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  #1  
Old 10-25-2008, 07:25 PM
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Amy Speaks - The Two Paragraph Post

Amy Lecture Topic (The Two Paragraph Post)

CannedThe Guest Lecture will start with a brief introduction by a Faculty Member, followed by a synopsis of the concept by the Lecturer. This synopsis can be as long or as short as is appropriate to convey the basics of the Lecture Topic. Synopsis might include:

A) Basics of Topic
B) Lecturer's view of importance of Topic
C) How Lecturer executes Topic that may vary from others
D) Value of consistency or inconsistency
E) Value of personality (The MY way) or impersonality (Any Way)

Personal tactics are important - the goal of SNOT:WWAD is to show students how to use the site in their own way.

Following the intro will be a series of question-and-answer from students and possibly non-students. A Faculty member will moderate.
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:38 PM
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The Art of the Two Paragraph Post

The lessons of SNOT:WWAD are intended to teach cleanliness in posting habits and creativity in descriptive detail no matter where the post appears. We are also proud of our goal of teaching each student to have a hook - to allow their personality to come through in each of their posts as a unique style. We do not crank out AxeMan copies: we provide an environment in which each student learns about themselves while absorbing an understanding of what it takes to be exceptional.

However, maybe one out of ten in-game posts can be noteworthy. Most of them are short by comparison. With each post you need to prove that you have an understanding of the game's status, acknowledge the actions of other players, and, most importantly, move the game along. If you fail to do these things then your excellent grammar and pristine spelling means nothing.

Each of these Steps can be accommodated in one sentence. The longer your standard post, the less likely others are to get all of the details. Pack your sentences with descriptive terms so that it paints a picture in the reader's mind - even if it is a messy picture - because that is what makes even the most standard post memorable.

Paragraph One, Step One: Please read what others have written.

You've got to know where the game stands before you write. This seems like a no-brainer, but so many discrepancies are caused because another player 'missed something'. Don't miss anything: it might be a huge mistake. Nothing goofs up a game like going back a page to re-write a post because it conflicted with what others wrote. We all make mistakes, but try to keep on top of the storyline.

Paragraph One, Step Two: Respond to the DM's Information.

If the DM said something happened to you, then respond to it. You do not have to reiterate the cause in a complete sentence. Instead, combine the cause and the effect. If you rewrite everything that came before you your post can get unnaturally long, causing readers to lose interest in the course of the action. Remember: several (many?) other readers are going through this storyline with you and they know what struck your character. They want to know what happens next.
ExampleCassel rolled with the impact of the Ogre's fist, scrambling to his left and springing to his feet with his sword in hand.


Paragraph One, Step Three: Respond to the Other Players' Actions.

If the Cleric offered you two potions of healing then you need to take them or otherwise acknowledge receipt of them. Write that you take them gratefully or begrudgingly or bleedingly. You could even respond in words.
ExampleCassel nodded his head in appreciation of the gift, "Many thanks, kind sir." He then dropped them on the ground and crushed them under his heel. (Next Paragraph)


Paragraph One, Step Four: Record your Character's Status.

The ending of Paragraph One is a springboard to Paragraph Two. Record where your character is at the end of all previous actions and prepare for new material. Check over your work in the fist few lines and make sure you included everything so that a reader will be up to date and ready for more movement in the storyline.
ExampleCassel paused in thought as he prepared for his next actions.


Paragraph Two, Step One: Describe your Character's Actions.

This is simple: describe what you are going to do to push the story forward. These are the actions of your Character that go beyond standing in the gloom or being pensive. Many players enjoy the stoic type or the bold type or the quiet confident type. But you have to explain what the character is doing in a way that gives motion to the game. Otherwise you are standing on the sidelines like all of the Stalkers.
ExampleCassel ceased his brooding long enough to draw his sword form his sheath. "If we are to be manhandled into this adventure, then I say we do it with blades of fury and the anticipation of death."


Paragraph Two, Step Two: Give Other Players Something to Work With.

A solid player post does not stand alone. Instead, it integrates what has happened before with what is about to happen in the posts to come. Sure, there is no way to predict what the next players will write about. But you can give them something to work with. If your Character wants to do something, suggest it to the Party. Offer something or make some kind of action that allows input by other Players.
ExampleCassel tossed the amulet onto the ground. "If you want it, take it."


