L e t ' s B a t t l e !
It's a Battle!
Some people are content to pull a "dishes" - that is, when all the dishes in the house are dirty and heaping with a foul smell, we pretend that they don't exist because the quantity is overwhelming. When it comes to flaky people, that isn't enough for me, because each thread I participate in where someone flakes out drains my desire to write. In character should never be related with real life, but after it happens time after time after ... I can't help but feel slighted.
The battle is like so :
My character meets the love of their life! Snooze.
My character nearly dies! Boring as hell.
That awesome development that turns my character's life upside down! Yeah? Go f**k yourself.
My character... does die? Too busy wanking.
How to win a war you can't win
Everyone knows that you can't control other people, and by the same standards, you can't make someone else post. While some may find that reaching out to others has some effectiveness, I believe the opposite. I think that pleading, crying, and trying very hard, statistically, all have the same effect as not intervening at all. So, how do you win this war against flakey posters that you can't win? Simple: by not loosing.
However, know this: if you're an admin, you're screwed. Following the "don't loose" principles is a great way to kill your site as it comes off as unfriendliness. Admins need to have a bit more patience than a normal member, especially when nursing a new or failing site to health.
How to Not Loose : Starting Threads
Never Start When A Thread Is Requested
I receive many PMs saying "My character and yours should meet!", and instantly I groan. While it's a nice intention, about only 35% ever make it to reply #1, let alone reply #3. No, I am not a crappy writer - it's that everyone is flaky and that sucks balls. So, how can we win the battle - I mean, how can we not loose? By never starting threads under this premise.
Someone wants to start a thread with your character? Great. But they have to follow up on their good intentions and start the thread. By my estimates, threads where the suggester starts have a 90% chance of lasting at least twice as long as if you start them.
How to Not Loose: Replies
Never Respond To Tardy Replies
You know when the person in your thread doesn't reply for six months, and then you, feeling guilty, reply again? Yeah, you just lost the game because they aren't going to reply. Refuse to respond to anything outside of your timing comfort zone. Myself, I'm willing to wait two weeks for a reply, but anything longer and it's dead.
Here's the catch : if you reply to an exceedingly tardy response, there's a slim to none chance that they will respond again. The person is much more likely to simply drop the site than respond.
How to Not Loose: WIP
Never Respond to WIP
I already wrote about Why WIP Posts Are Killing You and Everyone Else, so it's easy to see why WIP posts suck. But remember that only perhaps less than 10% of WIP posts are ever completed, so as soon as you see one, consider the thread dead and silently refuse to reply. This isn't about being friendly, it's about not loosing so often.
How to Not Loose: Multiple People Threads
Boycott Three or More Participant Threads
Unless there's Rounds
Some sites do really well with threads that have many characters in them. But for the majority, I'd say that three-plus participant threads are a great way to spin your wheels, drain your muse, and get no where. When someone drops out - and they always inevitably do - chaos befalls the thread. Threads with rounds instead of a post order generally do quite well. In my experience, these threads rarely have a plot that others find interesting, but at least you get some good responses. Characters never exit from these threads, and likewise, these threads never seem to have an ending. Post orders are only good for one thing: killing threads, so avoid them.
Now to Not Be Abused: Irresponsible Roleplayers
Boycott Irresponsible Players
Serial character creators make for poor roleplay partners. As does the member who takes every in-character plot personally. And so does the member who always responds to your 400 word posts with a single sentence. Bottom line, irresponsible roleplayers exist. Sure, everyone make mistakes, but some people are prone to consistently make them. Because, you know,, it's a game, so it should be fun for me, so who cares if I ruin your fun by being a jerk?
Stop being abused by players like these and quietly refuse to play with them. It's a big can of worms if you ever profess this to them, so instead, silently find excuses to opt out of their threads.
Let's Battle! You vs Flakey People
Blog entry posted by xexes, Jul 24, 2012.