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Advice/Help How do y'all write so much?

tiffasaurus

New Member
I've been looking around for people to RP with and/or threads to join. Unfortunately, I often find myself clicking away from it because they require a minimum of two paragraphs per post. When I see that I picture a minimum of six to eight sentences per paragraph and posting multiple times per day. I don't know about others, but, personally, I can only write that much when I'm feeling exceptionally inspired. I'm open to the idea that I'm simply an illiterate, unimaginative scrub that can't write for shnip. However, if I am the thing stated previously I'd like to change that.
How do ya'll find the inspiration to write so much?
 

Seldil

New Member
I find that 2-3 paragraphs is pretty reasonable for a reply. By the time you have your character’s actual dialogue and actions, a bit of description, and some internal monologue you have usually written at least that much.

Also many games involve multiple points of view which will cause your word count to grow.

Don't feel inadequate or intimidated by these 6+ paragraph requirements. If you look up a lot of these games you will see that they are actually pretty terrible. You get about 1-2 paragraphs worth of storytelling and a wall of purple prose, needless description, and 20 synonyms for the word eyes lol.

Somewhere along the line the idea took hold that longers posts makes you a better writer. Sometimes the story requires more words sometimes less.
 

Crayons

Junior Member
Join an RP with longer gaps between posts. I can write a whole fricking lot, but not multiple times per day, because I have other things to do. XD

So here's a couple of things if you want to make your posts longer:

T - thoughts. What is your character thinking about?
E - emotions. How do they feel?
S - senses. What do they hear/see/smell/taste/touch?
S - surroundings. What is going on around them?
A - actions. What do they do or say?

If you wrote a small bit on each of those things per post you would easily get up to 2-3 paragraphs with no fluff.
 

Egg_Splat :3

Your personal stalker~
I've been looking around for people to RP with and/or threads to join. Unfortunately, I often find myself clicking away from it because they require a minimum of two paragraphs per post. When I see that I picture a minimum of six to eight sentences per paragraph and posting multiple times per day. I don't know about others, but, personally, I can only write that much when I'm feeling exceptionally inspired. I'm open to the idea that I'm simply an illiterate, unimaginative scrub that can't write for shnip. However, if I am the thing stated previously I'd like to change that.
How do ya'll find the inspiration to write so much?
Oh hello again, friend! My advice to you is to be more descriptive as you write and break all of your ideas into different sentences, so it makes your post seem longer. Only use dialogues when needed and try to write about the character's surroundings, feelings and five senses if possible - Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste, Touch -

For the " multiple posts per day" problem, I suggest you look through RPs you are really interested in so that you can write more because of your deep interest and inspiration! Or, you can try to join RPs that don't have this rule! A lot of RP GMs understand that it's quite hard to post often, so they don't have that rule ^ ^

;3
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
I often find myself clicking away from it because they require a minimum of two paragraphs per post. When I see that I picture a minimum of six to eight sentences per paragraph and posting multiple times per day.
Well, here's the first problem: That's not what that means. If posting minimums are required, then even asking for a post a day is very rare, let alone multiple per day. The range typically falls more into one or two per week or so.

Also, it may have changed in the last couple of weeks in which I haven't checked, but last I did most threads that even had a size requirement were one paragraph requirements.


I don't know about others, but, personally, I can only write that much when I'm feeling exceptionally inspired. I'm open to the idea that I'm simply an illiterate, unimaginative scrub that can't write for shnip. However, if I am the thing stated previously I'd like to change that.
How do ya'll find the inspiration to write so much?
I find that how much one writes, as a general rule (cause everyone writes more and better when they are inspired, and it will also depend on scene partner etc...) is more defined by how their style and preferences fall within the detail spectrum. The more detailed your mindset, your approach to writing, the more you will end up writing. This is a matter of values: If you don't feel it's important to write the characters internal monologue, how they come to their particular decisions, what their feelings are regarding situations, worldbuilding on the scenery, people and cultures etc... then you won't be inclined to include them. You will only incidentally think of including them. Writing more happens less because of it's own sake (at least when it is being done well) and more because there is more content that is being included.

I explain the idea more in-depth on this thread: Other - Simple, Casual and Detailed Mindsets - An explanation

The long and short of what I saying though, is that it's not a problem with you, it's not a problem at all if you don't write more. Whatever your writing tendencies, they are shared by many, and simply happen to be a particular style of roleplaying. By the same token, those who prefer more writing also fall into a particular style. One isn't better than the other, though they seek different things fundamentally, and the size of posts is one of the manifestations of those values.

