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Define Short

Discussion in 'Roleplay Talk' started by kisstheground, Apr 9, 2012.

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    kisstheground rpgd's favorite drunk aunt.

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    Oh boy, more word count talk!

    Rattling about in my brain for awhile now has been the question: what is a short post? I understand that there's no universal, but I'll admit to my mind being boggled by people who claim anything under something like 250 words is short.

    I'm of the school of thought that you write what is needed for the thread to keep moving, be it 3 words or 1000 (but, for the love of God, if you're going to write 1000 words? Make it worth my damned while). I've tried a board that had a minimum word count of 400 words per post and lasted exactly 3 posts. I was exhausted by the mere THOUGHT of having to bang out 400 words for every turn of my character's head and bailed to my own board. I've made a stab at post matching and ended up, instead, training my posting partners to start posting shorter. I'm a good/bad influence?

    Oddly enough, in my view, it's easier to point out a long post than a short one. I have a rather large monitor and if I have to scroll? Your post is long. That usually ends up being somewhere around 500 words on a board with a human-sized font. That's long for an RP post. Short-- I guess a single word? That's pretty short!

    What's your version of short? Why do you think that?
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    stainsofpeach One Day at a Time

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    A one-liner is short. Anything under 30 words is a short post. I don't think short=bad, but that is a short post. Now, for me personally a long post is 300 - that's when I feel like I've posted quite a lot. And what most boards get up to with regularly several hundreds is completely out of my rp-reality.
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    jeslylo Warning: Fangirls.

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    I suppose I'm too accustomed to writing a lot, but I feel that 200 words is short for me. On one of the sites I'm on, there is a 350-word minimum. I think that's a nice base to have, and you can write what you need to in order to move the thread along.

    Now, if you want to write shorter posts, then by all means go ahead -- but it would be considered quickfire replies. I don't find anything wrong with them, but I don't feel comfortable writing anything less than 350 words. Perhaps I love delving into my character's subconscious too much, I don't know. I just feel that you should try to match the post above you, and give the other player(s) something to work with. But hey, if you're both comfortable with shorter posts, then that's fine.
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    Antonym welp

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    Entirely subjective and purely for myself, "anything that takes me less than five minutes". Usually only found in rapidfire reply threads.
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    January Member

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    Anything under 150-200 words is short for me in a thread, but not so short that I won't sometimes write it. Anything over 500 words is long. I rarely (if ever) write anything over 500 words these days, but I would be hard-pressed to say what was my average length because it varies according to what's happening.

    If I'm going to write really short posts (like a word, a sentence) I would rather take the scene to IM and then post the results on the board when it's finished. Otherwise it feels like I'm spamming the 'recent posts' page because it will be moving so quickly.
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    jeslylo Warning: Fangirls.

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    This. I definitely agree that any posts that are a few sentences long, can be taken to IM and posted in the appropriate forum. I do this all the time when I want to move a plot forward quickly (or, like you said, spam the 'recent posts' page).
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    kisstheground rpgd's favorite drunk aunt.

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    I'm confused: how is posting to a play by post forum, rapidly, spamming? I... prefer to see a lot of posts when I'm looking at a board?
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    January Member

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    Me too, but I prefer to see a lot of different posts by different people! I look at the 'recent posts' page to catch up quickly on whatever everyone else is doing, so it's a little inconvenient if it's all covered up by the responses to one thread. I would rather condense them into one post and post that as a standalone thread if I'm on Proboards or any other host that uses 'recent posts' rather than 'recent topics' - if it's 'recent topics' it doesn't bother me at all and I'll do whatever.
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    kisstheground rpgd's favorite drunk aunt.

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    On our forum software, the "active topics" simply shows threads. So maybe that's why I don't understand the concept of spamming with IC posts. :)
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    Chekhov's gun I'm a rattlesnake, babe.

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    Anything under 300, I consider short. I actually post 200 - 300 words most of the time, and while I love it, I'm still recovering from 3 years in an environment where posting anything under 600 words was 'embarrassing' and you just couldn't do it without being laughed at. :|
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    Molione Sunshine and Enthusiasm!

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    Short for me is, oh, I dunno, less than 100 words? I like writing short, personally. It makes my life so much easier, and it's more fun!

    I used to write 300+ words for every post, but now that's just painful. I don't like word counts - I like writing what comes to mind, be that 10 words or 1000 words. If it fits, and [general] you can reply to my post, I have a difficult times seeing the problem.

