write characters

The Mysterious Protagonist

Anonymous asked: “How do I create a main character? I have so many side characters and a decent plot. I like them better with a bit of mystery. I want my main to be interesting enough to not be the plain, boring, ‘chosen one’ stereotype. Help?”

Who ever said your protagonist can’t be mysterious? I’ve read novels where I don’t even get to learn the protagonist’s name or others that I go along thinking I know a lot about this character only for them to flip a switch and show I know nothing about them at all. 

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El loved outer space.

Something about the unimaginably vast universe, the last frontier, the far reaches of human exploration, sparked her curiosity like nothing else.

Perhaps the ever-extending universe was her escape from the walls that she felt confined her, even when she had escaped her prison long ago. No matter how far she drifted, through planets and stars, she always felt gravity tugging her down into the world of confinement that she was born into. Though she was imprisoned by transparent walls, she could stare up into the rich blackness of the night sky, and dream of lying on the moon. On the silvery surface of the moon, where the world was quiet, she could finally be free to drift along the Milky Way, without orbiting the fear of being pulled back down.

On the moon you weigh six times less than you do on Earth. El wanted to be weightless. She wanted to float through time and space, capturing every detail of the cosmos and storing it somewhere she would never forget. She wanted nothing holding her down as she explored the beauty of everything beyond walls, because the universe was void of walls. It was constantly growing and expanding and it was unbridled and free and not weighed down by imaginary walls that follow you even when you’re sleeping so far away from where you once were trapped.

The universe was free. El wanted to be free.

And when she looked out upon the constellations, the same ones that stung in the back of her mind as she tried to sleep, she couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to feel freedom as you’re floating through miles of stardust.

The houses as.... Writers

Gryffindor: 

  • the hemingway’s of the world
  • their writing is full of angst and personal experience
  • can often come across as anecdotic- they take what has happened to them and apply it to a broader spectrum
  • there is an underlying current of passion in everything they write
  • many late nights w/ coffee because they were suddenly inspired at 2am while nearly dreaming

Ravenclaw: 

  • the fantasy writers
  • create whole worlds bc they aren’t satisfied with the one’s they are in
  • stories often make a statement on real world issues in a creative way
  • prefers to use a typewriter/hand-write their stories
  • shares their ideas with very few
  • almost never finishes a story bc they have so many half-finished ideas swirling in their heads

Slytherin: 

  • the realistic writers
  • creates painfully authentic, multi-faceted characters with abundant flaws
  • their writings aren’t meant to teach a lesson; simply to share a story
  • draw inspiration from those around them; MAJOR people watchers
  • their writing is highly sophisticated and not easy to digest; you have to pay attention to every detail
  • prefer writing in the 3rd person; like to take an omnipotent view as a way of removing themselves from the piece
  • take great pride in their work and don’t reveal it until it’s at a standard that they approve of (and that bar is HIGH) 

Hufflepuff: 

  • the poets
  • a lot of YA authors are hufflepuff
  • create beautiful imagery in everything they write
  • their attention to detail is impeccable; they want to ensure that what they imagine is what the audience also envisions
  • their writing is raw with emotion and makes the reader feel for the characters
  • 1st person stories
  • very open/receptive to criticism; seeks out ways to improve upon their creation
  • their stories always have a moral that they want the world to know
  • everything they write is a piece of them
  • Me: Come on brain, write.
  • Brain: I know what's going to happen next!
  • Me: That's fantastic, but for the sake of pacing can we work up to that point?
  • Brain: Yeah. We could. Or, hear me out, I can tell you every single detail of the next part and we won't be able to focus on the current point of the story and we'll get really frustrated because we know where we want to go but don't know how to get to it.
  • Me:
  • Me: ... Go on
Drarry AU

My brain keeps returning to this idea – what if, in POA (movie universe), Harry never realizes that the crane Malfoy sent him was a note (because I mean, who would)?  Like he just stares at it, confused, then goes “okay” sets it down on his desk and goes back to ignoring Snape

I mean, Draco would be furious because how dare you not appreciate my bullying Potter and the next class they have together, he grabs another piece of paper, writes something along the lines of “You suck Potter”, folds another crane and blows it over – only for it to be left sitting on Harry’s desk again after the lesson, and Harry didn’t even look inside, he didn’t do anything with this damn crane, and Draco is absolutely seething from this lack of attention

So he does it again.  And again.  And again.  

