Do's and Don'ts
Mary (or Gary) Sue's are perfect characters. They have no weaknesses, no scars, no terrible childhoods. They are often rich, popular, and very pretty/handsome. They can do whatever they want to another person without fear of punishments.
- Be realistic about appearance. A perky blonde haired, blue eyed, perfect bodied cheerleader is so over done it's boarder lining a cliche. AVOID CLICHES! Come up with your own color schemes and stuff.
-Make a strong likable character. One you want to root for. A whiny spoiled brat is not likable.
(But of course if you're going for that sort of character, than by all means!)
-Get other people to critique your character as much as possible. Even if you think it's perfect you can always improve and make it into a reasonably likable person. The PC can be harsh but they are a wonderful tool to use.
-Make your character have this super sad/terrible childhood just to get sympathy. IF you actually need for the characters story to be sad, DON'T go overboard. A little sadness can go a long way.
-Make them invincible. Everyone has some kind of weakness and fears.
-Make them soooo rich and popular that everyone hates them. No one likes a mean girl.
-Please for the love of all things cybunny DO NOT make your character revolve around having a boyfriend/girlfriend. 1) It's against Neo rules and 2) It makes RPers and normal people dislike you.
-Also don't make your girl character a damsel in distress all the time. Make her grow a backbone and toughen up. Independence is an okay thing.
Avoiding a Cliché
First, what exactly is a cliché?
."A trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.".
I.E. A princess who has been locked in a tower, protected by a dragon, where only a knight/her true love can save her, and they live happily ever after!
Yes, it's a nice story, but it has been overused and overdone. But you're character IS a princess? Well that's fine! But remember to make a story your own; go against a typical princess story. Maybe she's not locked away. Maybe the dragon is her pet. Maybe SHE'S the witch, etc etc. Being inspired by a common character type is perfectly fine, but again, don't be afraid to make it your own, the more a character speaks to you and is invented by you, the more interesting it becomes!
What Makes a Well-Rounded Character?
1. Create characters that are memorable.
-Give them interesting characteristics, or unusual likes or reactions. Make them leave the reader thinking about them long after they are done reading. You also want to make them relatable to the reader, someone the audience can sympathize with.2. Create characters that are believable.
-A believable character is one that believably exists in its time. You wouldn't have a character that lives in 18th century England wearing jeans, purple hair and talking in a country accent. The character should follow the culture, such as talking in old English, if a woman, wearing a corset and large crinolines. In another example, a hundred pound girl cannot take down a ten foot giant. That doesn't work. It takes practice, but if you can make a relatable and a realistic character, then you have a pretty solid character.3. Create characters that are three-dimensional.a.
Purposes. What things does your character want in life? These can be long-term goals or present needs, and varying degrees of importance.b.
Methods. When faced with a problem, how does your character try to solve it? How do they act? What do they do?c.
Evaluations. How does your character judge things, people, situations, themself? How do they decide whether they are making progress towards their goals, or whether things are getting worse?
The back story is probably one of the most important parts of a character. It's what tells the reader how your character got to where they are now. It's from the past [as far back as you wish to go] to present day. It's what made your character who they are today! Depending on the type of character it can be funny and sweet or dark and mysterious. It should be a tool to help you bring your pet to life, and always ask yourself these questions: Who and What?Who?
- Who made your character like they are. Not meaning you [the writer] but the people important to your pet's character. People who in the story influenced your pet or inspired them.What?
-What made your character the way they are. Not a WHO by any means, but like a traumatic accident that made your pet become a cold or distant pet, for example.
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