How to: Create an interesting and relevant GIF/Dash chat starter
We all know that conversation does not start without a starter, and people seem to spend countless lengths of time trying to figuring out the right or most relevant thing to say to garner conversation. My biggest pet peeve in the world is seeing starters like “What’s up guys?” or “Hey everyone.” While they do get you on the dash, and are better than not posting anything at all, those sorts of conversations ultimately lead to general conversations that are painfully dry. Here are some quick tips that may help you to post interesting and different starters, that open up the most plot opportunities for you.
1. Headcanon headcanon headcanon. Not everyone in the game knows your character, but you do. Think about what your character does on a day to day basis. If it helps, every time you long on to the dash, in your head, ask yourself what your character has been doing since the last time you were online. Were they sleeping? Were they reading a book? Taking a walk? Maybe they had a cold if they were gone for a long period of time. Considering what your character does on a day to day basis, and making a starter based on what they’ve been doing while they’re gone, will not only give you room for conversation, but gives your character development and tells other players what sort of stuff they do when they’re not around.
So that being said, let’s start with this “Well, I accidently slept for way too many hours last night.”
That tells other players in the game what your character was doing in their absence, and allows for them to say things in response other than “what did you do last night?.” This sort of conversation could prove more interesting.
2. Give yourself something to solve. Present your character with a problem. If there’s some sort of confusion they’re having, something they need to find or fix, or something they don’t understand, that gives the conversation purpose and that troublehsooting will help give you something to talk about and may even lead to paras in the future or hell even a whole storyline if it goes right, however simple.
Now let’s try this: “Well, I accidently slept for way too many hours last night. I guess that’s what happens when you spend the whole day studying for Algebra that you still don’t understand.”
Now, not only is there a reason your character was sleeping, but there’s a problem. They can’t learn algebra. Maybe someone will offer to help them? Maybe someone will make fun of them and cause a conflict. Maybe someone will totally understand their pain and you’ll wind up with study buddies, or maybe someone will offer to get them some coffee or sugar to help the study process go better.
3. Don’t be a self centered sally. In all reality, that starter could be just fine as it is, but if you want to take it a step further, don’t just make a statement, address the whole room so to speak. Try adding something to the end of it that would give someone a reason to talk to you.
Something like this: “Well, I accidently slept for way too many hours last night. I guess that’s what happens when you spend the whole day studying for Algebra that you still don’t understand. Please tell me everyone else had a more productive morning than I did?”
Or: “Well, I accidently slept for way too many hours last night. I guess that’s what happens when you spend the whole day studying for Algebra that you still don’t understand. Does anyone know how to rig a math exam?”
Or: “Well, I accidently slept for way too many hours last night. I guess that’s what happens when you spend the whole day studying for Algebra that you still don’t understand. I’ll give a cookie and twenty dollars to the first person who can help.”
This is obviously a super generic situation but the method can be used in nearly any rp. You can also just use one or two of the steps. All three aren’t always required.
Here are a few other ideas to try as well:
- Mention a book or movie that your character has recently seen and what they think of it:
"So I finally managed to see Perks of Being a Wallflower. Definitely not all it’s cracked up to be." This opens up a lot of discussion, disagreement and other things.
- Mention something silly and fun that your character may be thinking about (this can be as ordinary or bizarre and is really fun if you have a quirky character). “Have you ever wondered why they call them ‘werewolves?’ Why not howwolves or whywolves?”
- Talk about something that is currently going on on your dashboard. If two characters are fighting and it’s a public conversation, state an opinion on it or a general statement about it, or have your character play the big distracting guy and throw in a “so how about star gazing folks” the effort can be seen as funny and help difuse the situation as well as bring out anyone that may be hiding in the midst of the drama.
I hope these tips helped! Always remember, however, that there is no such thing as a bad starter as long as you’re getting on the dash. As an admin myself, I’d rather see you post “I hate the color pink” then see you sit in the ooc, or stress and worry over what to post.
Also, as an added tip: If you don’t think a starter provided for that much conversation, try to add it in your replies. If a conversation appears to be getting bland, add an opinion, conflict, question, or statement that could help invoke more conversation. Talk talk talk and don’t be afraid to talk. Talking leads to plotting so dive in as feet first as you possibly can.