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 Character Making Tips!

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Rayne

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Join date : 2014-04-19

PostSubject: Character Making Tips!   Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:56 pm

Some people are having many problems making higher qualities apps. And I know that it can be hard. And I only learned when I started asking myself questions and read other apps, looking for details I could include. Here are some ideas and questions you might ask yourself when making a character.

Age:

Keep in mind a persons age. If you are a witch, sure you might be 226 years old, but for a meister, it’s just ridiculous. And avoid huge ages like 1,000 or 936. The higher your age, the longer the history you need to accommodate it. It also irks mods when they discover someone trying to be thousands of years old.

Weapon Form:

For Weapons, try to be very creative, without taking things far far beyond the realm of feasibility. And remember the rules. All weapons with multiple separate parts must always be connected somehow. But that connection need not be useless. Look how Black Star and Tsubaki use the chain for various purposes like ensnaring swords. Consider how a person would weild it. Yes a double ended scythe might look amazingly epic, but consider how you would swing it? The meister would cut their foot off the second they swung it. That amazing epic weapon just became useless. Consider how it would function in say, a hallway. That giant sword might be amazing, but in a smaller combat zone, it gets stuck in the wall and becomes a liability. But that doesn’t have to stifle creativity. There are thousands upon thousands of weapons out there, and in SE, the options are endless.


Appearance:

Describe how their eyes are a bright luminous green, or a duller world-weary brown. Tell us about the characters hair, about how it flows elegantly in light brown curls down to their mid back, or how the black hair is straight and only reaches the top of their neck. If you can’t thing of much to say, describe the style, or if it doesn’t have one. Perhaps tell of how it sticks up randomly and the character can’t tame it, or maybe describe any highlights. Then give us the characters body type. Is this a big bulky male or female, or are they thin yet toned, athletic and agile without being bulky. Perhaps they are not fit at all but only average, or, who knows, overweight. Throw in some important details about their height and perhaps weight. No specifics are really needed as to weight, a good round number like 140, 165, etc. works just fine. Describe any scars or other features. Be aware, most of this is purely optional, only the basics are truly needed. But adding more detail makes the application look better, and helps fill the paragraph. All we ask is that we can’t just summarize the character within one or two sentences. “She has brown eyes and brown hair, the latter going down to the shoulders, and is thin and agile.” Summarizing something in one sentence, albeit that was a compound sentence, just doesn’t give us much information. Above all else, never forget a height and body build/weight indicator. It’s annoying RPing with a char and you have no idea how tall they are or how heavy.

Give us some information about their clothing. This doesn’t need to be as long as the body information. But in general, give us something to go off of. Are they a traditionalist who favors colors typical of their race/calling, etc. Like a Meister wearing blacks and reds, the colors and whatnot seen in the Shibusen and whatnot. Remember that people who do much traveling can’t carry a suitcase full of clothes everywhere unless they pay for transportation and do very little if any walking. As such, usually there is not much diversity in terms of clothing from day to day. You might even have a favorite outfit they wear constantly that consists of various parts. We don’t need a big long paragraph, but preferably more than 3 lines on the subject.

Personality:

Everyone has a general personality. Put some thought into it! I will say this much, the worst thing you could do to likely annoy mods and some other members, is to be stereotypical and a blatant copycat. It galls mods to no end to read about the character that seeks to be a _ because they want power. In general, if I can sum up your character thusly, it will probably get on a lot of peoples nerves. “He/She is an severe narcissist who is quick to anger and wants power, in order to kill someone/something because something bad happened to him/her in her past.” Please, we see so many of these, and it gets annoying, to put it mildly. You want a arrogant angry character? Fine just give them depth. If I can summarize the entire character in a single or a pair of sentences it needs something else. Everyone has depth, you just need to think about it. Perhaps the reason they want power is to protect their sister, but lost it when that sister was injured or killed. Perhaps they have a soft spot for seeing a boy or girl with a younger sibling. All people have depth, all people have soft spots. They might be in denial, and they might hide it so well you would never guess, but all people have more than simple easily explained personalities. I could tell you how he/she has great bravado and is great at pretending to have confidence, but inside feels like a weak looser. Perhaps that tough exterior houses something gentle within, or maybe be unusual and creative, and have that soft gentle exterior house something hard and unyielding within. Another good tip is to avoid spending 2 paragraphs describing one thing. Now if you write up a 6 paragraph personality, with one paragraph being their likes, another their dislikes, perhaps the next being how they cope with anger and how quick to get mad they are, another detailing their loyalty, etc. etc. That is all well and good. But if you are doing a normal personality, don’t spend too long sticking to a single trait. That is what leads to characters with no depth, because the entire paragraph(s) describe how angry and cocky they are.

