I just want to take a minute and address these two things in a meaningful way as well as raise discussion around the topic and hear back from the community as a whole. I’m going to include my two cents on the issue and how I feel a lot of this can be mitigated or integrated better into RP so that new RPers can get a better understanding as well as a refresher for experienced RPers who may have lapsed into old habits.
To be as blunt as possible, this is you roleplaying with yourself. At its core, thought posting is going on in a character's own mind, and no other character,
Changing Thought into Action.
There are ways to get your thoughts across and that’s by turning them into actions.
Charlotte is furious, her thoughts a blazing inferno of rage and hatred, however she pops the cash register open and makes change, quickly handing it back all the while wishing death upon the Karen who made a simple order into a working nightmare.
This is an example of thought posting, there’s no way for Karen to know Charlette is furious or that she wants her dead, it all happened in her mind, the only “action” that happened was Charlotte made change and handed it back. How to convert those thoughts into action?
Charlotte was furious, her smile cracked and she stared daggers into Karen, the muscles on her face tensing with the inferno of rage and hatred she felt burning inside her. She popped the register open with a slam of her first, her eyes never wavering from her intense stare. When she handed the change back she held onto it for a little too long, eyes narrowing and brow furrowing so Karen could see she would hurt her given the chance.
The same emotions are being expressed in the second emote, but instead of being thought in her head, they’re on full display in little details that Karen could potentially pick up on if she chose too. That’s the big ticket, think about what your character is thinking, and then translate that into physical or verbal actions to avoid any mind reading scenarios.
I’ve seen a lot of this on sim, different from thought posting, I define exposition as excessive emoting about your characters backstory. This is more flavor text that people add to their scenes that much like thought posting, cannot be interpreted by the other characters. You are roleplaying with yourself. It’s great you have this awesome super badass backstory thought up for your character, you may have even written it down somewhere, but ICly nobody knows your past. This is one of those “show me” don’t “tell me” Or actually just tell me through character dialogue. When you emote it into your ‘actions’ but don’t actually take any action, it’s useless information that other characters don’t know.
Johnny was from the streets, he’d caught many a body in his day, laid them out in the street. He knew how to blow a top off of enemies because he’d done it so many times. Even the devil himself had lost in a fiddle fight so he was laden in assets, mainly gold. All that time spent in the streets up to this moment made him a cold blooded killer in every aspect, hardened and respected by everyone. So when Bradly walked up and threw a punch at him, he easily ducked it, throwing a big right cross of his own.
90% of that emote was exposition, literally nothing anybody in the scene could possibly respond to or have knowledge about. The only action that occurred was a dodge and then a punch. So same as before, convert exposition into action.
Johnny remained calm as Bradly lobbed a fist at him. Inhaling deeply and watching the trajectory, his experience fighting helped him keep his cool, there wasn’t any panic in his movement. He took a confident step forward, closing distance as his head ducked to the side, he carried his momentum into a well practiced swing. As he threw a counter hook toward Bradly’s face, it was clear his aim was for the man’s jaw, expertly executed. His body was a testament to his life, faded scars earned years prior decorated the visible skin peeking out from his tank top. Heavy chain jingling with diamond studded ornaments which showcased just how much disposable income he had. He exhaled as he punched and then spat words. “I beat the devil at fiddle, you think you can get the drop on me?
This second one doesn’t give as much narrative detail as the exposition did, but it tells the other character way more, Bradley can interpret based on Johnny’s calm demeanor, faded scars, and jewelry that he has had a hard life and has money, Johnny also introduced dialogue to tell some of the more detailed aspects of his history in that one breath. This is significantly better and more interesting because it’s something Bradly can actually respond to.
I have a deep respect for everyone who writes creatively, it’s a lot to put yourself out there and different writers will have different levels of skill. I applaud everyone for making the effort and am in no way admonishing anyone here, my hope is to improve everyone’s writing as a whole and draw attention to something most people don’t realize they do! Thank you for reading and any feedback provided. I’m not an authority on RP, I just wanted to share my insight.
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