Still, if you want to write more, the answer is also there: First and foremost, a change in mindset is needed. For writing more to come naturally, the first step is just to value things which more detailed players tend to value.





Whichever the case, hope you found this useful, best of luck and happy RPing!
 

rae2nerdy

Ultra Nerdy
Also adding onto what Idea said, paragraph requirements arent the same as word counts.

I dont think I have ever seen anyone request a sentence count when they say "Please write X paragraphs".

Its usually one or the other. They'll either say "write X words per post" OR "write X paragraphs per post".

They might request something similar to post mirroring where you write similar length to them but thats on a case by case preference.

I would honestly just ask. I find that a lot of times we talk ourselves out of opportunities because we make mountains out of molehills.

Next time you see a paragraph limit that intimidates you ask the person outright what theyre looking for. Maybe request a writing sample and see if theyll look at one of yours.
 

ashwynne

aquatic authority
Everything above is great, so I'm not going to repeat what has already been said (or try not to anyways lol)

For me, when I write a post in a roleplay I think of it as making a painting. It's the closest I'll ever get to being an artist, so thinking of it this way makes me feel a little better lol. It definitely helps with writing more.

Basic premise: every post you write should be a complete painting.
That means getting across:
- setting/background (where is the character located? a forest? a room? what does it look like?)
- pose (how is the character standing? moving? what are they doing with their hands? their feet? their eyes?)
- actual scene (what is happening? what are they doing/responding to?)
- mood/tone (what is the overall emotion of this scene? is it happy? if so... how so?)*
- style (is it an impressionist piece? realism? abstract?)**

And then I step back and see whether my painting is complete with all the elements I'm going for. If it gives me a clear image in my mind of what is happening and fulfills all the little painting criteria then I'm good to go! Of course, RP is for fun... so at this point I don't tend to be super strict with myself and some posts are better than others, but muscle memory is a powerful thing and most of my posts will check all these boxes. BUT if you're aiming to improve your writing and want to learn how to beef up wordcount, this is a good way to do it.

* Mood/tone can be set through a variety of ways. Explicitly (character tells you how they're feeling/what they're thinking either out loud or through their thoughts) or implicitly through things like body language.

** When I talk about different painting styles I'm basically talking about the kind of writer you tend to be. Some people are realism writers; they write out every single element in painstaking detail so that you have an incredibly fixed picture of what is happening. Impressionists give you the bare-bone skeleton of it so that you can still fill in certain details with your own imagination. Abstract writers are the one-liner type who give only the barest detail and leave most everything to be inferred. Most people tend to fall in the impressionist range; either leaning closer to realism or abstract (one-liners)

** cont'd. Figured I'd whip up a little rough example of the different types. One is not better than the other, they're just different. Find a style that you enjoy writing in, and go with it.

Realism: The russet oak leaf fluttered down on a late autumn breeze. Its edges curled inwards like gnarled fingers as it descended in lazy, meandering, loops towards the cracked surface of the sun-baked ground.
Impressionist: The oak leaf fluttered towards the ground--autumn was well on its way.
Abstract: A leaf fell to the ground.

If you lean towards the abstract style there's nothing wrong with that... many people enjoy that kind of writing. But if you want to try impressionism/realism then you really just need to micromanage the post more. Don't leave it to the imagination of your partner, paint the picture FOR them! If you're not used to picturing the surrounding detail of what's happening to your character then that's a good starting point. Take that character, stick them somewhere (beside a lake, in a cafe, whatever) and practice describing the setting, how they're sitting, what they're doing, what they're thinking etc. You'll find yourself hitting way more than two paragraphs!
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Realism: The russet oak leaf fluttered down on a late autumn breeze. Its edges curled inwards like gnarled fingers as it descended in lazy, meandering, loops towards the cracked surface of the sun-baked ground.
Impressionist: The oak leaf fluttered towards the ground--autumn was well on its way.
Abstract: A leaf fell to the ground.

If you lean towards the abstract style there's nothing wrong with that... many people enjoy that kind of writing. But if you want to try impressionism/realism then you really just need to micromanage the post more. Don't leave it to the imagination of your partner, paint the picture FOR them! If you're not used to picturing the surrounding detail of what's happening to your character then that's a good starting point. Take that character, stick them somewhere (beside a lake, in a cafe, whatever) and practice describing the setting, how they're sitting, what they're doing, what they're thinking etc. You'll find yourself hitting way more than two paragraphs!
This is an interesting metaphor you've got going here, creating this association between styles for painting and writing with particular levels of detail. Do you have some background in arts by chance? Asking simply out of curiosity.
 

ashwynne

aquatic authority
This is an interesting metaphor you've got going here, creating this association between styles for painting and writing with particular levels of detail. Do you have some background in arts by chance? Asking simply out of curiosity.
Not really, I just really love art haha! Not an artist myself but I've been commissioning artwork/chatting up artists for 10+ years so I've picked up on things. This is the metaphor I tend to use the most simply because I find painting styles provide an easy visual example of the difference between writing styles.

