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Writing Tips for Roleplayers.


As a roleplayer (or a writer in general), it’s usually a good idea to be able to write clearly and concisely. Failure to do so is the easiest way to confuse your partner and get your threads lost. Nothing says ‘I should drop this’ like a response that barely makes sense because of convoluted comma splices, misplaced modifiers, vague pronoun references, and more fragments than a T.S. Elliot poem.

I am not here to teach you Everything Your English Teacher Didn’t Tell You About Grammar.

That being said, I think there are some basic writing tips I’ve seen all over my dash from roleplayers that need to be addressed. Some of these tips are grammar rules, and some of them are tips for better writing. Use them, and watch your writing improve.

RULE 1: Don’t use punctuation / grammar styles if you don’t know the rules for them.

Random pet peeve example of this: the hyphen (short hyphen: - , long hyphen: — ).

The short hyphen is used for interjecting a second phrase into the first one, as though the narrator is interrupting itself.

Ex: Johnny was going to be - well, he was - late.

The long hyphen is used for interruptions in conversation.

Ex: “I was at the—”
"No excuses." Eliza cut Johnny off.

Those are the only times the hyphen is acceptable: interruptions (and, tangent, using an ellipses (…) means that the character’s voice trailed off, no matter what your sentence says the other speaker did). Short hyphens are for the same speaker, and long hyphens are for dialogue. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people random bisect their paragraphs with hyphens. Stop. Don’t you even dare.

If you don’t know how hyphens work, don’t use them.

If you don’t know how commas work, only write simple sentences.

If you don’t know that two complete sentences go on either side of a semi-colon ( ; ) don’t touch that button.

Don’t you dare.

RULE TWO&THREE: Avoid flowery language and watch your eyes.

Ex A: Johnny looked at Eliza. “I hate you.”

Sounds real? It does.

Ex B: Johnny’s blue eyes traversed over Eliza’s distended face. “I dislike you immensely.”

Don’t. You. Dare. Last time I checked, humans didn’t have the ability to pull their eyes out of their face and send them on quests across other people’s bodies. Eyes look at things. Eyes watch things. Eyes see things. Eyes DO NOT - I repeat, DO NOOOOOT - come out of someone’s head and communicate, go anywhere, or otherwise act in place of your character. Eyes are not people. People are people. People do things. Eyes do not.

Moving on to flowery language: don’t use words you don’t know. 'Distended' means sticking out at an odd angle. If Eliza went to a buffet and at 10 plates of rib-eyes steak, her stomach would be distended. The word that should have been use was 'distorted.' Easy to confuse the two. It could have been left out completely and saved you bucket loads of embarrassment.

And third, pay attention to authenticity. Let’s look back to the example. Maaaaybe, if Johnny is a Puritan minister in 1500’s Massachusetts colony, he’d say ‘I dislike you immensely.’ However, this Johnny is a gangster. Why the hell would he would walk around saying ‘I dislike you immensely?’ If anything, he’d be more likely to say ‘yo bitch, suck my dick.’

In short, flowery language is bad. Flowery language is evil. Flowery language is going to make you look like an imbecile. I will prove it further.

Ex A, “”childish” writing that’s not fancy enough for quality blogs”: I woke up. I groaned. I took a shower. I did my make-up. I made tea. I drank the tea. I called Chris. “Hey. Wanna hang out?”

Ex “inflated, convoluted, overly-floral language that sounds good so wow now I’m quality and quality blogs will love me, right?”: I opened my blue orbs of self-reflective light and let out an unholy gargle. I traversed to the toilette and bathed myself with my favorite scent of gardenias, then smeared rain-forest extracts on my face until I looked like my body was habitable. I trudged into the dinette and poured boiling water into a bag of leaves from a plant harvested from the Orient and sipped it, ever pondering globalization and my carbon footprint. After thus preparing for my excursion, I decided to locate a companion. I picked up my cellular device and coded in the 9 digit numerical signal for an acquaintance of mine. “Hark unto my words! I wish to pass the hours with you today!”

If someone sent me example A, I would reply in 30 seconds.

If someone sent me example B (and I’ve received things painfully similar to this), I would drop the thread at ‘blue orbs.’

RULE FOUR: Avoid verb chains.

By “verb chains,” I mean lists of verbs. They’re overwhelming. Three should be your rule of them for verbs in a sentence. It’s really easy to write that your character did 10 things between one period and another, but don’t. It looks sloppy.

Ex: Johnny woke up, brushed his teeth, and put clothes on before walking into the kitchen, making breakfast, carrying the tray up to Eliza’s room, waking her up with a kiss, and smiling down at her. “Hi, princess.”

Grammatically, this sentence is correct.

Functionally, this sentence is on par with American Congress trying to pass the budget.

But we can fix it!

Ex: Johnny woke up. He brushed his teeth and got dressed, then headed into the kitchen. He made breakfast. When it was finished, he carried it up to Eliza. “Hi, princess,” he said before leaning down and kissing her cheek.

Do you notice the rhythm created by the contrasting sentence forms between A and B?

Because everything’s jammed into one sentence in example A, it seems rushed. I imagine this poor guy wakes up and zips through everything. He’s probably afraid Eliza’s going to be pissed if he’s late with breakfast in bed.

B seems much more relaxed. It’s more likely that Johnny wants to do something special for Eliza and he’s only making her breakfast in bed because he wants to.

Keep that in mind. Don’t do verb chains.

RULE FIVE: Avoid vague pronoun references!

Ex: “Let’s hang out,” Max said to Mike. He looked into his eyes, thinking how he’d be so fun to hang out with.

Riddle me this: does Max have an ego, or is he crushing on Mike?

