Thoughts on rejection

Please don’t take being rejected from a roleplay too personally.

Not every single application for a roleplay is going to be accepted—that’s just the way it is. The responsibility of admins, who do their job correctly, is to uphold a certain standard in the group they’re running, no matter what that standard may be. If they don’t, it can lead to problems in the long run. Sometimes applicants just aren’t on the same level as the rest of the members in the group. That doesn’t mean they never will be, it just means they’re not there right now.

Rejection is present in every day life. We’ve all been there and know just how terrible it feels (just take a look at some of the harsh rejection letters famous writers have received), but if you’re unable to eventually move on from that initial reaction to just up and quit because of it, something is very wrong. One opinion shouldn’t deter you from doing what you love.

Here’s a real life example. I recently applied for a job I’ve been aiming for ever since I decided to become a journalist, and didn’t get it in favor of someone who had less work experience with that particular newspaper. I felt screwed over, sure, but did I give up journalism forever? No. Instead I went to grad school to further my education, and to continue striving forward and bettering myself in the hopes of reaching my goals in the future. Same goes for applying for roleplays and for writing.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t take rejection as a sign to hide from the world and to wallow in self-pity, or to blame other people. Instead, use it as a motivator to move forward and to challenge yourself to improve. You might not be there right now, but in a week or month, a year or ten, you will be.

We all have to start somewhere. No one is an amazing writer or roleplayer from the git-go, and the only way to get there is to just keep writing, writing, and writing. It may take some time, but you’ll get there eventually—and the effort most certainly won’t be in vain if you’re serious about it.

If one roleplaying group isn’t right for you, there are plenty of others out there that are. You just need to find them.

September 22 2013, 06:17 AM   •   24 notes

Grammar Guide #10: The Plural Possessive

When reading applications for my roleplay, I find that a lot of people seem to have trouble with the plural possessive for the noun parent. It’s been really bugging me, mostly because the rule for forming the plural possessive is so easy, and people seem to have the same problem with other words as well.

In singular, you would talk about a parent. When you want to let the reader know that one parent owns or has something, you add an apostrophe + s. Parent » parent’s.

↳ For example: I wrecked my parent’s car.

In plural, you would talk about two or more parents. When you want to let the reader know those parents own or have something, again, you add an apostrophe + s at the end. For plural possessive, adding just the apostrophe is also considered correct. Parents » parents’ or parents’s.

↳ For example: My parents’/parents’s dog ran away.

You never use parent’s when you are referring to more than one parent. Also remember that the plural form, without the possessive which indicates ownership of something, doesn’t have an apostrophe at all. It’s one parent, many parents.

It’s no more difficult than that.

September 15 2013, 05:28 AM   •   29 notes

Seven Common Character Types

By Terry W. Ervin II

Fiction writers employ a variety of characters while weaving their tales. Beyond the standard definitions of protagonist (the main character in a literary work) and antagonist (the main character or force that opposes the protagonist in a literary work), recognizing the types of characters and the parts they play while reading an interesting story can add to the experience. In addition, a fuller understanding of the character types and their uses can increase a writer’s effectiveness in weaving his own fictional tales.

Below is a list of common character types, followed by an explanation and short example.

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May 28 2013, 02:06 PM   •   1,104 notes

Hey guys, here’s a suggestion

How about we properly source the things we post? If you find an article about writing or whatnot on a website and decide to post it on Tumblr, don’t just mention the website’s or author’s name; link to the original article in a clearly visible place as well.

Whenever I post something written by someone else, I add the link to the post source (click the cogwheel in the top right corner while you’re making your post, and paste the link into the field that says “content source”), and to the actual post (at the very top, I put “By [insert author name here]” and make that a link to the original article).

Proper sourcing is a matter of respect and giving credit where credit is due. And trust me, I will judge you hard if you don’t do it.

May 27 2013, 05:47 AM   •   16 notes
#rpc  #rph  #rpa  #rpcw  #rpc help  
this is probably really pathetic but i want to roleplay and i've never done it before and know nothing about it. all these character bios and applications make no sense to me at all and i definitely have no idea how to get involved since i'm socially anxious anyway. i don't mind if you don't but you're my writing idol and you seem to know a lot about that so would you mind explaining it to me maybe? ily anyway and you're blog is my lifesaver
Anonymous Asked

Aww, no, don’t worry; it’s not pathetic in the slightest. Roleplaying, especially on Tumblr, can seem confusing and intimidating at first, but I promise you it’s fairly easy to get a hang of once you begin and ease into it.

