Advice/Help How long is a good reply?

AngelicMusician201

Time Forgotten One
Thread starter #1
My rule of thumb is under 5 paragraphs usually hovering around 3 with dialogue posts shorter but I've seen people who write 5k words for just one reply.

I find that shorter and more succinct posts make for a more dynamic rp that progresses a lot better in my experience but I want to hear from people who might do the more lengthy posts?

Also has it ever happened in the really lengthy posts where there is a lot of one-sided dialogue and your character cannot respond without creating temporal paradoxes?
 

Loyola

thug . life
#2
I agree with you.
I prefer around 3 paragraphs depending on how often the other person replies. If they can do more than once a day, 3 paragraphs is fine.

Otherwise you need to write more to move the plot along.
 

JayTee

Eight Thousand Club
Supporter
#3
If you know how to write economically, you can get a good reply out of two to three lines.

One line addressing the posts prior to you.

One line to add your own character's thoughts and actions.

One line to provide a springboard for others to reply to, assuming you didn't provide one with the second line.

Three whole paragraphs is nonsense, let alone 5k words. On average you shouldn't even need to exceed one paragraph.
 

geeking out

One Thousand Club
#4
Depends on the scene, roleplay, and what your trying to convey.

I can easily do three pages if I’m really inspired.

Typically this is in a lore heavy setting where most of the post is setting up the surrounding and the scenario the characters are in.

Ex. Character A is in a new world and describing every strange thing they see.

Or

Character B raises alien beasts and goes through their daily chores.

It sets up a scene and gives info on the specific lore.

Some people aren’t worried about a fast pace in terms of in universe action and actual post speed.

They like to take their time to flesh the world out as they go.

In my experience just post whatever you feel is needed for each roleplay and whatever length it happens to be will be “good” for that particular roleplay.

Sometimes that means 1 paragraph and sometimes that means 2 pages. Just depends on the roleplay and your own inspiration
 

AngelicMusician201

Time Forgotten One
Thread starter #5
Depends on the scene, roleplay, and what your trying to convey.

Typically this is in a lore heavy setting where most of the post is setting up the surrounding and the scenario the characters are in.

Ex. Character A is in a new world and describing every strange thing they see.

Or

Character B raises alien beasts and goes through their daily chores.

It sets up a scene and gives info on the specific lore.
How do you feel about people repetition for the word count? I understand that expository posts can be really long, but if it is an interaction between characters expressing the characters' thoughts but the thoughts are reiterated multiple times in slightly different ways?
 

geeking out

One Thousand Club
#6
Well firstly I do 1x1 where word counts aren’t as common or useful as they would be in groups.

(Even in groups word counts are useful only in a broader quality control and organizational sense not as a way to monitor content)

What you see in 1x1 that is similar tho is mirror posting.

Ex. Person A posts three paragraphs so Person B does the same. Person A posts 1 paragraph and Person B does the same.

And so on and so forth.

I think this is unnecessary and tell my partners this directly.

I will inform them before the first post is written that length is immaterial. As long as they’re happy with their post, I can read it, and ( if applicable ) my character can respond we’re all good.

So to answer your question...

Honestly it doesn’t happen to me so I can’t give a response
 

Darkmaster006

roleplaying is fun!
#8
Depends on the post. When I start a RP, I usually make longer posts (let's say, around 5/6 paragraphs); and they decrease in length until one or two paragraphs, since you've already described the setting. Of course, when the characters move from the place they were in to another, again your post would be lengthier. Be mindful of character's conversation so that there aren't two or three different conversation that follow up but to which the other person cannot really respond in time, something I have quite a bit of trouble with still. Hope this helped, anyways!

There are always things you can describe to make your post lengthy, of course. But the type of RP and your character will dictate which aspects are important to describe; what to focus in or not to; what your character ignores and what they pay attention too. Learning to describe voice tones, pitch, etc, is also a good way to give a more real feeling to a conversation in an RP; as well as subtle hand or body movements.
 

lostwanderer

A restless soul
#9
This varies from person to person but I digress.

Personally, I tend to match pitch especially in 1x1 but in group settings, I usually put out 2-3 paragraphs, maybe even more, depending on how it all plays out.
 

e d e n

chasing kairos
#11
unpopular opinion: h o w e v e r l o n g y o u a n d y o u r p a r t n e r a g r e e u p o n a k a p e r s o n a l p r e f e r e n c e l o l
 

Whisker

Two Thousand Club
#13
Depends on whether you are engaging in direct or indirect roleplaying.

