Professional Roleplay Guide

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Professional Roleplay Guide

Post  Illegal on Fri 20 Feb 2009, 7:10 pm

Professional Roleplay Guide

The last roleplaying guide was written with beginners in mind. This essay is meant to help those who want to ascend to the second level of professional roleplay writing.

The idea is that a roleplay is a form of short story and there are centuries old rules to follow when writing them. The very word "Flash" as some veterans may recall is another word for roleplay and it's orgins, I believe come from the official writing term "Flash Fiction". "Roleplaying" is no different from professional writing and it's time to learn the rules.

Flash Fiction. (A basic roleplay) and short stories.

Flash fiction is fiction characterized by its extreme brevity, as measured by its length in words. While there is no universally accepted exact word limit, generally a short story is considered to constitute flash fiction if it is less than 1,000–2,000 words long, and most flash-fiction pieces are between 250 and 1,000 words long. (By contrast, "traditional" short stories range from 2,000 words to upwards of 20,000, and are mainly between 3,000 and 10,000 words long; they are distinguished from longer forms, such as the novel and novella, primarily by the intent that they be read in a single sitting.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_fiction

Words

Notice that the official writing means of measurement is words- Not "bytes" or pages or kilobytes or sentences or lines, but words. Words are the only fair method of judging how long or short a particular writing project is. From grade school to college all of your papers were likely judged by the word count and not anything else. Some essays may require a certain amount of pages, but the internet is our palate and not everyone's browser is the same height or width. In order to be the most fair and balanced, we must use words as our unit of measurement.

Novella

A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. While there is some disagreement of what length defines a novella, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novella Anything longer than this is considered a novel.

Anything longer than a piece of flash fiction or novella have no place in eWrestling in my opinion. Roleplays are meant to be read in short sittings and judged by a person against many other roleplays and it's completely unfair to burden that person with a novel. There are rare cases when a particular judge may highly enjoy reading and have no problems with novella length roleplays. However, the average e-fed has anywhere from 10-20 members and if each player wrote a 30,000 word roleplay for an event you can easily see the hefty burden this creates.

We also need to consider that while it's become popular to write about the personal lives of your eWrestler, this game is based on pro-wrestling. The idea is to emulate what you may see on TV in order to be realistic. You don't see an hour long speech in most cases.

Point of view

There are two major points of view in writing and roleplaying is no different. They just go by different names.

First person http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-person_narrative This is loosely described as "Promo" style roleplaying and interviews. This is where your character is speaking as himself or herself to an audience,
Third person http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_narrative This describes a style that is now popularly called "Character Development". Where a narrator tells a story of things happening to the character and may culminate with or include a promo. It delves into the life of your eWrestler.
These are the most popular methods of delivering your roleplays. There is another "second" person point of view, however it's hard to manage because it gives the reader control over the story. Similar to "choose your path" stories.

Narrative

The narrative is commonly called "Descriptive Text" in roleplay writing. It's the sections of the roleplay where the characters stop talking and the "narrator" steps in to describe what's going on- or to change a scene. You may be doing a promo style roleplay and without narrative it would be hard for your readers to understand what's going on, what the character is wearing and what he's doing. There are numerous methods that people use such as using italic text, bolded test and even all capitol letters or different colored text to distinguish the narrative.

Story Outline

As with many writing formats, you need an outline or a blueprint.

A. Characters Protagonist:


Antagonist:

B. Setting Where. Describe it.
C. Theme Promo? Interview? C-Dev?
D. Plot 1. Motivation
2. Conflict:
man vs. man
man vs. environment
man vs. himself
man vs. animal

3. Complication

4. Suspense

5. Climax

6. Outcome

7. Denouement


This concludes the tutorial. You may or may not agree with these methods, but keep in mind tha theyt have been debated and taught for many years in professional wiring. They are accepted as the standard by experts in the subject.
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