Hello one and all, Siksta here with an Insider's Guide to RPA. Now I've been on RPA since we were on the first site and there was 323 members that joined before me. Through all the ups and downs, through the high points of activity and through the doldrums. I've learned a few tricks of the trade as it were and I want to share them with old members and the new comers. I think it's time for me to be more then just the most active member and an armchair Psychologist even though I love doing both those things and hope folks will still come to me for help. I want to contribute some more.
Now without any more ado here are my tips.
1: Don't be afraid, we all have our little comfort zones that we stay in and very rarely we venture out of. This is a common issue all across the board, folks find that one char. or one idea that they really like and never leave it they just reuse and tweak the same thing. Now there's nothing wrong with this and I'm never going to say anything bad toward it, but just because you know what you like and stick to it doesn't mean you have to close your mind to other possibilities. Challenging yourself, it's how we all grow as people and artists, don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. If you do mostly men chars. make some women ones if you use the same Joey Badass guy for every RP you join, make a Dudley Do-Right for one. It's simple, just do something you don't normally do you don't have to do it every time but once in awhile it doesn't hurt to mix things up.
2: Be respectful all and all, To paraphrase the rules of the site this maybe the Internet but this is RPA not the rest of the Internet be cool and be nice if you wouldn't like someone bothering you all the time don't do it to anyone you have an issue with someone deal with the best you can yourself then if you must, ask a Mod or Admin. This goes to RPs as well as just kicking around the site even GMs yes they have the final word in their RP but to any potential GMs remember the words, don't burn your bridges if you're a total jackass and dictator in your RPs you will lose players and your RPs will die. Pretty basic this one, treat others as you would like to be treated.
3: You are not the King/Queen of the world, there's nothing wrong with being confident but there's always something wrong with being over confident no one likes a know-it-all or a Captain Infinity. We are all human here so remember to be humble and don't beat folks over the head with accomplishments and awards it's ok to mention them once in awhile so people will know you are more then you appear but don't make it an everyday practice that'll only get you on someone's shit list.
4: Don't start nothing there won't be nothing, kind of a repeat of number 2 but this is important in itself. Ever hear the phrase let sleeping dogs lie? Well this is the same concept you don't know who's out there in the big scary world of cyber space it could be a psychopath with stalking skills or it could just be a whiny little kid but you never know so it's better to just not risk it plus you start no trouble you'll always be in the right when stuff goes down.
5: Be a friend, everybody needs some body sometimes. We all have those bad days and we all have seen others go through those days. This one is short but just as important. Help out your fellow RPA'ers and your fellow humans outside the web. Listen fully to someone's problem then help to the best of your ability sometimes just venting is all someone needs. Even if you can't fully help this person trying never hurt anything.
6: The K.I.S.S Method, Keep It Simple Sparky, This is more for those of us who take on a persona while online like a Superhero or Mythical creature. Keep it simple I'll admit it's tons of fun playing a super powered char like Deadpool or Scarecrow but it's come with it's own problems, folks don't like over the top or too many persona's for one name and it does get irritating for others and it's a strain on you to keep it all up sometimes. I'd recommend if you're going to play a persona make it just 1 or maybe 2 and keep it (them) evenly powered.
7: Learn to let things go, once you learn this guideline you will have very little trouble on here or any place else in the world there will always be bullies and bastards, can't really escape them even on a grand site like this with very clear rules. If someone starts up with you let them bark or handle it calmly and if that doesn't work call a Mod you don't lose any cool points for going to the Cops if someone is harassing you. Plus it gives our Mod team something to look forward to in the day ( jk). It takes two to tango and one to walk away and generally the one that walks has good stoneskin in the eyes of everyone else. And don't hold a few crossed words against anyone after they make amends it won't do any good to anyone.
8: Know your limits and know when to stop, I know better than most how much of an addiction RPA can be and that's caused a lot of trouble for me and those I call my friends. Sometimes when you're having a bad day and it only seems to get worse coming online simply don't log in for a few days or even a few extra hours take a nice breather and only when you feel better and good enough to pull through until bedtime do you log back in. After some time you'll see things with a greater clarity and they'll get better.
9: Be considerate, everyone is different there are an endless number of Races, colors, ethos, Religions, and such. Don't run your mouth and say something insensitive or racial. This is just stupid and can result in very real problems for you and maybe the whole site. Another common sense Guideline here.
10: Be smart and prioritize, RPing is fun and it helps you improve as a Writer and an Artist in some places but it shouldn't get in the way of more important things like homework, collage stuff, work, or family. If you find yourself juggling too much stuff at once stop take a breath and sort it out, RPA doesn't have to be high on the list. We aren't going anywhere and no one's life depends on you being on all the time you can afford to lose a day or two. So don't think you have to give your all and all to RPA.
