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 Post subject: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:35 pm 
Smelt Sire
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Hey guys! I came up with this idea earlier and I thought I'd jot down some stuff I've observed in my various writings. These are basically a few tips on when it comes to making unique characters for your story. Enjoy!

Stereotypes: You get what I mean. Big guys that are stupid, little guys that are smart, Antiheros, Ultimate Heroes, Smart-but-proud villains, etc..

What you can do with these:

Contrary to some popular belief, it's actually a good thing to include stereotypes in your stories. Albeit, they should have unique qualities to provide originality, but it's still good to put them in, however stereotypical they are. It makes the story more fun for the reader.

Protagonists: These probably take the most thought. For those of you that don't know, the Protagonist is the main character. Now, it depends on your writing style, but these characters should always have flaws. The more flaws they have, the more human they are. For Jaak, it's excessive vanity, a need to make it seem like he's awesome even when the repercussions can be serious, and women (I'll bring this bit up later). In other words, they should have as many weaknesses as strengths.

Sidekicks: Since these are optional, I won't go into great detail. One of the biggest originality mistakes most writers make is that they invent the sidekick to be younger and dumber, or younger and smarter. This isn't a bad thing, but it does get old. The sidekick should be pretty much equal to the protagonist in skill. This makes the story more interesting and original, in my opinion.

Females/Love Interests: These are a big part of the story, no matter what you think. The audience to which you are catering to (in the LEGO community in general) is any age from 13 to 47, and it's mostly boys/men. Thus, you have to pick carefully. The biggest mistake most amateur writers make (trust me, I've been here before) is that they make the females extremely and outrageously hot. Let me tell you now: This is NOT the way to make a good female character, or endear them to anybody. No matter how insanely physically attractive they are, it doesn't make a difference. What you should look for in a good, strong female character are the following qualities: Prettiness (not hotness, just prettiness), Smarts (make the girl smarter than the guy, this makes things REALLY interesting), I'm not sure how to put this one, but, something like a very purpose-driven/thought-guided personality, as well as some fun stuff such as a good sense of humour, tendencies to have bursts of anger, no-nonsense attitude, stuff like that, and last but not least, the ability to be easily written about in romantic scenes. Interpret that however you like, you probably get the idea anyway. Most important, however, and I know that you've probably all heard this a Brazilian times (haha), it's not the outside, but the inside that counts. I could go into so much more on the Heroines, but that would take a couple thousand words. :9

And last not but least, The Villains: There are so many stereotypical villains, you would not believe how hard this is to write about. But here goes. The Villain (or Villains) should be the following, although, as always, these are a few pointers on avoiding cheeziness/stereotypicality: Smart. Devilish smart. Ingeniously brilliant. However you like, they should be really, really smart. However, there is a catch. They shouldn't show it at first. It should be suttle. Make it seem like they're just another villain, then, out of nowhere, something insanely brilliant comes out and devastates everything. This adds a twist of suspense, but only if you do it right, and this takes practice. Make them humble, not gloating. Next, they shouldn't be a whole lot more powerful than the Hero(s), unless you're doing an awesome crack-shot, under-dog, down-and-dirty Antihero sort of story, in which case, the odds should be overwhelming. But that's verging on stereotypical, which is your enemy. Next, you should outline a lot of their personal lives. Their family (if they have one) their friends (if they have them) and their love interests. Yes, even Villains should have those. Finally, and the most important factor, is that you should stay as far away from the guy dressed in black-and-red and who has black hair, a moustache and laughs like this: "MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

I actually like to make them laugh a lot, but that's only if they're ridiculously insane (which I absolutely LOVE writing about).

Well, I hope this has been beneficial to you. Of course, these are all just a few tips on what to do, and what not to do when creating a character, so you do not have to follow them at all. Twist them, punch them up, butcher them, ignore them, follow them carefully, do whatever you wish with them, but always remember: Uniqueness is the key to an attention-grabbing character. Make them unique and you can't go wrong.

Cheers!
~Oreo

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:00 pm 
Crucible King
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Very interesting, Oreo! Danke vielmals for giving me these tips to use against you in the duel. ;D

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:58 am 
Smelt Sire
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Napoleon wrote:
Very interesting, Oreo! Danke vielmals for giving me these tips to use against you in the duel. ;D


*facepalm*

Why did I pick now, of all times.... :9

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:10 am 
Mould Mason
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Great information here! I think maybe... someday... I'll write up a short story and see what you guys think.

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:49 am 
Tong Novice
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This could also help when making minifigs. I always tend to make the villianesse(is that right?) super hot and the heroine/ love interest of the hero smart. I am trying not to make the villians really evil, but to have a cause that is bad. If you have read Dragons Of Summer Flame, part of the Dragon Lance Chronicles, the Knights of Takhisis are honorable, like the Knights of Solamnia. But the also serve the dark queen. I try to make villians like that and no the super evil destroy the worl types. Great Guide!

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:21 pm 
Crucible King
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Location: In your basement, under the floor boards... O.O
Another thing you want to avoid, is that if you have multiple protagonists in one story, don't make them feel all alike, especially don't make them all "cool dude hotshots." For instance, I had written a rough draft of The Western War a long time ago; it had multiple characters, protagonists, from different countries and backgrounds. One was a Deseretian, one was a Coloradan, and one was a Confederate. However, they were all youthful, showy, and verging on "Marlon Brando motorcycle punks." Make some of the protagonists not so cool, even slightly nerdy or geeky, make some of them be almost flops who build their skills as the story progresses instead of having them bash fifty people in the head in the first chapter. :9 Even make some of the characters old-timers, like that movie Red that came out a while back, which featured old granpa's as central characters.

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:24 pm 
Bellow Boss
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Oh hey, I've got an OC meme (original character quiz thingy) saved somewhere that I nicked off of DA; if I find it, I'll add it here, it's really useful for fleshing out your characters.

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 Post subject: Re: A Note On Character-Making
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:53 pm 
Mould Mason
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Great tutorial! I often find that I have hard time making a good character that is not too cliche, so this will help.

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