OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers

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Warning: Lack of content

Warning lack of content

This opinion article was written to us by Miranda from the game Pokémon: Dark Age.

Have you ever gone through great lengths to write an awesome post, only to have it responded to with a few sentences? I know I have. Does it frustrate you? Does it make you want to reach through your computer screen and slap your fellow RP’ers? Or worse yet, does this seem to be an ever growing trend that completely dissuades you from wanting to join in on many roleplaying games?

I am saddened to realize that there is a growing crowd that seems to be perfectly copacetic with submitting and receiving post that are utterly bereft of descriptive content. I wonder if the texting age has infected the world of Roleplay and misled players into thinking that simply responding to each others post in this one-liner fashion is an acceptable form of Roleplay.

To me, this is a travesty. This is not Roleplay,this is a laughable excuse for it. I can’t stand to see “machine-gun posting” back and forth between two players with one line responses that are lacking in any descriptive merit. It is not only a spit in the face to everyone else that is putting effort into their writing, but it is rude and inconsiderate to any and all that are involved or are thinking of becoming involved in that roleplay.

Please, if this is how you write do us all a favor and get offline and do not dilute the forums with your low standard scribble. Literacy and post content should be a value to roleplayers that should never be compromised. Not every post need be a shining pearl of ultimate perfection. However, one should at least try to make it to the 200 word mark, and this without it being all dialogue.

Try practicing writing (at great length) before you go and submit things into other people’s creations. I don’t know about you, but I know I don’t want to be the weak writer in the group that is pulling everyone’s enjoyment down with poorly thought out and written postings.

This opinion article was written to us by Miranda from the game Pokémon: Dark Age. If you’d like to write an article for us, send it through our contact us form.

  • LeonArcher

    Because god forbid, players enjoy themselves allowing characters to interact with each other. Respectfully, I find this opinion to be elitist and disrespectful. Short posts are necessary to allow interaction between characters.

    In the words of the roleplayer Misty
    “No one person is the same and neither do they create or write the same.”

    • Miranda Lockharte

      Players can interact with one another with good, long posts. Look at the RP that I am Modding to show you what I am talking about. Not just what I am writing, but the other players as well. It’s not hard. It takes me 30 to 40 minutes on average for a post. I hardly think this is too much to ask of other rolplayers.

      What I find disrespectful is two people posting 10 times within the hour holding one-liner conversations with each other, when they could have instead written out ONE or TWO meaningful, descriptive posts to achieve the same effect. Meanwhile, the other players in the RP are buried in their useless and trite dialogue when they next get back online to continue their story. THAT is lazy and selfish, and inconsiderate to the other participants in the RP.

      And to riposte to the quote you submitted, these people are hardly creating when they respond something to the effect of:
      Bobby walked into the room. “Hey are you alright?”, he asked Trisha. Then he waited for the others to get there.

      Like I said, I don’t expect post to be winners of a Pulitzer. Everyone has their own writing style, and that is what makes RP’ing great. All the different ideas converging into a great story. However, when your character description is, “Tall, white hair. See pic.” That is a tragic failure for someone claimant to a writer.

  • Silent Hunter

    Sometimes it’s better to write a short post to move the story on than slow a story down with essays.

    • Miranda Lockharte

      Short, yes. A good, ample paragraph will do when you are trying to push the game along. But to make this a metric of your posting habit is just bad form.

  • crimsyn

    The way I do it on my RP, the USS Portland, is that each post should be a scene in and of itself, and if two players are going back and forth, they should work on the scene as a joint post and then post the whole scene when it’s done; this is so it’s easier to read and keep track of.

    I do share some frustrations over lack of content, though I’m less concerned about a specific word count and the amount of flowery descriptions of the surroundings than whether or not a post or a tag advances the story. Sometimes a one-line reply is appropriate. But if we have a scene where one player is doing all the heavy lifting of moving the scene forward and the other player is posting noncommittal tags which don’t really move the story forward (something like ‘Bill nods and says “that’s interesting” before taking a sip of his drink.’), then it can get annoying.

  • Masqueradiance

    Nice article, but the closing statement was a tad harsh. I, personally understand your pain. There are quite a few games on OW I have unfortunately had to unsubscribe from due to two people finding it acceptable to constantly post a sentence or two of useless dialogue. I have seen post counts reach into the hundreds within two or three weeks, and have read through those posts in under an hour. Why? Because no one had the creativity to actually be descriptive.

    I can also understand where a person comes from with a quick reply, but what I don’t appreciate is when they don’t add something to round it off. I for one strive to at least make a paragraph, even if I could have just posted “Person A says blah blah to Person B” Why? Because I can always find something to build with. If you are someone who struggles with one-liners (a wide majority of people who do it seem to just not care however) who would actually want to write longer, why not give insight on your character’s inner thoughts? They have to be thinking something. Also, instead of just posting a quick blurb of what your character says, move the plot on a bit. Maybe they started walking to a new location while holding the conversation? Maybe they noticed something in the other person (In which you should go well into detail about) Above all, at least try to compose something a bit meaningful, and if you can’t, use e-mail and create a post with the characters having done the conversation in full to spare other members from having to click through 100+ posts of what seems to be BS.

  • Weeaboo.Trash

    Good point, however truthfully, the content is what matters more than the length. Ever hear of a run-on sentence? You can tell by the same, it is a sentence that runs too long, and ends up sounding quite ridiculous and also ends up confusing the reader quite a bit because you are making an attempt to include the entire story in a single sentence and it makes it look very unprofessional and frankly, chaotic. And that, my friend, was a run-on sentence.
    It’s the same with stories. If you insist on adding every little detail, it can get annoying. When describing a park, for example, I could do with this:
    Pant description, people description, weather description, and perhaps a little extra personal descriptions. All brief. But if you go into describing the exact high and low temperatures, the direction of the wind, and the amount of blades of grass per square foot, it gets a bit…well…it becomes a nuisance.
    Also, trying too hard to add detail and length can result in being repetitive, and nothing’s more cringy than the same phrases over and over again with slight variations.
    “Her hair was blonde. The wind blew it over her shoulders. It glistened like gold as it swept over her shoulders. It was such a beautiful blonde.”
    Jesus Christ, no.
    Truth is, length don’t matter. Just keep to your own style. Write as much or as little as you need to, as long as you get your point across.