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Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,526 posts.

Roleplaying Tips.

Whether you're a seasoned roleplayer, just starting out, a little rusty, or you just can't find your muse, here are some helpful tips for writing posts as your wolf. If you find yourself at a loss for what to write about, or you're just looking for ways to improve your posts, check out the tips below! A big thanks to Volkan for writing this guide!


(This post was last modified: Mar 10, 2014, 04:16 PM by Kisla.)
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#1
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,526 posts.

The Setting.

The setting of your thread is another important thing you can describe to give readers an idea of what your character is experiencing in your posts. Sure, you can simply describe your wolf's feelings and actions, but giving the reader a visual, sensory image of your character's surroundings adds dimension to your writing. Here are some elements of the setting you can (and should!) include in your posts:

Time of Day
Time of day is a vital part of your wolf's surroundings. Describing the time of day (or night) helps your partner envision the setting, therefore giving both of you more descriptive elements to work with!
HINT
Imagine what your favorite area in Relic Lore looks like. First imagine it at sunrise, then in the late afternoon, then at sunset, and finally at night. How does the time of day affect how the area looks? Sounds? Smells?

Weather
This one's easy! Relic Lore has its very own forecast (visible just below the list of online members at the top of each page). Some roleplayers copy and paste the current forecast as an OOC note in their posts, while others choose just to describe the weather IC— but either way, the weather is an important element in a thread. Not only does it effect the mood of the thread, but it can also determine important seasonal details that would inevitably effect your character (i.e. a pond being frozen, snow on the ground, or a dangerous thunderstorm).


Location
Where is your wolf in this thread? The obvious answer may be the area you're posting in (i.e. Lost Lake)— but don't stop there! Where exactly in the area is your wolf at this point in time? Many areas of Relic Lore are large, so simply stating "Bob walked around Lost Lake" can leave your partner confused. For example, is he walking around the shore of the lake? Or is he still exploring the mountains above, trying to find the lake itself? Describing where exactly your character is in your post gives your partner a clearer idea of how their character should respond.
HINT
Familiarize yourself with the description of the area in which you're posting. Take note of the specific parts of the area that seem interesting to you (i.e. the shore of the Lake). Or, get creative and make up a small landmark that could be part of the area, like a tree or cavern that your character has discovered or likes to visit. Here at RoW, your character can actually discover an area that might become its own board!
Example
BEFORE: "Bob walked in The Wildwood, wondering what he could find to eat today."
AFTER: "After following Heartleaf Creek deep into the forest, Bob walked through tall trees in the center of The Wildwood, wondering what he could find to eat today."

(The first example doesn't give us much information. The second example is more descriptive, and also gives a responder a sense of where exactly Bob is and what to react to.)
Sensory Information
Sensory information adds dimension to your writing, helping readers to understand the world as your character is experiencing it. Writing about how your character perceives their surroundings and their companions through the five senses gives him a more realistic presence as he travels the world of Relic Lore.
SIGHT— what do your wolf's surroundings look like, given the current time of day and weather? What do other wolves or prey animals around him/her look like? Think about colors (i.e. blue sky, green leaves and moss), textures ("the grass looked soft to Bob"), and lighting ("the cave appeared dark and gloomy").

SOUND— a wolf's sense of hearing is acute. Aside from what other characters sound like, what does the scenery around your wolf sound like: the wind whispering through the trees, the roar of a waterfall, the chattering of birds in the morning…

SMELL— this is a huge one for wolves, who determine much about other wolves through smell. Wolves can typically distinguish important basic information about another wolf, such as gender and pack status, all with their noses. Aside from the smells of your wolf's surroundings, try to imagine how your character perceives the scents of other wolves, food, a scent trail— and be descriptive!

TASTE— what does that kill your wolf is eating taste like? It may seem bizarre for a human to imagine, but the metallic taste of blood from a fresh kill is probably appetizing to a wolf. True, you probably won't be able to describe taste in every post, but use it when you can!

TOUCH— wolves are social creatures, and aside from the soft feel of the grass on their paws or the frigid snow beneath their toes, physical interactions such as licks and nudges are common. What does it feel like when your wolf is touched by another (or, less fortunately, attacked)? If your wolf's being attacked, try to imagine that pain, difficult though it might be.
Example
BEFORE: "Bob sat on the edge of the cliff as he took in the scenery below."
AFTER: "Bob sat on the cold, hard edge of the cliff, the fresh, icy wind howling as he took in the white scenery below."

