Ch. 2 - General Craft of Writing Dec 8, 2009 12:05:29 GMT -5
Post by Shinigami Kyra on Dec 8, 2009 12:05:29 GMT -5
Craft of Writing Guide
Craft of Writing
Note: Somethings may be repeated here, but most are simply either in reference, or additional elements were brought forth for that particular subject.
Rules for General Role Playing and General Tips for Writing
(The normally unwritten rules)
1. Third Person, Past Tense.
This is a common rule. What this means is that all forms of post-writing should be written in the Third Person, Past Tense formula. What does this mean? Do not understand different point of view writing, or tense style of writing? Well! I've included some examples!
Good Example - Third Person, Past Tense
-----Rukia unsheathed her sword and forced her spiritual aura to rise drastically as she called forth its powers. With a firm grip upon the hilt, she began to rotate the blade ever so slowly as it underwent a drastic transformation.
"Dance... Sode no Shirayuki," Rukia spoke the command phrase that forced her Shikai to awaken. With those dark hues focused upon her opponent, she launched her body forward, sword wound back, and delivered a slash to his midsection.
-----Ichigo brushed a few strands of hair from his field of view as his tired eyes gazed upon the horizon. Several days had passed since the last Hollow attack, and though things had remained quiet, he could not help but feel the clouds start to gather in the skies above. He felt as though he had to constantly look over his shoulder, or ask for an update from Rukia, just to make certain that no Hollows were around.
The example stated here is that there is no 'I' or 'me' located in it. Such words would describe a 'First' person point of view. The words 'Rukia' and 'her' or 'she' normally replaces those words.
Now, there are 'second-person' point of view, where the words 'You,' 'your' and the like would be used. This is also not used in the example, though they would be replacing the 'opponents' and 'his' in this example.
As for the 'past tense,' notice how all the verbs are in their respective past-tense format. Verbs end in -ed, or instead of '...force her Shikai to awake/wake,' it's '...forced her Shikai to awaken.' That is a prime example of the differences between 'present' tense, which is the here and now, and 'past' tense, which is something that has already happened.
Most stories that people read are almost ALWAYS done in third person, past tense. It is the easiest style of writing to both read and write, and allows a reader to understand the actions of your character.
More Information on Third Person PoV Style of Writing: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_narrative#Third-person_narrative_mode
More Information of Past Tense Style of Writing: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_tense
2. General Writing (Common Sense Stuff)
I feel this section should be placed here. As stated above, if you are going to go with a certain style of writing, please stick to it. Do not start off in third person, then shift to first, as it will be far too confusing for other players, as well as the reviewer of your application, to under stand your actions.
Space after all punctuations; Periods (.), Commas (,), Exclamation Points (!), and so forth.
Speakers and Dialogue
For the average writer, we recommend creating a new paragraph between action, and the start of dialogue, or your character's speech. Some advanced writers can pull off working dialogue in the middle of a paragraph, or just at the end. But, for most, it would be best to keep a new course of dialogue as a new paragraph. Remember to state the speaker, if necessary, and to use proper quotation marks. If there is action between the start of dialogue, and a new sentence of dialogue, then after the close of that speech/dialogue, prepare a new paragraph. When a new person, or dialogue is used in your post, please create an entirely new paragraph.
For example:"Ichigo! Where's my money?" Renji shouted as he slammed his palms onto the table. "You better pay me back! Rukia lent me that money last week, and now she's asking for it!"
"I don't have your money," Ichigo barked in reply. His brows lowered in frustration, as he fought the urge to flip the table right then and there. "If I did, don't you think I would have called you already?"
"Of course you wouldn't!" Renji shook his head and waved a hand.
"What kind of person do you think I am?"
"Bastard..." Ichigo muttered under his breath.
There are several examples of what's listed above in that quote. Notice how when each new speaker talks, a new paragraph is used. There are times when you can state 'he said, she said' and so forth, and there are times when you don't need to at all, so long as the reader of your posts or threads can understand and follow the dialogue.
As stated above, we would like to keep most writing fairly similar, in the aspect of point of view, and current tenses. Thus, the standard for the board, as well as nearly all Freeform Role-playing websites, is third person, past tense. From there, you can be as creative as you'd like.
Unlike Role-Playing Games, such as DnD, or other types of table-top RPGs, Freeform is far less constricting. The usage of dice has been removed, and players are normally free to conduct various actions beyond that of a Game Master/Dungeon Master. However, that does not mean that rules are completely nonexistent. For the best possible experience one can have, we expect the rules that are currently in place on our site to be held by everyone, and for all players to treat one another with a certain level of respect. Here's a quick explanation of what exactly Freeform Role Playing is, as quoted by Wikipedia."Freeform" can also refer to online text-based role-playing games which lack rules, instead relying on the player's acting abilities and commitment to a good story. (In MUSH settings, these are often called consent-based, because what happens to a character is influenced by a potential "veto" from that character's player.) These systems must either rely on carefully selected individuals or strict moderation, in order to prevent less mature players from taking advantage (god-moding) of the rule-free environment, for example by unrealistically shielding their characters from the consequences of their actions.