Paragraph Two, Step Three: Be Creative.

This is the part where you get to do something outside the box. If you are in a cemetery then use a tombstone. If you are in a kitchen, use some pots and pans. You don't have to pick them up and fling them. You can just fall on them and describe the noise to add color to your post. Get our of your comfort zone. Try to do things creatively. Bring in your hook.

REREAD YOUR POST

Read it like you are a reader, not a writer. Try to understand the imagery that you were aiming for. If you can't see it, no one else can either. Check for grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, and too many commas. See if it flows. See if it responds to the DM's explanation of events. See if you used the same word too many times. If so, replace some of them or rewrite the sentence.

Post Your Post

Post it.

REREAD YOUR POST AGAIN

Always reread your post after you post it. Check for bracket errors and continuity. Check to make sure you weren't ninja'd and that someone else snuck in there to do something that is in your post. Check and recheck. Have a reputation for solid posts that make sense.

~~~~~


Thanks for listening. If you have any questions, please post them below.
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Last edited by Amy; 10-26-2008 at 07:59 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2008, 04:28 PM
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Very solid, Axe!
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  #4  
Old 11-23-2008, 05:35 PM
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Excellent post! I can feel my posting abilities evolving as I type.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2008, 10:46 AM
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Until reading this, I didn't know why I often thought my posts were choppy...

Here's to hoping that I remember this in a few hours when I make my next in-game posts!
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2008, 01:30 PM
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I've been doing the two paragraph post without even realizing how established a format it is. Seeing it broken down and analyzed has brought me enlightenment. This should be compulsory reading for students.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2009, 06:38 PM
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Thank you. Now I wish I'd read this before I'd last posted.
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2009, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhus
Thank you. Now I wish I'd read this before I'd last posted.
Me too. I completely skipped over that first step.

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  #9  
Old 06-11-2009, 08:28 AM
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This should be required reading for anyone that wants to join a game.

Last edited by BraveSirRobin; 06-11-2009 at 08:28 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2011, 11:33 AM
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*waves Wand of Thread Necromancy*

This lecture is like a 1-page manifesto of good game posting. It's succinct and easy to understand while still giving concrete, detailed guidelines.

This should be required reading for newcomers to PbP. Maybe even a link or mention in the Canned Newbie Advice. And not just new players, either. I'm pretty sure almost anyone can take away some tip to work on from here. I myself come back here every once in a while to refresh and make sure I'm consistently doing these things in my posts.

I guess I'm just sad that such a gem is tucked away here. More people should be reading and using this.
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Learn good posting style! | Amy's Art of the Two Paragraph Post
Learn to write good applications! | Aeternis' Guide to BAD-ASS Applications
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2011, 12:08 PM
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I agree, reivision. These are tips that even established players can learn from and use to grow. Evolving as a poster/player is very important, and learning from of the best helps out alot. For newer players this is a great starting point for an idea of what to strive for. Excellent stuff as always, Amy
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Last edited by Cidolfas; 06-22-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2011, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cidolfas View Post
Evolving as a fill in the blank very is important...
QFT, modified for words to live by.

Question yourself and evolve, friends.

And thanks for the kind words..
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2011, 07:06 PM
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Rei, Your necromancy worked. I got here and i'm damn happy for it.

And this is a fantastic lecture Admin Amy. Rei's right. This should be out in the open and possibly required reading for SNOT and PbP gaming in general.

Damn.

...

Damn.

Last edited by tsavatar; 06-26-2011 at 07:08 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2011, 05:05 AM
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I think I'm going to have to stick a link to this in all of my games now. This is good stuff.
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  #15  
Old 05-17-2013, 07:34 PM
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I was just lurking around the site and found a link to this. Very, very great. I occasionally have a nice solid post but more often my posts are pretty short. Alot of it is due to being tired and lazy and I try to work on that as much as possible, luckily the games Im in arent fast paced. Sometimes I just cant think of anything and will come back the next day after contemplation of what my character should do. I do plan to become better at posting and this instructional is going to be very helpful for me, definately agree that this should be a readily available link for newbs. or maybe it is already and I just totally missed it.
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