Roleplaying Thoughts: Word choice

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Good evening!

Tonight, I thought I’d expand a little on my last write-up on style. Specifically, I’d like to share a thought or two with you on choosing one’s words for a post. What follows is mostly my own personal preference, and by no means a strict guide as to what is right for you and what isn’t.

So! Words. Those wonderful, whimsical things that tempt thought, elicit emotion, and communicate concepts.Funnily enough, the way I like to go about choosing mine during RP is tied directly into those three very ideas.

You see, any one of these points stand perfectly well on their own. You could simply say that “She walked to the door” – and that could well be that! But what if she sauntered to the door? What if she sauntered towards the door? They convey a slightly different bit of imagery, don’t they?

And therein lies the basic premise of this article. By simple changing a mere word or two, we can go from simply passing on information to provoking something more particular in our readers’ imagination.

The trick, then, is knowing which words to change for the greatest effect – and this is something your own discretion is a wonderful aide in doing. When you’ve written your post, try reading it aloud to yourself – and ask yourself what those words said to you. Then, if you like, you can go back and refine it until it feels just the way you want it to. After a time, it will come so naturally that you’ll find yourself writing in the tone you prefer on the fly!

For those times I can’t think of any words, I like to peruse a thesaurus – or zip on over to the online equivalent and spend some time looking at all manner of different synonyms; thinking on the feel they convey and how they might be used in the context of a post. Sometimes, I’ll find myself removing large chunks of a post all because a single, edited word conveys the same imagery much more powerfully!

The sorts of words you choose will ultimately help define your style of roleplay. Do you like to be clinical and informative; emotional and evocative; or perhaps a mixture of both? If you don’t know, try a little of everything and see what suits you – or if you’re a heavy reader, think about the novels you like – and why you enjoy that author’s writing over another’s.

Whimsically warbling with words,

~Kat

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