First it’s insults (because of course he hates Potter, they’re archenemies, never mind the actual murderer stalking Harry at this very moment) – “I hope you die Potter” “I wish I met Sirius Black I’d help him” “Your glasses are appalling why do you still have the same ones from first year your prescription can’t possibly be the same you moron” “Eat a bag of dicks Potter” – but a month goes by and he’s running out of things to say and Potter never reads the notes anyway so Draco just starts ranting about everything else he finds annoying


Soon the cranes are just a way of venting – talk about your day, fold a beautiful crane, send it to the person you definitely hate the most.  He still tries to snark and generally antagonize every time he sees Potter, because it’s practically my duty to take the Golden Boy down a peg, Goyle – but he can’t do it the same way anymore, so he takes a step back – in everything except the cranes.  

Every day, every class, and sometimes at breakfast, a crane will land next to Harry Potter’s elbow.  Without fail.  Harry will pick it up, stare at it, and set it back down.  Or maybe slip it into his bag, and Draco’s stomach flips the first time he does that.  

It’s almost like they’re friends.  By now, Draco’s told him things he never even voiced to his friends – that he’s actually terrified of the Dementors, that he keeps feeling like he’s not good enough, because no matter what he tries, there’s always somebody better than him at it – that he still can’t understand why Harry didn’t want to be his friend that time on the train, seriously Potter what did I do?  you didn’t even know me! – and Potter didn’t crumple any of the cranes, so maybe he doesn’t hate him so much anymore?..  Draco knows Potter never reads these notes, but he likes to pretend that Harry knows all these things about him.  And maybe even cares a little.  

It’s stupid, and he really shouldn’t be putting any of such personal details in writing (honestly Lucius would be so disappointed, these cranes are perfect blackmail material and what the hell are you thinking Draco yells Draco’s inner voice) – but he can’t stop.  It’s become a habit, and Potter stared at him for fifteen minutes at lunch today, so he can’t stop.  Draco keeps talking, and making Harry little doodles, and trying not to smile too obviously when another crane ends up in Harry’s pocket.



And meanwhile, Harry’s going nuts.  He just doesn’t understand what Malfoy wants from him, or why he doesn’t run into him so often anymore – and the cranes really seem to be just paper (Ron why does Malfoy know origami is this a general wizard thing or is it just him), and they’re delicate and elegant, and he feels bad about destroying them – so he just leaves them.  

Until, of course, he absentmindedly shoves one in his bag one day – and finds it that evening.  Sighs and sets it on his bedside table, because what else can he do?..  Even if he throws it out, he’ll just get a new one tomorrow.  Or three.  

He’s confused, because Malfoy isn’t even so loud or dramatic anymore, it’s almost as if he’s trying not to attract attention – beyond the cranes – but Harry’s eyes are glued to him anyway.  He knows that Malfoy has to be up to something, because of course he is – but he just can’t tell what, there’s no way to know, and holy shit Ron he just smiled at me what the hell is he planning – and all this time, the pile of cranes on his bedside table keeps growing

He doesn’t lie awake at night, thinking of Malfoy’s smile.  He doesn’t.  Really.  

The next day, when he gets his morning crane, he flashes Malfoy a brilliant smile, and laughs at his stunned expression like ha, two can play at this game!  Gotcha now!  and he’s still thinking that Malfoy’s messing with his mind – except he can’t help but think that it would be nice if Draco was really like that.  If he really just sent the cranes over to brighten Harry’s day.  If there wasn’t something else behind this, because he’s starting to like it.  


All this goes on until Hermione barges into their dormitory again, in the ungodly hours of the morning, like she usually does – and stops dead, staring at the pile of cranes, Ron may have been complaining but she never imagined the true extent of this new, yet age-old obsession.  And of course, Harry tries to protest, that it’s all for science, Hermione, I have to find out what he’s up to and this is the only source of information – but the excuses run dry when she quizzes him a bit and finds out that none of the cranes are cursed, or charmed to yell insults, or anything, really 

So she’s like “well have you tried to unfold one” and no he didn’t, who the heck writes notes inside a crane anyway, isn’t it an artwork??  But hey, that’s an idea, and that night the trio gets together, sitting on Harry’s bed with the crane he just got in Charms, bated breath and all, waiting for it to unleash something nasty (Harry finds himself really really hoping it won’t) 

All kinds of security measures done, and they unfold it 

Hermione’s like “oh.  Oohh,” and Ron’s eyebrows fly away to roam the world

Because inside

there’s a shitty little drawing of Harry and Draco holding hands, with little hearts all around 

*slams fist on table* give autistic characters more diverse roles than “precious confused child” or “socially awkward super-genius” you COWARDS

I made this today as I find it’s a helpful tool when I make characters. I call it the 1-2-3 method.

1 value: Their core belief.

