I’ve been asked a few times now for tips and suggestions on how to run an RP blog. I…kind of got out of control when writing a response to someone and it turned into this. I figured other people would be interested in reading this, so here you go. I even bolded the terms like a text book! :3
If you haven’t picked a character yet, I would suggest choosing one that you can relate to the most- the one you feel most connected to. Also consider which one you think you’d have most fun with.
Once you’ve chosen a character, you can make the blog. I would suggest making a separate account for your RP blog. Otherwise, your asks from your personal blog and RP blog will get mixed. It’s not hard to do. I just went to google and created an email account under my character’s name.
Once that’s done. There should be an ask from the tumblrbot waiting to be answered. I would answer this in character (or IC) and publish it. The more detail you put in it, the better, because it helps people see how you view your muse (the character you’re RPing.)
For the record, you are the mun. Anything that you post out of character (OOC) should be made clear. For me, I either label it ooc or put double parentheses around what I say. Others use brackets or something else. Try to stay IC for the most part. Most likely, (and this is especially true when you’re first starting) they’re not following your character to hear from you. However, there are those who do want to know you the RPer and won’t be bothered by it. I think posting ooc stuff is something you can get away with more once you have a fair amount of followers. If you’re having rl problems and you want to vent about it, it’s absolutely fine; just out of consideration for others, put it under a “Read More” line. I particularly like this because it means that those who read it care about what you have to say and took the time to listen. Also, posting “I’m going offline now,” or stuff like that to keep your followers informed is more than acceptable. I believe followers like this stuff because if they’re online and they want to interact with you, then they’ll know if you’re available or not. You don’t want them to be waiting up wondering and being disappointed when you weren’t online all that time. You can lose the best kind of followers doing this, those being they kind that interact with you.
Now getting to logistics:
There are four basic parts to running an RP blog:
You can do however much of this as you want. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Though, when you open yourself up to new ideas, I think you’ll find more people will want to follow your blog.
Asks are self-explanatory. When someone sends you and ask, answer it IC unless it is obviously for the mun (you). Something I sometimes fail at, and I want to warn you now, is it’s a good idea not to let asks sit in your inbox for too long. I think people like it more when they are able to interact with you live, so try to keep your inbox managed at a low number. That might be easy to do at first, but once you’ve gained a fairly large following, it becomes more difficult.
M!As is something I was very nervous about when I first started. I thought, “Why would I want to do a M!A? The reason why I made this blog was so that I can RP as Tenzin, not some alteration of him.” But then curiosity got the best of me, and once I was used to RPing as Tenzin, I felt more at ease with twisting things around a bit. Many people choose not to do M!As and that’s perfectly acceptable. Just remember that you have the reigns. You can set a time limit on it, or you can let it be as long until another M!A says your back to normal. You can choose not to do a particular M!A. You get to decide how to run your M!As. It’s your blog.
A more in-depth explanation of my version of a M!A can be found here.
What I like to call “half-RPing" (idk if it’s an actual RP term or not) is when you start a thread with another RPer, and you’re tossing back and forth one- or two-liners. They’re usually lighthearted and are great for when you want to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes, half-RPs can form into something more. They help you get acquainted with other RPers and their muses, and connections are formed. It is not uncommon for the RPer to create a thread for you to respond to when you first follow them. Be open to following other RPers. Most of the time, they will follow you back.
Full-fledge RPs are where you really dig into the meat and bones of an RP account. Some RPers create accounts solely for this. They are like co-writing fanfictions and can be lengthy- anywhere from a paragraph to multiple paragraphs. (I’ve heard people use the terms para and multi-para respectively). These are where I find myself putting forward the most effort. It should be noted, though, that it is absolutely important to keep controlling the other RPer’s muse to an absolute minimum. You are not that muse’s mun, and it can really offend the other RPer. For example, saying that your muse blushed at the other muse’s laughter is okay, but making major decisions for the other muse is not. I believe a big no-no is outright describing what the other muse is thinking or saying or doing that hasn’t already been described by the other RPer.
Me as a Tenzin RPer writing “Lin thought, I’m going to punch that big oaf right in the face. Then she proceded to do so,"is crossing the line, but writing "Tenzin saw a look on the cheif’s face that said, ‘I’m going to punch that big oaf right in the face,’" is a little more acceptable because the other RPer at least has a choice to run along with it or take it in a different direction if they don’t agree with it.
Uh, what else?…
Getting yourself out there. Keep your blog active, even when no one is watching. If you’re open to RPing with anyone be sure to put that in your blog description. Also, make it clear if you accept smut or not (smut being sexual…stuff). If you are using a canon character but changing something that is clearly uncanon, make that known. This is called AU (or alternate universe). A good example of this is sonofthesky. This Tenzin has had his bending taken away, even though we all know in the show, that never happened. Or did it?….
Another thing to do when RPing is to be sure to reblog the thread as a text. When you go to the edit page, next to the big bolded words at the top is a grey box that says “as…” Click on that and then click the option “text”. It helps keep the thread coherent.
Also, trim. Trimming is deleting the most inner quotes of the thread. This is especially important when you and your partner have reblogged the thread several times. Nobody wants to have to scoll through a dash full of grey lines. It really gets in the way and you can lose followers over this.
When I first started RPing I would put daily reminders that I was accepting asks. I would even stick it in the Tenzin tag so that others would see it. I don’t tag for that purpose anymore because I don’t need to. I tag to keep my blog organized. For instance, I tag all my references to Aang as “Aang” so that when someone visiting my blog clicks on that tag, all the times that he has been referred will be laid out in front of him/her.
Don’t be afraid to ask a particular RPer if you can RP with them. I believe most will be friendly about it. I would suggest, though, that there be some sort of purpose or theme or lose plot idea that you have in mind, because if there isn’t any direction in the RP thread, your partner might lose interest. For some, they don’t really care about that and are happy to RP whatever. Often, you’ll find, the thread develops itself.
Be patient in all aspects of your RPing. Don’t have a lot of followers? Just be patient and keep your blog active by posting fan art, things about your character you like, headcanons that you might have for your muse, etc. (Headcanons are anything that you like to believe is true for your character. Posting these aslo helps other RPers understand your muse.) Sometimes posting a set of questions people can ask helps fills your askbox and gets things going. Give your RP partner time to respond to your post. If they haven’t responded in a couple of day, send them a friendly reminder. Most of the time, they did not intentionally leave you hanging.
Lastly. It helps if you find ways to make your blog unique from the others, especially if you’re not RPing an OC. I like to go through the Tenzin tag and “collect” gifs and fan art to reblog. That way people can go to my blog and click on “Fan art” and see a chock-full of Tenzin artwork. Several blogs have music and fanfictions. It’s whatever you like.
Most importantly, have fun. That’s what you’re here for- to entertain yourself. If you find it’s becoming too overwhelming to run the blog, step away from it for awhile- go on a hiatus. Just be sure to inform your followers. Then when you feel refreshed, come back and start again. We know behind every RP blog is a person who has an rl. If running an RP blog makes rl more difficult, we completely understand if you need to leave. But I think you’ll find that tumblr is (for the most part) a happy escape, and we’re all here to support you and interact and have fun.
Creating an Original Character? (Note: OC means original character and CC means canon character)
Edit: I have a separate blog specifically made for any questions you may have (or for any contributions you may wish to include) here: