Character Discussion Thread

/ By K [+Watch]

Replies: 349 / 5 years 32 days 21 hours 39 minutes 36 seconds

Welcome to the new Character Discussion Thread!

Please read the introduction before you post.

Q: What is the character Discussion thread?

This is a thread for you to talk about your characters, talk about other peoples' characters, and get a good idea of what you can do to improve your character. Or if you've just come up with someone you think is really cool and you just want to show them off, then this is the place for you. I have a few simple guidelines. I'm not going to strictly enforce these because I want this to be a casual environment

1. If you want help/critique for your character, then make sure you have something to say about someone else's character too.

In the old thread, a number of you would come here and flood the thread with your characters, while never contributing to the discussion. Please be considerate of others - if you get help in the thread, pass on the kindness and offer some help to someone else. Also, try and have a good attitude about it. Don't leave meaningless remarks like "he seems cool" to meet some quota. I'm just asking you to be considerate.

2. No Skeletons/Copypasta

Do not just copy-paste a character skeleton or an RP post, that's just lazy. Tell us about your character like we were in the room with you. A paragraph is fine, an essay is fine. Just make sure you've written it just for us.

3. OCs only.

This one's obvious. Please post only your own characters. If they're fanmade characters in an existing canon, that's fine. But please don't post about Naruto or Iron Man or whatever.

4. Your character is not a picture.

Do not ask for people to find you pictures. There are hundreds of threads for that, and this is not one of them. . Do not post a picture and say "is this character good". Frankly, if you didn't draw the art yourself, it's not really your character, and I will completely ignore pictures when offering critique. If you want picture edits, I am happy to point you this way:

+ P h o t o g r a p h +

5. Don't be a jerk.

Self-explanatory. If someone offers you criticism that you don't like, then either take it and move on or argue your point in a calm manner. Any name calling, insults or just general drama and I'll ask you to leave. Likewise, if someone's character isn't very good, go ahead and tell them that but offer some decent critique too. Don't just insult the other person.

Okay, I'm glad I got all that out of the way. If you disagree with my guidelines, you're welcome to PM me about it.

Q: I'm new! What should I post in here?

Well, you can either try to join in on the current conversation, or you can just post a paragraph on your character. I will emphasize again: Do not just copy paste an RP post or a skeleton. Write some thoughts down. It can be on anything. Here's a sample paragraph I've written about my character Makoto to give you an idea of what kind of thing I'm after.

Makoto is a 20 year old woman who lives in a dystopian city that, until very recently, had never experienced daylight. She is an expert martial artist, which helps her get by in the extremely dangerous city, but is relatively inept with guns, and does not seem to have any aptitude for magic. She tends to be very aloof, albeit typically not serious about things. Her life lacks direction, and she tends to spend most of her life being passed from one adult to another, generally because of her abilities as a bodyguard or because of familial attachments. Makoto tends to just go with whatever comes her way, and doesn't seem to think much about the future. She recently inherited a sword, but does not really have much interest in using it, since she feels more comfortable with her fists anyway. Makoto is generally a lonesome individual, preferring to keep to herself, since most people either bore or annoy her. She is only known to lose her cool demeanour when fighting, which may often result in a vicious beatdown. She has a soft spot for banana nut muffins, and prefers to keep her hair short. Due to a lack of academic education, in addition to poor social skills, Makoto is often mistaken for being unintelligent. She is actually extremely adaptable and a very quick thinker, as shown by her tactical ability.

Admittedly, Makoto is problematic in some aspects and I don't feel like this really gets across the real bulk of her character, but what it does is open up a lot of room for questions – Who taught her to fight? Why banana? Ultimately, the aim of this thread is to get you thinking. If you can answer every question and apply it to your character, you're succeeding.

Q: Do you have any useful resources I can use to help me build a better character?

Sure! There's plenty, on and off this site. Here's but a few of them.

Character skeletons courtesy of Kite:

Short skeleton
Extended skeleton

Unsure of how your character feels? Here, this chart might help.

