post to go.

So many adjectives, but I only have to pick like 3 to describe 1 "Scene" if you will. What I've found is if I describe everything to every last minor detail it looses the reader, stalls the story, and overall just looks like a jumbled disorganized mess. Use too little and the reader is like "WTF?"

Another thing I struggle with when I roleplay with Other people is moving the story along without godmoding or using another one of your guy's characters. Which often times, is why I like to write alone. (You guys are still awesome though.) Because I don't want to piss anyone off, but at the same time, I don't want to put up a short 3 sentance post. That would waste 3 seconds of your life reading.

So I'm wondering, How do some of you guys do it?
"Nuts!" - General McAuliffe
"No, the reply is decidedly not affirmative."

User avatar
Kane
Emperor
Emperor
Posts: 1732
Joined: 2008-03-24 08:12
Custom Title: Sith Apprentice
Organizational Unit: First Fleet NIFSS Nemesis
Contact:

Re: Problem/Help Thread

Post by Kane » 2011-08-20 12:33

Striking a balance, basically.

If you have action going on, you don't want to linger too much on inconsequential details. A bit more colourful language would suit though. With that I mean '...and first four enemies were raked down like wheat by a scythe, bodies falling over and littering the landscape with blood slowly starting to fill up every crack of the until now painfully dry ground", not "I shot four of them and moved forward to new cover".

Introspection, background, setups, that sort of thing is more to establish an 'atmosphere' and can get deep. Small things that can give a feeling for a character, how they think, feel and reason, or an environment, how it looks, smells, feels.

The key to writing with others is basically to remember that you're the player character and everyone else is a guest in your post (unless the guest character also happens to be one of yours). You don't really control anyone else, so you have their characters just do shortly phrased logical things in so far you need them to do or say anything. Your post is from your perspective, so if you focus on what you do, it's all good. If they want to do something with more detail, they will fill in with their post.

Maybe we should have a 'writing with others' practice thread.
Image

User avatar
Spyker Katarn
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 1104
Joined: 2008-05-05 04:54
Custom Title: IC: RSM, SWC, Army. OOC: Admin, Academy Instr.
Organizational Unit: SPECWARCOM, Omega Order
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Problem/Help Thread

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2011-08-20 16:11

Generally, if I'm interacting with other player characters in a post and I need them to do or say something, I'll just come right out and ask the other player. It mostly goes like this:

Me: Hey, Spyker just said (or did) so-and-so; how would <x character> respond?
Other Player: <thinks>
OP: They'd do/say this: <insert action or dialogue here>.

It works out pretty well and doesn't step on toes or do anything that might be out of character, because you're getting the action straight from the horse's mouth. It also makes for tighter roleplaying.

As for actually writing, my philosophy (given that we write in third-person past tense) is to treat the post like it's the result of an interview. Yes, there's a picture in my head about the general nature (I want Spyker to go here and do this, etc.), but the details often come as I write and "interview" the character. It also takes me a few days to write out, so I'm often planning multiple scenarios before I commit pen to paper (or bits to bytes, given the medium).

Of course, new posts in between that throw wrenches into the mix break this up a bit, but once you get used to it, adapting is fairly simple.

My one biggest suggestion for writing better is to read more. Read everything you can get your hands on, newspapers, magazines, fiction, nonfiction, how-to-books, whatever; it doesn't matter what you read so long as you are reading (for here, I do recommend fiction books; my personal frame of reference generally results from Clancy, Cussler, Card, Flynn, etc.). The more you read, the better your understanding will be of grammar, style, pacing, etc., and all of that makes it just easier to write interesting posts.

It also gives you a baseline to work from, and from there you can develop your own style (for example, my style is tech-heavy, as per what I generally read, but I'm slowly adding in an emotional component to the writing). YMMV, though, so take that for what you will.

You might also want to take a look in this thread here to see if there's anything in there that might help you out.
Image
“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

User avatar
Spyker Katarn
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 1104
Joined: 2008-05-05 04:54
Custom Title: IC: RSM, SWC, Army. OOC: Admin, Academy Instr.
Organizational Unit: SPECWARCOM, Omega Order
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Problem/Help Thread

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2011-08-23 18:51

I moved this thread to the Academy, as anything discussed in here might fit better in that forum.
Image
“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

User avatar
Crystala Endivain
Grand Inquisitor
Grand Inquisitor
Posts: 475
Joined: 2008-04-20 16:59
Custom Title: Director-General & Dark Jedi Archon
Organizational Unit: ISIS (in its entirety)
Location: Echo-class cruiser, Observer
Contact:

Re: Problem/Help Thread

Post by Crystala Endivain » 2011-08-26 06:33

Spyker wrote:Generally, if I'm interacting with other player characters in a post and I need them to do or say something, I'll just come right out and ask the other player. It mostly goes like this:

Me: Hey, Spyker just said (or did) so-and-so; how would <x character> respond?
Other Player: <thinks>
OP: They'd do/say this: <insert action or dialogue here>.
I'll do this too, though if I really just want to get a post off and the person in question isn't around, I'll aim to tailor my post in such a way to try and do one of the following:
  1. Ask the question and cut the post short or, depending on the nature of the question (ie, if it's not a "which way should we go, left or right?" type question, I'll continue with the post until it gets to the point it doesn't make sense to continue further)
  2. Ask the question and leave a spot for the person to respond while continuing with whatever's going on (I've done this a couple times but again, it usually only works with the non-important questions that don't hinge on a response or not)
  3. If I know the character well enough (which is doubtful at the best of times), I'll take a leap of faith and answer as I think they would have. I generally avoid this because it sets a bad precedence since, if I do it to others they'll feel justified to do it to me and while I'm sure people here aren't of the vindictive sort and purposely break character, it's the principle of the matter right?
I find I work a lot better through dialogue than actual action scenes. Maybe I've read too many of the wrong novels or maybe my talkative nature translates unnecessarily to focusing more on that... Or maybe I just genuinely suck at action-esque scenes/writing (on a related note, anyone know of any good- ideally free- resources, linkies please!!!) that I tend to compensate through speech.

Otherwise, read lots of novels and, in my experience, find an author (or book, ideally a piece of fiction) that you really like in terms of how it was written and try to emulate that. Currently I'm on a Sandy Mitchaell craze as his Ciaphas Cain novels (set in the 40K universe) are, in my mind, well written and contain some of that trademark wit and style that I find myself fond of and drawn to trying to convey properly. What can I say, I'm unashamedly drawn to trying to inject varying amounts of humour in my posts and writing (and by varying, I mean differing amounts between characters). I also like the 3rd person omniscient point of view though I also can't help but give every last detail so things appear to be an open book... sometimes I fear I'm giving too much away in my posts, or maybe I really have no clue what I'm talking about :?

Anyways, I hope that helps.
"Dagger of the ISIS? No, I am the hand that wields it!" - Director-General Endivain
"The quickest way to find the needle, burn the haystack!"

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest