In the roleplaying world, literate roleplaying is far from uncommon. So many people claim that they’re a literate roleplayer, but sometimes they don’t even understand what it is in the first place. This is just my opinion on what literate roleplaying is, as well as a few tips on how to improve your roleplaying as well!
To understand what literate roleplaying is, you need to understand what the other two common styles of roleplaying are. On RPS, the three most common styles are literate, semi-literate, and non-literate.
-Most of us know that non-literate use incomplete words such as ‘r’, ‘u’, and phrases like ‘OMG’ and ‘lol’. In my experience with non-literate role players, they use one-lines or very short paragraphs. Sometimes they’ll use asterisks or dashes to mark actions, and without them it signals dialogue. This is where most people usually start when they first begin to roleplay.
-Semi-literate is what’s “next on the ladder”. Semi-literate roleplayers are almost literate roleplayers, but not quite. Often but not always, they use good grammar and paragraphs but they lack a few things. Think of it as literate minus a paragraph or two. Otherwise, semi-literate roleplayers and literate roleplayers are almost the same.*
-Literate roleplayers can seem stuck up to most people, but don’t take it the wrong way. A lot of them are just picky, myself included. Many people see literate roleplayers as just a bunch of paragraphs, and that’s it. Literate roleplayers are also good at creating detailed characters, and have great grammar, as well as having the ability to string good sentences together. Just because you type out a few paragraphs doesn’t automatically make you a ‘literate’ roleplayer. Quality, over quantity. Literate roleplayers are also known as ‘advanced’ roleplayers for a reason.
So at this point, you’re probably wondering how you can improve your roleplaying. But before I go into this, I am not saying that I am that amazing at roleplaying! These are just a few personal tips that I have either picked up along the way, or have pointed out myself. Feel free to add any that I don’t mention below.
~Detail is important! The main reason literate roleplayers can pump out so many paragraphs is because we add details.
~You don’t need to write five paragraphs to be a literate roleplayer. Like I said before, quality over quantity. If you can add detail, character development, and move the roleplay along in a paragraph or two go ahead!
~Simple words don’t make you a non-literate roleplayer. You don’t have to use “orbs” instead of “eyes”. Often times when you try to use big words, you end up using them wrong. Keeping it simple doesn’t mean you’re a bad roleplayer. On that note, try to use interesting adjectives and verbs as if you were writing a story.
~Give your character common sense, and use common sense while roleplaying them! PTSD and trauma from abuse can’t vanish with a hug, or a kiss. If you’re playing a strict and uptight character, don’t make them lenient. The only exception to this is through character development where your character changes slowly changes through time, or through the roleplay.
~Remember the type of person your character is. Don’t write their bio as a hateful and cruel person, and then write them in a roleplay as a happy and caring person. People will be confused, and it will most likely throw someone off.
~This tip is relevant to all styles of roleplay. If someone’s character is a homosexual, and all of the characters that are the sex they are attracted to are invested in relationships except for someone of the opposite sex DO NOT (and I repeat, DO NOT) suggest for the owner of the oc to just change their character’s sexuality. It can be very offensive to someone, and changing their character just for romance can be seen as petty. Besides, think of the drama there could be.
~If you’re roleplaying something that’s based off a tv show, a book or a movie, do not break canon! The rules of that universe are there for a reason, and it’s not your job to go and bend them around.
~Do not control someone else’s character. This is normally found in non-literate roleplays, but no matter where you can find it the scenario is annoying nonetheless. Try to use words that imply that your character has (for example) tried to punch another character which leaves it up to the other person to decide if it lands or not. I usually make my character land one or two hits two make action feel realistic, and then end my response with something that implies that my character tried to land a third hit.
~Establish what point of view you are roleplaying from. The most common one for literate roleplayers is third person.
The most important tip
Grammar and spelling isn’t just what literate roleplay is all about. Make sure that you have character development on top of that, because that’s what really makes a roleplay interesting.