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DISCUSSION How do you handle the writing process?

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Discussion' started by Nebulon Ranger, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. At its core, roleplaying is a creative writing process between two or more people that share a common interest (or many common interests, depending on how many roleplays you happen to get involved with!), all of which have different ways of handling and exposing the processes the go on behind the scenes with regard to their own end of the overall story. Roleplayers are, therefore, writers, at least speaking individually, and have different ways and styles of actually getting down to the nitty-gritty and writing their parts, whether it be for an active roleplay or for worldbuilding, writing character sheets (if required) and lore.

    Given we all approach it differently, how does everyone here go about writing posts, for example? What inspires you to really knuckle under and crank stuff out? Do you write in one sitting, in multiple, or are you @Shadow and leave a draft with "The" as its only word saved for all eternity?
  2. I find I'm generally excited-- surprise, surprise-- to roleplay and further progress a scene when there is a response. When the ideas are fresh, as it were; take right now for instance. Seeing the prompt, ideas come to me, but as soon as I let time pass or think more about what I'd actually say, I put it off (and for non-roleplaying settings like this, often end up deleting what I would have written due to questioning how valuable it is to contribute in the first place). It's a habit I'm trying to grow out of.

    As for the actual writing process, I do a lot of re-reading what I've written as I get further and further in a post, just to help ensure it flows well and the ideas connect and there's not something better to add. As a consequence, for the average roleplaying post, I usually read the first sentence at least half a dozen times before I post. I feel like when I start a post, I often have a pretty decent idea of what the meat of the post is; the hardest part is always starting in on it. There's a pressure to deciding on that one sentence you want to establish the flow of it all and start the chain of ideas. I also usually don't have a conclusion in mind, but as opposed to my situation with the beginning sentence, I rather like my current method of going with what feels best based on what my numerous passes through the past lead me to. I think these are things I do pretty well in writing-- having an adequate flow and, above all, having an interesting idea or few in each post that is expanded on smoothly and hopefully in novel ways.

    I'm not sure how well the strengths offset my vices. I feel like I depend on character introspection quite a bit, which naturally leads to having a weaker execution of less thoughtful characters, like Alaster, who act first and think later. This might be the thing I'd most like to change, because I believe being able to capture a diverse array of characters-- and doing so well-- is one of the keys to a good modern story. Other than that, I feel like I find it hard to conjure up many external details and build a scene-- my favorite writers are the ones who have a knack for making a moving scene, such that sometimes I find myself questioning whether I didn't watch a movie of a book I read because the prose made mental images so easy. Separate but incredibly related to that goal is my weakness for conveying details well-- conjuring them up is one thing, describing them so that other people can actually make sense of them is another. I feel like I have a bit of work to do in both departments.

    Aside from that, I obviously use dashes-- and semicolons-- excessively; I feel that this is indicative of a dependency and overuse of run-on sentences.

    And no. When I complete a post, it is break time.
  3. UHHHH:


    It's a habit of mine (Neither good or bad) that a major drive for me to write is /hype/. If I feel hyped enough and energetic, plus having time to write, the planets align and I inevitably push out a decent, lengthy post. Sometimes I try listening to music to facilitate the process and feed into hype. Since I CP the most, I do posts in one sitting. As for RPs, it could take me hours or days depending on the thread's usual posting frequency (like 2 posts a week, 4 posts a month, etc).
  4. Typically I leave the blank posting page open for hours or days, until finally my laziness gets bored and I turn out a somewhat decent post.

    Alternatively I might know exactly what a character wants to do and I'll sit there for an hour perfecting the post.

    When it comes to writing something like Shiveztel, it usually depends on my mood and level of motivation. I know exactly what I want to say, just not houw to say it, or I'm not in the mood to write. It's like drawing for me.
  5. I used to be pretty bad about the whole "is my contribution worth as much as I think it is" problem too. It sometimes still happens to me, but the way I largely grew out of it was to stop questioning myself and just write my feelings on a topic down. From there, I'd expand on it to make it more topical. As for the timeframe, perhaps my penchant for reusing old memes works to my advantage here, because things stay fresh in my mind for much longer than immediately after they get posted. On the other hand, sometimes I legitimately get stuck, whether for a good reason or not, and have to pull myself out of that hole by using other sources of inspiration.

    This is still a problem for me, especially in chatplays. Aside from being generally terrible at exposition, I have a hard time reacting to posts that don't directly involve or reference my characters from time to time. I'm honestly not sure how I would go about fixing this for myself, because it's more a mental stumbling block than a linguistic one. With regard to conclusions and novel ways of expanding on ideas, I try for that, but sometimes I feel as if my posts come out a bit... vanilla, if you see what I mean. Not that vanilla is necessarily bad, I just feel like I'm not being gimmicky enough to grab attention some of the time.

    Don't worry about it.

    I myself have a lot of problems writing Big Bads, or anyone somewhat evil, really. Unhinged I can do, but I can't write evil well, so I have a lot of respect for @Lord X-Giga-X because of how easily it seems to come to him. Given I'm running one side of a chatplay between myself, @Keileon and @Red Starr, this is something I need to work on correcting for sure. It'll take time, though. everything does.

    Oh man, I love writing that's crafted well enough to make your imagination create its own movie as you read. I'm slowly getting to that point myself, but I've still got a long way to go, especially given how much I fail at using synonyms when writing speech or thought as an action. Oh man, am I bad at that.

    Keeping hype going is always a challenge, especially if you're in a CP with Shadow you can't get the stars (and your schedule) to align often enough to really start hammering out chatplay sessions. This is actually a big part of the reason I've been pushing so hard to continue FeronaCP, because I really enjoy writing for that and it honestly feels as if it's being thrown by the wayside because the hype for it has died down in favor of the Final Neverending Act. This isn't to say I'm bitter, I just love writing for the interactions between Ree'ath and Jack, and think it would be a shame if the hype died off because we've been away from it for so long.

    As for posting frequency, I tend to post within a day or two of an update going live, provided I'm not sick or in the midst of a mental block), so I guess you could say I'm the same as you in that regard, I dunno.

    Whew, that was a long one!
  6. I've always wondered, at least to some degree, what causes people to adopt this attitude. It can be to an extreme for some posters, and nonexistent for others. This is going to sound rude, and isn't aimed at you specifically, but why do some people commit to a roleplay and then let laziness get the better of them when it comes time to knuckle down and crank out a post? Admittedly, this is also what caused this response to take so long to get written, but c'est la vie, I guess.

    I have these moments too, and oh man, do they feel great. Oftentimes it ends in the character writing themselves, so to speak, and that's almost always an emotional rollercoaster when it happens.

    :shrug: A lot of people are like that. Motivation is a rather prevalent issue among many writers. I guess I could pose the question of what motivates people to post, but that's different depending on the person and is probably more suited to another thread.
    Keileon likes this.

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