The Art of Roleplaying
|CORAL CANYON- Throughout the time I have played on Neopets, I've noticed a lot
of roleplaying boards in almost every category of Neochat. Due to this, I've fallen
in love with roleplaying myself, and usually you can find me doing so. I hope
this doesn't sound picky or snobby, but I have noticed a lot of problems with
the way some people roleplay in Neopia today. In my opinion, there are two major
categories that an unskilled or inexperienced roleplayer can fit into (without
· A roleplayer who does not use an vivid words whatsoever; has lots of run
on sentences, bad grammar, cannot give the reader a good image of what in
the world they are talking about.
· A roleplayer who has a good sense of what it is they want to say, yet too
much vocabulary that is not understandable and unnecessary marks are used
to make them look good.
I'm not ranking myself better then anyone when it comes to roleplaying, because
no one is perfect, but there are a large amount of people who do not try to
make their roleplaying efforts any better, or make mistakes that they do not
know should be corrected. This often gives most roleplayers a bad name, which
I have come to defend, by giving you my advice. There are four basic things
you should make sure you are using correctly when you roleplay in Neopia. If
you do so, a lot of people should consider you a very good roleplayer and hopefully
will roleplay with you more often. Let's watch out for sentence structure,
creativity, separation of dialogue and actions, and unique topics.
My concerns in this article do not apply for anyone that is at an age where
they are not fully "aware" of mistakes they may be making while in a roleplay.
Before I give my opinion on the four elements I think are necessary for roleplaying,
here are a few abbreviations you might want to learn if you are new to this
unique art found in (and out) of Neopia. Many people use these abbreviations
so it is best that you know exactly what they mean.
IC - In character
BIC - Back in character
OOC - Out of character
RPG - Roleplaying game
Sentence structure is an important element in ANY kind of roleplaying,
in and out of Neopets. After you have typed up your few sentences of roleplaying,
try to go back and proof-read it to make sure it makes sense. If you use a sentence
that goes something like, "a little Krawk crawls allover the floor with a piece
of food in his mouth looking for friends and hungry even though he is eating
food that his owner gave him and lucky to be a rare krawk" then you seriously
need to go back, separate your work into readable sentences, and make sure that
you use correct grammar. Roleplaying is supposed to be fun, and it isn't enjoyable
at all when you are roleplaying with someone where you have to squint at his
or her post for five minutes to figure out what it is they're actually saying.
If you go back and correct yourself for a while before posting, you should
have a bit better results. Here's a corrected example of a bad post gone a bit
better, "A little Krawk crawls all over the floor. There is a piece of food
in his mouth as he searches for anyone around that could be his friend. He considers
himself lucky for being a rare Krawk, but still wishes to meet more Neopets
- in and out of his species." We all tend to make mistakes sometimes, and if
you do happen to make a mistake, you can go back and correct yourself in a separate
post. It's okay for you to do that, and it helps everyone know that you made
a mistake and tells him or her what you actually meant. If you'd like to be
able to tell the difference between a good roleplay and a not so good one, hang
around the Roleplaying, Other Worlds, or Fan Clubs chat rooms. There is a bountiful
amount of roleplays made in those three boards that you can watch to help develop
your own skills. Also, don't be afraid to ask others of their opinion of what
your roleplaying is like - just make sure you are able to accept honest criticism
to help build yourself off of.
Creativity is an element of roleplaying that some people abuse and
do not use at all. I think the #1 rule of roleplaying is to be creative. Using
a plain sentence such as "Bobby walked down the stairs." Is plain BORING. Spice
it up. Use a thesaurus to learn new vocabulary, toss in a vivid word or two
to help paint a good image of what is going on towards the reader. "Bobby blithely
sprinted down the staircase, his feathers messily laid upon his back" gives
a very good image of what is going on in the RP. You don't have to be an experienced
master to be a good roleplayer. Have fun with your character's actions; ask
for help if you are unsure of what to do to make your work better. Practice
On the other hand, some people abuse creativity in roleplaying, too. One thing
I have noticed is that a lot of roleplayers tend to use apostrophes ('s) to
make it seem as if they are good at roleplaying. Don't get me wrong, not everyone
does it for that purpose - others enjoy the way it sounds or just enjoy using
them altogether. If you like using apostrophes as well, then go ahead, I have
no serious grudges against them, but just try not to use too many of them. I
have seen some posts that abuse apostrophe use like this: "Male lup' o'ebon'
hue pranc's 'pon th' terra' 'low, crania' bobbin' up an' down merrily while
opti's shift 'ellwards." Now, do you need that many apostrophes in a sentence?
I don't think that is necessary at all, and in my opinion, it doesn't make you
look very smart, either. For example, if you used "'pon" in opposition to "upon",
isn't there the same amount of characters? It is not necessary to "shorten"
words by using apostrophes when sometimes it is the same amount of characters
without an apostrophe in the word. Think about it. (This does not apply to characters
/ roleplayers who may possess a strong accent)
If you plan on roleplaying often, make sure you use a good font. Small font
is nice if you'd like to have a neat looking paragraph. If you like using larger
font to make yourself noticeable, go for it. Glowing text is not always the
best for roleplaying as sometimes your paragraphs can become long and unreadable.
Decide which font type you think will be best for the genre of roleplaying you
will be doing.
Sometimes I have noticed that beginners have not correctly separated dialogue
and actions. This could very easily go into the "sentence structure" section,
but I think correctly separating dialogue and actions is very important. It
is hard to follow along a sentence that goes something like: "bill walks in
saying hi how are you he is tall and wants a new friend I'm tired." By simply
separating the dialogue using these: " " quotation marks, it is very easy on
the reader. (Bill walks in saying, "Hi, how are you?" He is very tall and looking
for a new friend. "Boy, I'm tired." See the difference?)
If you'd like, you can also separate your actions further from your dialogue
by using special characters. -Bill walks in- "Hi, how are you?" -He is very
tall and looking for a new friend- "Boy, I'm tired." This gives the reader /
person you're roleplaying with an easier time depicting the actions from the
dialogue. If everyone did this, trust me, roleplaying would be so much easier
to live with. Unfortunately, we cannot force everyone to do so. The only person
you can change is yourself, so just try to make sure you have some kind of separation
between your dialogue and actions.
We should all try to develop unique topics to make our roleplaying
more interesting and favorable. Here are a few examples of roleplaying boards
you should not make, because there are already hundreds of them as it is. Some
people won't even enter your board if it is one of these, or something similar
to it. I'm not calling you bad for making these, but my point is: try and make
something more original.
· A painted pup sits in a soggy box (painted) and crying wishing for a mother.
· A species (most commonly a Lupe) sits on a cliff looking for a mate.
· A species "cries", longing for a "BF" or "GF"
· Any type of "high schools" that might have to do with females and males
associating with each other, dating, or boyfriends and girlfriends holding
hands in the hallways, or dances following afterwards.
· Cruises, parties, or any type of event that may lead to any "romance" on
AIM, MSN, or any other kind of messenger.
Get the general idea? Once again, try to come up with a unique setting or
event. For an example, a "Scooter Racing" board or even a "Uni Parlor" would
probably lure more visitors in opposition to a "Lupe Cruise on AIM". Originality
can make a very good, enjoyable roleplay. You may find that more people will
come to your RP if the idea is unused and exciting.
Hopefully my opinion on the four things I think make a good roleplay will
help everyone who has had experience with roleplaying or who is just beginning.
The most important rule of roleplaying, in conclusion to all of this rambling,
is to HAVE FUN.