Roleplaying is a popular outlet for young writers that are looking to expand their writing skills and dive into the lives of characters unlike themselves; simply put, it’s a way to have fun.
Everyone has their own version of roleplaying. Some people enjoy writing paragraphs for responses, while others prefer using a few sentences per response. Regardless of your writing style, there is a place for you in the roleplaying world.
If you’re interested in learning more about roleplaying, you’re in the right place! The one thing to keep in mind as you go through this guide is the fact that there is no “wrong” way to roleplay. If you and your partner(s) are enjoying the story, you’re roleplaying the right way!
This guide will be posted in segments due to the sheer amount of explaining that this will take. Hopefully, you will be able to quickly and efficiently find what you are looking for. If you read through this and still have questions, feel free to ask! This thread is open for discussion, and anyone can contribute an answer.
Table of ContentsPost 1: Introduction and Table of Contents Post 2: Glossary Post 3: Difference Between a “Literature” and “Script” Roleplay Post 4: What Are Tags, A List, and How to Use Them Appropriately Post 5 Making a Plot (and a Good Thread Title) Post 6: Determining What Characters You Want (and “Character Sheets”) Post 7: Do’s and Do Not’s (and Tips) Post 8: Roleplaying Etiquette
I have compiled a (short) list of words that are commonly used throughout the roleplaying community! Hopefully this list contains things that expand your knowledge bank.
Roleplay: A type of writing done between two or more people. Includes characters that writers create on their own. Often considered as writing a book (collaborating).
Soap: Another term for roleplay. This term is a GoToQuiz exclusive nickname. It originates from a thread called the “Soap Opera.” The Soap Opera is an old roleplay from the early stages of GoToQuiz.
RP: Abbreviation for roleplay.
Original Character: A character that is not from an existing series (movies, TV show, book, comic, etc.) that a writer has created on their own. Hence the word “original.”
OC: Abbreviation for Original Character.
Mary Sue/Gary Stu: A negative term used to suggest that a character is too flawless or “overpowered.” Many of these characters appear to have no limits to their powers or strengths, have little to no weaknesses, and often have a “basic, unbelievable” backstory.
Difference Between a “Literature” and “Script” Roleplay
A lot of inexperienced roleplayers do not understand that there is, in fact, a difference between a literature or script roleplays. Many roleplayers have never attempted a script roleplay in their life; however, the form of writing does exist, and is popular among writers that are short on time or do not wish to write out complete sentences!
Literature roleplays are roleplays that tend to be written like a book. In addition, “lit” roleplays:
-Use structured sentences for responses
-Are best for those who have plenty of time/concentration
-Work best with a plot
-Usually require character sheets
-Good for more than two roleplayers
Example of a short Response:
James ran up to the door. "Cindy," he yelled, "Where are you!?"
Example of a long Response:
James's feet pounded against the uneven pavement as he ran for Cindy’s front door. He stumbled against the dips, struggle to keep his balance. The stress was starting to get to him; he felt as if he could feel his heart in his throat. All that he could think about was what he would find when he arrived; she could have hurt herself, or worse--
As he finally stormed up the steps and made it to her front door, he threw himself against it, relentlessly banging against the old wood. When he heard nothing, he tugged against the knob, his panic increasing wildly. "Cindy!" He screamed loudly, dreading the worst. "Cindy, where are you!?"
Script roleplays are roleplays that tend to be written like a play or screenplay script. In addition, script roleplays:
-Always include the character name in front followed with a colon (Name:)
-Make use of a lot of dialogue
-Include fragmented actions that are placed in any of the following symbols: *, ~, x/X, -
-Are best for those with restricted time/low concentration
-Work best with no plot; your partner should be able to “dive in” without having much of a clue what is going on
-Usually do not require character sheets
-Best with only two people, but can be done among three or four
Lawrence: *throws open ice cream parlor door, striding in* *notices the cashier and grins* Can I get the regular?