Read it again. Technically, it’s either one. Technically, you don’t even know who’s thinking.

Welcome to the vague pronoun references. These are pronouns that don’t belong to specific person AND THEY ARE THE WORST THINGS YOU CAN DO TO YOUR ROLEPLAY PARTNER.



Because the other person can’t read your mind! They don’t know who you’re talking about. Hopefully, if the vague pronoun is doing an action, they can assume it’s your character, but other than that, you’ve completely and utterly alienated your partner and possibly cut them off from responding.

So here’s a tip: when you read over your response to someone else and if any pronouns look like they could be talking about either character, just change it to one of the character’s names, or rewrite the sentence.

Trust me, writing ‘"Let’s hang out," Max said to Mike. Max looked into Mike’s eyes, thinking how Max would be so fun to hang out with,’ although awkward, will avoid the later situation of ‘dude I thought this was a ship’ ‘no, my character’s painfully self-absorbed. Sorry.’

But that awkwardness is avoidable, too.

Check this out:

"Let’s hang out," Max said to Mike. Max looked into his eyes, thinking how Mike would love to hang out with him.

"Let’s hang out," Max said to Mike. Max looked into his eyes, thinking how he’d be so fun for Mike to hang out with.

"Let’s hang out," Max said to Mike. He looked into his eyes, thinking how he’d be so fun to hang out with. Max was really self-absorbed.

Any of those replies work.

So those are your first five writing rules. If I feel the need to write a Part Deux for this, I might. There are tons of rules and grammatical errors I see. These are the big ones.

On a final note, it’s OK to not know everything. I’m coming from the perspective of a senior in college with one and a half semesters left before I get a BA in English and a Certificate in Public Writing. I’ve worked as a copy-editor on a newspaper, I run a book blog, and I’m a published poet.

Believe me when I tell you, complicated sentence structures and inflated language make you look ridiculous. Keep it simple. Keep it real.

Happy writing.

((Woah. So I may have to work on my RPing a little bit. But this was so helpful))




Wow, I just realized the other day that I never really posted this. 

This is one of my recent cosplays I did for Megacon 2014. Sonata Shinonome from AKB0048. Love her character so much!

Thanks so much to Murtography for taking awesome photos!!! <333




"Alright, forward march!"

Yuukusou led the way to the beach and when they got there it was packed. 

"Um sonata, where would be the best place to put our stuff. I can’t seem to find a place anywhere, the beach is just so packed."

"What about over here?" Sonata ran ahead to where 2 palm trees crossed over and made a nice bit of shade. It was a little further back from the water but it was away from the crowds.

"That is such a perfect spot! Sonata how are you just this perfect?"

Sonata giggled and put her hands on her hips heroically. “Sonata just is.” She grinned.

Sonata looked out to the ocean. “It’s so sparkly and pretty! Sonata wants to play in it~”

No Name- Kibou ni Tsuite



"Ka-na-ta!" Sonata practically flung herself around her sister’s back like a koala bear.

"Do you want to play with Sonata today? There’s no practice till this afternoon. We could go exploring!"

Kanata was going out for a walk, taking advantage of her free time to maybe go buy something for Sonata’s birthday, since it was coming soon. But it would be for later, cause said Sonata just jumped on her back, wanting to play. Kanata would probably has said no, but she was in a good mood.

"Sonata, get down, you’re not a little child anymore. I’ll play with you, where do you want to go?"

"Ooh! That new arcade in the city~" Sonata sung. "Maybe with big-sis’s skills we could win a prize." Sonata climbed down off her sisters back.

No Name- Niji no Ressha




"Alright let me just get my beach bag and can you grab the umbrella and chairs and we will be all set. Oh and don’t forget to put on sunscreen before we leave. I will be happy to do your back for you."

"~kay!" Sonata sung and grabbed the items Yuukusou named and rubbed on some sunscreen.

"Lead the way, Captain Yuuku-chi!" Sonata giggled.

"Alright, forward march!"

Yuukusou led the way to the beach and when they got there it was packed. 

"Um sonata, where would be the best place to put our stuff. I can’t seem to find a place anywhere, the beach is just so packed."

"What about over here?" Sonata ran ahead to where 2 palm trees crossed over and made a nice bit of shade. It was a little further back from the water but it was away from the crowds.



"A Tower?" Sonata followed Chieri. Like with a princess in it? She thought. It would be so cool if it did have a princess but Sonata was 75% it wasn’t going to be that type of tower.

"Look!" Sonata pointed to a directory sign. It had the main streets labeled with points towards train stations and major tourist attractions. "Do you think this will help us? Maybe there’s a shortcut."

Back home in Akibaster had tourist signs that Sonata used a lot of the time when she had first moved over to the planet. She could pretty much read the city like the back of her hand now.

"Good eyes, Sonata!" Studying the map, she thought she’d memorised the way to the landmark. "Alright, let’s go this way."

The duo made their way to the closest station, where Chieri brought tickets and again studied the maps. Nodding to herself, she was still certain they were going in the right direction. “It shouldn’t take us too long to get there.”

Sonata followed Chieri onto the platform and their train arrived not to long after. It wasn’t as high tech as back home but Sonata wouldn’t go as far as to call it old and rickety.

The younger girl made her way to a window seat and pressed her face up against the glass to look outside as the city the went past. “Look how tall that building is!” Sonata exclaimed.

[Sorry for being inactive for the week. Classes started back up and we have a new teacher and he is pretty intense with the assignments. We have 2 due in the 2nd week. Eek. But yeah. I hardly get time to go on my personal account, let alone my Yuihan and Sonata roleplay accounts so please bare with me. I’m trying to get some form of queue happening tonight with starters and whatnot.]