If you mean arts in the general sense... then yes, I have two years of an Arts undergraduate degree under my belt (before I switched to Sciences).
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Helper
Not really, I just really love art haha! Not an artist myself but I've been commissioning artwork/chatting up artists for 10+ years so I've picked up on things. This is the metaphor I tend to use the most simply because I find painting styles provide an easy visual example of the difference between writing styles.

If you mean arts in the general sense... then yes, I have two years of an Arts undergraduate degree under my belt (before I switched to Sciences).
Yeah I meant in the educational sense, but cool! It's definitely quite a fascinating perspective you've got there XD RPN does bring all kinds of people together, doesn't it?

Anyways, I'll stop bothering ya now. Have a good day or night!
 

Hella Downweather

The witch of the quill
As a writer who has the opposite problem of yours (can't bring myself to write below 250 words...hahaha...), I have a few things to add. First as Idea and others have said before, if you write that much you usually don't post multiple times a day (I mean it can happen, but it's not the norm). Unless you are feeling particularly inspired, it can easily burn you out for the RP in question too. For me there are three different factors to how much I can write per post :

1- Type of RP

If I'm having a fight, my answers are going to be shorter and action-packed. If my OC is simply lazing around/having a conversation, then the sky is the limit! They can be daydreaming, obsessing over a small detail or simply enjoying the presence of someone else. What's incredible with humans is that something is always happening to us, around us, and you can exploit this when you write your post.

I usually make a lot of research when I write too. For example, I recently wrote a hand to hand combat scene between two characters. The goal was to neutralize the other party without killing him or using any weapon/ability. So I asked a good friend of mine who knew kung fu if he could walk me through how he would deal against the type of opponent my OC was facing (if you don't have friends versed in what you want to write, youtube is a great way to expand your knowledge and gain inspiration at the same time!). When you have content, it's easier to write about it.

2- Type of OC

Is your OC a bubbly innocent extrovert? Make her talk! Let her debate internally towards which joke to say to that shy small boy she's trying to befriend. Is your OC more reserved? Then you have a minefield of emotions you can explore! Even if someone doesn't talk, their non-verbal says a lot. Create an OC you like to write, and it will become easier to write more about them.

Explore how they are feeling in the scene, how they perceive the other party, does that badly timed joke make them think about something tragic in their past? Write about it, or at least mention it! They are not a potted plant in the background, they are one of the main lead! Sure you can imagine your OC perfectly in your head, but chances are your partner doesn't so help him a bit ;)

3- Synergy

That's the hardest thing here because...it doesn't just depend on you. You can love your OC, have a perfect setting but sometimes...the writing just doesn't click. Usually, the best remedy is OOC chat, but sometimes people are just incompatible (and that's ok! You don't become best friend with everyone you meet IRL too). But when you have a partner with whom you click more, it's easier to write more because you have more material to use (and you are usually more inspired too!).

It's kinda hard to know beforehand if you are going to have a nice synergy with people you see in 1x1 interest check, but it's pretty easy to know with whom you DON'T have it (for me it's people who write one-liners for example, our writing styles don't match at all).

The last part...is actually the hardest. Make a habit of writing. Take maybe an hour or two every day and just...write. Eventually, your style is going to be more flowing, and it'll be easier for you to find ideas, OC or plot points you'd like to expand on. And if you still find that you prefer shorter answers when it comes to RP, to make it feel more organic then...more power to you! Just because some of us are machines doesn't mean it's the right way to go ;)

Anyway good luck with your writing and with your RP <3
 

JadeGreen17

Chimeric Spirit
Personally I think it depends on the style of RP. I have two main RP partners, and both of them are through discord. It depends upon the person and their style.

Partner #1 likes really really long and detailed posts. We often have multiple conversations or scenes happening simultaneously within the same RP. To make an example of our current RP; there is currently a simulated war taking place between two advanced civilizations. There are three scenes happening concurrently. One scene is a small group of special forces on a space station. A second scene is a massive battle between two huge fleets of space ships. And a third scene is a luxury observation suite outside the simulation sphere where characters are discussing the tactics and tech technology at play.

