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Author Topic: Lesson 5 - Introduction  (Read 3464 times)
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« on: August 15, 2001, 04:15:22 PM »

The last day.  Ormelor wonders if his pupils are as excited about it as he is. Some have quit the classes after the first day already, some left out later on the way. The class he faces today is definitely smaller than the one he looked at only one week ago.

The wheat has been separated from the chaff...

This is the hard core. Those who really might have a future in this business. After today, there is only the exam that is between them and the hard world.

The day after tomorrow, they can prove what they are worth, but today, they still have to listen to him.

“Morning class... Let's begin right away, shall we?”

He grabs the papers he has prepared they day before, and writes the title on the blackboard.  

Edited by: Drogo at: 8/28/01 4:05:15 pm
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2001, 04:16:22 PM »

When you start a new RP thread, as far as I know, you have two kinds of RP’s; maybe three. In the title, or in a short OOC (Out of Character) notice before your first post, you should state whether it is open, closed or perhaps semi-open / semi-closed.

When a title says "open", it usually means "free for all". You can join these threads without having to be invited into them, or without even asking if you are allowed to hop in. Still, if you do notice an interesting title, that also says open, and you wish to be in it, you must still read the previous posts in it of course. The one who started the thread may still ask you to send him / her an e-mail, asking if you can join. And you can't just start your own story within it. If you want to participate, read what came first, and react to that. (Or start on your own, but with the purpose of in the end meeting with the others in the thread.)

When it says "closed", you can't join.

Usually these are threads in which a couple of people agreed to write together on a story. Or perhaps a thread meant for only the members of a certain race or part of the world. Or someone who is trying to write something on his own.

If you really really really want to participate though, you can still e-mail the one who started the thread, and ask if he / she won't let you in.

The semi-open / semi-closed threads are usually just open threads with a few conditions you have to meet before you can join in. (Like then you HAVE to write an e-mail to ask to join, or you should register a new name that starts with a B, or you have to act an animal…)

Basically, just read the first post in a thread, or the accompanying OOC thread (if there is any) and in it you will read what you have to do to join the RP, or if it is not possible to join at all.  

Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 8/15/01 8:11:45 am
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2001, 04:18:22 PM »

Ormelor is silent again, and smiles as he sees how the students are all taking notes. This is a good class.
He browses through his pages shortly, and writes the next title on the board.

I'm in! Now What?

Now you start to follow the rules I explained earlier.

And some other ones.

You are in a story. So are your character, and the characters of other people, people from everywhere on earth. (At least, that is possible... It is very possible that you end up with 10 people from your own street as well...)

Characters are being developed.

Friends and foes decided.

A plot and sub-plots begin to form.

You may write your post, then hit the "refresh" button for an entire hour on end and wait for others to reply to you. But, other people, other time-zones...

It can get pretty annoying when someone replies every second message.

You should give everyone the time to post before you answer again.

Well, not everyone, but kinda like everyone in your sub-plot.

Say you have your basic thread, in it are Elves, Humans and Dwarves. Each of them in the end supposed to meet, but for now, every race is surrounded by his own people.

So, when you have Elf1, Elf2, Human1, Human2, Dwarf1, Dwarf2, and you, Human3.
This might be the (simplified) thread:

Elf1: Elf1 enters the thread, walks around, waits for someone else.
Elf2: Meets Elf1 asks what he does here.
Human1: Sits in his castle in Human Land.
Dwarf1: Is making a fire in his forge, expects Dwarf2 to come soon.
Elf1: Greets Elf2
Dwarf2: Offers Dwarf1 help
Human3 (you): Enters.

Euh... right... ehm...

Pretty bad example.

But where you are now, you don't have to pay too much attention to what the Elves and Dwarves are doing. You can still read them, just to know their history when they happen to end up in Human Land.

You don't have to wait for all Elves and Dwarves to have posted before you can answer any Human that talks to you.

But this would get some people annoyed. (Pretend there are some Dwarves, Elves, and whatever races you like around somewhere, but I just let them out, you are still Human3. And you are impatiently waiting, idly clicking the refresh button every 2 seconds, posting whenever you get the chance...)

Human1: sits in room
Human2: talks to Human1
Human3: comes in, sticks out hand to Human1
Human4: walks into the room
Human3: gets annoyed because Human1 doesn't greet him polite, goes to Human4 and hopes for a good conversation
Human2: looks up annoyed because of Human3 interrupting the conversation
Human3: feels ignored by Human4, catches the annoyed glimpse of Human2 and walks over there to ask him what's wrong.

You walk from one human to the next, try to talk to them, get no response, and get annoyed. But you forget that perhaps you are the only one online at this time.

When they come online again, it is hard for them to respond. You have spoken to everyone, and then turned your back on them immediately.

Maybe Human1 read your message in the morning, logged off, wrote a nice long reply in which he ended his conversation with Human2, greeted you, welcomed you, asked you about your travels and everything, then got access to the net in the evening again, and wanted to upload his story... Then he would find out that you are no longer trying to give him a hand, got mad at him and have waltzed across the entire room.

He might edit the post, trying to join in the story again by perhaps trying to calm down a bad tempered Human2. Then log on again, only to find out you did it again. Perhaps dragged the entire company on some silly quest already.

This rather works on people's nerves. And Human3 will most likely get some OOC messages to please slow down...

(I have been in Human1's position several times... And it is damn hard to have to rewrite an entire post perhaps several times, especially when you prefer writing pretty long posts.)

Don't fear to mess up with this "writing frequency" though. You will pick up the pace of the thread soon enough. And it is not always a bad thing to reply immediately. But try to give others at least the chance to stay in the story.  

