Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thoughts on roleplaying - beyond the rules

         Boy, it's being an educational week or two for me as I learn more about what "role play" means to me.   I'm venturing out into Second Life, from the virtual safety of Deadwood  to find fellow role players and writers.  I've looked into role playing groups, and I'm even taking a class in role play (well, one of my alts is) that will get me some kind of certificate showing I'm serious.  
        It's hard to find good role play partners, though not hard to find good people with whom to role play (I don't like my participles to dangle).   I figure, as is often true in real life, if you're looking for partners, sometimes you need to expand your horizons.   Part of that for me has turned out to be finding ways to improve my role play.
           When I first started in early Sept 2007, I had no idea what role play in a virtual world was.  Oh, yeah.. I'd acted and loved that back in high school and a bit beyond, even doing a little directing.  And I've been a writer for years.
             I have no memory of how I found Deadwood - I don't think I'd even watched the show as I don't have HBO.   But somehow I was on the stagecoach and ended up there, and there I still am hoping it never disappears, but knowing I had best have some other places ready in case it does.
              In my early days, I had no idea of the "basic rules" of role play and had to learn them the hard way (by making mistakes).  What I'm finding now is a need to go beyond the rules and etiquette of Role playing -- both are important and have been nicely addressed in other places and in classes.
             What I need is a way to discover, nurture and enjoy my particular style of role play - which I think is some combination of straight dialogue and blogging - para without the paragraphs within the context of the role play itself. 
        The first time I heard someone doing para role play, I reacted as if I was hearing someone speak in tongues.  Seemed alien, strange and not my style. And yet... I do like the writing that goes into it, the history and background, the descriptive inner thoughts.  For me, I think I just want that to be tucked away somewhere - in another place,not in open chat -- (have I mentioned I'm an INFP?)  where others can read it if they want.  Of course, that won't work for everyone - that may only work for me.  But it gives me some kind of thrill.      
            I love developing new characters, participating with others in role play, talking in sentences with dialect and usually with humor.   There's room for improvement on my emoting - descriptive sentences that describe what my character is thinking or doing, rather than actual dialogue.  I haven't used emoting a lot, fearing I will wake up one day and find myself para role playing all over.
             In my research, I was startled to find there are role players who write up much of their dialog ahead of time - I thought you had to do it as you went - so I'll give some thought to that though I have no idea how you would make that work with a partner.   
               I've nothing against writing, in fact I love it!  My former partner and I used to write little scenes to each other, complete with dialogue -though we didn't use it as a script, it was just for fun. I love writing so one of my plans for improving my role playing is to work more on my writing.  Tying that into role play through the use of blogs as I love to take a  piece of role play chat with others and turn it into a little story.   Fictionalizing a role play chat even more!
              This is fun, exploring what works for me.The more I wander around, digging into things, the more I realize there's a whole lot of different kinds of role play going on. And personally, I don't think one is better than the other.  Past understanding the rules and etiquette, it's essential for me to know how to write about my characters, doing a little research and contemplation, digging within, then asking myself what kind of role playing fits me best, how can I get better, where can I find me some more people and places and time to role play?

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