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Viewpoint Hot take: Multi-paragraph posts are unproductive

AdaringWriter

New Member
I myself find that there is an up and down. Sometimes having the back story, the thoughts written out, observation and th like is wonderful. It can make it much richer and deeper. And yet, there can be times of short back and forth for said dialogs. I deeply enjoy when it can be lighter back and forth. The worst seems to be when you write an elaborate post- something you've deliberated, edited and loved and then the other person types back something trite and foolish- or worse you write having third person, a host of adjectives and they write back using * for actions.
 

rae2nerdy

Four Thousand Club
Yeah I think to an extent their is an expectation of mirroring. If not exact length than style of writing. If your partner gives you a paragraph in first person the expectation is that you mimic that unless they specifically say you don’t have to.

If they give you three paragraphs in third person it is expected you give them about the same number of paragraphs back. Again as long as they don’t say specifically you don’t have to.
 

Grey

Dialectical Hermeticist
I always prefer everyone stick to third-person over the shoulder, or first person, just for ease of reading. I've not had to enforce it yet.

Writing in the conditional is bonkers to me, though - 'He would take off his hat' in a scene where the character is, in fact, removing their hat.
 

Challaruby

New Member
I've been scouring the 1x1 interest checks and nothing turns me off faster than a minimum paragraph requirement. Rp is, ideally, a back-and-forth, and therefore primarily dialogue. Organic conversations aren't two paragraphs per reply. When people talk, they don't have multiple conversations going at once with the same person, they don't talk for two paragraphs unless they're telling an anecdote, and they don't do eighty things between volleys. Paragraph requirements are ruinous and people who can't reply to conversation without seeing many details re-established probably struggle to communicate with humans.
Multi-paragraph posts are good for establishing new settings, scenes, and characters. Once you've established those things, no part of those things needs to be described again unless something changes or becomes more important.
Thoughts?
I've been scouring the 1x1 interest checks and nothing turns me off faster than a minimum paragraph requirement. Rp is, ideally, a back-and-forth, and therefore primarily dialogue. Organic conversations aren't two paragraphs per reply. When people talk, they don't have multiple conversations going at once with the same person, they don't talk for two paragraphs unless they're telling an anecdote, and they don't do eighty things between volleys. Paragraph requirements are ruinous and people who can't reply to conversation without seeing many details re-established probably struggle to communicate with humans.
Multi-paragraph posts are good for establishing new settings, scenes, and characters. Once you've established those things, no part of those things needs to be described again unless something changes or becomes more important.
Thoughts?
I totally agree. I think roleplay should happen organically, and with less stress on typing requirements, there's more fun to be had in the roleplay, in my opinion. Now, let me clarify, I don't like one liners, but I don't feel like most people I find are one-liner role players; I don't come across them often. I think both lengthy and short responses are acceptable and fine, as long as there's effort put into it. But when someone puts a length requirement on it, it tells me they care more about using bombastic language and elegant structure than actually participating in the roleplay. I've actually had this happen to me. They were so determined to write the rp their way, that they completely ignore whatever I put in my post because they wanted to make the post unnecessarily lengthy. However, on the flip side, I've had AMAZING long responses from people that cover every ground, and the dialogue flows naturally. It all really depends. I feel like by excluding short responses, people miss out on really fun opportunities.
 

Howff

BONE??
I totally agree. I think roleplay should happen organically, and with less stress on typing requirements, there's more fun to be had in the roleplay, in my opinion. Now, let me clarify, I don't like one liners, but I don't feel like most people I find are one-liner role players; I don't come across them often. I think both lengthy and short responses are acceptable and fine, as long as there's effort put into it. But when someone puts a length requirement on it, it tells me they care more about using bombastic language and elegant structure than actually participating in the roleplay. I've actually had this happen to me. They were so determined to write the rp their way, that they completely ignore whatever I put in my post because they wanted to make the post unnecessarily lengthy. However, on the flip side, I've had AMAZING long responses from people that cover every ground, and the dialogue flows naturally. It all really depends. I feel like by excluding short responses, people miss out on really fun opportunities.
this really sums it up for me, though we're on opposite sides of this. i, in fact, love one-liners. i might be sitting at work, and i don't have time for a giant reply, but this particular section of our story is mostly fluff, so let's one-line back and forth for a bit with one or two complete, grammatically-intentional sentences. then, when i get home tonight, i will send you a reply worthy of all the enthusiasm and love i have for this plot!

of course, i don't love all one-liners. i don't want a script, and I don't really want, "Oh, sup?" and nothing else. but boy i love trading quick, one or two line responses when there isn't a call for effusive detail. which is why i don't love answering the question, "What's your usual length?" because, my guy, it can be anywhere from 20 words to 5,000. gotta be flexible.
 

Crow

Top-tier Avian Master
Hot take? That's the realest take ever!

But yes, everyone and their mothers have mentioned the presence of unproductive fluff. It's even worse if the GM calls you out and expects you to write something productive of the same length.

I mean, how much can one do in a conversational gap? Do you expect me to twirl my pipe a few hundred times before speaking my lines?

