Moving the Thread Forward
You just found out youíve been tagged in a thread. Youíre excited because you really like the plot, the idea, and the drive for this thread. The other character/characters in the thread are really interesting, and the writing itself is great.
Despite all this once you finish reading the post youíre just blinking at the screen asking yourself, ďHow am I going to reply to that?Ē
Itís not because itís just so phenomenal, mind blowing, or out of this world. It can be all those things, but what Iím talking about is that the person left you with nothing to move the plot forward, and weíve all been guilty of it. Everyone has done it a time or two, but itís when this becomes repetitive that it becomes a problem.Example Mini Post:
Jo Schmoe listened to Anal Annieís words. What was he supposed to do? Jo knew heíd messed up, but there wasnít much he could do about it. Guilt brimmed inside of him so thickly he could practically taste the bitterness of it on his tongue. He didnít want to argue, so he just sat there, head hanging, gaze staring at the old cigarette burn in the gray carpet.
That may be a mini post, but Iíve seen full posts that were nothing but interior dialogue with the character doing absolutely nothing to move the plot forward. The characters might even just say something like, ďOkay.Ē Or, ďI understand.Ē
RP is about having plots with character interaction. I donít care how long your post is or how well itís written. If youíre character is just sitting there, twittling their thumbs, giving us nothing but internal dialogue it does nothing to move the thread forward.
Doing things like this makes it really hard for others to post back to you. It can become irritating if your repeatedly do it, and make whoever your posting with lose the muse for the thread because theyíre doing all the work to keep it moving. Theyíre the ones taking it to the next step, pushing it forward into the next scene.
So how do you keep the thread moving forward? There are plenty of ways.
Have a Plot.
I personally hate meet and greet threads. I also hate open threads. Itís a good way to get activity on the board, but as soon as someone enters an open thread Iíve made, I start chatting with them, asking where theyíd like the plot to go.
Plots give you drive and a direction to go in. Having just meet and greet threads usually consists of two characters having a conversation that tends to become awkward and tedious because they just met and donít really know how to act with one another. If thereís something going on in the thread than both characters have something to aim for, figure out, or get through.
Donít Just Answer Questions. Ask Them.
Donít just repeat the same questions back either, or say, ďWhat about you?Ē In some instances thatís fine, but if itís continuously done youíre still leaving it up to the other poster to do all the work and think up the questions. Come up with new ones.
Throw in an Action Scene.
Donít be afraid to get into an altercation. Whether itís a drunken bar fight, a monster coming out of the shadows, or a spat between the two characters of the thread action scenes are good to help move things along and usually a lot of fun to write as well. Donít be afraid to get angry and throw a punch. Just be careful that if it is between two characters that you donít god mod.
Make a Discovery.
Whether it is through dialogue, a clue the character has stumbled upon or whatever, find that next bit of information to move the thread forward. More than likely itíll give you a few posts back and forth helping you to figure out the meaning of the clue, reactions to the revelation, and time to figure out what the next move is.
There are so many twists and turns that can be thrown into a thread to make it move forward. If you donít know what to do next, chat with the person youíre threading with. Brainstorm, ponder, and come up with ideas so that the thread just doesnít sit stagnant. Youíve got a creative mind. Use it.
©Sully - Swan Song 2011