Have you ever wished you could have a conversation with a character from your imagination? It’s so hard to squeeze a million different details into your story. Chances are you won’t be mentioning if a character likes country music, is allergic to peanuts, or prefers yellow to red. But knowing these things can help them become more real in your mind.
Enter the RPs.
Those who belong to an online community (especially forums) are probably familiar with the terminology. An RP, or online roleplay for those not in the know, is fairly simple. Players create a character and then ‘play’ as that character by writing a few sentences. They then collaborate to write a kind of story by interacting with each other. It can be a fun way to kill a little time, and often will take over your life.
Anyway, borrowing the idea from a friend, I introduced a new kind of RP. Members would ‘play’ a character from one of their own works. Instead of acting through an adventure, all they would do was talk. People would take turns posing a question, which everyone would have to answer truthfully. Whether it was a deep query like ‘What is your biggest regret?’ or something silly like ‘Do you like applesauce?’, the RP is a way to make the characters flesh out and become closer to real people.
If you are a member of a forum, message board, or something similar, this is a fun tactic to try. It can even work through email or Facebook, although probably not as well. Fair warning, though – your characters may decide to answer in ways you don’t expect. I’ve had my share of awkward moments, to be sure. But using my characters to navigate out of those sticky pauses was a learning experience for us all.