Sarah: Do forgive me. What regular are we speaking of? *smirks, leaning against the counter*
What Are Tags, A List, and How to Use Them Appropriately
Tags are a wonderful way to express what your roleplay is all about before anyone clicks on your thread! Many other roleplay-based websites include tags that are unique to their forums. You can put them wherever you choose; within your thread topic, in the subtitle, at the beginning of your post, etc.!
Make sure that all tags you use are relevant to your roleplay. There are still plenty of tags for you to use, even if you do not have a plot formed yet.
Tags for Number of People
[1x1] - Stands for a one on one roleplay (two people).
[1x2] - Stands for a roleplay between three people.
[1x3+]/[1x4+]/ect. - Stands for a group soap. The second number implies the minimum amount of people you want in your roleplay; the plus sign indicates that you are willing to accept more than the minimum.
Tags for Genre
[Action] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of action.
[Adventure] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of adventure.
[Comedy] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of comedy.
[Fantasy] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of fantasy.
[Horror] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of horror.
[Mystery] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of mystery.
[Romance] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of romance.
[SiFi] - Means that your plot has quite a bit of science fiction.
*Note: There are a multitude of genres that are not listed here. This is intended to give you an idea of popular genres that are used on GoToQuiz.
Tags for Level of Experience
[Newbie] - Roleplayers who are extremely new to soaping can join. This means that you are not nit-picky about your partner's grammar/punctuation, response length, or attention span; plus, you are willing to teach them how to roleplay.
[Beginner] - Roleplayers who have participated in roleplays before can join. This means that you are not nit-picky about your partner's grammar/punctuation, response length, or attention span; however, you are not willing to teach them how to roleplay.
[Experienced] - Roleplayers who are highly dedicated to soaping can join. This means that you are nit-picky about your partner's grammar/punctuation, response length, or attention span.
*Note: Even if you do not include genre tags, you should include experience tags, especially if you are looking for a specific type of roleplaying partner!
You can also include your own tags that you think will be easily visible at a glance. Tags are not required, but can add to your experience positively. They make it easier for people to determine if they want to read through the plot you have provided; it saves them time, and it ensures that you fight the right partner.
Making a Plot (and a Good Thread Title)
Plots are a basic summary of what direction you want your roleplay to go. They set up the basic idea of who, what, where, when, why; you and your partner(s) will be able to determine the “how” with the use of a plot! Understand that while you can roleplay without a plot in mind, they are extremely helpful and are more likely to help you find a partner.
The best way to form your plot is to determine what genre you want it to be. If you are looking for a story full of vampires, witches, demons, or other fictitious species, you are most likely going to come up with a plot that allows them to co-exist. This can be as basic as a magic school, as silly as a bar meet-up, or as dramatic as a monsters vs humans plot!
If you are struggling to form an idea, you can always “borrow” ideas from your favorite shows, movies, book series, etc. Most ideas have been thought of before at some point; it is up to you to add a twist that is unique to your roleplay!
You may also be interested in looking for websites or platforms where people share free-to-use plots, such as:
Another thing to look out for are threads on GoToQuiz where users post free-to-use plots for other roleplays! I have a thread where I post my old roleplay plots that made for a fun time. You can find a good portion of them here:
Worst case scenario, you make a thread and tell everyone right off the bat that you don’t have a plot in mind. Patient partners will be willing to write one with you!
Something to keep in mind is how you set up the plot. If you pre-make characters, people may feel less happy to participate in your roleplay. Make sure that any characters that are mentioned are nameless (Character A, Muse A) and that you do not give them too much of a background! Give your partner a bit of freedom with your plot. Creativity can go a long way if you give a plot that allows some loose interpretation.
Additionally, once you’ve established a plot (assuming you have one), you’ll want to name your thread with a title that matches the plot. If you like to read books, you know how some titles and covers grab your attention. Make a title that will make people want to click on your thread! Don’t be lazy and say, “I want to roleplay!” (Using a title like this is perfectly acceptable; you have nothing to be ashamed of. However, you need to remember that you will be stuck seeing this title for the duration.)