Female Character Flowchart - Do your characters fall into any of these pitfalls?

Method Acting Techniques for Effective Character Development

Thread on creating realistic character flaws

Character webs and their use in tracking character relationships

Why "strong" female characters are bad for women

25 ways to fuck with your characters

10 quick writing tips to strengthen your work

Q: Gee, K. This intro sure has been going on for a while.

That's not a question, but you raise a valid point, so I'll wrap this up. Thank you for reading all this, and I hope this thread can be as successful as the old one.

Much love,

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Thanks. There's a wealth of things to consider. While a few of those are things I've considered, I haven't thought of all of them.

Thanks, K-sama. That definitely helps.
  Moh Shuvuu / ShadowOfSkills / 149d 1h 12m 23s
source creativichee on tumblr

Character Mannerisms
Here’s some considerations for the tiny little details that can add a lot to a character. Figuring out these mannerisms can do a lot for conveying character traits through their normal actions rather than just their thoughts, dialogue, etc.

How’s their posture? There are more options than just sitting up straight or slouching a lot. What’s their most comfortable sitting position? Do they have a consistent posture or does it change depending on situation / present company?
How’s their etiquette? Do they hold the door for people behind them? How do they handle handshakes and other kinds of typical contact? Does their language change or become more formal when speaking to strangers? To their elders? To their superiors?
In a crowded space, do they get out of people’s way, or do people get out of THEIR way?
How do they point something out? Pointing their finger? Nodding their head? A flippant wave of the hand?
What are their comfort gestures or self-touch gestures? Common comfort gestures include rubbing the back of the neck or gripping their own arms. Can they suppress these gestures or do they do them often?
Also consider the character’s common reactions to common emotions. Do they whoop when they’re excited? Do they tremble when angry?
What parts of the body are the most expressive? Do they shuffle and stomp their feet a lot when agitated or excited? Are they a hand talker? Do they have an impressive range of motion with their eyebrows?
How do they sound? Do their car keys jingle as they walk? Do they drag their feet? Do their heels clack resoundingly on hard floors? Do they breathe loudly? Do they fidget in ways that make a lot of noise?
How do they handle eye contact?
Any behaviors they reserve for moments when they’re alone? Do they pick their nose? Do they bite their toenails? Do they sniff their armpits? Or do they not care if people see behavior like this?
Apart from comfort gestures, what else do they do to comfort themselves in trying times? What’s their go-to self care? What’s their comfort food? Where’s their safe space?
What are they doing with themselves as they’re suppressing emotion? Lip biting, fist clenching, and avoiding eye contact are common methods of coping with strong emotions.
  The Master / K / 149d 5h 42m 52s
Thank you, K-sama.

The Phoenix would have seen the rivalry of Yin and Yang, the rise and fall of many advanced societies that predate the existence of Midgard , as well as the best and worst that intelligent life has to offer.

Of course. It would be rather unusual to give away too much detail for an entity such as the Phoenix , given that one of the many themes I enjoy toying with in this 'verse is that mortals cannot comprehend cosmic truth- if faced with it, they would be driven insane.

Hence, if anyone learned too much about the Phoenix, they would be in no state to tell anyone else about it. This doesn't mean I can't flesh out many details for the character, but it does mean I should not give all the details away in one story or campaign. Hence there would always be an air of mystery about massively supernatural entities.

I thank you both for your help, it's helped out a lot.
  Evil Mastermind / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 146d 21h 26m 18s
Given that a lot of people visualise death as floating in an infinite black void for all eternity, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that the Phoenix would conceptualise their own death as the death of all other things in the universe. I mean, given that they were born at the beginning of time, presumably there's a good chance they spent hundreds of millions of years in isolation doing very little. That'd give you a lot of time to reflect on it. Personally, I'd probably write the character as having already been depressed and having long since resolved that aspect of their life - ie. "If I can't die now I'll figure out a way to do it after my job of keeping balance in the universe is done." They'd be loving towards humanity for their brief albeit remarkable existences. Probably quite maternal - after all, this character would have been there from the start and would have seen the growth of intelligent life.