11: Clean mouth and mind, A lot of people swear, it happens so there's really no reason to mull over it but there are younger people around here so keep it minimal no graphic descriptions of your Prom Night or anything that's just bad form. And try not to go into angry sailor rants.
12: Don't tell too much, as has been said before you never know who's out there. So watch what you put out in the open for all to see. No personal info maybe first name but that's it. Be safe and keep yourself a mystery.
13: Patience is important, We all have lives and loved ones outside the web so if someone vanishes in the middle of an RP don't assume they're being jerks, not everyone can be on all the time. Give them some time and if they don't show ask after them a little. And if they still don't show begins discussing what to do with their char.
14: Shit happens, no one can see into the future and no one can stop all the bad stuff from happening and it does no good worrying over it all the time, sometimes you can't help it so it does no good being a worrywart. Deal with it as best you can and ask for help if you need it. Stay strong and don't let it get you down.
15: Don't take stuff that happens in an RP or in any other forum to heart, I've seen this happen a lot Joe says something to Jane's char that Jane didn't like and Jane took it as a personal attack. Long story short it wound up getting Joe kicked out of the RP and Jane dying with it. It's stupid and petty if you don't like something someone said to you in an RP don't take it out on the RP, figure it out in PMs so you don't weigh everyone else down with your issues. Deal with it like adults.
16: Don't carry fights between forums, if you have a disagreement with someone keep it in one place like PMs and don't let it follow you elsewhere. This will piss off a lot of people and probably get the Mods on you.
17: Don't run away with an RP, this is a common sense one but it still happens. Usually a pair of people get into a groove with each other and just keep posting back to back which leaves the other Players running to catch up and sacrificing their story ideas because you and your buddy wanted to play with each other, this is selfish and unprofessional.
18: Have fun but obey the rules and etiquette, rules are made for a reason and etiquette is made so we all play nice and stay respectful because without them everyone would be in need of a Hero and not just the cute girls in short dresses.
19: We all make mistakes, mistakes are a part of human nature and we are always growing through them in some way, shape, or form. Simple guideline this, when you screw up and you will cause everyone does, learn from it. Don't be resentful if someone says you messed up. If they have solid proof just look at what they are saying and improve it.
20: The Thumb Rule, this pertains to post length in RPs. I know it's hard to come up with even 2 paragraphs of post at times so when in doubt use your thumb hold it vertically beside your post with your fist against the screen. Close one eye and look at your thumb and your post, if your post is at least from the tip of the digit to where it joins your knuckle and if it's at least a paragraph and a half of words your golden.
21: Watch and learn, no one expects you to know how they feel all the time through the computer but no one likes a Nosy Nelly. You can learn a lot from people even online by watching how they react to stuff and what is their norm. If something is a hot button issue for someone avoid it I know it seems cowardly and stupid to dance around some people's personal feelings but sometimes you have to.
22: Lovebirds, everyone wants to be a love bird but not everyone wants to watch lovebirds. It's great you have someone and there's nothing wrong with it but please refrain from being all mushy-gushy in the forums. Folks tend to avoid places where two people are doing nothing but making kissy faces to each other. Feel free to do it sometimes but please post other things then just back to back declarations of love.
23: Work hard, this goes to posts in RPs. It's hard to come up with Shakespeare for every post but it's not hard to do better then Dr. Suess. Sometimes all you can get out is a small or flimsy post that's ok sometimes just try to work harder on your posts. It makes the RP richer and more enjoyable to do.
24: Cyber-bullying, just don't do it. It's both sad and pathetic when this happens and it's even worse when someone takes it to heart and does something stupid and permanent. No one wants that but it happens don't be the one responsible for another's death.
25: Help yourself or stop complaining. To put it simply nut up or shut up, I know it sounds mean but it's true. We are given cards in life and it's our choice to live with them and play them as best we can. Problems will never vanish fully from our lives but unless you do something to at least take a step toward improving them things won't get any better. Either fix them yourself or ask for help complaining about it but sitting on your hands won't help things.
26: Don't get upset when someone points out the obvious about what you want kept secret. We all keep secrets and we should but do not expect it to stay a secret when you're blatantly obvious about it. If all you're doing is flirting with someone and they spurn someone else trying to flirt then go right back to you ideas begin surging and all it takes is one person not giving a damn to ask the question "Are you two dating?". Don't get upset and dodge the question saying it's none of that person's business, answer it and continue the flirting if it doesn't alienate others in the thread. As has been said in another guideline constant back and forth flirting makes things weird for some people.
Well that's all I have for the moment friends now remember these 26 things are not meant to replace or otherwise alter the Rules and stuff we already have these are more Insider hints that I thought could help our new members and even some of our older ones so RPA is always a fun and safe place for all Writers to go. Remember all this is mostly common sense and reiteration but still heed some of it it'll help out a lot I assure you.
Good bye one and all Siksta here signing off stay kooky. Keep an eye out for more Guidelines.