Direct roleplaying in which you are directly talking to or engaging with another player-controlled character should be about roughly 1-3 paragraphs max. You don't want to overwhelm someone trying to have a discussion with you with a lot of dialogue or internal monologue. Too much can be considered as bad as not enough in this situation.

Indirect roleplaying in which you are not interacting with any player-controlled characters directly can be as long or as little as you want so long as it moves the scene forward. You usually get longer replies in this situation as the player in question may have their character interact with npcs or perform actions to move the plot along.
 

Rage Incarnate

Exodus. Insanus. Nocturnus.
#14
I get caught up when people are clearly vibing with you, and it shows in the RP. The more detail, the better, so it can properly set the scene and whatnot.

I'm not picky, really. If you can spell, formulate sentences properly, and convey basic information...should be square. XD
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant
#15
unpopular opinion: h o w e v e r l o n g y o u a n d y o u r p a r t n e r a g r e e u p o n a k a p e r s o n a l p r e f e r e n c e l o l
t h a t i s n o t a n u n p o p u l a r o p i n i o n i t s t h e m o s t c o m m o n o p i n i o n t h e r e i s
 
#16
Depends really.

If the RP Group agree for a one liner, one liner it is. Especially in messengers or chat rooms, one liner is much better than paragraphs since its quick response is what appeal to me.

On the matter of forum, it's a matter of situation and taste, I think.

When the character has a lot of action performed in one post, three even ten paragraphs can be used. It depends on each writer. Some loves to add details, a lot of details into one action. Sometimes they have a paragraph dedicated solely to an inner struggle for the character, or only about the details of the situation around them. Others on the other hand glossed over these details and get straight into the point.

Sooo I think there is no good or bad length as long as it fits the situation. No one wants a one liner in the climax of a very emotional scene, for instance. Or five paragraphs full of dialogue in the middle of an intense swordfight.
 

geeking out

One Thousand Club
#17
Yeah I think at the end of the day two things determine if a reply is good

1 do you like it ?
2 does your partner like it ? ( 1x1 )
2b does it fit GM requirements ? ( group )

Length and content don’t tend to have much to do with it as long as it fits those two things.
 
Thread starter #18
Direct roleplaying in which you are directly talking to or engaging with another player-controlled character should be about roughly 1-3 paragraphs max. You don't want to overwhelm someone trying to have a discussion with you with a lot of dialogue or internal monologue. Too much can be considered as bad as not enough in this situation.
I've had this happen to me a few times where the characters were in the middle of a dialogue and my partner made a really long post that almost like half of a dialogue between two characters. There were a lot of embedded questions that my post had to go back and answer, but that kind of created paradoxes if that makes sense.

When the character has a lot of action performed in one post, three even ten paragraphs can be used. It depends on each writer. Some loves to add details, a lot of details into one action. Sometimes they have a paragraph dedicated solely to an inner struggle for the character, or only about the details of the situation around them. Others on the other hand glossed over these details and get straight into the point.

Sooo I think there is no good or bad length as long as it fits the situation. No one wants a one liner in the climax of a very emotional scene, for instance. Or five paragraphs full of dialogue in the middle of an intense swordfight.
What do you think of people who repeat the same action description or thought several times within their post? For instance if someone reiterated the way a character averted their glance each time with different descriptors or embellishments throughout the course of a lengthy reply or if someone reiterated a thought like, 'but again the character thought X' without X being reworded from its original wording?
 

Cares

On UK Time
#19
Good replies don’t necessarily mean that they have to be essays.
It’s all about — you guessed it — quality and not quantity.

That being said, it really is down to personal preference, and while I do like lengthy replies (especially during drama since there’s so much to write about), I think that anywhere from 2-3 paragraphs on average is fine, although I tend to do a lot more.

One paragraph is absolute minimum, and I’ll never actually do less than that, just because that’s what I like.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant
#20
When it comes to detail and long posts, there are two things that you need to consider. Tastes and skill. While the first is obvious, the latter is a bit harder to look at because to do so may force us to confront the reality that some things are just done well, and we may be (and likely are) doing some of those as well.

Now, as a rule of thumb, a longer more detailed reply is better than a shorter one. This is because reading the responses is an inherent part of the quality of the experience. When you make your reply you have to put effort into it, meaning that this wouldn't be a hobby unless there is some kind of passive gain from it or self-fulfilling reward for an accomplishment. Both of those aspects, one which results from reading the post of your partner and the other which results from finishing a great post yourself are enhanced by the increased length and detail of a post, plus you are more likely to provide fun and extensive material your partner can work with.