That being said, don't sweat the details if they aren't a principal character. Elegant writing is better than detailed writing and it's more engrossing for the reader if there's a degree of mystery to how such a powerful and otherworldly character can exist rather than getting bogged down in minutiae.
That was actually rather helpful, thank you.

And it's good to see you again, Omio. :3
I missed seeing you around.

I think, with your advise, I might be able to be a bit more confident in fleshing out this character. But no matter what happens, I'm sure it'll be an interesting ride. I loved having your input here, it allows me to look at the concept of eternal-immortality as something more than [ a never-ending psychological torment.]

I suppose I'll see you around?

And if anyone needs anything, I'll still be here.
  Evil Mastermind / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 149d 7m 3s
This is one case of where a philosophy I've adopted thanks to one of my OCs actually comes into utility:
"Challenge builds character".
In this case, the challenge to face is [i literally eternity], and unlike all challenges, this one is a case of a subtle challenges.
Chances are, they'll need to remind themselves "I'm better than this" and "I haven't stopped going strong before, why should I start getting meek now?"
Another likely thing is that your phoenix may develop a little bit of a "I'm bored, let's stir a little productive chaos".

I have an OC that actually borrows from a relatively similar lore, and thus faces a similar problem. You [ may know him to an extent.]

'ey, Ommy, what do you think about eternity?
[#F00 "I want it to prove infinite first, then I'll consider the repercussions on it. Until then, I have a market to play with, a family to tend to, a continent to personally protect, research and development to perform, and the prospect of other worlds and planes to meddle in. Mind if I get back to that?"]
Yeah, sure, get outta here. That's all I needed.

[b EDIT:]
Woop, forgot to address something. Ommy!
[#F00 "Again?! Ugh, what is it now?"]
Just for that, I'll put it grimly. How do you feel about people dying?
[#F00 "That's a bit of a downside, but rather than mourn losses, I choose to celebrate the times I've had. Good and bad things alike all draw to an eventual close, but history seems to love repeating itself, so lots of nice and nasty things will pop up again and again, thus I don't do without for too long. The novelty of taking new directions each time won't be wearing out anytime soon, so long as people don't start waging a stupidly atrocious amount of war, but even if they do, it's not exactly my problem to solve anyways. So, in short, it sucks, but I deal, I move on, I develop."]
Cool, thanks. Wanted your input, rather than trying to fill in the blanks myself.
[#F00 "Lemme guess, someone's really struggling with the whole "eternity" thing? Don't blame 'em, it's not an easy beast to tackle head-on."]
  ES APPRENTICE PROGRAMMER / Omio / 2y 149d 42m 2s
If anyone is here, I'm working on a character.

This character is for an expanded universe, albeit one I've kinda designed myself.

This character is... a little hard to figure out, not just in that they are not human, but far removed from humanity, and thus would act and react in very non-human ways. Now, while this 'verse has numerous non-human characters, this one sort of... takes the cake.

Before I can explain the character, a little bit of background information is needed, but I will keep it brief. This is cosmos with multiple planes of existence, where the gods and spirits, and other entities reside. They are refereed to as being immortal- they do not age, cannot be affected by natural diseases and toxins, do not require sustenance, nor have any bodily functions... but they can be killed. That part is just usually a very difficult task, which only gets more difficult as they become older, with more knowledge, experience, wisdom, and raw power. Still, as many beings exist which can kill even gods, death still seems to be a certainty for most beings, especially with a war-torn cosmos.

The character I am working on is the Phoenix, an intelligent creature created at the beginning of time itself, to attempt to maintain balance throughout the ages. The Phoenix's spirit is shielded against most attacks, and if their body is slain, it is reborn in fire, taking roughly the same form, only younger. In each incarnation, the Phoenix maintains all past memories and experience.

