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Author Topic: Writing Multi-Para Starters  (Read 858 times)

Writing Multi-Para Starters
« on: November 08, 2019, 11:08:55 PM »

Starters can make or break a roleplay. You want to craft something that intrigues your roleplay partner, but doesn't go over the top with detail, and leaves plenty of space for your fellow writer to respond to. You may find that starters are typically longer than the rest of your roleplay, which is typically due to you setting the scene and introducing your character. There are three primary focuses of a starter: Setting, Introduction, Interaction.

Setting - set the scene. Where are they? What is your character doing there? How does your character feel? Try not to go overboard with the details of the area, unless it's specific to your character, such as their home. Give enough for it to feel natural, and enough that your fellow writer understands the basics, such as specifying what room they're in, or where particular furniture to interact with is.

Introduction - introduce your character. What is their name? Give us some idea of what they look like (a brief mention of their clothes generally works, but don't focus on it). Where exactly is your character, and what are they doing? Try not to give so much information about your character all at once - you want the other writer to be intrigued, and you also want to reveal things in the roleplay through dialogue.

Interaction - give something for the other character to react to. Do they say anything? Are they doing anything that could result in needing help? Do they reach out to somebody nearby? Don't force the other writer in reacting in only one way, you should leave it open enough that their character can enter the scene and introduce themselves any way that fits them. Similarly, don't force the other writer's character into doing something unless communicated previously - if your character sees another person doing something, don't write in the other writer's character, leave it open, as it's common courtesy.

These rules are not set in stone, but they serve as a good guide when working on crafting starters that ease you into a roleplay.


Her breath shuddered from her body as she lingered outside the door of the castle. Horrid thoughts haunted her mind. What if they laughed at her? Perhaps she should have tried harder to avoid this fate. The wall felt cold as she pressed herself back against it, arms wrapped around her churning stomach in an attempt to calm herself. Anxiety claimed her, squeezing at her throat and sending spiralling worries to the forefront of her attention.

Avery couldn't tell whether this was even what she wanted. Long ago, she would have scoffed at the idea of any kind of valiant sacrifice. Since the war had come, many had rallied for the opportunity to defend the kingdom. She hadn't expected to be among them. In fact, she never would have thought she'd be doing this willingly at all, but here she was: a willing volunteer, bound to a contract she could hardly read, a thousand questions on her mind.

The door opened.

Taking a sharp breath, she gazed at the woman who stepped out, calling forward those in line with her. Together they were led into the courtyard, where royal banners streaked the walls and guardians in coal-black armour stood to attention. Her glance around was soon interrupted as they were collected in the middle of the cobblestones. Avery tried to avoid the others, but ended up jostled by them. She braced herself. Then her anger snapped and she whirled in on the nearest teenager, blue eyes narrowed. "What was that for?" she demanded. "Do you have any idea what personal space is?"

As you can see, this starter reveals several things. First, the setting - a castle. Then the character - Avery, a volunteer who wishes to defend the kingdom for unknown reasons, who has a temper and is illiterate. We start with setting the scene and introducing the character, before ending with a means of interaction: the person she speaks to COULD be another person's character, or it could be a Non-Playable Character (NPC), either way allowing the other writer to react to something involving the character.

Per grammar, we stick with using full sentences and speech marks to denote dialogue, following the 'rules' of 'novel-style' roleplaying. All remains in third person, past tense, and we have a mix of sentence length so nothing appears to drag on too long. Clauses are separated by commas, and at least one colon is used.


When working on longer starters, you want to make sure you leave enough open for your partner to build off and interact with both the world and the character. Communication is always key. Avoiding overwhelming your writing partner is also important - plenty of people are into novella writing, but in most cases multi-para is both easier to reply to and easier to keep up with. Experiment with different starters, and especially try out different types of 'open starter' for anybody to interact with.

I'll be working on a series of writing tutorials like this, mostly aimed at people new to novel-style and/or forum roleplay, so please feel free to message me requests (though I can't promise to fulfil them all).

Axel | Claude | Damien | ErenGustav | Gunther | Kade | Mara | Nack | Quirin | Ymir | Zora


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