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The Iron Dynasty, DeLaRose Role Play Group » Helpful Information In The Forum » For New Users, Roleplay Info » Knowledge Resource » Tsu's Roleplaying Guide: Technique and Writing Tools

Tsu's Roleplaying Guide: Technique and Writing Tools

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If you are like me, often there can be a great difficulty in describing soliloquy moments in private character where you as your RPC is struggling with a personal issue, or is faced with a quiet moment of personal clarity where they as a character are forced to reevaluate or think about the world in which they are placed. When it comes to these situations it is of no surprise that we struggle with our writing. Its easy for others to evaluate, but really when faced with the be all and end all, how do we best interact with our characters, while struggling one on one, what was the difference when interacting with others. What if we seem like fools to those around us?

Abolishing this fear is the first step to good role-playing. This small enclosed guide offers the bare basics of role-playing one on one, in terms of you writing, and not so much the average terms that everyone else is aware of. By digging into ourselves as writers, we can abolish stresses and create a well to do personal solace in our abilities as a writer.

Table of Contents



Emotional Expression and Body Language In Writing

Some people find it difficulty to have a placeholder for their characters emotional threshold and character expressions. Often writing particular characters as a whole can be difficult. How many way can someone describe their character in all their glorious brooding douchebaggery before ‘brooding’ becomes an over used descriptive?

Over my time on IMVU and Tumblr I’ve found a variety of compiled lists and actions to convey emotions. The following list can serve as a detailed example of emotion to physical conveying in roleplay. Created and gathered not by me, but by the tumblr user, cassieisnotapie, and brought here for the viewing pleasure of those around me. Want more? Start watching people and take notes of what they seem to do when expressing different emotions. Your repertoire of expression will double in no time.

-jawed, raised eyebrows, staring
-Frozen, slack body language (Self? What self? There is only Zuul.)
-Take a step back and put a hand to his heart

-Smiling and throwing back her head laughing
-Slapping her thighs, stamping her feet, clapping her hands
-Shaking her head (That’s so wrong!)

-Sharp movements, like shaking a fist, pointing, slashing, or slamming a fist on a table
-Flushed face, patchy red blotches
-Tension in neck—chords standing out, veins throbbing—and jutting or tucked chin
-Arms akimbo, or clenching fists
-Entering someone else’s space and forcing them out
-Poofing up with a wide stance (I am big! Very big!), arms wide (Bring it!)
-Lowered eyebrows, squinting eyes
-Teeth bared, jaw clenched, snarling

-Pressing lips together into a thin line
-Narrowing eyes sometimes with slight head tilt (Why do you still exist?)
-Rolling eyes, often paired with a long-suffering sigh

-Fidgeting, such as tearing grass into little pieces, playing with a ring, or chewing on a pencil
-Biting lower lip, swallowing unnecessarily
-Quickened breathing or holding breath
-Darting eyes
-Pallor, sweating, clammy palms
-Unusually high-pitched, “nervous” laughter
-Hunched shoulders

-Slow head nodding with a furrowed brow
-Leaning forward, toward the speaker, and sitting up
-Taking notes
-Looking over the top of her glasses

-Resting his head on his palm, peeking out between the fingers, maybe even slipping so his head “accidentally” hits the table
-Tapping toes, twirling pencil, doodling, and otherwise fidgeting
-Staring out a window, or at anything remotely more interesting (Which is everything …)

-Arms clasped behind body
-Head lifted, chest out, standing tall
-Walking briskly and making firm, precise movements

-Tilting head with narrowed eyes
-A furrowed brow

-Lifted chin (The better to look down the nose.)
-Pursed lips, sneering, slight frown
-Circling a shoulder, stretching her neck, turning away—anything to indicate she doesn’t see the person as a threat or worthy of her attention
-Grabbing her lapels, or tucking her thumbs in her waistcoat (See this clothing? It is much nicer than yours.)
-Dismissive hand-waving

-Twisted lips or a half-smile
-Sneering, sometimes with shaking the head and other defensive body language
-Pressed lips with a slight frown
-Eye rolling

-Crossed arms, legs, crossed anything, really (Well, maybe not fingers … or eyes …)
-Arms out, palms forward (Stop!)
-Placing anything (sword, shield, book, backpack) in front of her body

-Crinkling his nose
-Curling his lip and/or showing the tip of his tongue briefly
-Flinching back and interposing a shoulder or turning away
-Covering his nose, gagging, and squinting his eyes shut—hard—for a moment. (It assaults all the senses.)

-A plastered-on fake smile (You suck; but I can’t tell you that. So here: a fake smile! Enjoy.)
-Pouting or frowning (I’ll cry if you don’t give me what I want—don’t test me, I will!)
-Crossed arms and other defensive/frustrated body language (I will not let that terrible idea influence me!)

-Wide eyes and shallow, rapid breathing
-Beating the walls, or huddling into a corner
-Clasping hands over his head protectively
-Rocking himself
-Running his hands through his hair

-Leaning forward, nodding, wide eyes with strong eye contact and raised eyebrows
-Hand on heart, or presented palms-up, or otherwise visible
-A double-handed handshake (I really want to make sure you understand me!)

