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How to create a character No. #10046721 [The Three Golden Rules]

Caffeine Freak

forever thirsty
'Sure are a lot of people making character tutorials - but they're all wrong because they're not this one.

Actually, it's because a lot of them are too specific or 'biased' because of the author's personal interests. Hopefully in this tutorial, I can show you a more vague and general plan that lets you work your own magic on your own characters while still teaching you a thing or two about giving them some pizazz.

I'm not claiming that this tutorial is some god ascending mega-tutorial that surpasses all character creation tutorials before it and should be heeded and worshiped by every member of RP Nation. It's just a few words of advice you may consider worth following - three golden rules in whichever genre or situation:

1) Read other CSs before you write your own.
You don't have to sit there with a pen and pencil and analyze every single thing that another author mentions, but keep an eye out for any character tropes that have already been written onto a role. If there's five shy, reserved but determined characters before yours, writing up a shy, reserved but determined character isn't going to help your case in making a striking character.

2) Decide on a theme.
Coming up with a theme is your job, there's no set 'good' or 'bad' themes if you have the right flair in your writing. Ideally your theme shouldn't overlap too much with others as mentioned in the above step, but details about your character work better if they are justifiable by your theme. Let's say your theme is a 'smooth criminal', a fitting trait would be lock-picking, because thieves are generally good at stealing things. A moderately fitting trait would be martial arts training or sword wielding, it still works, but it takes a little more detail and explanation on your part - particularly in the backstory area. A difficult trait would be mind control, explaining its link to your character's theme beyond "they have special powers" takes some creativity balls.

Personalities and (but mainly) traits 'Revealed in da RP' are a problem. Not only does it blur the lines between what your character would normally be associated with, it's the first step in creating a Mary Sue. If anything, it just leaves an overall 'Meh' impression on your CS. For this reason, you may consider sticking to a preconceived character theme.

3) Consider symbolism rather than explicit description.
Ever had a hard time coming up with a name for your character? Let me draw you some inspiration. The protagonist of the game Life is Strange, Maxine Caulfield, prefers to be called 'Max' rather than 'Maxine'. What's the big deal? You may ask, but consider this: The name 'Maxine' means "greatest" and "noble". By shortening her name and resenting this meaning, it says a lot about her character in terms of who she'd like to be compared to who she's intended to be. By adding that one small detail to her character, you know something about her personality by only being told her name.


That's it! Just three simple rules (and chunky paragraphs) worth keeping in mind if you plan to make an interesting character. If you disagree with anything I've stated then make your own damn tutorial leave a comment of what you think makes a fundamental character!

T L ; D R : G E T . G U D .

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