Similarly, "freeform" can refer to online forum and email-based role-playing games which lack rules or which lack statistics by which to judge a character's abilities. As with freeform MUSHes, those running the game rely instead upon the players' writing talents and use of description to determine outcomes--if a GM is used to control the game at all. Some online freeform games closely resemble collaborative fiction, while others have much more structured rule sets, such as the Role Player's Creed.
These online freeform games are subject to criticism, namely for their frequent childishness (as exemplified in chats around the Internet). Others note that they are based upon the idea of elite roleplay, and take value in being professional about what they do.
In short, players are free to create their own stories for their characters. Freeform Role Playing is the best way to truly write out a story of your desire. So long as you follow the rules and respect one another, you can expect a great experience in return.
Godmoding (often incorrectly spelled as "godmodding") is a term used in role-playing games to describe two behaviours of players. The term comes from the "god mode" found in many video games, allowing a player to activate features such as invincibility, unlimited ammunition or lives, or similar power boosts. Godmoding is almost always frowned upon by other members of the game, because it is regarded as a form of cheating against the game's tacit rules.
Godmoding can occur when a player describes an event or a series of events his or her character has taken against another character or interactive object, most often with the purpose of rescinding negative effects previously encountered or granting some other effect inconsistent with an objective view of the narrative. This is sometimes also termed "powermoding" or twinking. For example, a character may be afflicted with a disease only curable by rare ingredients, yet another character is "lucky" enough to find these ingredients in ten minutes. Godmoding is thus often used like a "Get Out of Jail Free card" when things don't go the way a player wants, rather than working with previously unfolded events.
It is also used to describe the act of creating or playing with an invincible character or using "perfect" equipment (such as unbreakable armor or weapons), possessing limitless power, or extremely powerful skills and attacks, etc. Some players will create a brand new character, and that character is automatically gifted with skills, and nearly impossible to take on right from the start. In many cases, this happens when a newer character goes against an established one: the newer player may roleplay his or her character as if it were equal in power and rank to the more experienced one.
Another type of godmoding involves deciding how a character who is not your own feels about your appearance or equipment. This technique is frequently used by the Mary Sue, and would apply in situations where a character has usually spectacular physical or supernatural qualities and, in the description of the character, forces observers to feel a certain way, such as 'You are awed by her beauty,' or 'You are terrified by his very appearance,' without taking into account the opinions or abilities of the observing character.
Godmoding can also refer to the case where a player definitively describes the outcome of their own actions against another character or interactive object. For example, if player A states, "A strikes B and B takes damage", they could be considered to be godmoding. Another example of this might be where a character is facing multiple enemies, and they redirect one foe's attack onto another. For example, Player A states, "B misses A completely, and strikes C instead." This form of godmoding is also referred to as "autoing". Active godmoding can also take the form of controlling characters that belong to someone else. Godmoding of this variety is also known as powergaming.
* Player A: Character A throws a punch at Character B.
* Player B: Character B dodges the attack, grabs Character A and throws him out of a stained glass window. Character A flies at Character B, who warps behind him and slashes Character A in the back.
Godmoding on the board, or for many web-based, Freeform Role Playing websites, is highly frowned upon by both players and staff. Disciplinary action will be taken if such an occurrence proceeds after warnings are given.
3. General Writing (I can't come up with a post! or Why is my post so short?!)
This has been a common subject brought up by several members, both new and Veteran! So, do not feel embarrassed when you can't seem to come up with anything more than just a paragraph. Remember; quantity does not always equal quality!
When coming up with a post, remember your character's personality. Also; not all posts should require 'Shinigami to be Fighting Hollows' or anything like that. Remember, character development is usually the core sense of Role Playing. To be able to develop your character through various types of interactions should be your goal as a player role playing a specific character!
Remember the five senses:
All (or at least most) of these can be used in your posts! Your character can see the scenery that is displayed. They can smell the freshly cut grass, or the salty ocean scent. They can feel the wind blowing against their skin. They can hear the crowds of people, or the waves crashing along the beach. Perhaps they can even taste that salty scent, or, if your character is at a restaurant, you can describe the meal in which they are eating. With most characters on this board, you also have most likely acquired the 'sixth' sense, which in the Bleach Universe, is the ability to sense spiritual pressure, or reiatsu. This can also be described in a post.
Good Post Example - Initial Post
She felt the winds caress her skin as the four winds blew strongly atop the cliff edge in which she stood. Dark crimson strands danced along to the soundless tune of the air's element. A small, frail hand moved to part those long bangs from her field of view as a somber expression fell across those feminine features. Dark scarlet hues focused upon the horizon, where the sky met the edge of the water. The fresh scent of the ocean filled the area, as the sounds of waves crashing against rock seemed to echo from several hundred meters below.
Kyra Rounin breathed in the ocean air as she felt a sense of relaxing calm fall over her body. She felt at peace, both physically and mentally, and quite possibly, even spiritually. The events of the previous day had drawn her body to near exhaustion, though with the one simple act of heading out toward the shoreline of Karakura Town, this scene alone was enough to wash the worries of yesterday from her shoulders as her bare feet felt the freshly cut grass below.
