Posting – A Rough Guideline
Have you noticed that when you read a story or watch a movie they seem to have the same pattern to them? At the beginning there's a hook, something to catch your attention and draw you in. That's followed by conflict. This is the main guts of the story, what it's about. It has what happens, how the characters relate to the conflict, how they act and react to it. Once all of that happens then the story needs to be resolved and we reach the climax. The conflict, the issues or problems get sorted and the story as we know it ends.
Does that sound about right? It is in most of all stories that are told. Now when it comes to a post in a Role Play Game (RPG) Simulation (sim) that formula is true for about half the posts - but usually most posts are part of a larger continuing story and don't tend to have a climax. But for this sample post it would be a good idea to have one.
A sim is like a story. An endless collaborative story that goes on and on for as long as the sim is there and everyone posts. The sim is made up of missions - a series of stories that make up a sim. The missions are made up of individual posts made by individuals to tell small parts of a larger story. So think of a post as a chapter in a book or maybe even something smaller, a page. Your post focuses mainly on the actions of your character. So we're thinking now on a smaller level. Your page (or post) has it's own formula and it might look something like this:
Background - Action - Continuation (or Conclusion)
Let me explain...
BACKGROUND - This is where you write about what has happened. It helps show others who are reading your post where exactly it fits in with everyone else's posts. It sets the scene and reminds everyone what just happened. It's also an excellent place to include your character's reactions to events that have happened in previous posts. Maybe during that battle that is going on against a Romulan warbird, a photon torpedo just impacted against an unshielded portion of the ship, the inertial dampeners are offline and well was your character flung around? Hit by debris? Someone else hit by debris and in need or first aid? Basically you react!
ACTION - This is where you get to move the mission along a little bit. You get to have some action (not necessarily the beat someone up action), finally a chance to act! You're adding something new. It might be that you ask that pretty redhead out on a date and turn up expectantly at the door, making a suggestion at a staff meeting, or possibly starting a fight in the Lounge... Your options are endless. But be careful that you don't do too much, just enough to move the story long a wee bit. It's a difficult balancing act.
CONTINUATION - This is the really important part. Probably the hardest part of a post. This is where you write something that will continue the story, where you pass it along to someone else so they can pick it up and run with it or so you can continue it in your next post. You have to ask yourself 'is there something I can do that others can continue on?' You have to help them with ideas on how to continue the story. Maybe it's something as little as a door opening to reveal someone, maybe you're asking someone a question and they can answer it in their post, or possibly you're giving subordinates orders. Anything really that someone can easily pick up from.
or CONCLUSION - Sometimes a post needs a conclusion instead of leaving a cliffhanger for someone else or yourself to pick up. This is where something is resolved or ends. This can be indicated by someone leaving a room, ending a relationship or receiving a pat on the back by a superior for a job well done. Or it could be your post is a standalone from the rest of the mission like a message from home or the conclusion of a small side plot. Conclusion is much easier to do than a Continuation so you should be able to come up with a natural conclusion to your post whatever it is quite easily.
Another very simple analogy for posting is to think of it as a relay race. You see your team mate running towards you with the baton in hand (background). You take the baton they give you and then you run like a mad thing towards your next team mate (action) who is waiting and then you hand it over to continue the race (continuation) (or you're the last runner finishing the race conclusion).
Like I said, it was a really simple analogy.
Now let's put this in practice with the sample post in your application. I think for your sample post you'd be best using a conclusion instead of a continuation.
For even more helpful articles check out the Player's Guide
[b]|Location, Deck Number
|Time, Mission Day[/b]
Your background, action and continuation go here and show your character doing
stuff that helps to entertain us and move the plot forward.
[b]Brought to you by:[/b]
[img]first character's signature goes here[/img] [img]second character's signature goes here[/img]
Special thanks to Sarah for this rough guideline.