→ ALEXIS WRITES : SOME (HOPEFULLY) HELPFUL TIPS
Sometimes writer’s block hits you hard or you read over a para you’ve just written and think, “what in the world was I trying to say?” Writing is one of, if not the key fundamental of role-playing and whether you’re a role-player or not, I’ve compiled a short list of helpful tips I have learned over the years that may help you the next time your motivation is running dry.
01. USE SAID
You’ve probably heard this piece of advice a thousand times before, “don’t use said.” There are literally hundreds of words to use instead of the word said, but are they really necessary? The reality is, we don’t really read said - it’s there, but it’s only acknowledged, our eyes seem to glide right over it. Of course, descriptive words such as mumbled, whispered, growled and so on are wonderful ways to add color to your writing, but don’t be afraid to use said when you need to.
02. BREAK RULES
We all know the basic gist of grammar, all the no-no’s our English teachers used to teach us in school about run-on sentences and fragments. While some rules help us to have cleaner, polished writing, they sometimes make our writer’s voices fall flat and dull. Writing is a form of expression, just like painting or making music. The rules meant to be broken, the box was meant to be thought outside of. This doesn’t necessarily mean to rite lyk th!z in the name of creativity, but use those adjectives and adverbs. Write a sentence that goes on for lines. Start a story/self para with dialogue. Hell, I even read a fantastic work of fiction once that didn’t use one capital letter throughout the entirety of the story. Develop your own writing style and if it works, go with it. At the end of the day, it’s the message you send that counts.
03. JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Er, writing in this sense. You might have heard this one before as well, keep writing and don’t stop, even if you make hideous spelling errors and horrible grammar mistakes. Write until you’re finished or you run out of things to write, then go back and edit your work. You’ll be surprised to find that pumping out those lengthy replies becomes a bit easier, and you can think of things to add to areas that need a bit of improvement as you’re changing that your to you’re.
04. X MARKS THE SPOT
This one is pretty simple, but get an idea in your head of what your goal is when you sit down to write. For example, John is going to confess his feelings and go for the big kiss. Good. Now work around that, add emotion, add description, add dialogue. Halfway through, you may realize you want to take it in a different direction that you originally thought, and that’s okay. Doing the smallest bit of planning beforehand helps to sort out your thoughts before your fingers touch the keyboard.
05. BE INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU WRITE
You log onto your account and a sudden feeling of dread washes over you as you realize you have to respond to a para. You’re tired, your muse is dying and you couldn’t care less about it, so you pound out a few-sentence reply and call it a day. If your writing is going nowhere, put it away for a while. Recharge your creativity, go through your favorite blog, get some fresh air, the list of possibilities is endless. When you’re ready to write again, open that browser and go at it. If you’re interested in what you write, it’ll shine through in your work and you’ll feel more inspired to write even more by the time that next response rolls around.
I hope you found these tips helpful, and everything all boils down to one important piece of advice; the age-old practice makes perfect. Make a point to write when you have nothing else to do, you will see great improvement over time, and remember to write for no one else but you. If it’s something you love to do, do it (unless, for some reason, it becomes a detriment to your life outside the RP world) - you’ll be glad you did in the long run.