I’m going to direct you to some fantastic posts and guides already out there, which should hopefully help you along the way:

I especially recommend taking a look at the first link, as it provides a masterlist of guide posts about pretty much anything and everything you need to know about roleplaying, on Tumblr and in general. If there’s anything else you want to know or would like explained after having sifted through the links above, please don’t hesitate to come back and I’ll try my very best to help you out.

May 01 2013, 04:29 PM   •   21 notes
Hey... how would you suggest getting word out about your roleplay, if it's so unique/original that there have been no others like it... so the usual tags don't really apply, and you're having trouble getting exposure? We already do the usual, but we don't like to abuse tags that don't apply to us.
virago-rp Asked

That is quite the tricky issue, considering I don’t think I’ve ever been faced with a similar situation. However, you can still use the generic tags rp, rpg, and roleplay to promote, even if you don’t feel as if there are more specific tags that apply. If your roleplay is an original roleplay (meaning the ideas is yours and not based on, for instance, a movie or a television show) or new, you could use the original rp and new rp tags to promote, as those are fairly common ones that people check up on. Hopefully you should get some exposure through those, and from taking a quick look at your roleplay, I’d say they do apply to you.

Depending on what you mean by ‘the usual’, additional recommendations would be to submit promos to RPCHAs who accept them, seeing as that tends to be a good way of getting people in the community to notice your roleplay, even if it’s not through the tags but rather while browsing their dashboards. Ask for reviews and see whether or not they offer you some useful suggestions. If whoever reviews your roleplay feels as if you’re doing a good job you might end up on a list of recommendations, which also might give you some exposure.

And finally, try to get a small but loyal group of players to begin with, for instance by asking friends from within the roleplaying community to join, and make their experience the best possible it can be. Happy players tend to bring their friends, who in turn bring theirs if they are happy, too. Don’t focus on getting as many members as possible within a short period of time, but rather, members who will stay long-term and recommend the roleplay to others. I’ve found that is usually the best way of getting the word out; starting at the root and letting it grow upward.

Hopefully this helped at least a little, but if not, please don’t hesitate to come back and I can try to come up with further ideas for you.

May 01 2013, 05:31 AM   •   2 notes

Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips

Joss Whedon is most famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel and the short-lived but much-loved Firefly series. But the writer and director has also worked unseen as a script doctor on movies ranging from Speed to Toy Story. Here, he shares his tips on the art of screenwriting.

Finish it

Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.

Structure

Structure means knowing where you’re going; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes? The thrills? The romance? Who knows what, and when? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around: the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.

Have something to say

This really should be number one. Even if you’re writing a Die Hard rip-off, have something to say about Die Hard rip-offs. The number of movies that are not about what they purport to be about is staggering. It’s rare, especially in genres, to find a movie with an idea and not just, ‘This’ll lead to many fine set-pieces’. The Island evolves into a car-chase movie, and the moments of joy are when they have clone moments and you say, ‘What does it feel like to be those guys?’

Everybody has a reason to live

Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history. If anyone speaks in such a way that they’re just setting up the next person’s lines, then you don’t get dialogue: you get soundbites. Not everybody has to be funny; not everybody has to be cute; not everybody has to be delightful, and not everybody has to speak, but if you don’t know who everybody is and why they’re there, why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and why they’re doing what they’re doing, then you’re in trouble.

Cut what you love

Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.

Listen

When I’ve been hired as a script doctor, it’s usually because someone else can’t get it through to the next level. It’s true that writers are replaced when executives don’t know what else to do, and that’s terrible, but the fact of the matter is that for most of the screenplays I’ve worked on, I’ve been needed, whether or not I’ve been allowed to do anything good. Often someone’s just got locked, they’ve ossified, they’re so stuck in their heads that they can’t see the people around them. It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.

Track the audience mood

You have one goal: to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.

Write like a movie

Write the movie as much as you can. If something is lush and extensive, you can describe it glowingly; if something isn’t that important, just get past it tersely. Let the read feel like the movie; it does a lot of the work for you, for the director, and for the executives who go, ‘What will this be like when we put it on its feet?’