However, that is, I repeat, a rule of thumb. It is not an end-all-be-all in any way, and depending on context a short and simple post can easily become far superior to a more lengthy and detailed one. This context is mainly defined by two elements, the goals of the roleplayers and the skill of the roleplayer with particular aspects of writing. In terms of goals, some players are trying to have a more fluid, fast-paced or hands-on roleplaym they are more interested in seeing where something is going rather than how, they want to get there more than they seem to want the journey. If that's who you are, then you would prefer shorter, faster, simpler responses. If you're more interested in the quality of the story-telling, in immersing yourself in the world and character, in exploring the facets of the themes, world and character growth, then longer and more detailed posts may be more of your style.

But then there is the degree of your own skill, which is the part in which one can actually start to give a more specific answer to your question. How long should you typical reply be? It should be as long as it can be, so long as it is the most efficient to your goals and you are able to make every ounce of it count. Even the most casual roleplayer will appreciate having something nice to read, so long as it remains fast and casual. Reversely, the more lengthy you want to be, the more tools you need to handle the extra space. It's no longer about adding content because that rapidly becomes a mess, but adding flavor and atmosphere.

Ultimately, if your replies are made so that the other person is able to respond and you personally like them, their length doesn't matter. If you can make good use of the space you take, length doesn't matter. It's all about your tastes and your ability to live up to them.

PS: Personally, I tend to make about 2-3 paragraph posts as an average, and I demand not a length post requirement, but a content one, in which I demand things like dialogue, time and spatial transitions if applicable, thoughts, feelings, axtions, reactions and a couple other things be preset in any given post.
 

Whisker

Two Thousand Club
#21
I've had this happen to me a few times where the characters were in the middle of a dialogue and my partner made a really long post that almost like half of a dialogue between two characters. There were a lot of embedded questions that my post had to go back and answer, but that kind of created paradoxes if that makes sense.



What do you think of people who repeat the same action description or thought several times within their post? For instance if someone reiterated the way a character averted their glance each time with different descriptors or embellishments throughout the course of a lengthy reply or if someone reiterated a thought like, 'but again the character thought X' without X being reworded from its original wording?

Yeah. That's why I brought up that it might be a matter of etiquette to have a shorter reply here for that reason. It's kind of inconsiderate and unnecessary to bombard your partner with a huge amount of questions in a single sitting like that.
 
#22
What do you think of people who repeat the same action description or thought several times within their post? For instance if someone reiterated the way a character averted their glance each time with different descriptors or embellishments throughout the course of a lengthy reply or if someone reiterated a thought like, 'but again the character thought X' without X being reworded from its original wording?
Personally? It's just annoying. Some actions deserve to be embellished, exaggerated, or repeated, but when the action is something trivial like sighing or averting glance, it's redundant.

Even a train of thought passes through different part of a rail. When X thought of how her boyfriend left her, she might sigh and stare at the floor. But when her thought went to her memory with him, she could have a bitter smile on her face. Really, when a person perform a series of actions, his thought will change with the flow of his movement. Drumming on one line of thought with no advancement is redundant.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant
#23
Personally? It's just annoying. Some actions deserve to be embellished, exaggerated, or repeated, but when the action is something trivial like sighing or averting glance, it's redundant.

Even a train of thought passes through different part of a rail. When X thought of how her boyfriend left her, she might sigh and stare at the floor. But when her thought went to her memory with him, she could have a bitter smile on her face. Really, when a person perform a series of actions, his thought will change with the flow of his movement. Drumming on one line of thought with no advancement is redundant.
If I may disagree for a moment. I don't believe any action is so trivial that lingering on it is pointless, so long as the action has a meaning to it and isn't just being shoved in there to fill space.

For instance, for a character that sighs every other sentence could be used as a clever way to show the character's boredom with what's going on or to display that the character is forcing the sighs rather than them forming naturally.

In another example, averting a gaze, lingering on it and exagerating it might help convey the character's inability to face someone with more intensity, or showcase how they are panicking internally. I took the liberty of trying to improvise a couple lines to showcase what I mean:
Fea was simply sitting on her chair, awaiting as the suited man before her slowly flipped through each paper, as if he had to read every detail about her life before daring to continue his search for that one moment. She gulped, her eyes turning to face a small paper clip she dropped earlier. Every second she stared at the paper clip, the question came to her mind about whether the man was looking at her now, but still her eyes were fixed on the paper clip, still they were pulled down as if gravity itself had decided to conspire with the guilt in her chest to prevent her from looking up, simply looking up, and getting that job. Even if the happiness of everyone at home depended on this one crucial moment, all she could was look down, look to the side, look at the floor, look at that paper clip, look, look, look, look.... Ah! Just go up! Why couldn't she ever face things? Just go up, eyes, just go up! She continued to plead her mind, her heart, no she was gonna lose it, Matilda couldn't fix her doll, Timmy was gonna starve, and it was all the fault of those eyes that kept staring at a paper clip, of her gutless reaction to the awkward silence, no, she couldn't let it be like this!