    For me, at least, length =/= quality.



    EDITED for clarification.
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    MacB Member

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    It's short if you gave me nothing to respond to.
    This happens in 1500 word posts where only the last two lines apply to my characters and in one-liners that effectively cut conversation short. To be honest, it's more likely to happen in the one-liners.

    To answer your question more fairly: I kind of get a "oh boy" feel over anything over 900 words as being long (and possibly full of stuff that really doesn't apply to anything at all) but I forgive easily if it's written well/amusing/interesting.
    I get that same "oh boy..." feeling when it's a post of under 100 words, but again, I'm very forgiving as long as there is something going on, you give me something to write about
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    January Member

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    This. I usually write anywhere between 200-500 words on average now, but that's as low as I've managed to be comfortable with yet. Old habits die hard. I'm making a conscious effort to shake them, but it takes some time! I think it takes a lot of confidence in your writing to be able to write super-short posts, and that's something I definitely have yet to gain.

    When I was fifteen or sixteen I once wrote a 3000-word post. I shudder at the memory.
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    Bourne Endeavor Member

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    Generally I consider anything within the 300 range somewhat short and personally will almost always push above 400 myself otherwise I feel oddly bothered by it. Even then I frequently post around 600+ on a given average and tend to feel most comfortable these days at those higher lengths. The last board I was on followed the match system. Granted, length can slow you down some or because difficult to post on an off day, at least for me. Then again, in one thread a person popped up 2,400 words for one reply and my first thought after the "good god" reaction was "Oh it's on now" I dunno but it made me competitive; managed hit 2k and found it a damn good post, although doubt I'll be doing that again.

    In all fairness though, it has been ages since I have ever had a need to post short and thus more rapidly. If I like the thread and person I'm RPing with than I'll usually try to trim it down but you'd have to bear with a bit first, xD.
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    Elenitsa a seadog looking for new crewmates

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    I think below 100 words is short to me. But as long as it is not one line and I give the other something to work with, is still OK.
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    ~*BlackCharity*~ Mrs. Grinch

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    It depends on the amount of workable details, one liners generally don't have much to work with, however even 1000 word posts sometimes give you nothing to reply too. Quality over Quantity I always say.

    If I can make at least a paragraph long reply, It's good to me ^-^
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    rat Member

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    I think "short posts are not short people" is actually untrue--okay, posts aren't people, but it works as a metaphor. Is someone with dwarfism lesser than someone with gigantism? Most people, to some extent, judge on what they see, but know that what matters is on the inside. The same could be said of posts. It's content that matters, not length.

    Personally, I think anything under 200 words is short, but I don't see anything wrong with short posts.
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    Kajouka Thunder Rumbling, Castles Crumbling

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    I probably think of two sentences or less as short. Not that short is bad or that a two sentence post is bad, but if I opened it up and looked at it, it would APPEAR to be short to my eyes. I'm thinking sentences that probably amount to about three lines in normal RP fonts? So maybe rather than sentences, it's more looking at the post and seeing 2-3 lines only and thinking short.

    So that would be my answer.

    That being said, I've read 'long' posts that were junk and short posts that were great and vise versa. So as always, it's quality > quantity for me and quantity =/= quality.

    For me personally, the ideal type of length is a quality post in about 2-3 paragraphs. It's not too much to read and usually it has plenty to reply to. You don't get lost in monologues and you don't feel like you're chopping up your reply.

    (which was totally OT, but hey, I'm rambling!)
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    Blue Paladin Member

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    Best short posts are those that the shortness helps indicate the situation. That sounded weird, lemme find an example. So, if a guy merely posted:

    "John snored away."

    I'd class that as a bad post, cause, well, what do the other members have to work with there? Nothing is being driven, no plot other than the fact this guy is asleep. But he can't exactly wake up just like that. So, if it were fleshed out...

    "John snored, eyes indicating that he was clearly experiencing a dream. Not waking up just yet, the man shifted in his sleep, murmuring slightly, but ultimately still in the land of Nod."

    Still says basically nothing but it feels like it was part of a story rather than something posted just to keep the topic moving along.
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    xexes Fancifying the unmentionables since 1866

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    "Short" is relative.

    My definition of "short' is also relative - to how late it is when I'm typing.
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