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Citizen Description Tips

[Disclaimer: I'm not bashing anyone's descriptions. If you love your citizen's desc, then by all means ignore my advice. This is simply just some things I've ran into that makes my little imagination engine sputter when trying to visualize other citizens. This is all light-hearted advice that I hope you enjoy reading.]

This is for anyone who's making a new citizen or simply wants to clean up their current citizen's desc. It will discuss five issues I've encountered when creating my own citizen's appearance, and advice on avoiding these problems with your citizen. Followed by a super duper secret formula for citizen descs.

1. Simplicity. The devil aint in the details, yo.

I know when I saw @nakeds for the first time, I felt compelled to fill up In most writing, and normal life, writers and humans describe others by identifiers. Scars, tumors, moles, tattoos, and large/tiny facial features. That means, if your character does not have lots of body identifiers, then the @nakeds should be mostly blank. This is great because, as writers, we want our character to be easily pictured in the readers imagination. Keep it simple, if your citizen's tall, then the reader can imagine their "long smooth arms" all by themselves. Unless you have short deformed arms on a tall citizen, it's just not needed. Collarbones too, if you don't have second head coming out of it or an identifier for it, leave the neck blank.

2. Actions. Stahp.

Please, if you put actions in your citizen's appearance, I hope you get Judo Chopped. Your citizen cannot have a confident swagger while sitting down. Fingers cannot be twitchy while griping onto the roof for dear life. Actions, in a citizen's appearance are contradicting, and it distracts the reader from visualizing your citizen. What if someone's looking at your citizen for the first time while they're sleeping? There should be no actions in the appearance at all. Hell, if it's an identifier for your citizen then please make a @Macro for it and a couple variations of it to keep it fresh. Nuff said.

3. Recycling.

If you still have the urge to describe your biceps,collarbones, and pale smooth neck even with no identifiers on them, please put it in Emote/Spoof/Pose form. I would rather be forced into reading the flexing of your big ol' muscles as you slam my head into the wall, than be bombarded by muscle descriptions, we know he's a beefcake when you put "he's a buff dude" in the beginning of your desc.

4. Tailors and You.

If you have a sexual citizen (I aint judging, sluts.), they can display their best assets with clothing. Now, if your'e a stripper and your tits are so big your nickname's "Double D Debby", then that's a body shape identifier that can be in your @describe me. Muscle packed citizens can use clothing to describe shirt ripping muscle too. Clothing is part of the citizen desc sandwich, may as well use it to your advantage.

5. Keep it Caz.

The tone used when describing your citizen should be casual, as if trying to describe them to a friend. Not like a dictionary robot or Shakespeare. Chillax a bit on the eloquently dainty long bridged nose, small cute nose will do just fine for our tiny imagination engines. Try comparing features to other things, like lizard lips and tiny hippo ears.

6. Secret Formula.

@describe me should be the best part of the citizen sandwich, the readers should be able to visualize 90% of your citizen. It should have a guesstimated height and age (Don't be specific with these two, it's casual.). Followed by skin tone, body shape, and the last identifier being hair. Why you ask? Well in this order, it's a natural flowing description, as the @naked Head can have the main face identifiers in it, brows, nose, and lips. The chin, cheekbones, and forehead isn't relevant unless it's an identifier. This secret (is actually common sense) I've shared with you is so it can help others visualize your special snowflake easily.

I hope these tidbits will help you and your citizens enjoy the neurotic playground that is Withmore City together.

*logs in and erases stupid collarbone desc*

Me like this. Did this come up from the OOC-Chat conversation we had a few nights ago? Because according to this, I for srs need to go clean up my description some, too.
Think it's someone saying their way is best.
Just my own small idea about how to display your appearance, but my biggest peeve? When I look at someone, and they have an absolutely MASSIVE basic description. Not a huge @nakeds, make those as long as you want, I sure don't care. But your @describe me as, at least in my opinion, should be pretty short. Height, build, age, skin tone, and quickly identifiable features. If you passed me in the street, what would you see, not everything about yourself.
Think it's someone saying their way is best.

I don't know about that. I think there are some universally-agreeable points here.


Don't put actions in your static descriptions. Rolelay/pose/emote your character's actions. Your character isn't performing those actions at every possible second.

Don't use your description or @nakeds or @look_place to tell people how they feel when seeing/looking at your character. Describe the cues which might lead them to those feelings, but don't tell them how to feel.

