I don't believe anyone was trying to be dictatorial. The guidelines Erin gave were merely meant as guidelines. Maybe her presentation seemed a little offensive, but we know she likes to make "official" posts like that, and, well, it had to get out somehow. She is our Hermione/McGonagall, after all. I respect that she took the initiative to make the post, even if the results weren't so nice-- and I'm sorry that any feelings were hurt.
As for the protocol for RP posting, I came up with the format, which is based off that of other RP communities I've seen. So, please, blame ME if there's a problem with the format, instead of each other. Maybe it's deeper than that, but, if it's about protocol, it is really all my fault.
There are only three actual guidelines, which have been around since Day One, listed on the infopage.
1) Post diary entries in YOUR CHARACTER'S journal. These should be in FIRST-PERSON narrative form. Today was terrible. I sat next to Bob in class. I can't believe he smells so bad. Anything you do not want the other characters to read should be placed behind an lj-cut, labelled </i>Private</i>. If you want to send an owl, place it behind an lj-cut, labelled Owl to Bob (or whoever it is you are sending it to).
These are responded to with FIRST-PERSON comments. Obviously, comments can not be made to private posts, but return owls can be "mailed" via comments.
2) Post action entries in the Secret Chamber community. These should be in THIRD-PERSON narrative form. Bob walked into the room. He knew everyone thought he smelled bad, but he didn't care. They do not need stars around them or anything, but if you like stars, go ahead and use them. Speaking or thinking in fragments is perfectly fine; after all, we all think and speak like that at one time or another.
These are responded to with THIRD-PERSON comments. They show actions and dialogue. Action is simply WRITTEN, thoughts are ITALICIZED, and dialogue is in QUOTES. There is no need for stars, but, once again, if you like them, go ahead and use them. OOC posts within action posts, however, are best displayed between double parentheses or a smaller font-- or both.
3) Post out-of-character (OOC) posts in the the Secret OOC community. I don't care how the heck you post these . . . or comment to them, for that matter . . . though I WOULD prefer that we all be civil . . . but that's just because conflict makes me hyperventilate . ..
. . . and, no, I'm not being detailed because I think you're all morons. I'm being detailed because in 4th grade we had to do this retarded project describing in exact detail how to make a peanut butter sandwich, and, well, it's just become habit.
NO ONE IS EVER ALLOWED TO DICTATE A WRITING "STYLE," OBVIOUSLY. We are all writers here. I know just about all of us do some type of fictional writing on our own. We've all got egos about that, and we've all got our own distinct way of writing. There really is no way to dictate a "style," either . . . at least without being an utter Nazi . . . or my first grade teacher . . . but let's just be encouraging of how each other write.
It's not out of order to write compliment posts, either, such as in the OOC community, if you think someone's done a particularly good job. For instance, Minerva and Moody's posts have fantastic, and Rigel and Blair's last conversation made me feel glowy. If no one's embarrassed, I like to do that sort of thing . . . it makes the environment more positive . . . or something.
The thing is, most of you are doing this already. There are a couple instances of using netspeak *sits* "Oh, Bob, you smell bad!" *smacks Bob* but it REALLY doesn't matter if that continues to go on. We need people too badly, and you have a favorite form, we really can't stop you, because we love you too much to lose you over something as dumb as that.
Also, remember, these are just GUIDELINES!!! I am like the United Nations-- the non-Security Council part-- you see . . . I can give you recommendations of ways to do stuff, but I cannot enforce it worth a rat's ass. I love you all too much to kick you out.
As Christina said, it's about having fun; we can't let protocol get in the way of that. *Is Hufflepuff-y* LET'S ALL BE FRIENDS, GUYS!!! OUR CHARACTERS BITCH AT EACH OTHER ENOUGH!!! ^_^