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I have recently joined a real-time chat-based roleplay group. Most of the people seem to be sticking to 100 to 250 words when it comes to making their posts, but sometimes I get overly descriptive and cause my roleplay partners to wait, and sometimes I feel I don't provide enough detail.

What I wish to ask is, while writing a roleplay post, how can I decide what parts I should embellish and what parts to avoid writing about?

  • Clarification: Is this a real-time chat-based game, or a Play-By-Email, where different people post at different times ? – Standback Dec 25 '18 at 8:21
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    Clarified it though i'll say it here as well. It is a real time chat based game. – Maiko Chikyu Dec 25 '18 at 8:47
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In a group context such as this I think emulating the behavior of the group is best. Use similar word counts. Detail similar aspects. If the people of the group don't typically describe certain features or characteristics then omit those. Once you get a feel for the group dynamic then you can start to bend the rules.

Start small and work from there. Don't jump from 250 words to 1200. Do 300-350 and only add one layer at a time. Watch for the dynamic to change too. If the group likes the areas you are fleshing out you will notice others begin to emulate you.

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I agree with bruglesco's answer about keeping the same word count. I'll add that it depends on the situation and on the given roleplay session.

If it's a large group of people, your best bet is indeed emulating the behavior of the group, resorting to longer posts only when you want to emphasize certain aspects of the action or if you feel particularly inspired. Keep an eye out for your response time and make sure nobody is waiting too long for you. Don't get too hasty, thought. In my experience, people are willing to wait a little more to get a better fleshed out answer, rather than having to read a flash-answer that doesn't deal with any topic of the roleplay.

In two people roleplays, this may vary. Everyone's is different, but you can always ask the other person preferences about post lenght.

About what details to include, it's ultimately up to your artistic sense. It's a good norm to avoid being too self-centered, e.g. only describing your own character appearence, emotions or thoughs without mentioning the others at all. But since everyone is different, it's hard to have a general rule about what details are useless, and what kind of language is "too flowery". You'll eventually get better by doing it, follow what feels "right" for the scene and the character.

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