2 flaws: The limitations of the character. Things that can affect their actions and abilities.

3 traits: What makes them, them. the aspects of their behaviour and attitude.

It’s important that you justify their personality through their backstory and home life, however, and it’s good to have conflicting flaws/traits within a group which will help create tension and drama.

I’m using this today to create characters for my campnanowrimo WIP and thought I’d share.

do you guys ever think about how yuri plisetsky, at just age fifteen, has apparently been supporting his family through his figure skating via government grants which means not only does he have to regularly compete, but he always has to do well and to consistently perform, so he’s probably never allowed to have an off performance or it means less money, less support, less opportunities, and when victor nikiforov himself, five time world champion, offers to choreograph a program for him, yuri jumps at the chance because yes, think of how much he could get if he won his very first grand prix series off of victor’s choreography – think of his ailing grandfather whom he loves so much, an absentee mother – figure skating is everything to yuri, it’s the only thing he thinks he has to offer, it’s the thing he relies on the most for emotional and financial support, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. so he throws everything onto the ice, wins the junior championship just as victor said, and now he’s about to make his pro senior debut and he’s gonna get victor to make good on his promise and–

victor just… disappears. flies across the world, completely forgets he ever promised yuri anything, turns around and blatantly uses yuri while making it clear that beyond a week’s worth of coaching him on a program, victor has no intentions of giving yuri anything bc he’s so wrapped up in yuuri 

and yuri feels – abandoned, betrayed, hurt; left behind again like he always is, left waiting like he always is, used as a means to an end; is it any wonder he’s pissed off? but then this beautiful, brilliant boy takes a program he only spent a week learning from its choreographer – he takes that program, refines it, improves it and breaks victor’s world record with it, slaps victor in the face with it by winning over yuuri and telling him, victor nikiforov is dead, victor isn’t everything yuri had thought he would be and it doesn’t matter bc yuri will make himself, define himself, choose things for himself now.

do you ever think about this bc i do and it hurts me but i love this boy so much, he deserves everything

anonymous asked:

Hey, you're awesome, thanks for existing, basically ^_^ Anyway, I wanted to know if you have any tips on how to write different personalities? My characters (all of them) always end up with the same default personality that I fall back on. Thanks!

Thanks for your question, darling!  I think most of us have struggled with this – after all, we’re conditioned to one way of thinking, feeling, and acting for as long as we live.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we write characters like ourselves, though.  In fact, many of us have a “default character” that’s sassier than we are, sweeter than we are, or in some way different enough from us that we still feel like we’re writing a character.

The problem, then, isn’t that we can’t visualize a different personality than ours.  On the whole, we can.  What we’re missing are the small details that make it feel whole – otherwise, it’s like painting the same room six different colors and trying to pass it off as six different rooms.  Different dominant traits can’t hide the fact that you’re working with one template!

So the question we’re left with: what are the traits we’re missing?  And how can we change them to create a unique and whole personality?


Three Types of Character Traits

There are, as the title suggests, three major categories of personality traits as I see it: fundamental traits, acquired traits, and detrimental traits.  A well-rounded character needs some of each to be three-dimensional and realistic.

Fundamental Traits

The fundamental traits of a person’s character are not as simple as interests and preferences; they are the very base of all decisions and desires.  They are either learned in early life or developed over a long period of time, rooting deeply into the personality.  A few examples of fundamental personality traits include:

