Oh, the dreaded in-character para sample. It seems as if every roleplayer out here is complaining left and right about these. Why is this? More likely than not, I find that it is because the person does not know what to write about. Here I have compiled a small list of para sample ideas that can work with any character, and a brief description of how to use each one. I hope this helps you when you experience that auditioning writer’s block in the future.
Your character is cleaning their room. Or maybe your character isn’t one to clean. Maybe your character is digging through their untidy drawers to find an item that they misplaced. For whatever the reason is, your character stumbles across an old photograph. If your character is in a state of peacefulness now, it would be best to have the photograph depict a more chaotic time in their life. If the character’s life is currently in turmoil, it would be best to have the photo depict a happier time. This will work well because not only will your character dwell on a past period of their life, but they can compare that time to the present. Maybe the photograph shows a better time; maybe because of this, the person is suddenly inspired to turn their life around. Or perhaps the character sees the photograph of what he or she once viewed as a bad event in their life, only to realize that it wasn’t as horrible as it seemed. Maybe they wish they could go back to the day that the photo was taken, or maybe they wish to rip it to shreds. The possibilities are endless.
A Save Haven:
Think about where your character experiences the most trouble in their life. Is it at home? At work? At school? Now think about the place in which they feel the safest, where they feel far away and separated from those troubles. Where is the place at which they can feel completely at ease? Take that place, and write a para in which your character visits it. You can show the side of the character that is reflecting on the bad aspects of their life, as well as the more hopeful part of your character. You can also use this idea to explore your headcanons about the character. If the character loves the color white, maybe the place is covered from floor to ceiling in white sheets. If your character loves the outdoors, maybe the place is somewhere deep in the woods, somewhere they run past on their daily jogs. Admins like to see you take the character and run with them (not literally); as long as you do not stray far from the bios, that is.
A crowded location— such as an airport, a mall, a subway station— are good places to explore the way in which your characters interact with other people. Instead of having them directly involved in a conversation or action with another person, you can have them sitting around, observing and judging the people. Or maybe you can make them bump in to a stranger— literally! Does your character spit a curse under his or her breath because the other person was too stupid to look where they were walking? Does your character apologizes over and over until the other person assures them that it is no big deal? This para works especially well if their is no set connections for your character in the roleplay. Since you cannot show them interacting with other playable characters, it is a good way to exhibit their social mannerisms with the use of non-playable-characters.
Life Of The Party
What is your character like at parties? Is he or she a ball of fire on the dance floor or the buzz-kill who phones the cops and busts everyone for underage drinking? Is it the place where they can finally let go, or are they more self conscious than ever? The way in which your character reacts to a party situation can tell a lot about them. You can discover what your character is like when they finally yet the stress go for a night. Or you can do the opposite and have them even more anxious during what is supposed to be a fun event. You can also use this para to explore your character’s relationship with other characters. Maybe your character is the only one who is able to drag her quieter friend on to the dance floor; or maybe your character is too embarrassed to dance while her brother is watching. There are many possibilities that you can utilize for this.
Something happened— something big. A car accident, or a fire, or even something as common as a fight. And your character is their, watching as an onlooker who has no ties to the event. Do they try to get involved and make sure everybody gets out uninjured? Or maybe they just watch, in a state of shock, this being the first cruel event they had ever witnessed in their innocent life. This idea can help show how your character reacts to the world, as well as how he or she acts in the face of a major situation. In roleplay, big plots are not rare, so more likely than not, a similar event may happen during the game.
For a lot of people, a birthday or any major holiday, for that matter, can be a big day for them. It’s a day to remember. Try writing a para of the morning of your character’s birthday. What do they expect as they wake up? Do they expect to be showered with gifts? Do they only hope that it would be better than last year’s? On the other hand, you can write a para that takes place at the night of your character’s birthday, as they are winding down and getting ready to sleep. Did the day live up to their expectations? Were they surprised at how many people showed up for the party, since they had always thought that they were unpopular? Maybe they are a little bummed because that special someone forgot what the day was, or perhaps they didn’t expect anyone to care about the day anyways. With this para, you can explore how your character views them self, and how they believe that other people view them. You can even include their hopes for the next year, and how they wish to make this year superior to the last. There are a lot of possibilities and different places you can go with this idea.