Tips on writing a great roleplaying post

Writing a great roleplaying post can seem harder than it really is. Forum roleplaying may seem difficult on the surface — and some aspects really are! There are certain things you can do as a roleplayer to craft a really great roleplay post — and almost every time!

Give Action

Note your character’s quirks, movements, body language, gestures, and so forth. Don’t overload your posts with action. Do remember that if your post is all thought and speech, there’s very little for the other writer to respond to. If you throw in a little bit of action into each roleplaying post, it makes the thread that much more interesting!

Respond to Action

If the other character made a move, action, or betrayed something in their body language (and your character was likely to notice), do respond! If their character stepped forward in their roleplaying post, perhaps your character steps backwards. Or — doesn’t, depending on the interaction. Make sure you’re not skipping over anyone else’s action that requires response, either — such as a handshake, high five, etc.

Don’t Forget the Scenery!

Especially in long threads, the scenery is sometimes neglected. If the characters are standing outside in a forest talking for hours, maybe the sun starts to set and they have to begin making their way home. This can change the flavor of the thread from simple idle chat to a real adventure — and a great way for two characters to bond. If the characters are sitting in the main camp tent late at night, perhaps a few NPCs join them for drinks and dancing?

Mistake? PM the Player!

PM the other player if they made a mistake in their roleplaying post. If your character extended their hand in your last roleplaying post, but the other roleplayer doesn’t mention it or have their character react, they may have simply missed something. It’s polite to PM the roleplayer and let request they edit their post if it’s integral to thread progression. Forging ahead with your post under the assumption that their character intentionally dismissed your character’s handshake may not be what should have happened.

Show, Don’t Tell

This is important in roleplaying and writing both—rather than telling your audience flat out how your character feels, you should show them instead.

WRONG: “Danny felt awful for what he had done.”
RIGHT: “Danny’s ears drooped and his eyes fell to the ground, unable to look at the other canine. The corners of his lips drooped in the beginnings of a frown, and when he opened his mouth to speak, he found shame had taken the words out of him.”

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