"I've always loved this part of the city," Kyra's voice was aimed at no one in particular; perhaps simply the wind was her audience for the day. She smiled briefly as she let out another calm, relaxed sigh. Her eyes became half lidded as her head tilted ever so gently to the side. "It just seems... so peaceful at this time of the day."
So, not much going on, right? The only thing I did here was set up the scenery. Something like this can be used for an initial post. The original poster of a post can normally set up the environment, as well as the flow of the thread as a whole. When making a reply to an initial or original post, a player should respect the original poster's environment, as well as their possible plans for the post.
One should try not to derail the point of a thread by unnecessarily adding elements to a thread. For example, if an original poster has their Shinigami in a Gigai walking down Karakura Town, looking to go shopping, someone should just burst into a thread, let's say, a Shinigami, and suddenly alert the person that there's a Hollow, or even worse, just start fighting Hollow's in their thread.
General Respect for the Original Post goes without saying. The original poster may or sometimes, may not even have a plan for their thread. Thus, one should always ask for permission when changing the subject of the thread, or turning it down a different path. If you are confused by any of this, or do not understand some elements of the original post, always feel free to contact myself, a staff member, or the original poster of the thread for more information.
Notice in the post above that I have decided to color a certain part of the text? That is completely up to you, as a player. Normally, we ask that you keep your coloring to a minimum; verbalized text, or dialogue can be colored. Some people may even color the entire thing if they so choose; we're not too picky, but please keep it to your posts in general, not in your applications. Also, make sure your entire post isn't one big rainbow color.
My suggestion is to look over what others are doing. I'm not saying to 'copy and paste' their style, but become accustomed to how they use their colored text. For myself, I only recommend coloring the dialogue of your own character. I started doing it the moment I had more than one of my characters involved in the same thread. Though sometimes it isn't that confusing to tell two characters apart, I decided it may be easier to interpret who the speaker is when you stick to a certain color for each character.
List of my characters, and their respective colors
Kyra Rounin - Light Blue
Kyra Rounin Inner Hollow - Light Blue Bold
Momo Hinamori - Red
Ichigo Kurosaki (Admin Share) - Orange
Rukia Kuchiki - White
Yoruichi - Purple
Kaiko - Royal Blue
When it comes to text coloring, I try to use colors that represent the characters themselves. Momo's spiritual aura is usually red, so I use that for her font color. Kyra's is blue. Rukia's sword is white, so I use white for her. Yoruichi's hair is purple, and Ichigo's hair is orange. Kaiko's skin is a light bluish gray color, so I went with Royal Blue. You don't have to follow this formula at all, but this is just something I do myself, and you're free to follow this type of example.
When making a reply post, always keep the original post in mind. There are a variety of ways to reply to a person's original post. You want to try and keep the same environmental structure. Not only that, but it should be wise to understand the goal of the original poster's thread, rather than just assume. If it's meant for just character development or interaction, then bringing in a hoard of hollows wouldn't be the best idea. It's always smart to keep in contact with the player that initiated the thread in order to develop both your characters and fulfill a profitable role playing experience.
Keep in mind that though you have the ability to edit your thread, it is unwise to do so after someone else has posted directly after you. Such actions can actually be considered Godmoding, depending upon the actual post itself. We'll get more into Godmoding later.
4. Sample Post
This can be found in the Applications Section, when you are first creating a character, or are simply adding to your collection. Sample posts are, in short, a 'sample' of how you will be playing the character you have chosen. It also allows us an understanding of how skilled a writer you are. Now, we're not looking for epic novelists, but if one can properly conduct a good paragraph or three for a sample post, then it's likely that you have already come that much closer to getting your character accepted.
For both Original Character and Canon Characters, we would like to see a variety of things within a sample post. First, let's start off with Canon Characters.
For Canons, since most information that will be needed in the application can be easily found via the internet, or a Bleach Wiki site, the sample post is pretty much all we have to go by in accordance to accepting or denying an application.
For Canons, we feel a player must be able to portray the character's personality well enough to consider them a proper suit for that character. The stronger the Canon Character, the more we will look for in a Sample Post. Applying for someone like Chad versus applying for someone like Ichigo, the Chad application may be reviewed with a bit more lenience, where as an application for Ichigo may require some heavy work.
For all characters, we would like to see a good amount of their personality brought out. You may feel free to NPC some other canon characters briefly, for conversational purposes, but try not to dwell too much into those other characters; remember, you're applying for this character, not the others. Also; try to not just copy/write down things you see in the episode. We're hardcore Bleach fans, so if you just write down a replica of a scene from one of the manga/episodes, we'll know. Try to be creative and come up with your own scenario. Be original; don't limit yourself to just fighting Hollows for Shinigami, or the like.
We would also prefer if you were to add two returns, or hit the enter button twice for each new paragraph, similar to the entire set up you see here. It simply aids in the ability to read the Sample post far more easily, and lessens the 'clumping' visual aspect. We recommend the 'double return' for all types of paragraph-style portions of applications, as well as general posting.