Hey Everyone! I just want to touch on a topic …

Thought-posing and Meta.

Thought-posing and meta are something we try to discourage too much of on the mush because it makes it very difficult for other players to interact with you.

What is thought-posing? Anytime you’re posing what your character is thinking or feeling instead of them actually *saying* it out loud is thought-posing. Sometimes people like to include it to take a more narrative approach to RP, but you have to remember, no one else in the scene has any way of knowing what your character is thinking or feeling unless there’s some kind of facial expression or other body language to indicate it.

Example:
Bob walks down the street and sees Brenda. He thinks about how nice her lipstick looks and how revealing her low-cut shirt is, and remembers when he had another girlfriend back in the day who dressed the same. It makes him feel good to have such a memory of nicer times. He thinks he could really hook up with Brenda if given the chance.

What’s going on in that pose that Brenda can actually RP a response to? Not much. All she sees from her perspective is Bob looking at her. That’s it.

What is meta? When you write a lot of prose about what your character has been up to outside of the immediate scene that can be meta. This would be something like writing what they had for breakfast, what their plans are, etc. Again, the difference here is that this is all information that other characters in the scene have no way of knowing or responding to.

Example:
Bob walks down the street after having a very rough morning. He rolled out of bed, literally, and banged his knee on the floor. There was no food left in his supply bin. His clothes were all dirty and he was forced to wash them before he could go out. He had wanted to go hiking but now he’s too hungry to do that so he’s on his way to school instead to see if there’s anything to eat there.

While there’s a lot going on, again, there’s nothing that Brenda can react to. She wasn’t even acknowledged as being seen or existing.

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How could the pose have been written differently?

Bob is walking down the street in the direction of the school and seems to have a bit of a limp, as if his knee is bothering him. He’s rubbing his stomach and has a cranky expression on his face. His clothes have a damp, wrinkled look as if they were recently doused. As he lifts his eyes, they fall on Brenda. The cranky expression smooths away to one of brief admiration, a distant smile tugging at his lips. There’s a long lapse between him seeing Brenda and him actually saying something, as if his thoughts were distracted by something. “Oh, hi Brenda. What are you up to?”

Now Brenda’s player has concrete evidence of possibly figuring out what’s going on with Bob and what he might be thinking. Or, she can ask about it. “Bob, why are you limping and damp? You looked grumpy…” etc.

Try to look over your pose and make sure you’re not including lots of information that ultimately no one else can know. It may not seem like a big deal, but it can be frustrating for other players that have nothing to react to round after round, and denies them the enjoyment of trying to ‘figure out’ what’s going on, so to speak, if your character has had some off-screen shenanigans.
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