Determining What Characters You Want (and “Character Sheets”)
Characters make up the brunt of your roleplay; most roleplayers build on their character’s personality and backstory throughout the roleplay. Generally speaking, well-rounded characters will contribute more to a roleplay.
If you want a plot that is realistic, you are not likely to allow your partner to have a werewolf. On the flip side, if you want something with epic magical fight scenes, a human with no magical talent might make your fight scene less than epic. Make sure that your character matches your plot, and that your partner’s character follows any basic rules for the world you’ve created.
While you can use other people’s characters, it tends to be more fun when you develop your own character that is unique to the roleplay in question. Already existing characters (especially ones that don’t belong to you) should be saved for certain circumstances! Remember- OCs do NOT have to last for a lifetime. Be brave enough to experiment with new ideas and characters.
If you do not have a character in mind, you can try using a character sheet. Character sheets use categories that will help you determine information about your character. You can feel free to put as much- or as little!- information as you feel may be necessary.
Here are basic templates that you can copy-paste or alter.
Simple Character Sheet
Do’s and Do Not’s (and Tips)
When you roleplay, there is a lot to think about beyond all of the major portions. What is appropriate for GoToQuiz? Is there a way to avoid creating a Mary Sue? What do people dislike dealing with?
Here are some miscellaneous tips for you to consider:
Currently, GoToQuiz does not allow roleplayers to write out sex scenes (also known as “smut”). If you get to a point where your characters are intimate, do a “fade to black” or time skip to a later point in time and avoid explaining their sex life excessively.
If you are worried that your character is becoming a Mary Sue, try giving them more flaws, give them a purpose for their actions/existence, add limitations to their powers (if any), or make sure that they can be “defeated” (emotionally, physically, or mentally). I call this the “but” factor!
Ex.: My character is a vampire and they're immortal, but they can die when their head is cut off.
My character can be brought back to life, but they lose one of their powers after they are revived.
Try to use decent grammar and punctuation. Mistakes are human; however, if you practice English grammar rules through your roleplays, you will find it easier to communicate with others in the future! If you aren’t sure of how to word something, don’t hesitate to ask your roleplaying partner. Learning is a fun part of roleplaying.
If someone’s plot is confusing, make sure to ask them for clarification. Your partner would most likely prefer explaining their plot rather than watching you desperately fumble around during the middle of the roleplay!
When roleplaying, it is IMPERATIVE for you to treat others with respect. People are more likely to roleplay with you if you are generally nice to people. They will become reluctant to click on your threads if you have a poor reputation. Here are some things to consider and/or do, in no particular order:
If you do not want to roleplay with someone who posts on your thread, politely tell them this. Do not get rude with them and say, “I dislike you” or “You type awfully.” Gently explain why you do not want to roleplay with them. Only get stern if they attempt to force themselves onto you or insist that you “must” roleplay with them.
If you get bored with the plot, let your partner know! You two will be able to discuss whether or not you want to continue the roleplay. Not communicating at all can lead to disappointment, anxiety, and an unwillingness to try to roleplay again. Don’t be the person who ruins the experience for someone. Additionally, if you get too busy or too stressed to continue the roleplay, still let your partner know.
If you post that you want to roleplay with someone but change your mind before you both get too into the roleplay, express that with your partner. That way, you can look for a roleplay that will interest you, and your partner will be able to look for someone else that would like to take up that plot.
If someone starts to give you “boring” responses, kindly point out how they are writing and ask if they could contribute more. Do not tell someone that they suck!
If someone posts in your thread asking you to join in the middle of a roleplay, do not ignore their message; give them a yes or a no. Instead of getting frustrated with them, understand that they thought your plot or writing style was interesting enough to catch their attention. Perhaps you can even offer to make a separate thread for them to roleplay with you!
Do NOT post in your friends’ roleplays and try to catch their attention. There is a time and place to talk to them. Interrupting someone else’s time is rude, and may irritate the roleplayers in that thread.
If you feel that someone’s character does not fit your plot or roleplay, gently let your partner know what alterations you’d like them to make. Try not to get extremely pushy, unless your partner appears to be blatantly ignoring you.