Fleur's Guide to creating Neopets Characters
Neopets is world filled with creative possibilities. Strewn across it's already eccentric official characters, such as Queen Fyora or the malevolent Sloth, Neopets is a potential smorgasbord for user-created Neopet characters and storylines. Whether it be dark, macabre demons and witches, or enchantingly captivating knights and princesses; the characters that exist within Neopia's borders are arguably one of the larger reasons the site remains so popular.
This article will act as a simple guide through the processes of Neopet character creating in Neopia. Obviously characters are born in many creative ways, but this article will give you the stepping stones to beginning your character and some things you should consider when developing personalities, personal attributes and potential storylines.
1. Profiling your character..
Profiling a character is one of the basic steps of creating a character. This begins by mapping out your character's basic statistics, which will serve both as the skeleton for your character development as well as a guide for when you begin to flesh out any storylines in the future. Character statistics start off by looking something like this:
Name: Names draw you in initially to a character. They are the first impression, so they should use this to their advantage!
Species: With all the Neopet's species, you have a wonderful choice of species! And when character creating in Neopia, Neopet Species can be used as a guide for you to enhance and change!
Likes: Their interests humanize them. They make them more relatable, and therefore more stimulating and enjoyable to read about.
Dislikes: Dislikes are equally as important. What a character dislikes gives readers more insight into who they are, and are thus more relatable and likeable.
Strengths/Weaknesses: A Neopet character's weakness also makes them relatable and more enjoyable. Characters with all strengths, no weakness tend to be considered bland and boring - all powerful and cliché. Likewise, characters with no strengths and all weakness can be perceived as overly dull and depressing to read, and are less likely to be relatable. Unless a character intentionally highlights a specific strength or weakness as part of a plot, well-rounded characters with both tend to be more popular.
This is a very basic beginning, but as you continue to develop your character, this section will only get larger. Once you begin to consider aspects such as likes and dislikes, you can develop them into larger personality quirks. Characters with discernible personality traits often come across as strong, whole and more balanced.
2. Physical Characteristics..
Your Neopet characters physical appearance is very important to their profile. This isn't to say they need to be pretty, tough or scary looking to be good characters, but they should have their own visual identity. All great characters are able to be easily visualized by audiences - it's what makes them feel real and tangible. A character that you just can't get a grasp of can come across as bland, confusing and even boring. You should consider what physically distinguishes your character from others, besides their personality. Do you have a rugged knight with a debilitating limp from a magic curse? Or a fierce empress with a scar across her face from battling a traitor? Finding these quirks will work as strengths to a character. Physical Characteristics can then be added to your already existing profile statistics. They may look something like this:
Age: Young, old, immortal?
Height and Weight: Tall and lanky?
Eye Color: Stormy Grey, or Forest Green?
Hair Colour: Burning Red, perhaps Ocean Blue!
Distinguishing Features: A sweet, round face - or maybe a sly, toothy grin!
Mannerisms: Rigid when talking, uses lots of hand expressions, socially inept so relies on over exaggerated expressions to feel connected in socialization..
Clothing: Sticks to bland, muted colours? Or draws attention with great, glittery gowns?
A good plan when developing the physical appearance of your Neopet's character is to draw them. If you can't draw, find a friend who can - or advertise on the Art Boards! There is a plethora of talents artists who will happily help you out. You can then play with designs, develop different looks and styles and create some foundation in how your character looks and therefore interacts with the world.
Your Neopet's personality is the next important thing you should consider. This is where you delve deeper into who your Neopet is. What is your Neopet best known for? Do they have a catch phrase, or say specific things unique to them? If you're having trouble thinking about this, consider the people you know in real life. We all have special personalities! And as the famous quote goes, "truth is stranger than fiction,"! This is often true, so taking inspiration from real things is a great idea if you feel stifled.
Personality also gives your Neopets character life. A character that hates orange juice, loves mismatched socks and twirls her fingers in her hair when she's nervous is far more interesting than a character who is indifferent to everything. Consider this when developing your character. Continue mapping out traits and aspects of their personality to develop them more fully. Consider..
Self-Esteem: Confident or Timid?
Temperament: Gets angry easily, or is patient?
Ethics and Morals: Kind to poorer Neofolk? Or snobby and cruel?
Driving Emotion: What is the driving emotion in your character's life? Are they rules by fear, anger, or perhaps joy?
Life Conflict/s: What are your Neopet's conflicts, and how do they approach them?
Attitude to Others: How does your character see others? How do they approach their relationships?
Personal Goals: What are your Neopet's aspirations and personal goals? Everyone has goals, even if they are subconscious. Every character does things for a reason, explore what your pet's are!
Fatal Flaw/s: What are the fatal weaknesses to your character? What would make your character unravel? I know it's difficult to see your character struggle sometimes, but every good character must experience some kind of growth. Character arcs are extremely important.
4. Placing them in a world..
Your character can't just exist in your mind! They need somewhere to dwell, live and explore. How your character interacts with their world is an equally important aspect to their development. Some characters feel isolated and disconnected from their worlds, which affects both their personalities as well as their interactions with their surroundings and the other characters they may encounter. Other characters connect very closely with their worlds, which affects not only them but their environments as well. A Nature spirit, for example, will perceive and approach their world a lot differently than a soul-eating Monster or a reclusive introvert.
Whether you wish to place them directly somewhere in Neopia, or a world of your own creation, knowing your world and how your character perceives this world will inevitably effect their development. I advise you research or flesh out as much as possible about this world as you can. Once you're comfortable with world-building, you can start to consider creating multiple worlds! World-building is every bit as important as character building to a character, but since this article only focuses on character creation, I will attempt to keep this brief.
All characters are inevitably connected to their world, in one way or other. This connection doesn't have to be positive (it can be negative too!), and their world doesn't need to be a literal world either. If your character is a Dream Spirit, they may be connected to a realm of the unconscious, or a Nightmare Sphere. You can be as creative or inventive with your character's world as you like!
5. Neopian Characters..
The great thing about Neopia is it's pre-existent world and characters. They give you a wonderful foundation and starting point when designing your own characters within your own pets. Within Neopia, you can visit the Neopedia to research all of the known facts about Neopia and the creatures that reside within it. From the mystical Faeries and their Queen Fyora, to Captain Scarblade - the Neopedia offers you a detailed insight into all the Neopets information you could want. Users can even send in suggestions! The Neopedia includes information about all of Neopia's inhabitants, with users being able to search up individual Neopets Species to make research that bit easier!
And voila! If you followed all these steps, you have the beginnings of what could be a fantastic character! Congratulations!
A character is a fantastic creative expression, and they can bring life to Neopets and the users who tell their stories. This article only highlights the beginning in character creating! You can always go that step further when it comes to developing a pet's character, and you have no limit!
I hope you enjoyed this article, and good luck!