look at us, we're so nice and considerate
If you're a new member, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by our size or how long we've been around. We realize that it's pretty daunting for a person to join a board that's been around for seven years and to integrate themselves into the community, so the admins have put together this nifty little guide to make things easier on you.
What should I do before making my character?
The first thing you should do is have a look at the MUST READS forum. The RULES and MEMBER GROUPS are mandatory, so make sure you're familiar with those before you register, but it's also a good idea to check out the TOWN GUIDE and FAQ so you can get a better idea of what kind of site we are and what kind of town Ashwick Valley is.
If you're worried about getting plots, consider joining a family request. That way you'll have some built-in plots from the jump. If you can't find a request to your liking, that's fine! Maybe try asking around to see if anybody has characters for whom they want/need relatives. Just because people don't put up a request doesn't mean someone doesn't need or want a cousin or uncle or even a more immediate relative. Don't be shy, because you'll never know if you don't ask!
After you've decided who you'll be making, just register your character's first and last name in ALL CAPS and post your app in the PENDING forum. If it's not finished, just slap a [WIP] in the title and tag it with a [C] when you're ready to have it reviewed.
What should I know before writing my app?
Not much. Other than the 1,000 minimum word count and the fact that we require two admins to give the green light before anyone is officially accepted, we don't have a ton of requirements as far as the application process goes.
As long as we have a solid idea of your character by the time we're finished reading it, we will most likely accept you. History and personality are important, but since it's freestyle, you can do it in any format you want. As long as you don't completely butcher our code, go nuts.
Please make sure you proofread your app before you submit it. A few typos are understandable but if it's riddled with typos, bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and factual errors, we're going to assume you rushed through it and we'll ask you to look it over before we review it.
How do I get plots?
Post a shipper and post in other people's shippers, AND/OR take advantage of the plotting and requests channels in our Discord server. Those are hands down the quickest and easiest ways to get plots around here, and nobody is gonna feel bad for you if you don't have any plots but you've never posted in a shipper or joined our Discord server. It doesn't matter if your plotter sits there for a few days with 0 replies; if you show initiative, people will respond to that.
Beyond that, just make yourself known. Chat in the Cbox and on Discord, take (and make) open threads, post in the OOC, PM members and pitch ideas (we're a friendly and open minded bunch, promise!), get IM handles and make some friends. If you can prove to everybody that you're invested in the site (i.e. you're going to stick around), people will in turn invest in you. Don't be shy. Put the effort in and it'll be worth it.
If you have a character that needs a little extra help getting some traction, try posting in our PLOTTING 911 thread.
How do I get my requests taken?
For starters, make sure you bump them regularly. You don't have to do it every three days, but two or three times a month will at least let people know that you're still interested in the plot. If you haven't bumped your request in two or more months, it's possible that someone who would otherwise be interested thinks that you're no longer interested because you stopped bumping it. You gotta show people that you actually want the plot!
Make them as simple and easy to navigate as possible. Obviously add in all the necessary information (or at least links to the necessary information, or your contact info so people can ask you about the necessary information), but don't go overboard. Nobody wants to read a novel just to see if they're even interested in taking the ad to begin with. Keep it concise and easy to read.
Be flexible! Leave those "non-negotiable" faces back in 2012 where they belong. Nobody's saying you can't strongly suggest a face, but you might very well be missing out on a great plot just because you refuse to compromise on a face claim. The same goes for everything else (name, job, member group, etc.), depending on what kind of plot it is. You gotta be flexible and seriously listen to people's ideas. After all, once somebody takes the ad, it becomes their plot too. That's the entire point of RP, after all~
Make it pretty. Unfortunately we RP in a world where appearances are important, so it's worth taking a couple minutes to make your request look decent. You don't have to spend hours coding a template, of course - there are hundreds of premade codes out there, or you could even just justify the text and call it a day - but it really does make a difference.
Prove you're active. Most people take activity into consideration when they're deciding whether or not to join a request, so if you don't ever post, it could be affecting your chances of getting that request taken.
Finally, consider advertising on sites like Caution, Shine, AllThingsRoleplay, et cetera. Not only does it get the word about your request out there, but it's also free advertising for the site itself!