Spelling and GrammarEdit
While basic spelling and grammar skills are not to be considered the be-all and end-all of text-based RP, they are nevertheless a vital part of communication—and communication is the core of the RP experience. Good RP absolutely depends on being able to make yourself understood to your fellow players, and if numerous misspellings and oddly structured sentences cause confusion in getting your message across, you may have problems. In addition, well-written English just looks better.
Clarity and DetailEdit
In General RPEdit
While detailed descriptions of your character, surroundings, thoughts, and actions is less vital to effective communication than spelling and grammar, they can be extremely helpful. They also tend to be more interesting to read than simple “one-liner” posts. It's the difference between this:
Miro sat and poured himself a drink.
Miro hooked a wheeled chair with his ankle, leaning back and stretching his full length out to the point of more laying in the seat than sitting. In this seemingly precarious position he pushed off with his feet, moving the chair closer to the bar, and surveying the selection with a gaze that looked careless but was anything but. Miro, like all Kellemanns (and by extension, all Tilani), took alcohol seriously.
It was too much to really expect that the station would have any of the Kirconen ale that was a staple for anyone with a drop of Tilani blood in his veins; The bloodred alcohol had only ever been shipped to a small handful of distributors on an even smaller handful of worlds. Yet it was conceivable that a case or two might have drifted around the galaxy and found its way here.
He was able to find something almost as good. The brew produced by the Lookout Hotel on Osarian had been almost as exclusive in its distribution as that produced by the Tilani on Kircone...but unlike the ale whose origin was a closely held secret, Osarian could be found easily, along with the stocks of liquor beneath the rubble of the Lookout. And sure enough, three bottles capped with the stamp of the old Osarian non-export food inspection agency sat underneath the counter. Miro opened one, reached for a glass and ice.
With that said, clarity and detail in one's descriptions are really a matter of personal preference, something that will be discussed later; "one-liner" posts may not look as impressive as multiple paragraphs, but many players prefer them as they make the RP flow faster.
Main Article: Duelling Techniques and Combat Posting
With that said, however, detail and clarity is never so important as it is in combat. Whether it be a duel, small-unit manoeuvre warfare, mass ground battles, or fleet combat, a detailed approach to posting is essential. More on that topic can be found in the link provided at the head of this section.
Creativity and OriginalityEdit
The issue of creativity and originality can be an obstacle for many. To get the most out of the RP, it is best to vary the phrases you use, and what actions you take. Saying something the same way every time gets old, fast, even if it's something as simple as dropping out of hyperspace. Shake things up a bit; find new ways to say old things. In addition, it is important, especially in combat (see link provided for Duelling Techniques), to not repeat the same actions over and over. Even more than similar wording, someone who can be expected to do the same thing every time he or she ends up in a given situation becomes predictable, and in the end, boring. Also, just because a given action is common doesn't make it a good one. Just because everyone who goes to a restaurant always orders a Corellian Sunrise at the bar doesn't mean you have to order a Corellian Sunrise. Remember: dead fish go with the flow. It's not wrong to be different.
As explained above in the "Clarity and Detail" section, there is no right or wrong in how long your posts are. Shorter posts have their strengths and weaknesses; so do longer ones.
- The shorter the post, the less time it takes to write. Thus, shorter posts keep the RP moving at a faster pace. Longer posts can often lead to posting just once or twice a day in a given story arc.
- The longer the post, the more detail can be included in it. Longer posts are often much more interesting to read in their own right; shorter posts are interesting in the interactions between them. Rarely is a one-line post going to catch a reader's attention, so shorter posts are best for people who care about the interaction more than the post itself.
Interaction-based RPers are generally focused on what is happening around them, and in the interaction between their characters and the characters of other players. Interaction players will often focus on enriching the RP as a whole using their character, regarding the character as a part of a whole.
The external character-oriented RPer usually focuses on the character's reaction to what it going on. The approach is very similar to being action-oriented, but keeps the focus close on one's own character, rather than on the overall situation. The primary difference between the two approaches is that unlike an interaction-oriented player, the character-oriented player seeks to use the RP to build the character, rather than the other way around.
Introspective RP is very different from either interaction- or character-oriented RP. While, like external character RP, introspective RP is centred around the character, introspective RP focuses on the character's thoughts and opinions, rather than his words and actions. Such characters often tend to have great emotional depth and recognizable world views and beliefs. While introspective characters may often engage in battle, and can still interact quite well with other characters, an introspective RPer lets you see into the character's heart, soul, and mind.
Interactive posts tend to be short and concise. They favour a faster-paced RP and, as the name suggests, also favour an interaction-based approach to RP, though that in no way means the two always go together. In the examples at the beginning of the article (describing a character sitting and pouring a drink for himself), the first is a good example of an interactive post.
If the first of the earlier examples is an interactive post, then the second (describing in detail how the character is sitting, what drink he hopes to find and what he eventually does find) is a narrative post. Narrative posts tend to be longer and more detailed than interactive posts and favour character-based approaches to RP. They also tend, however, to slow the pace at which the RP moves. While a series of interactive posts tends to read like the script for a play, narrative posts read more like a novel.