Edited by: Drogo at: 8/15/01 7:24:33 am
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2001, 04:19:22 PM »

Ormelor puts down the chalk and looks at the board where a rather chaotic mess of arrows, keywords, abbreviations and stick-people has to represent a diagram of some sorts. On the students' papers, a similar mess is forming.

He returns to his chair, and patiently waits for the others to finish their copying work.
One by one, they put down their pens, and look up at him, wondering why he is silent.

“The things I am going to say now, are just my personal opinions. Actually this whole thread is more or less only my personal view on RP'ing, and how I think it should be done. But most of the lines here are the words I have seen others say before.

So are in a way the ones that will follow now, but they are more... optional. In My Humble Opinion that is.

The rules above, are the ones I think you can't go without.

And these other ones, are still very important, but are more about giving your writing that final touch...”

Think before you Write

Read thoroughly through the posts to which you wish to respond. Make sure you don't approach someone sitting by the fire, while that person actually just got a stroke and is lying on the floor. Don't challenge a person because someone else said bad things about your mother. If two people have entered a closed room a few posts ago, and are now conducting a private conversation, make sure you don't assume they are talking in the common room as everyone else. (Yup, assuming a tavern thread again, I am.)

You don't have to respond right away. If you can't think up a great stunning reply on the fly, give it some time. Log off, re-read the thread a couple of times, think about it. Then try again. It is better to take a whole week to come up with a post you are satisfied with, than to write so-so posts even you aren't completely happy with yourself.

If you don’t like it, don’t expect others to see the greatness of your writing in it.

Edited by: Drogo at: 8/15/01 7:26:13 am
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2001, 04:20:22 PM »

Remember high school?

Some of you are probably still in it.

If you have to write a task, no matter how good the contents, your teachers will always look at your spelling...

No one here is going to mess up your texts with a red marker, pointing out the tiniest of mistake. But a well-written post reads so much easier.

And punctuation is a must.

after al wowould want ot reeed a mesagge liek tis i dont i dont i would probyl neever evenread more then too liness that where wrote this way we are not al shakespeers but pleese peeple do a litle efort

Jeez... This is harder than I thought... =P

A post like the above, is unacceptable... You will be ignored. No one wants to reread a message 10 times to get a clue about what you are talking about.

I write all my posts in a text-editor first, and run the spelling checker through it, several times. After I posted it, I re-read it as well.

Heh, not only makes it my posts easier to read, but if I make a mistake while posting, I don't lose my entire story. I still got it stored on one computer or another, or a disk... Now if only I remember which one...

Ormelor thinks for a moment, then nods slowly.

“I think that is about everything I can teach you. There must be more, but I can't think of it just now.

If you have any questions for me, now you can ask them.

And, if you are planning to take the exam, you can sign up now as well.”

Edited by: Drogo at: 8/15/01 7:26:50 am
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2001, 04:22:22 PM »

Thalydia has two other remarks which I haven’t spoken of.

The first one is this:

Verb Tense

On another note along the lines of making posts readable, verb tense is something to consider. In general, posts should be in present tense. I jump, I sing, I run. This gives the game immediacy and invites a reader to join in (at least in my opinion), yet there are reasons for using past tense. For example, in the game I have been participating in, I found that I'd been left out of events somewhat and in order to come back in to the story I felt it necessary to tell my part of the events, and I did so in past tense. This, perhaps, is a nicety, but I think such attention to detail contributes to the flow of the game.

I personally disagree with this. Pick up ten books from your public library (or your personal one), read one paragraph. I tell you that out of ten, 9 will be written in the past tense. This tutorial is written in the present tense, I am perfectly aware of that. When I posted it at first on a message board, I wrote posted it over a period of several days. For the first one, I used the present tense. For the other 4, I fell back into the usual writing tense, the past one. I redid all of the pages, and only then noticed that change of tense. So I chose to make it all as the first one was.

As far as I’m concerned, write in the tense you feel the most comfortable with. I’ve read RP’s written by various people. And not seldomly does it happen that you read something like.

Person1: I look through the window of the inn. Good thing I’m on the inside, really. That damn rain just won’t stop.
Person2: He ran through the rain. The water splashed up high, soaking his already muddy boots and pants. He didn’t really care. That light in the distance… Shelter was near, and very welcome.
Person3: I made my way through the tavern, taking care of the customers. That one person in the corner by the window, he looked thirsty. He had been staring to what was outside for nearly the entire afternoon, and yet he hadn’t asked for more than a glass of water. I decided to walk up to him, and ask him if he needed anything.
Person4: The young lady comes down the stairs. The common room surely was much more filled than it had been when she had arrived in it.


At first sight, maybe, yes. But when you’re into the RP a little more, it’s easy to recognise the various characters by it after a while.

And I personally know that whenever I write and don’t watch it, I start using the past tense. Forcing the present tense upon me, would cause me to constantly use both. Which results in fairly ugly posts.

On a last note, it is a fun thing to play with. To, as Thalydia said, use one tense for things in the present, other for things in the past. And no, you don’t necessarily have to use the present tense for the now… Might be a little different for others to understand at first, but if you do it well, they’ll follow.

Hell… It’s even possible to constantly write in the present tense, mingling present and past reality and dreams as well as visions together… I’ve done it before.

Edited by: Drogo at: 8/15/01 7:25:35 am
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2001, 04:23:22 PM »

The second remark was the following:

I would also like to remind characters of the importance of detail. It's true that there are descriptions of characters on site, but detail can also be smoothly incorporated into the story line and it gives other players an immediate picture to work with. Make your character memorable, then don't just drop out the detail once the initial descriptions have been given. Remind the other players of the image you have in mind. Let us SEE your character, hear him, even smell him if applicable.

And I have absolutely nothing to add to that…

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