She turned her eyes up, facing the man before her.

He was smiling, and offering a handshake.
"If you still wish to work for us, you're hired."

You may or may not have liked that, honestly I ain't no master, but my point is very simple. Even though I lingered on the downward gaze for waaaaay longer than I needed, that alone is all that stood in that scene to build tension. All the tension of the scene was being charged into the downward gaze, and if what I tried to accomplish was at all effective, it helped to create a sense of relief or even happiness or accomplishment when the character achieved success in the end by overcoming that very "mundane" gesture.

Now, by no means are all repetitions, lingerings etc... always good. And even if they were, liking something just because the writing is good is not always guaranteed, much disliking something because the writing is bad isn't always guaranteed either. However, while advancing the action is certainly important, as a detailed player I can't stress enough how important building atmosphere and showcasing the character's mindset, rather than just the string of actions, is important to the overall flow of the story, providing foreshadowing, satisfaction, relatability and many other important factors that might be lost if one fails to stress the importance of certain seemingly trivial actions.
 
#24
If I may disagree for a moment. I don't believe any action is so trivial that lingering on it is pointless, so long as the action has a meaning to it and isn't just being shoved in there to fill space.

For instance, for a character that sighs every other sentence could be used as a clever way to show the character's boredom with what's going on or to display that the character is forcing the sighs rather than them forming naturally.

In another example, averting a gaze, lingering on it and exagerating it might help convey the character's inability to face someone with more intensity, or showcase how they are panicking internally. I took the liberty of trying to improvise a couple lines to showcase what I mean:
Fea was simply sitting on her chair, awaiting as the suited man before her slowly flipped through each paper, as if he had to read every detail about her life before daring to continue his search for that one moment. She gulped, her eyes turning to face a small paper clip she dropped earlier. Every second she stared at the paper clip, the question came to her mind about whether the man was looking at her now, but still her eyes were fixed on the paper clip, still they were pulled down as if gravity itself had decided to conspire with the guilt in her chest to prevent her from looking up, simply looking up, and getting that job. Even if the happiness of everyone at home depended on this one crucial moment, all she could was look down, look to the side, look at the floor, look at that paper clip, look, look, look, look.... Ah! Just go up! Why couldn't she ever face things? Just go up, eyes, just go up! She continued to plead her mind, her heart, no she was gonna lose it, Matilda couldn't fix her doll, Timmy was gonna starve, and it was all the fault of those eyes that kept staring at a paper clip, of her gutless reaction to the awkward silence, no, she couldn't let it be like this!

She turned her eyes up, facing the man before her.

He was smiling, and offering a handshake.
"If you still wish to work for us, you're hired."

You may or may not have liked that, honestly I ain't no master, but my point is very simple. Even though I lingered on the downward gaze for waaaaay longer than I needed, that alone is all that stood in that scene to build tension. All the tension of the scene was being charged into the downward gaze, and if what I tried to accomplish was at all effective, it helped to create a sense of relief or even happiness or accomplishment when the character achieved success in the end by overcoming that very "mundane" gesture.

Now, by no means are all repetitions, lingerings etc... always good. And even if they were, liking something just because the writing is good is not always guaranteed, much disliking something because the writing is bad isn't always guaranteed either. However, while advancing the action is certainly important, as a detailed player I can't stress enough how important building atmosphere and showcasing the character's mindset, rather than just the string of actions, is important to the overall flow of the story, providing foreshadowing, satisfaction, relatability and many other important factors that might be lost if one fails to stress the importance of certain seemingly trivial actions.
Hm... true enough. I admit mistake on the repetition of actions.
 
Thread starter #25
If I may disagree for a moment. I don't believe any action is so trivial that lingering on it is pointless, so long as the action has a meaning to it and isn't just being shoved in there to fill space.

For instance, for a character that sighs every other sentence could be used as a clever way to show the character's boredom with what's going on or to display that the character is forcing the sighs rather than them forming naturally.

In another example, averting a gaze, lingering on it and exagerating it might help convey the character's inability to face someone with more intensity, or showcase how they are panicking internally.
This hasn't happened to me exactly but one time someone gave a reply similar to this:

She finished speaking and looked intently at her conversational partner, waiting for a reply. She didn't do anything, she simply stood there and waited for a reply, as she had just finished speaking. She waited for him to reply, wondering what he would say.

What is your take on something like that?
 

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