Don’t listen

Having given the advice about listening, I have to give the opposite advice, because ultimately the best work comes when somebody’s fucked the system; done the unexpected and let their own personal voice into the machine that is moviemaking. Choose your battles. You wouldn’t get Paul Thomas Anderson, or Wes Anderson, or any of these guys if all moviemaking was completely cookie-cutter. But the process drives you in that direction; it’s a homogenising process, and you have to fight that a bit. There was a point while we were making Firefly when I asked the network not to pick it up: they’d started talking about a different show.

Don’t sell out

The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but it’s a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero could’ve been good. There’s an idea somewhere in almost any movie: if you can find something that you love, then you can do it. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter how skilful you are: that’s called whoring.

Source.

May 01 2013, 05:21 AM   •   145 notes
What is your personal preference for the length of bios?
Anonymous Asked

Personally, I don’t really have a set preference when it comes to biography length, seeing as I’m a firm believer in going for quality above quantity. However, with that being said, I personally like longer bios—four paragraphs minimum in length or more—while others prefer ones that are shorter.

When writing biographies for a roleplay, my best piece of advice is to focus on the contents rather than the length per se. You’ll want to give potential players enough information about the character and its backstory/personality for them to know how to portray them and how the character fits into the plot—while also not packing the biography too much so that it doesn’t allow further development or leave room for your players to add their own flair. Also keep in mind that if you make your biographies very long, you might get tired of keeping up with that length after having written a larger number of them. Writing 1,000 words might be easy peasy for the first ten, but when you have to write fifty? It might not be quite as easy. I also always recommend that you make all of your biographies about the same length so that some aren’t significantly longer than others, as that might make some characters seem less significant.

In short, just pick a length you feel like you can keep up with in the long run and is able to house all of the information relevant to the character and the plot. For roleplays, 3-5 paragraphs tends to be a relatively good length, but you might need more or less than that depending on the roleplay itself.

April 28 2013, 09:26 AM   •   3 notes

Quick tip for applicants

At the roleplay I admin we frequently get anonymous questions about how active the group is, and I’ve noticed a lot of other roleplays do as well. Activity is often a very important factor when deciding whether or not to apply for a roleplay, and in that sense I completely understand the desire to ask the admins that question.

I would, however, recommend finding the roleplay’s follow list and randomly checking out some of the character accounts instead. Not only will you see for yourself whether or not the roleplay is as active as you would like for it to be (especially keeping in mind that admins tend to want to paint the best possible picture of their roleplay to be seen by potential applicants), but you will also be able to determine whether or not the roleplay is right for you by checking out the roleplayers’ writing styles and what the interactions are like.

This is what I do myself, and I’ve found it’s a really effective way of determining whether or not the roleplay fits my preferences prior to joining. It should hopefully also lower the chances of you joining a roleplay and then leaving a couple of days later just because it ended up not meeting your expectations.

April 18 2013, 02:14 AM   •   20 notes
Hello! I have an issue with my rp right now (not really an issue, more of a nuisance). They post a lot of open paras, not replying to the ones that are already posted and then complain about the lack of activity. As an admin, I've been doing my best to reply to things, but I'm on a recovery schedule right now so I can't be on all the time and I don't want to hog anything. I've been thinking of just telling them to start plotting with each other, but wanted to get some advice first.
Anonymous Asked

First of all, you, as an admin, are not single-handedly responsible for upkeeping activity within the roleplay. As an admin myself, I’m very familiar with the desire to reply to everything no one else replies to, seeing as I’d rather not have people feeling ignored in my roleplay. However, there’s only so much one person can do, so don’t place all of the responsibility on yourself; it’s pretty much impossible for you to do all of the work and reply to everything. You have a life too, and you have every right to prioritize and not to be active 24/7, just like any of the other members.

As for your current predicament, that seems to be something that happens quite often, actually. People post new open paras or gif conversation starters of their own instead of replying to untouched ones already posted by other members. I don’t know if it’s laziness or what it is, but as I see it, there are a few main things you could try:

  • Compile a list of open paras on the main blog. Whenever I notice that there are a lot of unreplied to open paras floating around on the dashboard at the roleplay I admin, I list them, complete with links, in a post that I publish on the main blog; encouraging people to have a look at them and reply if they’re able. This approach is actually pretty successful, and I’ve noticed that the open paras tend to get grabbed pretty quickly once the list goes up.
  • If you don’t have a universal tag for starters yet, create one. Ask all of your roleplayers to tag their open paras with a tag specific for your roleplay. That way, they can track the tag, and browse it in order to see what starters they missed. It’ll make it easier for them to find things to reply to, and will hopefully aid in starters not getting lost on the dashboard.
  • Don’t be afraid of putting new rules in place. For instance, you could temporarily tell your members that for each open para (or gif conversation starter, for that matter) they post, they must reply to one another member posted. That should hopefully get some interactions going.