  • Upbringing – The word choice here is conscious, as upbringing encompasses many different aspects of a person’s development.  Consider who raised them, and with what morals and practices they were raised to adulthood.  Consider their influences, both familial, social, and in media; consider the relationships that were normalized during their development, as well as the living conditions (financially, emotionally, environmentally, etc.).  The people, places, emotions, and conflicts made common during a person’s developmental period are essential to their personality in adulthood.  This is why psychologists often draw present-day problems back to a person’s childhood memories – because those formative years can subconsciously dictate so much of a person’s future!
  • Values – These may not coincide with the values a person is raised to hold, but upbringing certainly has an influence on this. A person’s values will direct the course of their life through every decision, large and small.  You don’t need to outline everything your character believes is important – every moral and every law they agree/disagree with. But those values which stand above others will give your character purpose.  A few of my favorite examples are: Jane from Jane the Virgin (whose initial storyline is heavily based on her religion and desire for a beautiful love story, as well as her childhood influences who inspired these values) and Han Solo from Star Wars (whose character development rested upon his values shifting from money and gratification to more honorable things).
  • Beliefs – Different from values, beliefs are a more general set of guidelines for how a person believes things are supposed to be.  Beliefs can also be a source of great conflict, as a character tries to stay aligned with their beliefs despite other values or desires.  These beliefs can be established systems, like religion or politics; they can also include more personal belief systems, like nihilism or veganism.  A characters beliefs, like their values, can change over the course of the story – but even if a character is questioning one system of belief, like religion or pacifism, they should have other belief systems in place to govern some of their activity.
  • Reputation – A lot of human activity, whether consciously or not, is dictated by how others perceive them (or how they believe others perceive them).  There are two types of reputation: personal and passing.  For instance, a woman named Sally who gains a personal reputation of sleeping around will behave in reaction to this reputation – either sleeping around because everyone already expects it of her, or specifically not hooking up because she wants to shake this reputation, or developing a thicker skin to deal with the rumors until it passes.  A man named Billy who, because of his tattoos, bears a passing reputation as an intimidating man will either try to soften his demeanor with strangers, own up to the image, or at least learn to expect judgment from strangers as a consequence.
  • Self-Image – Also relevant to a person’s behavior is the way they perceive themselves, which can often have little to do with their reputation.  A lot of self-image is based on definitive moments or phases in the past.  For instance: for several years after I started wearing contacts and cutting my hair, I still saw myself, in dreams at night, with long hair and glasses.  One of my friends, similarly, could not seem to notice when boys would flirt with her during sophomore year – because she still saw herself as an awkward middle schooler with braces, and not as the charming cheerleader with the great smile.
    Inversely, self-image can be inflated, causing character to behave as though they are funnier, smarter, or more prepared than they truly are (see: the rest of my sophomore acquaintances).  This can be an overlooked character flaw opportunity – or flawportunity…

Originally posted by alliefallie


Acquired Traits

Now we move on to the acquired traits of personality, which are the ones you’re more likely to find on a character sheet or a list of “10 Questions for Character Development”, alongside a million other things like their zodiac sign and their spirit animal.  But the traits I’m about to outline are a little more relevant to a character’s behavior, and more importantly, how to make this behavior unique from other characters’ behavior.  The following traits will be learned by your characters throughout their life (and their story), and are more likely to shift and grow with time:

  • Interests – I know, I had to reach deep down into my soul to think of this one.  But it’s true!  Interests, both in childhood/adolescence and in adulthood, are an important part of a character’s personality and lifestyle.  Childhood interests both reveal something about the character (for instance: my nephew loves trains, Legos, and building, suggesting a future interest in construction or engineering) and create values that can last for a lifetime.  Current interests affect career choice, social circles, and daily activity for everyone.  Forgotten or rejected interests can be the source of pet peeves, fears, or bad memories. There’s a reason I’ll never play with Polly Pockets again, and it 100% has to do with bloody fingertips and a purse that wouldn’t open.
  • Sense of Humor – This can be a little hard to define, understandably.  If you were to ask me what my sense of humor is, I’d probably start with a few stupid memes, pass by Drake & Josh on the way, and somehow wind up telling you bad puns or quoting Chelsea Peretti’s standup comedy. A person’s sense of humor can be complex and contradictory!  Sometimes we just laugh at stuff because someone said it in a funny way.  But anyway, to help you boil this down to something useful: take a look at a few kinds of comedy and relate it to your character’s maturity level.  Do they laugh when someone lets out a toot?  Are they the kind of person to mutter, “That’s what she said,” or simply try not to laugh when something sounds dirty?  Can puns make them crack a smile?  Do they like political humor?  Do cat videos kill them?  Is their humor particularly dark?  Can the mere sound of someone else laughing make them laugh?  Figure out where your character’s sense of humor is, and you’ll feel closer to them already.
  • Pet Peeves – For every interest a person may have, and everything that makes them laugh, there’s something else that can piss them off, large- or small-scale.  Are they finnicky about their living space and neatness? Do they require a lot of privacy? Do certain sounds or behaviors drive them crazy?  What qualities are intolerable in a romantic interest for them? What kind of comments or beliefs make them roll their eyes?  If you need help, just try imagining their worst enemy – someone whose every word or action elicits the best eye-rolls and sarcastic remarks and even a middle finger or two – and ask yourself, what about this person makes them that mortal enemy?  What behaviors or standards make them despicable to your character?  That’s all it takes.
  • Skills – Everybody has them, and they’re not just something we’re born with.  Skills can be natural talent, sure, but they’re also cultivated from time, values, and interests.  What is your character okay at?  What are they good at?  What are they fantastic at?  Maybe they can cook.  Maybe they have a beautiful eye for colors.  Maybe they have an inherent sense of right and wrong that others admire. Maybe they’re super-athletic or incredibly patient or sharp as a tack or sweet as a cupcake.  Maybe they know how to juggle, or maybe they’re secretly the most likely of all their friends to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Where do they shine?  What would make someone look at them and think, “Wow, I wish I were them right now”?
  • Desires – A good way to “separate” one character from the next is to define what it is they want, and then use every other detail to dictate how they pursue that goal.  Every real person has a desire, whether they’ve defined it or not – whether it’s something huge, like fame or a family of five with triplet girls and a beach house on an island, or something small, like good grades for the semester.  These desires can cause a person to revise their values or forsake their morals; and these desires can conflict with other people’s desires, influencing how people interact with each other.  Remember that every character is living their own story, even if it’s not the story you’re telling.
  • Communication Style – A majorly overlooked character trait in pop fiction is unique communication styles.  Having every character feel comfortable arguing, or bursting out with the words, “I love you,” is unrealistic.  Having every character feel paralyzed at the idea of confronting a bully or being honest to their spouse is also unrealistic.  There should be a healthy mix of communicators in a group of characters. Some people are too softspoken to mouth off at their racist lab partner.  Some people wouldn’t see their girlfriend kissing another guy and just walk away without saying something.  Some people just don’t react to conflict by raising their voice; some people enjoy sharing their opinions or giving the correct answer in class.  Boldness, social skills, and emotional health all have a part to play in how people communicate their thoughts – so keep this in mind to create a more realistic, consistent character.
  • Emotional Expression – Along the same lines but not the same, emotional expression is more focal on feelings than thoughts.  If you’ve ever heard of the fight-or-flight response, the different types of anger, the stages of grief, or the five love languages, then you’re aware of different “classifications” of emotional expression and management.  Read up on some of those things, and think about how your character handles emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, paranoia, and so forth.

