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Where To Start?

If you haven't role played in the script style before, you probably have a few questions about how you set up your post. This tutorial will walk you through setting up your post and responding to all of your open "tags" so you can keep on top of the action! 

Collating Previous Posts

The beauty of writing with a crew of people is that you'll get a fresh perspective on what's happening in your scene with every new email. You'll find that they will leave you "tags" (more on these later) and give you some leeway to show how your character responds to key events. However, once three or four people have moved, you'll find that there are pieces of the puzzle in various places, and you'll need to assemble them before you move ahead.


Don't worry, this isn't as time consuming as it might look. Here's how to handle it.

1. Read All of the New Posts

Make sure you read all of the new posts so you understand what's going on. Pay particular attention to what's happening around your character. You'll find that people will have responded to what you've done, and given you the opportunity to do the same. If you need to, make a note of anyone who leaves your scene. Keep your eyes open for these "tags" we keep mentioning too...

2. What are "Tags"?

A tag is an opportunity for a character to say something or to get involved in the action. To leave a tag for someone, type their character name on a fresh line, followed by a colon, and a question mark instead of speech. It should look something like this:-


Herrera: ?

3. Compile the Tags in Your Scene

Take a look at the latest post to arrive in your scene. In 95% of cases, this should contain all of the tag that have been left for you since you last moved.  Now you can:-

Copy and paste the part of the mail that has tags for you into word, notepad or a new email in your email client (however you prefer to edit text). 

Remove any narrative text that clearly comes from another character's point of view (e.g. if you are playing a character called Jones and there's a bit that says :T'Rella felt increasingly uncomfortable as the pain in her lower back increased.:, you would get rid of it, or reword it if T'Rella's writer had her betray the fact she's in pain. Otherwise, how would your character know how she felt?)

You now have a bare bones template, and you can answer your tags.

4. How to Answer Your Tags

All you need to do to respond to tags is fill out what you'd like your character to say. You can also add in :actions: and leave tags for other people. It's always good to try to move things forward a little bit in that way. The tricky part is continuing on afterwards without forcing other characters to reply in a certain way - here are a couple of examples of a scene where an engineer is in a scene with their commanding officer. We're writing from the point of view of the engineer.

DO

:Kellan squeezed himself out through the tiny entrance of the alien ship's Jefferies tube with a considerable amount of effort. He wasn't particularly well built, so he wondered how some of his bulkier shipmates might have gained access to the tube at all.:

Kellan: Honestly, Sir, I've never really enjoyed scratching around in tiny spaces. It's always better when there's room to actually open your toolkit.

Reinard:

:The flustered Bajoran clambered to his feet and dusted himself down.:

Kellan: That's the power flow redirected. The cargo bay doors should open without too many problems now. What are your orders, sir?

Reinard: 

Kellan: Aye, Sir. Let's just hope there are no more confined spaces to squeeze ourselves into. Remind me not to have any lunch before my next away mission...

​:Or not so much lunch, at least.:


DON'T

:Kellan squeezed himself out through the tiny entrance of the alien ship's Jefferies tube with a considerable amount of effort. He wasn't particularly well built, so he wondered how some of his bulkier shipmates might have gained access to the tube at all.:

Kellan: Honestly, Sir, I've never really enjoyed scratching around in tiny spaces. It's always better when there's room to actually open your toolkit.

Reinard:

:The flustered Bajoran clambered to his feet and dusted himself down.:

Kellan: That's the power flow redirected. The cargo bay doors should open without too many problems now. What are your orders, sir?

Reinard: 

Kellan: Aye, Sir. It will only take us a couple of minutes to rejoin the security team. This way.

:He led his commanding officer down the corridor quickly and efficiently, and before long they had rejoined their colleagues.:

 


In both the "do" and "don't" example, there's a chance for the writer of Reinard to answer however they like to the first tag they have been left. He could ask for a report, comment on his own feelings about confined spaces - almost anything goes. In the "do" example, the second tag allows Reinard to issue any order they want - Kellan agrees to it and then makes another comment (and indeed could leave another tag for Reinard or another character so they have chance to make an observation). In the "don't" example, though, Kellan asks for orders, and then their writer assumes what the answer is going to be. Not only that, but they move off and start executing those assumed orders without them being issued, implying that Reinard followed them! This could lead to a situation where Reinard issues different orders and Kellan goes galloping off on his own and ignores them, so be careful!

The exception to this rule is where a commanding officer or team leader issues orders to a team of officers, in which case it's safe to assume they will do what they've been asked. Sometimes a superior officer might write that you've gone off to do something after you've been ordered. This is usually fine, as they're probably just moving the story forwards. If you think they've done so unreasonably (e.g. if they've ordered you to do something like plunge headfirst into a sewage tank with no protective gear) then get in touch with them directly and they'll work with you to figure out what to do next!

5. Check Your Formatting

At Outpost Eden, we use specific symbols to indicate actions like speaking, thinking, communicating via the comm system or telepathically and setting the scene or describing what your character is doing or feeling. These are quick and easy to learn, and can be found here. This tutorial was written by Diego Herrera. If you have any questions, feel free to Contact Us!


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This tutorial was written by Diego Herrera. If you have any questions, feel free to Contact us