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 How to Create the (im)Perfect Character

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Join date : 2011-07-16
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PostSubject: How to Create the (im)Perfect Character   Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:40 am

Hello there, and welcome to this explanatory guide to creating the imperfect character. Yes, you heard me right! Imperfect! You see, everyone wants their character to succeed. It's natural. People just like it when things go their way. Traps are set correctly, fights are fought magnificently, and romances are easy as can be. The character is perfect, in every way, shape and form. You are the best creator ever, because you carved out this marvelous work of-
Unoriginality.

You read that correctly. Unoriginality. You see, everyone wants perfection. Thus, it's just the same as someone else. People are more likely to look at a character, bruised and battered, limping down the street, grim but successful, rather than a victorious hero glowing with pride and awesomeness. The reason is simple. They worked to get their character that way. They had to really think on how the character acts, the different thoughts and motives, rather than just pulling the ideas off someone else. Today, I'm going to teach you how to make your character perfect, in a little bit of a different fashion.

First things first: looks. Everyone loves the willowy girl with long flowing hair, dewy eyes, and perfectly tanned skin. She-cats delight in the muscled tom with silky fur, sleek whiskers, and razor sharp claws. Thing is, it's unnecessary. In roleplays, people aren't looking for how your character looks; they're looking for actions. It doesn't matter how your character looks, because no one will pay attention to you if you don't have anything intelligent to say other than, "I am beautiful; love me." It's okay to make your character pretty, or have extra long fangs, it's just your way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Don't overdo it though, because you want originality, not perfection. Actually, it's good to have your character a little plain, because then it shows you're not afraid to show your spirit of creativity, using the personality as a canvas. Now, that doesn't mean a Plain Jane with generic hair. Make it your own, but don't get too outlandish. Think of the real world, and what you see around you. Your character should be somewhere along those lines, with a little tweaks.

When you create a character, there is a reason why they act the way they do. There is a reason why they look the way they look. A reason behind whey they are in the roleplay in the first place! This is called a history. Sorry kids, back to school with you! Just kidding, this is serious business here. A lot of people fall into the trap of making their character separated from their family at birth, abused as a child, or orphaned. On the other side of the spectrum, they could have been raised by royalty only to be cast out, have the world available on a silver platter, or extremely well off in their world. Face it. Everyone's done it. You want a history that is unique. Perhaps they were raised in a good family, traveled with friends for a while, and then left to find adventure. Maybe they left home because they actually were of age. Make sure to make it not bland; elaborate. If you want a normal history, use bold descriptive words and good grammar structure to make people nod and say, "It's nice to see a change." Sometimes, it is good to have one of those dramatic histories. If you do venture down that path, be careful. Make extra sure that no one else in the roleplay used that history, and don't make it totally dire. Also, make the history match the personality. If your character has a dark, bad tempered personality, maybe they did grow up in a bad home. But maybe it was also their fault. If your character is carefree and happy, make sure that they came from a happy place, unless they are hiding inner badness. All I say is: be careful and good luck.

Let's talk about disabilities for a moment. Yup. Disabilities. Maybe you took my advice to heart. You decided to not make your character perfect, so you gave them something to hinder them. Perhaps they are lame in one leg, mute, or blind. You are walking on thin ice here, and it's up to your writing skills to fetch them off the frozen lake. Many people decide that since your character has a bad leg, the other characters must fawn over them, constantly bringing them news and support. Sorry folks, but unless your leg is up and running (you see what I just did there? running? I'll shut up now) you won't be in on the action. Make sure to make the hindrance realistic. If the leg is bad, make them slow in arriving, leaving, or fighting. If your character is mute, have fun with charades. Your character is not going to get his/her point across every single time. It adds to the fun, trying to figure out exactly what they're trying to say. Blindness is a tricky one, because you need to know what's going on. Your character somehow gains the magical ability to dodge attacks, follow people, and manage not to trip over things without a stick or helper dog. Don't do that. If you are blind, be blind. You can have excellent hearing to make up for it, but make sure to make your character reserved and collected, because blind people aren't the best at seeing a gun aimed at them or their enemy crouching in the bushes. Just saying.

Well, you've come this far. You want to make your character stand out. So you decide them to make the best of the best, give them the best power, give them everything. But that renowned singing voice? It shuns the other characters. You aren't allowing the other people get their input in. The best artists don't usually make too many friends, because they are too busy creating beautiful works of art that their creator expects attention from. The best fighter in the land is going to have a tough time finding opponents, because people don't want to fight a fight they don't have a chance at winning, because unfairness is not cool. The wolf with the power to control the actions of others is probably going to fail in a fight, because powerplaying (controlling the actions of others without resistance) is frowned upon in most roleplays. Place limits. Your character can be good, but they are not the best. There is always something better, something greater, and something more powerful. Make them strive for the top, but they are not the summit. If you want a good power, go ahead! But place limits. Perhaps your character gets a headache when they use it too much, or the power is useless when the others react too much. It is up to you to decide, to place your boundaries.

Don't get me wrong. Perfection is, on some occasions, the perfect solution. I myself have used some key elements of perfection in my own characters. But use only small nuggets to spice up your character, because if you unload it on all the same character, it looks silly. You may have come from an abused home, but perhaps you have fought your way through. You're shy and sad at times, but you are loyal. Perhaps you are the son of the pack leader. Be modest, and kind, but perhaps you have a temper when it comes down to it. Maybe at birth your paw was caught in a fox trap when you were hunting. You are very slow, but you can be counted on when it comes to matters of the mind. Heed my word, and strive for imperfection!


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