Partner Guide - Making it Work (Inspired by great partners I've had & dedicated to Rhizome for the idea & for all of the tips!) Dedication & Disclaimer: Dedication: This guide is dedicated to a great writer and friend of mine; Rhizome. He gave me the idea for this guide. He has also helped me flesh out some ideas / participated in this guide. This guide is also dedicated to our roleplaying community! This is for any writer who desires to try and be a better partner, there is always room for improvement! In saying that, if you see a way for this guide to be improved, please do let me know. Disclaimer: This guide is only based on my experiences, and what tends to make a good partnership; I'm not stating that this IS what it takes to be a good partner or for role plays to work out. This is just a somewhat biased opinion; what works for me, may not work for you. If any of these points help, I've done my job! What this guide is about: This guide is focused at how we can be good role play partners and how we can make it work. There are some guides in this section about how to find a partner and how to write various scenes, but how do we actually make it work and keep long term role plays going? This guide should be read with an open mind; I understand that this topic can be subjective as opposed to objective. Nevertheless, I hope this helps! The Essentials: The most important thing I can imagine for making a good writing pair is finding someone who shares your values when it comes to role playing. Of course, this is down to personal preference. Here are some I can think of; ↣ Communication: Everyone has different levels of communication. Some people love to chat in OOC, some prefer just to post and talk when needed. Some people prefer to be told when a role play is on the edge so they can discuss it and fix it, some prefer not to. If you find a partner that feels the same about communication, I think you have a much better chance of keeping a role play active with them. So if you do find a method of communication with your partner, make use of it! ↣ Respect: Respect for your writing partner is essential. For example, keeping within their limitations. Every writer should have respect for another's limits within a role play, even if they have different views on the limitations themselves. This also applies when someone doesn't wish to continue a role play. Respect that it is their choice as well, after all, it takes two (at least). ↣ Kink & plot interests: I've found that my longer lasting role plays have been when my partner and I share the same desires for our characters. This also makes it so much easier to make a new role play if / when needed. It also makes throwing in surprises and twists much easier. ↣ Writing Style: For some people, writing style matters. For example, some people prefer third person, some prefer first. I personally find that it's best to check out your potential partner's writing to see how much you enjoy it. This is supposed to be a hobby, so we should enjoy reading our replies. However, this may not be the case for some writers. Do make sure that you know what your partner's preference is regarding the length of posts and level of writing (such as using more complex language). ↣ An open mind: There's no doubt that over the role playing years, we've all had partners that don't have the same likes / interests as us. Sometimes, we have to compromise. Be careful not to give too much away, but it's good to keep an open mind to at least consider things your partner enjoys. You never know, you may end up liking it. ↣ Posting schedule: Timescales can be important. Communication can also change how long your partner, or you are willing to wait for a post. Some people can wait up to a month, maybe longer. Some prefer to have posts several times a day or week. It's important to be clear so that your partner knows what to expect. I find this can be a deal breaker for some, so do make sure you check their requirements! How to get the ball rolling: Now that we've gone through the partner side of writing, now it's time to dig into how to form the role play! In this section, I'll be throwing a few things out that have helped with getting a role play started as well as serving it in the long run. ↣ The setup: I find that the start of a role play can be almost in a honeymoon period. However, I've also noticed that sometimes we need to pay more attention to the start. It's the perfect time to get someone hooked! It's important to find a starting point that you're both comfortable with. Of course, there's also that debate of who starts the role play. Take it as an opportunity to blow your partner away and make them crave to write for you. ↣ The first hump: No... Not that kind of hump. What I'm referring to is that lack of motivation that can come in after you've kicked off the role play. Sometimes, when there's nothing to strive toward, it can get stagnant. This is where communication comes in. If you're feeling uninspired, talk to your partner! Plotting is a good way of getting that muse back and getting your characters focused. ↣ Character progression / focus: It's easy to get swept away in the writing, especially if you're enjoying a new role play. I find that when characters have a focus / goal of their own, it helps the plot move along. I've had problems where I've allowed my characters to change to fit a mould, and therefore have lost inspiration. It's important that your character is progressing as you want, not just to make it fit. ↣ Plot progression: Whether you're the planning type or not, it's likely the plot will move and twists and turns will pop up. Once again, if the plot is moving in a way you don't enjoy, speak up! I find this can happen after the honeymoon period, to combat this I usually have a plot in place so after the initial start is over, more fun begins! I have found that some great partners I've had ended up surprising me a lot with random twists and turns. It keeps the role play surprising and fun, especially when your partner knows what makes you happy. If you ever feel you're getting into a rut, a plot twist can do the world of good! ↣ Giving some umph: I'm sure we've all had role plays where we felt, 'I could've added more for my partner', or 'I wish they'd added more for me to reply to,' these are common thoughts, and a perfectly natural response. I find that the more I put into posts and adding little twists and gifts for my partners, the more I get back. Sometimes, people / we may feel reluctant to take control or add a bit of umph; I'm sure we can all relate to finding our feet in a role play. So do make sure your partners know you're up for twists and turns if that's what you're looking for. Do make sure that you take time with your posts to give something back to your partner. Take