If you are having trouble thinking of things, have a moment of introspection. Any well made character is a part of who we are. I could probably go to any of my characters I put real work into and describe what they embody of me. But here are some questions just to throw them out there. Are they chatty and never shut up? Are the silent and brooding? Do they get mad super quick and carry grudges forever? Or perhaps they get mad instantly, and seemingly go from mad to happy instantly, with little actual grudges going on. Perhaps he/she is a softy with a thing for cute animals. Perhaps he/she is a nature lover who loves hiking. Or maybe they are the opposite, and tend to hate outdoorsy environments. Are they scared of heights, cramped spaces, snakes, spiders, lightning, the dark, in the end everyone fears something. Are they a kleptomaniac, impulsively stealing things they see. Perhaps they are suffering from OCD {Obsessive Compulsive Disorder} and they feel a powerful need to do everything 3 or 4 times. Maybe he/she is obsessively clean and tidy. Perhaps they are a cluttered person who pays no attention to cleanliness. Perhaps they don’t like to bathe and tend to be dirty.

History:

Here it comes, the part perhaps most people dread most of all, the history. But we need a good solid history none-the-less. This may vary with age. If you are a 16 year old out on your own for the first time, 2 nice at least 4 line paragraphs, or single big paragraph, is fine. But if you are a 50 year old, you need at least twice that, if not more, though that’s up to the mod’s discretion. However we do ask that you avoid something. Overly tragic histories are just disliked in general, and tend to earn peoples ire. If you watched your parents die, expect that to be even worse. If you brother killed them, you will probably be thought of as just another copycat or troll. Don’t go stealing a famous anime characters past, that’s a very big one. The one I referenced above was, of course, Sasuke. I mean, if there are major sad events in their life, then make it original at least, and avoid doing that AND making an arrogant selfish power hungry personality. Both of those together pretty much cause people to think you lack any originality. My advice is to spice things up in other ways. If you need a tragic family member death like the parents, be creative! Describe perhaps how your character tried to nurse them back to health as they died of some dire illness. Anyone can say “I watched my parents get murdered.” But few take the creative approach and make it unique and interesting. Perhaps describe how you were virtually raised by an elder sibling, or were moved in with your aunt. Don’t make it tragedy followed by tragedy, throw some good points in there, some fun memories. I could compare a history that is nothing but loss and tragedy to a bread sandwich, just 2 pieces of bread. Throw some fun little details like how their younger sister was better as a bender than they were, and she taught you what you know. Fun little details are the spice that makes your characters life interesting. I don’t want to read about something that has nothing but one emotion the whole way through, nor do I want to eat 2 pieces of bread stacked. Throw some meat and cheese on that sandwich and suddenly even if they have very sad memories, it feels creative and vibrant.

Abilities:

Abilities of weapons, witches, Kishin eggs, etc. can be amazing, but there are things you need to know. Firstly, if it shoots something, be sure to give how far the thing can go max. It might be as simple as “throwing distance” or it might be “20 meters” or something else. Consider how large it is. If throwing a fireball, how big is it’s diameter? (Remember D=2r / Diameter = 2/radius) Then we have how long the effect lasts, which can be an issue as well. Never just shoot a fireball or a big snowball, as any half decent mod will immediately ask for these things. Otherwise it gets really confusing. You shoot a 10 inch wide ice chunk, and they dodge by moving 8 inches? Who wins? You assume you, but because you left the ice chunk’s diameter out, your hit really doesn’t count because they didn’t know how big it was. (and in RL they would see the chunk, thus seeing how big it is.)
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