Gif Conversations; A guide
Because there is a lack of proper etiquette for this sort of thing.
Gif conversations, while as much apart of tumblr roleplay nowadays as writing and paras itself, are treated carelessly. Such conversations are a means to an end [that being, creating a successful character], and should by no means be used inaccurately. They are there to help your characters develop connections, develop plot lines, and really, they’re there for snap character development.
That being said, let us begin.
Rule Number 1: No One-Liners
While writing one liners may be appropriate in introductions and all, as you begin to first know another’s character and don’t have much to discuss on, writing more during a gif conversation as you go on is a must. Why do I say this? Simply because, the basic, “Hi, how are you today?” And the expected response, “Fine, just feeling a bit tired. How are you?” doesn’t cut it. As a text heavy person, I’ve found these type of conversations that occur, and on a regular basis extremely annoying. Remember that conversations do not simply revolve around this failure of an ice-breaker [yes, its a failure, it’s not creative in the least]; instead, try to lengthen your conversations by two sentences. Then, the next time around, three sentences. Then four, then five. Really, it depends on the topic, but with a little bit of effort and practice, it’s not hard to really get some bulk going, and interesting conversation taking place.
Now, why do I recommend this? Simply because, without doing that, you are wasting time and energy on your character. Your character will never develop or move forward in time if they can’t interact with the others properly. Me personally, I’ve had a bit of struggle increasing my conversations initially from a one-liner, I didn’t know how to do it. I simply wanted to respond to what was given to me to work with, not go off on tangents. Now, I can write 3 paragraphs or more in a gif conversation alone, and that has led my character to be more well-rounded in his views on life. That being said, do remember, going off on tangents as related to the subject on hand is good. As long as it makes sense to the topic at hand.
Rule Number 2: Refrain from using Actions
The title is self-explanatory but I will divulge anyway. When gif convo-ing, refrain from implementing any type of action your character does be it between hyphens, such as “-laughs and ruffles her hair-” or between astericks. Why should you not do this? Because that defeats the purpose of the entire gif convo. The reason a gif is used is to eliminate that type of roleplay, and instead have the action portrayed visually with the most appropriate gif possible to your character’s conversation. If you wish for your character to engage in this type of “rapid action” taking place, there are places to do so, such as chatzy or AIM. Lengthier ones should be taken into paras. But, most of all, they should not be taken on the dash when using gifs. There is a reason it’s called a “conversation”; treat it as such.
Rule Number 3: Cut it Down
Most RPG’s tend to specify this rule within their own rules, but I don’t see no reason why I can’t, here. Gif convos, are the main thing that can spam up a dash rapidly, forcing members to scroll through tons of them before they arrive at a point where they left off. However, proper etiquette so that the amount of scroll time is reduced, is to cut them down. Your conversation should only be your partner’s response, and your reply. Exceptions to this rule would be if you have a three-way, or even four-way conversation occurring.
Rule Number 4: Reblog as Text Post
I can’t tell you how much this irks me when I see it reblogged as a “link” on the dash. All roleplayers should be aware of how to reblog a gif conversation properly, and how to do is specified here.
Rule Number 5: Use the Appropriate Gif
While this should not have to be outlined, and while I do understand there are, to some FCs, a limited number of Gifs available, at least have the courtesy of using the appropriate one. If your character is in the midst of anger, use a gif similar to that expression. It does not matter [for those who have underused face claims] if you reuse your gifs constantly. The most successful gif conversations do not actually revolve around the gif used, and instead on the conversation itself. I’ve found this to be the case within my own RPG, as many of our RPers use underused face claims, and despite how many times they recycle through the same 10 gifs, I myself barely notice because I am so engrossed in the conversation itself. Let me state that this is how a gif conversation should be, one where the gif comes secondary to what your character says or does.
Rule Number 6: Use Gifs of your FC only
I know this rule seems ridiculous in its own right, but when on a roleplay account, take care to use gifs of your face claim only. If, say, cats are being discussed, don’t suddenly pull up a gif of a cat and paste it into the conversation. That is not appropriate, and has nothing to do with your character as far as gifs go. Again, the gif is simply there to enforce the emotion your character feels. It should not be the primary focus of the conversation.
Overall? I believe I’ve stated myself quite clearly. I can’t seem to come up with anything else pertinent to gif conversations at the moment, but I do wish to just remind you all that these type of interactions are here for your characters benefit, not to look “pretty” on the dash.