Each of these nets a couple paragraphs each time we go back and fourth since different sub groups of ships are doing different things. The special forces are split into smaller squads are doing different things. The space battle has different sub groups of ships on both sides with different commanders in different positions reacting to different attacks. And the observation suite has characters discussing tactics and breaking down technology involved in the battle, often with more than one conversation happening at a time. We might only exchange posts every day or two because there is a lot of OOC planning that goes into each post.

In other words, sheer, brute complexity can get you wordy posts. It is Not uncommon to have 1,000 word posts between us. And the entire RP is around 300,000 words and 1,500 messages at this point, not counting OOC.

Meanwhile Partner #2 does short posts. Our absolute longest posts are only one or two paragraphs and these generally service to set up scenes or deposit exposition. Almost all the actual interaction is just a sentence or two going back and fourth. Of course this can result in us being much more session based; in where we both sign onto discord and rapidfire posts back and fourth every couple of minutes, along with a healthy amount of OOC and planning as well. The RP I am doing with partner #2 is fantasy based and more character driven. (Where the RP with partner 1 is much more world building/nation states style.)

The funny thing is Partner #2 and Partner #1 can't stand each simply because each others RP style due to how different they are, yet I RP with both of them.
 

Setsuna

Madame Balamb.
I would get out of the mentality that you should be worrying about word counts, paragraph counts, minimum length, etc. Just write. Get in the head of the character you are playing. What are they trying to do, where are they going, what is it they see when they get to where they're going if they are going somewhere, what does your character look like, how do they interact with people. Don't think about how much you feel you should write and just write. I think if you are motivated to write more you will write more.
 

weldherwings

♔ 𝔞𝔫𝔤𝔰𝔱 𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔢𝔫 ♔
I set a timer up - I give myself fifteen minutes max to just go crazy and write. Once the timer is up, I stop and review what I’ve written and then post. Generally I’ll get about 600-700 words in those 15 minutes but as of lately, I’ve been getting the same amount done in 12 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, my timer used to be set at 30mins at the beginning of the year. But as time as gone by, I can give myself less and less time. It’s great so I don’t get distracted (I tend to procrastinate A LOT so I have timers around the house to remind myself to clean and call people haha)
 

WWH

New Member
In our fed, the writers work on 2 things, character development and trash talk. As long as it flows and connects with each other well then there's no problems most of the time. Though at times I've seen ppl do a bit more of CD than match talk, which is fine but if it's filler to make the word limit, then it'll hurt their scores.
 

tiffasaurus

New Member
Don't have to read this little bit before I address y'all one by one. Simply putting it in because it was something I noticed.
There seems to be an underlying theme that boils down to, 'treat it like writing a book,' and I'm glad that some of you are sharing such advice. I've never considered looking at it in this way because I wasn't super motivated when I started five years ago and people I would RP with often treated it as though we were RPing via online chat. Thanks to you guys, I'm gonna try to replace this old idea with this new bookish one :)

If y'all read anything that I write out, whether it be here or another thread, and simply hate my lack of exquisite grammar, I'm so sorry. I was born and raised on the English language, but I learn something new about it everyday. I wasn't even taught about using commas before a conjunction until ninth grade, so please be gentle.

Enough with my little tangent lol

@Archie
You're absolutely right about that. Getting up my words per minute when typing could definitely help.



@ashwynne
Thank you very much for that detailed and enlightening response! Your metaphor was super beautiful, and I'll do my best to apply it to my writing. Let's see if I can work up to half decent realism.



@Hella Downweather
Thank you bunches for taking the time to write that out! After seeing all the responses, I suppose it was a bit silly to assume that people would expect multi-paragraph posts multiple times in a single day haha. Aside from that, those three main points really help out and I'll be sure to keep them in mind.



@JadeGreen17
Thanks for the anecdote! Power to you for having three parts to a post. So much detail must take a lot of brain power and time.



@Setsuna
You make a wonderful point! I'll certainly be trying my best to really get into the head of my characters in the future.



@weldherwings
That's a pretty good tip! Not sure how well a timer would work out for me personally because I'm a bit of a perfectionist with my posts, or at least as much of a perfectionist that I can be with my bad grammar, so if I write for 15 minutes straight it could very well turn into an hour of nit picking. I'll certainly give it a shot and get back to you on how it works out though.
 

rae2nerdy

Ultra Nerdy
I wouldn't worry about your grammar. Im in my thirties and havent concerned myself with such things since high school. Most people on this site don't know enough about grammar to be able to catch any minor mistakes anyway.

Plus we have a lot of international users for whom English is not their first language.

In my experience as long as your spelling is decent enough to convey the point your trying to make its fine. If people have questions they usually just ask.

Those questions are more than likely going to be about local collequialisms or the roleplay setting than any specific bit of punctuation at that.
 

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