-Covering her face with her hands or bowing her head (I’m so embarrassed, I can’t look!)
-Difficulty maintaining eye contact, looking down and away

-Rubbing hands together (I can’t wait to get my hands on it!)
-Licking lips (It’s so close I can taste it!)
-A vigorous, pumping handshake (I can’t wait to get started!)
-Jumping up and down (Look at me being literal here! I am jumping for joy.)
-A wide and easy grin

-Eye play, like winking, looking up through the lashes, over the shoulder glances, and eye catching  
-Preening, like hair flipping or smooth, clothing straightening, spine straightening, etc.
-Striking a cowboy pose, with his thumbs gripping his belt tight

-Shaking his head (You are so wrong!)
-Massaging temples (My brain—it hurts.)
-Clasping his wrist in his opposite hand, behind his back (Bad arm! No biscuit.)
-Running his hands through his hair (All this frustration is making my hair mussy. I can feel it.)
-Grabbing onto something like armrests, or white-knuckled interdigitation (Restrain yourself!)

-Smiling and laughing
-Eyes and nose crinkling
-Swinging her arms, spinning loosely, dancing, jumping

-Quick head nodding (Get on with it!)
-Toe/finger tapping (Hear this? These are seconds. Wasted. Listening to you.)
-Sighing, checking the clock/sundial/freckles (Time. It is moving so slowly.)

-Tight lips, or a sour expression
-Narrow eyes locked on the perpetrator, to the point of a stare down
-Crossed arms, and additional frustrated, angry, possessive, or bitter body language

-Scratching their nose, ear, neck, miscellaneous part of face
-Sudden change in behavior or demeanor, including shifty eye contact, lots of long blinking, shrugging
-Ill-timed smiles or laughter (This is how I normally smile, right? Right???)
-Additional anxiety body language
-Shaking head no while saying “yes” (I can’t believe I just lied.)
-Licking lips, covering mouth, touching mouth, etc.

-Both palms to forehead, fingers splayed (This gives me a headache.)
-Covering eyes with one hand (If I can’t see the world, it can’t see me …)
-Eyes wide and staring into space, hands gripping the table in front of her (… Woah.)

-Waggling eyebrows
-Tiny shoves or nudge

-Head tilted back, lips parted slightly, eyes wide or closed
-Slow, languorous movements, stretching (such as arching her neck or back)
-Slight flush, quickened breath and pulse

-Handshake with arm clasp
-Putting hands on or around someone’s shoulders, neck, waist, back, or even just the wall near them
-Standing in someone’s personal space, body positioned toward that person
-Any one-sided act of intimacy, like running a knuckle down someone’s cheek
-Staring down any who get too close

-Chin up, chest out, shoulders back
-A painfully hard handshake that not only squishes the bones, but also forces his hand on top
-Leaning back with his hands behind his head, and his feet up
-Strong, unblinking, focused eye contact

-Arms crossed, sometimes with fists (Not happening.)
-Dragging feet (But I don’t wanna!)
-Pinching nose (You want me to do what now?)
-Clamping hands over ears (La la la la!)

-Droopy body (and anything held, like a sword), bowed in shoulders, wrapping arms around self
-Slow movements with hesitation
-Bottom lip jutting out and/or quivering
-Crying, sobbing, body shaking, sniffling, wet eyes

-A tight-lipped smile (My lips are zipped.)
-Hiding her hands in her pockets (What has it got in its nasty little pocket?)
-Looking away

-Hunched shoulders, shrinking back from others (Don’t hurt me!)
-Wide eyes and lifted eyebrows (The better to see them coming.)
-Shaking, trembling, or freezing
-Rocking from side to side, sometimes holding self (It’ll all be okay, self, it’ll all be okay.)

-Slumped shoulders (Don’t look at me.)
-Trouble meeting your gaze, looking down and away
-Burying her face in her hands or bowing her head (I can’t face the world right now.)

-Hands covering her mouth, or mouth hanging open, sometimes with a gasp (If I had words, I would be saying them.)
-Freezing and staring with wide eyes and eyebrows raised (Diverting all resources toward staring.)
-Smacking a palm into his forehead (Clearly, my head isn’t working right, or I wouldn’t have seen that)

-Avoids eye contact, or has only fleeting eye contact (Eye contact means you might speak to me.)
-Keeps a fair distance from everyone, and will back away if someone steps closer (Space invaders!)
-Folded arms, head down, and other defensive body language (If I make myself small, they can’t see me.)

-Slight, close-lipped smile (occasionally one-sided) and sometimes one raised eyebrow (I know something you don’t know.)
-Chin slightly tucked, Mona Lisa smile, raised eyebrows (I know better.)
-Finger steepling (I am so smaaaht.)

-Narrowed eyes, sometimes with a sidelong glance or raised eyebrow (Perhaps if I look at it out of the corner of my eye, I will catch it unawares.)
-Rubbing his eyes (I can’t believe what I’m metaphorically or literally seeing!)
-Shaking his head (I—I don’t believe it.)
-Blowing out cheeks (Well , I don’t know …)

-Rubbing his eyes, eyes staring into space, raised eyebrows (Raising my eyebrows helps keep my eyes open.)
-Yawning and/or stretching (I am tired—see? Tired! Too tired to care!)
-Almost nodding off and jerking awake (Cannot. Stay. Awa—snnnnurzzzz.)
-Gritting teeth to stay awake (Cannot—yawn—dang it!)

-Steepling fingers (I will think better if I center myself and focus.)
-Pinching nose, sometimes with closed eyes (Focus, focus—I just need to focus.)
-Tugging on an ear (This will help me remember!)
-Stroking a real or imaginary beard (People with beards look smart.)
-Furrowed brow, narrowed eyes, sometimes tilted head and pressing lips together (I can’t see it—I will try harder!)
-Resting his chin on his hand (Thinking makes my head heavy.)

-Hands clenched and held above head while grimacing (She is invincible!)
-Head tilted back with a yell (She is fierce!)
-Arm pumping in the air, jumping (Woohoo!)


Very helpful. Maybe you could give me a private lesson sometime.

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