A Guide to Roleplaying and Soaping

  • Pinned by Dark22978 on Aug 4, '16 3:59pm

Thread Topic: A Guide to Roleplaying and Soaping

Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
To be able to write the story in a character's perspective; that is the heart of a roleplay or a soap. Many of you are seeking that in this forum. But a lot of people want to know what makes a soap "good" compared to "better." I'll teach you how to make your time in the Stage optimized in elaborate or simple soaps over a few posts.

Glossary
(Note that all definitions are made up by me!)

1. Roleplay: A story about personas or characters. Generally between two people, but can have more than two participating. Think of it like writing a book, but with two people. Also known as script writing.
2. Soap: Another term for roleplay. The popular usage of this term came from one of the first roleplays on this site that was called the "Soap Opera." Often, soaps are in lit form. (See lit writing)
3. Script Writing: A roleplay using asterisks, dashes, x's, squiggles, or other symbols. Names are usually marked with a colon before the character's actions are written. (*, -, x, ~).
4. Lit Writing: A roleplay that is written out like a book; full sentences and actions written in paragraph form.
5. OC/Original Character: The term used for the character you use in your roleplay. An OC, or original character, is made up from your imagination. Hence the term original. They may also be called charas or characters.
6. Mary Sue/Gary Stu: A term used for a character that is, in a sense, unstoppable or flawless. They have no limits to any of their abilities, they are perfect in everything, and cannot be killed. The worst type of character to have, you should make sure your character is not one of them, or the roleplay will get boring.

If anyone has questions about other terms used throughout this guide, feel free to ask for a definition or explanation.

Types of Roleplaying

Roleplays can be written in two ways: Either in Script, or in Lit (short for Literature).

Script Roleplays

Script roleplays are written as play scripts are. You use a character's name followed by a colon, and your adventure begins! Their actions are listed inside of symbols, their speech is outside. Most people generally use asterisks, but some enjoy using other symbols. (*, -, x, ~)

Script roleplays are great if you want to roleplay without the effort of writing out paragraphs. They do not require a plot- you can start off with a character doing anything and build off of it. They can go on as long as you want, and you can easily start a new one with the same characters. Many people make second accounts for their characters to make roleplaying threads.

Example:

Lawrence: *strides into the ice cream parlor* Aye, get me my regular!

Sarah: What regular? *grins, leaning against counter*

Lawrence: The regular.

Lit Roleplays

Lit roleplays, or soaps, are written like a story entry. These are great for people who want to practice their writing skills and have the time to sit down and respond with several sentences. Lit roleplays make good use of a character sheet. It's easier on you to make a plot for this type of roleplaying and to have a general idea of where you want to start the story.

Bad example of a soap response:

James ran up to the door. "Cindy," he yelled, "Where are you!?"

Why is James running to the door? What does he do, stand there? You can easily add more details to make the response interesting for your partner to read.

Good example:

James's feet pounded on the cement as he ran to her house. His heart ached at the stress. The text had been sent late- she could have hurt herself, or something much worse. He had to save her. As he skid to a stop in front of the door, he banged on it, his eyes wild. "Cindy!" He screamed through the door, tugging on the knob. "Cindy, where are you!?"

Of course, your response doesn't need to be that long. A three sentence response can easily make for a decent running soap. Remember, the longer and more detailed, the better! Grammar is also a key factor in a good response.
Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
Starting Off Your Own Roleplay or Soap

After deciding you want to roleplay, you realize you need some partners to get the party started. But you're missing a key part before that. How many people do you want in your thread? What is the title of your story? Do you have a plot? I'll include a checklist as we work our way through getting started.

Checklist
[x] Desire to roleplay or soap
[] Plot (if you want one)
[] Title that matches plot (if you have a plot)
[] Listed number of wanted participates
[] Character sheet

Plot

****YOU DO NOT NEED A PLOT TO ROLEPLAY BUT IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED.

Plots are essential to most literature roleplays. Having characters in your head in one thing, but understanding their purpose for existing is KEY. They can tell any interested users what the storyline is. Are you going to be making a knight that needs to save a princess? Or perhaps you are a group of wizards and witches seeking adventure? Whatever you're thinking about, you need to set it straight!

It's easy to make a plot if you have a genre. Romance, horror, fantasy- all of the genres make for good roleplays. Start off with a genre and work your way there. If you have a character but not a plot, try basing your plot off of them. If they're a lonely wizard, you might want a romance/fantasy roleplay.

Here's an example of some plots I've used in previous guides.

Bad Examples:

1. There is a girl named Sarah. She meets a boy and they fall in love. Sex involved. ;)

2. This person goes to a park and there are bad guys so they beat the bad guys up and fall in love.

3. There's a forest full of magical people and a human runs across them and they fall in love.

Two and three set the scene, but there's not much describing what will happen other than that. One is an awful romance plot over all- there's no reason why she suddenly wants to do the do, or anything like that.

Good Examples:

1. C1 is a student that has trouble expressing their feelings. In science class, the teacher calls their name and pairs them up with C2 to do an experiment together. They have a month to plot, experiment, and prepare a model to show what they've done. Will C1 open up to C2? Will romance blossom between them?

2. C1 is given the task of babysitting a group of kids who enjoy causing trouble. When they want to go to the park, C1 is relieved that they want to do something normal and walks them to the park. When they get there, a group of thugs are stealing and harming other children, and C2 (one of the thugs) grabs a hold of the children. When C1 offers herself in place of all of the children, C2 and the group happily agree and take her in. Will she be able to escape, or will she accidentally fall in love with C2?