Two paragraphs is ideal, three is very pushy, anything more is bound to fall into this trap.
 

Franklin

Prepare to feel the weight of your immaturity.
I've been scouring the 1x1 interest checks and nothing turns me off faster than a minimum paragraph requirement. Rp is, ideally, a back-and-forth, and therefore primarily dialogue. Organic conversations aren't two paragraphs per reply. When people talk, they don't have multiple conversations going at once with the same person, they don't talk for two paragraphs unless they're telling an anecdote, and they don't do eighty things between volleys. Paragraph requirements are ruinous and people who can't reply to conversation without seeing many details re-established probably struggle to communicate with humans.
Multi-paragraph posts are good for establishing new settings, scenes, and characters. Once you've established those things, no part of those things needs to be described again unless something changes or becomes more important.
Thoughts?
Well, your post is pretty bias to one opinion. So, ending it with "thoughts" I think is a bit deceiving. I don't expect my post to sway your opinion. Although, here is my opinion. Just from my own experience *shrugs*. I'm going to assume you have had trouble in role plays with a post requirement or maybe you don't have time to invest in them.

There are two types of role plays and there are pro's and con's with each. One is a novella setting. This is the one where you will find long plots. Most of these posts are long because they contain hints of plots to come. Just like a book it reads so. This is popular among the older generation of role players. People who were used to doing this perhaps before there was an internet platform. These idea's also, tend to be more complex and so there is more context to the posts. If you join one of these role plays your going to have to bend to reading large posts. With the novella style as well. There tends to be a tight knit group of people that can plot together and as a result become even more detailed with plot. The group has a strong understanding of the story and the lore. In my experience these people also have time to invest in a large post and experience behind them.

There are sacrifices you have to make. If you want to invest in one then you have to be prepared to run into long posts.

When in a role play like this, I find it hindering for someone to give me a small post. It's tedious and frustrating when a post doesn't contributed to story. I enjoy reading someone's large post containing history.That's my own personal preference though. I think that large posts certainly contribute to plot. They also have always lasted the longest for me.

Now, you have your shorter posting role plays. Your quick chat . Your dialogue based role plays. I find this is really popular with people that have time on their hands and are looking for a quick response. Someone who has the ability to post frequently. Someone who also may not have a lot of time on their hands and has to scroll through with a mobile. Often more popular with the newer and younger role players. I detest this way of role playing. However, I'm used to a novella style. I can't work with someone quickly shot at me. Its just how I work. Although I can empathize with the appeal to a short response role play. Dialogue is really fun to work with and doesn't require detail. It is really focused on the character. This is really great for a character oriented story.

However, if you want one that really grows and evolves a world this is where you see the difference. I don't see this as a good world building role play. They often peter out for me. Although that is my experience.
 

Peppercorn

Junior Member
Since someone linked this thread to me: Writing lengthy, detailed posts is neither "wrong" nor "unproductive" as long as the post is not chock full of purple prose that ruins the flow of the post that is being written. Multi-paragraph posts are more a preference than anything, not unlike how I dislike short burst writing.

Also, as a side note, don't attack people when trying to prove a point. It turns your point into an ad hominem and twists it into a fallacious argument.

Paragraph requirements are ruinous and people who can't reply to conversation without seeing many details re-established probably struggle to communicate with humans.
 

The Common Cold

Deadpan Snarker
To elaborate on my point:

Story-telling is a verbose medium and in a hobby that requires mutual investment you need to show creative direction that is compatible with you and your partner(s). One of my primary role-playing “tenets” is quality posting is far better than needless novels, yet one should never neglect detail when one feels the need. What this means is you need to show agency, initiative, and a modicum of writing skill. Not every writer is a maximalist or a minimalist, but even minimalism at its greatest lengths isn’t one small paragraph or one sentence of dialogue. You need to be engaging, and if you're not putting any effort into something your partner won't and therefore your collaboration will stop being fun eventually.

I mean, yeah, not every post is going to four paragraphs of detail. Short posts are fine, but they will come situationally just as long ones do.
 

Malphaestus

Seven Suns Shatter
The idea that "you have to write at least this much" is the extent of why that rule exists is fallacious. The reason why GMs such as myself used to say that was solely to gather a general group of individuals who would, arbitrarily, fit into our ideal group of participants based on a simple and easy variable.

But the rule has faded out since, well, it's a lot of bother for something which is hardly guaranteed for anything.

Having said that, I do think it is rather easy to produce 3 paragraphs for any one interaction, myself. And this does not involve some kind of thought-mirroring, or what have you. Describing actions, since most people aren't completely static when they're doing something, or adding superfluity to your writing. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to create with your words. If your character is boring, I'd personally mirror that in my writing. If they are creative, well, use that in the way you describe them.

Either way, my own personally arbitrary limit for posts is 3 paragraphs. But, well, I don't really follow it myself. It's something I give others.

I'm not so ludicrous as to make a deal out of it, of course. Quality trumps all, but you can't really write quality if you don't use enough words, the way I see it.
 

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