time to learn what they like and give them little gifts in your posts. Group Role plays: Group role plays, in my experience, are just like one on ones but require more effort. Such as keeping to posting times, plotting with multiple people and making sure you reply enough for more than one character if the plot calls for it. I figured I would jot down a few ideas for making some group role plays work. ↣ Creating group role plays: Creating a group can be fun and hugely rewarding; especially when the group members make connections and really start to have fun. However, this can also be a lot of work. If you decide to start a group, keep in mind that you should be making sure everyone has a place to start and that they're finding a place to fit in. Especially when it comes to interaction between characters. It's important that creators of group role plays focus on the members and creating a fun story they all enjoy with the group as opposed to focusing on their own single desires. Don't forget to set boundaries and limitations for the group, to prevent the plot or characters getting out of hand. ↣ Posting times: Posting times can be an issue with groups. It's good to keep in mind that people may have a lot of other role plays going and / or have limited time to post. So be sure to give groups some time to get their posts up so everyone can respond to what they need to before the plot progresses too much and leaves them behind. Leaving a member behind is bad! They may not feel inspired to post anymore, or they may simply feel shut out, which is completely understandable. ↣ Interactions: I think it's fair to say that group role plays definitely need more interaction between characters than one on ones. Not in terms of two characters, but in regard to several interactions. It's important that group members are included in posts, especially when they don't have much interaction with their character. It can be easy to overlook one character when there's a lot of interactions going on. So do make sure you read the posts listed and not just ones that relate to your character. Maybe reach out to another character if they seem lost. It makes for a much better role play when everyone involved is enjoying it and adding nice little plot twists and turns for it. ↣ Contributing to plot progression: As a group member, you should definitely be adding to your characters plot and the groups. There should be an OOC area where everyone can chat and plot together. It's a great way to mix characters together as well as giving people something to react to and further their own progression, whether it's character or plots they had in mind. It's also a nice way to have everyone contribute to the plot. That way, they should all be enjoying the role play together. Keeping it fresh: After some time, role plays can become stale. It's fairly normal for things that we enjoy to become boring or rather mundane when we spend a lot of time on them. This doesn't mean the story is boring, it just means we need to work harder to keep them spiced up! Instead of giving up, give some thought to keeping it fresh. There are a few thoughts I have on keeping role plays as fun as they were when it started. ↣ NPCs: NPCs can be extremely useful. I personally adore them. As a role play moves on, you can add as many as you and your partner like. Creating a thread or resource for all your NPCs may be rather useful. This way, you can add quite a bit of detail for them. They can turn into great plot devices. Their plots could intervene into the main plot, or you could even write side plots. Don't be afraid to use them to force your characters into action, they are great tools to do things your characters usually wouldn't. If you're ever in need of a boost, pick a crazy NPC to stir things up! ↣ Plot Holes: Plot holes can be useful! I know, don't doubt me yet! If you leave subtle hints toward different directions, you can always fill plot holes later. You never know what you may think of that can spice up the role play and take it in another direction. So do give some thought of hinting toward things, then leaving it until a later date to fill in. Trust me, it may even shock and surprise your partner! I'm sure we all follow our stories and when something like this is added by our partner, it surprises us. So, lets keep our partners on their toes! ↣ Twists & Turns: You may be thinking plot holes is a similar theme, and it is! Twists and turns don't need plot holes to work, though. Imagine your character finding out some news that takes them on another track completely. Or what if a forgotten friend reappears with some trouble they have to resolve? Twists and turns can change the plot direction as well as giving your characters new goals; make sure it doesn't take away from what you and your partner are looking to achieve. Maybe it'll stunt their progression, maybe it'll wreck their relationship with other characters. Isn't that all part of the fun? P.s. Please do make sure any T&T's are not against your partner's limits. If you think it may be extreme or might offend them, be sure to ask first! ↣ Become a detective: You may be thinking 'what the hell', but it's true! Snoop around, gather information from conversations. Find out what your partner enjoys most. It can range from kinks to plot devices. Anything! Find it out and surprise them! I know I've mentioned this before, but I think it's a great way to keep the role play exciting. ↣ Visual stimulus: No, you horn dog, not that kind of stimulus! Don't forget we have a graphic guide, which is linked below. What I'm referring to is adding some pictures into your post. Such as places, picturesque settings or just something to couple with your current scene. Some partners may like this, some may not. It's good to ask before hand. I find that adding in some settings may help people feel as if they've entered that world and can help with inspiration for posting. Final Note: There you have it! Hopefully some of these ideas help you. Please do comment below or send me a message if you feel there's something this guide is missing, or if it's difficult to read. I wish you all the best of luck in your role plays! Happy adventuring! Other helpful guides: Etiquette Guide - This also talks about being a good role play partner, it's more generalised here. It has some useful tips to do with declining role plays and such! Graphics Guide for Amor - Just in case you decide to add images, take a look here to see what's allowed. Tab Guide - If you wish to add information to your role play in another tab! 1 & 2 - Sexy writing guides! This may help with your sexual scenes. Love & Lust in Romance: A 101 Guide [Part 1] - A Romance Guide! How to get partners - Exactly what it says on the tin! Character Guide - A guide to help you with your characters.