Take a seat, lovelies, it’s time to talk about starters.
I know we’ve made multiple announcements about making a rule for yourself to respond to three before you post your own, trying to get out of your comfort zone, following the right starters and such, but this post is a bit different. Today, we’re going to talk about starters.
There are three basic types of starters. A lot of people like to separate them into two groups, but I think of them a little differently…
1. The Catalyst: In this sort of starter, your character is making the first move. Your character takes the initiative to do or say something in an interaction to cause another character react.
- "Get out of my way."
- He ran into her. “Excuse me, I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
- "Hey girl, if you were a transformer, you’d be optimus fiiiiiiiine."
2. The Reaction: You character is responding to something that happened prior to the starter, something that the audience/readers do not know. These can be interesting as they give those who reply the opportunity to be creative in setting the scene.
- "Wait… what did you just say to me?"
- "Oh yeah, like I’m going to fall for that."
- "Hey! What gives?"
3. The Passive: You character is doing something in their environment that may not specifically provoke anyone. The characters that reply to these starters are often making observations or initiating contact with your character.
- "♪I like big butts and I cannot lie…" (Or any other lyric starter)
- She sat alone in the park, doodling in her sketch pad. When she heard a rustle in the bushes. (Or anything that is primarily a description of a setting or action by your character with which no one else is involved.)
- [insert wordless starter here]
If you find yourself having difficult with getting people to reply to your starters, try switching it up a bit! Try something new and see how it works for you. Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself when posting a starter.
- Would I reply to this starter?
- Can this situation occur in a place that more than one or two people might be?
- Am I setting up a situation in which only a few people might find themselves?
- Am I giving them something to reply to?
Want to make your starter a bit more interesting or add a bit of length to it? Try these starter enhancers I borrowed from fuckyeahroleplayadvice (for elaboration click here)
- Introduce the environment
- Introduce your character… but not every single detail.
- Play on the five senses
- Make things interactive
- Introduce the plot, even if it’s subtle