Those are the main pieces of advice I could think of right off the top of my head. If you want, you could also try to organize some sort of event which would involve all members and encourage plotting, seeing as events tend to increase activity. A plot shuffle, for instance, wherein you pair random people up for paras, could be a good idea to get things going. A while ago I also answered another ask about tips on how to make members post more actively that you can find here, so maybe that’s of some use to you as well.

Hopefully this helped!

April 11 2013, 12:41 PM   •   4 notes

A word on these redistributed “edited” themes floating around in the RPCHA/whatever community:

I keep seeing the argument, “But, but, we aren’t stealing themes, since we are giving credit to the original maker.” Here’s a newsflash for you—it is not about whether or not you are giving them credit.

A lot of theme makers ask those who use their themes to like or reblog the post. That is literally the only form of payment or appreciation they get from spending hours and hours on coding those themes for your benefit. Some theme makers also like to check up on their themes and see how they’re being used, and they do that through those likes and reblogs. By reposting their codes, no matter how edited, no matter whether or not you are crediting them, you are robbing them of that control, and it’s pretty freakin’ disrespectful.

Here’s a simile: Imagine you spend several hours on making a graphic, just because you have mad as fuck Photoshop skills, and it’s something you enjoy doing. You absolutely love the end result—in fact, let’s say it’s the best goddamn graphic you have ever made, and you just can’t wait to post it on Tumblr and have other people reblog it so you can see their reactions. You go back and check the tags in which people are marveling over its beauty, and all is well in the kingdom. But wait! Someone decides to repost your graphic. SHOCK. HORROR. They are giving you credit by listing you as the source, but because they have reposted instead of reblogging, you are not getting the recognition you deserve for your graphic. Would you be okay with that? I’m guessing the most likely answer is no, so why do you keep doing that exact same thing to theme makers?

Yes, most theme makers say you can edit the theme to your liking, but that refers to personal use. I have yet to see a single theme maker who allows for you to redistribute their themes, unless it is specifically made as a base theme. So cut it the fuck out, because it pisses me off to no end.

Kazza over and out.

April 11 2013, 02:30 AM   •   21 notes

Could you guys like this post if your reviews are currently open (preferably constructive ones that are longer than five sentences)? Thank you in advance!

April 02 2013, 04:18 AM   •   7 notes
#rpc  
How many locations should my rp have?
Anonymous Asked

It’s difficult to give you an exact number, seeing as that really depends on the nature of the roleplay. My advice would be to consider what locations you need in order to support the plot and to make it easier for players to figure out where their characters could be hanging out, and then create the locations according to that. Some roleplays might get away with no pre-established locations whatsoever, while others might need quite a few.

If you want some inspiration or ideas (don’t copy, though), you might want to check out Valley’s, Children of Athoria’s, August Burns Red’s, and Killing Moon’s locations.

March 15 2013, 10:29 AM   •   1 note
I'm in this RP and I took a hiatus, with some paras unanswered and everything. Should I start over or continue?
Anonymous Asked

I would say that depends on how long your hiatus was, and whether or not the paras you had going are still relevant. If you feel like the interactions have become outdated in your absence, the best thing to do would probably be to drop them and plot for something else with your roleplaying partners. I’m not so sure how much good it would do to start over with a para that has already progressed a bit, though.

If your hiatus was shorter, you feel like the paras could be continued without it being a forced effort, and the interactions aren’t outdated, I don’t see why you couldn’t pick off where you left off. The best thing to do in this situation would probably be to start by messaging the people you were paraing with, and ask them if they want to continue still, or if they’d be up for coming up with something new.

The 13 Trickiest Grammar Hang-Ups

By Mignon Fogarty

I trust that you all know the difference between who and whom, and I trust that typos are the only reason you use the wrong it’s. It happens to the best of us. For most writers, if you can just maintain your focus (perhaps with caffeine and frequent breaks), you’ll get the basics right. The following problems, however, may have you scrambling for a refresher.

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March 14 2013, 09:30 AM   •   142 notes