In here you will find the basic info you need to write a readable post in MOST play by text roleplaying games. This lesson contains all the markings and signs we use to make clear we’re talking/thinking/ramming our heads on consoles. Very useful if you’re writing a sample post in your application, or any time after that! If you read through this lesson you will have a fairly good basis to start writing from, it’s like Elementary grammar really… only with a crazy teacher.
First the length of a post, I always encourage people to not come in under 500 words per post. While this is not an official rule, you can be sure that if you only make one paragraph of content every two weeks that you will be asked politely to exit Stage… left… (and that’s where the airlocks are).
Now that we have that done let’s get to what we should actually put in that darn post…
We’re assuming the use of Nova to run the sim and write the posts, if any other means are used, please use what you can and disregard the things that aren’t relevant (pro tip for life, really). Nova creates the subject line for your posts in the following way:
[Simm] Mission Name – Post Title
To prevent things from getting out of hand on both the website and in the mail client, don’t make your titles too long! And on top of that, make it relevant, make it a nice teaser, something that will pique the interest of your fellow writers and readers!
After giving a title, you can also give a location for the post, this helps prevent everyone wanting to cram into the same small space during the same timespan and makes it easier for your colleagues to find you if they want to ask you something.
The last bit is to add a time, most sims have a method of keeping track of the hours during the mission, more often than not we’re bound by the space-time continuum and can’t be in more than one place at the same time. Keep track of your character throughout the day(s)!
Now let us start with the actual post
The readable post!
In some simms the CO asks you to start the text by placing [ON] (or something similar) at the start of the In-Character text. This is to differentiate the following text from flashbacks, callbacks and out of character text you might want to add, usually OOC texts are saved for discord chats and all that fancy new instant messaging crap. OOC can still be used, for example as a trigger warning. That would look like this:
(OOC: Please, only read if you can handle getting better at writing posts)
Body of the post: The actual post goes here, describing your actions, feeling, conversations with NPC’s (Non Player Characters) and PC’s (Player Characters) and thoughts (the thoughts of your character are only known by you and can be posted only by you.)
– Style of Writing: We can choose from either the novella form or the script form, while the latter is easier the first one is much more interesting to read (and the standard throughout Obsidian Fleet). Of course, if you insist on being wrong you can always choose to write in the Script format.
– Thoughts: Nova allows for easy html formatting, and as such it’s easiest to display thoughts in italics. To do so start a thought with < i > and put < /i > at the end. The tags won’t display but your thought will be shown in italics. Some people like to add single quotation marks as well to make it clear when a thought starts and ends (e.g. ‘I wonder if anyone is here’)
– Spoken words: Sometimes you need to tell someone that they should get out of your sight, any dialogue should be placed between double quotation marks, “…” (e.g. “Hello… anyone?”)
– Communicators: Yay 24th Century, we have comm badges… after you have hit your comm badge your phrase should be in between =A=…=A= (they look like the comm badges, pretty clever huh?) until the link is closed again all dialogue should be between those marks. (e.g. =A= Fritz to Bill, why isn’t anyone here? =A=)
– Telepathy: Since we are in the Star Trek Universe there will be instances of Telepathy. Since some races can do that spooky whispering in your head thing it’s always good to differentiate it from your own thoughts. For this we use italics, since it’s inside your head, and tildes: ~…~ (e.g. ~ You’re not alone, Fritz ~)
– Actions: Any actions taken can be posted after the speech is closed with “, just post what the character would be doing, (e.g. “Get out of my head!” Fritz said as he raised his Phaser in the air.)
End the in-character text by placing the closing tag, usually OFF, or in between brackets [OFF]. This makes it abundantly clear you ended the story (there have been instances of people using the word ‘End’… do not fear… we will track them down and push them out of the Airlock A.S.A.P.).
Additional OOC info can also be placed at the end of each post, if you want to ask somebody for a JP or something else. Also just do it in the form mentioned above.
Once the in character interaction has come to a close most people and simms give room to sign the post, to do so you can use the following format:
Rank – Name
If you want you can post a semi-intelligent quote here…
I hope this helps you get started in this fine hobby and create some readable posts of your own! if you have any more questions don’t be afraid to ask us in the comments, I’m sure one of my PAs will get back to you soon! Also if you have any very nice posts that you want to share, please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments as well!
Until next time!
“Do or Do Not .. There is no Try .. If you Can Not .. Erase Evidence… so that you Did Not.”– Yoda, in an upcoming recut, probably… (Han shot first!)