3. C1 is a normal human with no powers at all. However, in an alternate universe, there are many different magical beings that live in a realm full of magic and wonder. When C2- a supernatural creature (or any) that happens to be horrible with magic- opens a portal to the human realm and sucks C1 in, what will C2 and the other creatures do?

These plots are short, simple, and still explain what your roleplay is all about. Try making plots like these!

Checklist
[x] Desire to roleplay or soap
[x] Plot (if you want one)
[] Title that matches plot (if you have a plot)
[] Listed number of wanted participates
[] Character sheet

Coming up with a title isn't as important as the plot, but you want to get people's attention, don't you? To make a thread you need to come up with a title that matches your plot. Don't false advertise- if you want a Steven Universe soap, don't call it a Maximum Ride soap and then present a plot that has nothing to do with maximum ride!

Also, in the subtitle, I highly recommend listing what the soap is. Web savvy people call this a "tag." Here's a list of tags.

Tags for Number of People
[1x1] - Stands for a one on one roleplay. Two people max.
[1x2] - Stands for a threeway roleplay. Ideally you are the 1 and your other two partners are the 2.
[1x3+]/[1x4+]/ect. - Stands for a group soap. The second number implies the minimum amount of people you want in your roleplay, and the + means you will take more people.

Tags for Genre
Note that there are other genres. You can use any of them! Also, try to keep your genre tags in one bracket. (i.e. [Action, Romance, Comedy]
[Action] - Means that your plot has the action genre.
[Adventure] - Means that your plot has the adventure genre.
[Comedy] - Means that your plot has the comedy genre.
[Mystery] - Means that your plot has the mystery genre.
[Romance] - Means that your plot has the romance genre.
[Fantasy] - Means that your plot has the fantasy genre.
[Horror] - Means that your plot has the horror genre.

Tags for Level of Experience
This is for those who want to soap with specific types of writers. You do not need to include these tags if you want a mix of writers.
[Novice] - Soapers who are new to soaping can join, as well as beginners and experienced soapers. Your grammar can be off, responses can be short, and it's overall an experience fit for new soapers.
[Beginner] - Soapers who have participated in roleplays before.Your grammar is improved, and you know how to write many sentences without leaving a roleplay.
[Experienced] - Soapers who are highly dedicated to soaping. You have participated in several soaps, your responses are paragraphs, and you have few if any grammar errors.

Checklist
[x] Desire to roleplay or soap
[x] Plot (if you want one)
[x] Title that matches plot (if you have a plot)
[x] Listed number of wanted participates
[] Character sheet
Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
Characters and Character Sheets

Now, the last thing you need to start off your roleplay.. Characters! Characters are the people you will use in your roleplay. They are the ones interacting as you write.

How to Make A Character

Many people don't know what makes a character a character. Honestly, that is up to you. Your character belongs to you. Forming one can be hard. Different people make up OCs for different reasons. Maybe you have someone in your head and you want to talk to them when your friends won't talk to you. Maybe you want to write a story. Really, what you do with your OC is up to you! However.. Sometimes, OCs are only used once in a soap. Maybe they're a ninja and that's all you want them to be used for. That's OK; You don't need to make an OC that lasts a lifetime. Sometimes it's okay to make a friend that will only last you for one soap/roleplay.

Tips:
-Think of a person you know. Use their personality to help form a character.
-Think of existing characters in TV shows and books. What makes them special? Maybe you can come up with your own while thinking about them.
-Try to take an object and see if you can make the owner of that object.
-Use a doll creator to get an idea of their looks. I use Rinmaru Games for some of my characters, to help me really see them.

It's easier to make a character if you have a character sheet, which brings me to..

Character Sheets

Character sheets help you organize yourself. The people you will roleplay with will often like to fill out the same information as you. Character sheets depend on the plot on how to form them; some might want "magic abilities" to be listed if your character isn't human.

Here are some that you can use. Feel free to add your own to this guide or edit mine!

Short Character Sheet

Name:
Sex/Gender:
Age:
Appearance:

Average Character Sheet

Name:
Sex/Gender:
Age:
Species:
Appearance:
Personality:
History:
Other:

Larger Character Sheet

Name:
Sex/Gender:
Age:
Species:
Appearance:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Powers (if any):
History:
Pets:
Friends:
Foes:
Other:

Checklist
[x] Desire to roleplay or soap
[x] Plot (if you want one)
[x] Title that matches plot (if you have a plot)
[x] Listed number of wanted participates
[x] Character sheet

Now you are set with your roleplay! I will add some Q&A in later, but I've covered the basics for you. :) Have fun!!
Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
Slayerbrine
Joined: Nov 27, '15
Status: Novice
Question:
If they start a soap and they have sex in it does it count as cyber-sex?
Dark22978
Joined: May 8, '12
Status: Hot Shot
How does that have anything to do with my tutorial? As stated in debates among users, no, it does not. It's a value of fiction.
Berryheart
Joined: Nov 25, '15
Status: Novice
I found that your guide was very usefull, so thank you.
Slayerbrine
Joined: Nov 27, '15
Status: Novice
:/ just asking also good guide
godofminecraft56
Joined: May 26, '13
Status: Advanced
This gave me cancer
Slayerbrine
Joined: Nov 27, '15
Status: Novice
Gom your @$$ gave me cancer
godofminecraft56
Joined: May 26, '13
Status: Advanced
Slayer Did it taste good tho?
Slayerbrine
Joined: Nov 27, '15
Status: Novice
NO!!!
Isabel Star
Joined: Dec 31, '15
Status: Novice
Q: Is slayerbrine a godmodder?
A: Yes.