For the first official “Ask Anna” post, I’m going to tackle one from Nibuca of Mystic Chicanery and the Twisted Nether Blogcast. It’s a short question, but definitely a good one to ask, considering all the non-rp bloggers out there!
Dear Anna, How do you start writing RP posts on your non-rp blog? -Nib
RP has some odd stereotypes that live alongside it, and it’s not always received as well as progression/raid/pvp related content. Why? Well, a lot of reasons, but suffice it to say that it’s not unusual for me to get this kind of sentiment. Your audience is expecting one thing, and you’re not sure if they’ll be OK with the RP idea, especially the first time you introduce it.
I think there are a few things you can do, though, to break the ice a little.
- Start small. You don’t need to have your first RP post be a 10-part epic like Angrathar. In fact, I’d generally suggest against that! Do a Friday Five or two, pick a ficlet, write a little vignette. Even have a conversation between you and your character about something that maybe you like or enjoy, but they don’t (or vice versa). If you’re not used to thinking of your characters this way, it’s a nice way to “break the ice” with them – and be careful – it can be a little addicting!
- Don’t label it or apologize for it. Just post. If you spend 3 paragraphs apologizing for writing RP, you’ll create in both your readers AND yourself the understanding that somehow this is “weird” or “different”. It’s your blog. You write what you want. If you feel like writing some RPish posts, go for it.
- Don’t get in your own way. Everyone starts somewhere, and nobody is masterful the first time they do anything. If you let your fears of some external criticism stand in your way, you might convince yourself out of doing it. Your readers know and like you. They will almost certainly either enjoy or ignore your RP posts.
- Do a guest post, if you’re worried about your own audience. Most bloggers love a good guest post. If you want to write a little something, but aren’t sure if your blog is the best place to break the ice, see if another blogger will give you some limelight for a day and then link to it. Your readers will probably go read it and comment, but you’ll be away from the “expectations” on your own blog (even if they’re largely created by you!).
- Just do it. New things can be a little scary, especially new things that are as “exposing” as sharing your writing with the world. But you will find your own voice, and your own style. Maybe you’ll decide that this RP thing is more something you like to think about than write about, and that’s fine. But you’ll never know until you try! And bloggers are a LOT more forgiving than say, the general WoW forums.
The best way to break into RP is just to try. You might love it, you might not. But if you’re curious and considering doing a little more with your character beyond the pixels on the screen, take a few small steps and see what you think.
You don’t need permission from your readers to post the occasional RP style post on YOUR blog. And they won’t all leave in a huff if they’re not so keen on RP.
So good luck, happy writing, and may the RP-Fu be with you!
If you have a question for Anna that you’d like to see answered (either privately or on the blog), check out how you can submit one!
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