BEFORE: "Bob's eyes narrowed at Martha as he frowned in disagreement."
AFTER: "Bob's green eyes narrowed at Martha, with her overpowering scent and rough-looking black coat, as he frowned in disagreement."

(In the "before" examples, we know just the basics of what's going on— but in the "after" examples, we can imagine the scenery as if we're really there.)
Mood
All of the elements of setting outlined above, as well as your character's current feelings, contribute to the mood of the thread. Is the thread somber and nostalgic? Or is it a gleeful, happy thread? Part of the fun of taking part in a thread is how it makes you as a writer feel.
HINT
Listen to music as you write! Even if the lyrics don't correspond perfectly with what's happening in the roleplay, the way the song sounds might affect your mood, thereby affecting your posts.
(This post was last modified: Oct 15, 2012, 09:18 PM by Spirit of Wildwood.)
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#2
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,526 posts.

Characterization.

Part of the fun of roleplaying is watching your character grow and develop. When you describe your character's thoughts, feelings, and actions, you're giving readers another building block of the story— and your partner something to reply to. Ask yourself the questions below:

What's on their mind?
If your character is new to Relic Lore, even if it's your first post, there's got to be something on her mind. Chances are, your character isn't mindlessly traveling around; she's probably thinking about at least one topic while she moves along. If the character is brand new to Relic Lore or hasn't met anyone yet, perhaps she's worried about finding a pack, stressed about finding food, happy to be moving on to a new life; the possibilities are endless.

Any recent encounters?
One thing that could be on your character's mind is a recent encounter, if he's had one. If your wolf just met with the leader of his pack, what did they talk about, and how did your character react? How does your character feel about that encounter now that some time has passed?

How do they feel about ______?
Are there any major plot events occurring with which your character is involved? For example, if two packs are in conflict, how does your character feel about that? Not only does this give you more to write about, but it provides some context for your character's feelings, which drive his actions.

How are they feeling in general?
What kind of mood is your character in today? Happy, sad, angry, lonely, bored— these feelings will probably affect your wolf's actions in some way, even if not on the surface. Does your wolf hide his feelings, or does he wear them on his metaphorical sleeve?
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#3
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,526 posts.

Action.

Actions are the bread and butter of roleplaying, in that they give other characters something to react to. It may seem obvious to include actions in your posts— to have your character do something— but if you're stuck, check out some ways to make your character's actions, and therefore your posts, more interesting:

Do they encounter something?
On his walk through the woods today, it's unlikely that your character had nothing more than an uneventful, boring time. Besides— does an uneventful, boring walk through the woods seem fun to read about (or think, or write about)? The wilderness of Relic Lore is full of surprises just waiting for your wolf to find them, and having your wolf encounter something unexpected in your posts is a great way to make them more interesting to both read and respond to. In addition, it gives your character and whomever he meets something to talk about other than the general "Hi, how are you?" - "Oh, I'm fine! How are you?" conversation.

What's more fun, imagining your wolf simply walking through a forest, or imagining him lock eyes with a prey animal, opening up the potential for a hunt? The addition of something for your character to find (i.e. prey animals, dangerous animals, strange insects or flowers, interesting scenery or weather, among endless possibilities) can make some of your posts that much more exciting.
HINT
Check out the Relic Lore flora and fauna article for a list of plants and animals native to the area.
Little Actions
Small, specific actions help breathe life into your character, giving him mannerisms and quirks. Perhaps your character winks every time he tells a joke, or maybe he looks down shyly when meeting a stranger. These actions give the reader something specific about your character to visualize as they read your post.
Example
BEFORE: "Bob smiled at Shelly, laughing, 'Sure, let's go!'"
AFTER: "Bob nudged Shelly playfully at the shoulder, giving her a grin and a wink, laughing, 'Sure, let's go!'"

(In the "before" example, we can imagine the interaction. But in the "after" example, we have a clear picture of what happened, and now we can tell that Bob might be a playful, friendly, and mischievous wolf.)
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#4