My issue here, is that any attempt I make to write this character ends up limited by my human experience. This doesn't make for a dull character, per se, but a chronically depressed one, as being immortal in a sense even greater than the spirits and gods would inevitably lead to immense grief- this is a person who would outlive any friends they could possibly ever make. The entire cosmos could end, and the Phoenix would still be there, trapped in an endless void of nothing, unable to die.

Inevitably, I would end up writing the Phoenix as a loner, afraid to make contact with others because they are afraid of becoming attached, afraid to hurt. My human experiences, which have aided in me creating colorful, human characters, with real human emotion, would ironically make writing this character harder.

How do I explore the psyche of someone who, though capable of experiencing pain, including the pain of death, is incapable of ever staying dead, even if they want to? Being that they are non-human, would their outlook be different, and to what extent? I've toyed with such ideas before, but I usually have a more solid framework to use, or in the most extreme cases, don't require to flesh a lot out. But this character, though extreme in direction, is meant to be a recurring character who appears in a few different arcs. They're not a main character however, and the plot is not meant to be centered around them.

As a writer, it would be easy to take the lazy approach, and create a flat, 2-dimensional character to fulfill this role. Indeed, in some cases, a 2-dimensional character makes sense.

But just because it would be easy to write off this character as "too alien to fathom", and leave it at that... it would be rather boring, and wouldn't fit for what I want to accomplish with this character.

If you have any suggestions on what I should do, or questions for me, I'll be around.

And if anyone wants advice on their characters, I'm here to provide input as well.
  Evil Mastermind / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 149d 14h 19m 58s
It isn't, but I guess it isn't any effort to make it more alive.
  アナザーまこと / K / 3y 32d 11h 51m 41s

I haven't been on much the past... good while now, and I was wondering if this was still alive at all.

When my computer gets fixed I should be more active, and I remember how enjoyable and useful this thread has been for me in the past.
  Evil Mastermind / ShadowOfSkills / 3y 32d 16h 52m 26s
Thank you K for all your help and support. ^^ I am a good friend of Citas, so I will go check this out.
  Azalas Valentine - Businessman / HEAD ES PROGRAMMER / Vossler / 3y 138d 1h 7m 58s
If this thread is a little too formal for you, I noticed [ this thread] popped up the other day. You could always go check that out too.
  Makoto / K / 3y 138d 1h 20m 53s
Ah thank you.

K really made my day when this thread was made.

It has alot of writing tools.

My favorite is the one with all the words that you can use when someone is feeling emotions.
  HEAD ES PROGRAMMER / Vossler / 3y 138d 2h 8m 10s
Nice try, but there are no skellies in here. One of K-sama's rules.

Try again, paragraph format. Tell abouy Gilesh's family. Does he miss them? Does he struggle with grief? Tell about his hobbies. Is hs from Russia? You say he works for the government, but which government? Is he allowed to talk about his work? How does he feel about his job?

There are many questions that can be raised about this character, just based on what you gave.

Try again.

I'm not on as often as I used to be, so I might not be around to look it over when you present your paragraphs, but if I am, I will read it over. If not, maybe someone else will.
  Evil Mastermind / ShadowOfSkills / 3y 138d 2h 10m 36s
Name: Gilesh Cell

Age: 27

Sex: Male

Height: 6'1

Known languages: English, and Russian

Current Residence: New York City

Occupation: Government Bounty Hunter

Hobbies/Past times: Going out to fancy dinner parties and resting in on his days off

Talents/Skills/Powers: Able to track down his targets using bionic modifacation he was given by the Government, Also able to use double the strength of a regular person.


Sayings/catch-phrases: [b [i [+red "I don't think so." "Freeze bitch!" "Looks like your time is up."]]]

Love interests: None
  HEAD ES PROGRAMMER / Vossler / 3y 138d 17h 28m 43s
Yeah, I got it. My computer wasn't loading all of the site. I need a new laptop ._.
  Shining_Lights / 3y 143d 2h 11m 28s

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