Related to the above: The word 'you' has no place whatsoever in any of those (descriptions, nakeds, poses, emotes).

And finally two pro tips:

One -

Eight out of ten immigrants put this word-for-word phrase into their @description: "His/her most notable feature is his/her <optional-adjective> eyes." It's a cliche. Be original.

Two -

Do type 'look me' and read your own complete description and nakeds. I swear there are people who have no idea what they've typed running around out there, because if they had typed 'look me', they would have corrected some of the blatant horrors spelled therein.

@Napoleon, I hardly use @ooc, but I'm glad people are discussing descriptions. :)

@Navi, It's all advice I wanted to share with a humorous tone, I can see how it can be read as 'this way is best' though. I simply felt compelled to inspire better role play by reminding us not to rely on the desc. to carry all the weight.

@curt5, Yes, it should be short and to the point so we have a basic idea of shape,color,age, ect. If it's overloaded, I personally skim through it to the point where I just picture the @shortdesc, which I think cheats everyone. This is why I felt the need to mention these things, so we can just take a second look and cut it down to the good stuff, lose the fluff.

@bean_dip, Thanks for those extras. :) I have seen a few citz with typos. And I have personally used that cliche too.

Not sure what the deal with being 'concise' is. Many characters last months or years. Even if their desc looks -huge-, you've got a -long- time to take all of it in. There's no reason you would have to memorize the whole thing.There is no reason someone has to describe every little detail, or even very much of their character at all. There's no reason for them -not- to either, if they want to.

If reading a couple of longer paragraphs is a challenge for you, you might want to consider something less difficult like watching television.

@Stygian, I like to find identifiers easily so I can act accordingly off what they look like.

Now if I'm to talking to multiple people with long descriptions (a common bar-tending situation), my screen gets clogged up with conversation, emotes, ads/TV, holograms ect. so I'm looking at the same citizens multiple times, missing out on role play and responding to others far too late, to which I erase whatever I was going to type to the citizen.

(yes, I know 'pause screen' solves this problem, but the opportunity is gone till next time I see them, which in cruel Withmore, may not happen.)

Now if I follow my own advice from my RP post and make pre-written responses to ugly ass citizens and real purdy ones, I can avoid the lateness, but this does not help with the screen clog.

Most authors/writers/humans do not describe every little detail when it comes to characters/humans, just identifiable features. Identifiers can be longer than Dante's Purgatory for all I care, but if it's sexy collarbones, it's not necessary.

My writing skills are poor, You can tell this by my shitty examples and my shitty role play post. But it's a muscle that needs only practice. :) My reading skillz are hella excellent though.

Tip: You can also use the Glance command instead of Look. Then you get less to read.

Also, describing each side and each eye individually seems to be not needed. I suggest you describe your eyes, arms, etc using one side. Then injuries, marks, etc when they come up can be used on the other side.

This way it cuts down on the amount to read while still giving the description.

@naked left eye is His eyes are a deep, dark brown (additional prominent feature if there). (Then Possible makeup description)

@naked left /right eye is Her eyes are a light green and (possible makeup description here).

Your basic look in the @describe me is a good idea. I've encountered several people where they did not have their hair color in either their description or they're nakeds.

If in nakeds instead of @describe me, that's fine. How many people really get a good look at hair color and length and style of people they pass?

Looking back at this post now, and it sucks. So here's the quick 'n dirty version of it.

(Character identifiers = sprinkles)

1. Details: Don't use brain juice on non sprinkley bits. You can make more sprinkles later, through RP.

2. Actions: contradicting in descriptions, but it's understandable to see them, because you see it as a sprinkle. Try and macro it instead.

3 & 4. Recycling: Keep the sexy bits/sprinkles basic and make detailing macros/e.s.p. Even better if some trigger by undressing. (Perfect for strippers and moosexrz)

5. Caz: Avoid too many 3 syllable words per sentence. Treat them as surprises, too many, and the effect is gone. Bonus points if you try to make it themely. (Ex: The polluted skies of the Mix match his brown eyes.)

6. Formula: Still the same here, but I will add that booty descriptions fit better in the groin nakeds than the back nakeds.

Extra tip. Pronouns at the start of every sentence = chore reading. Try and avoid this by rearranging the words as best you can.