Detrimental Traits

While acquired traits are certainly more enjoyable to brainstorm during the creation process, detrimental traits are as important – or even more important – to the character’s wholeness as well as their role in the story.  Not only do these negative or limiting traits make your character realistic, relatable, and conflicted – they create a need for other characters and their strengths to move the plot forward.  A few examples of detrimental traits include:

  • Flaws – Character flaws are probably the first thing that came to your mind while reading this, but they’re the essence of the category.  Flaws in a character’s personality, morality, or behavior can be a source of character development; they set an individual on their own path and provide a unique motivation for them.  Having Character A struggle with sobriety while Character B learns to be a more patient mother can do a lot to separate their stories and personalities from each other.  Even if certain flaws don’t reach a point of growth, they create a third aspect to personality and force us, as writers, to be more creative with how our characters get from Point A to Point B, and what they screw up along the way.
  • Fears – Everyone has fears, whether we’re conscious of them or not – and I’m not talking about phobias or “things that give you shivers”.  Just like everyone has a primary motivation throughout life (romance, family, success, meaning, peace of mind, etc.), everyone has a fear behind that motivation (loneliness, failure, emptiness, anxiety).  We all have something we don’t want to happen places we never want to be and things we never want to do.  We’ve all been in situations that mildly bothered others but wildly affected us at the same time.  For me, it’s a lack of autonomy, or in any way being forced to do something or be somewhere against my will.
    What does this mean for me?  It means that when other people have nightmares about being chased by an axe murderer, I have nightmares about being kidnapped and locked up.  It means that I’m continually aware of my “escape plan” if something goes wrong in my living situation, and I’m hypersensitive to someone telling me, “You have to do this.”  It means I struggle to follow rules and usually don’t get along with authority figures because I have to assert my independence to them.  It’s irrational and continual and doesn’t just affect me in one situation; it subconsciously directs my steps if I let it.  That’s how real, guttural fears work. Phobias are only skin deep, and they don’t make you feel any closer to the character.

Originally posted by giantmonster

  • Secrets – Even goody two-shoes Amber from the swim team, with her blonde blonde hair and her good good grades, has a secret.  Everybody does, even if it’s not a purposeful, “I have a deep, dark secret,” sort of secret. We have things we don’t tell people, just because they’re embarrassing, or painful, or too deep to get into, or they don’t paint us in a good light.  While the secrets themselves tell a lot about a person, so do the reasons a person keeps a secret.  Hiding something out of shame suggests a person is prideful, or critical of themselves, or holds themselves to a higher standard than they hold others.  Hiding something painful suggests that the person struggles to handle sadness or regret, or that they feel uncomfortable showing raw emotion in front of loved ones. And so on and so forth.
  • Conflict – Whether internal, interpersonal, legal, moral, societal, or what have you, conflict will limit your character’s actions at every turn.  A story is nothing without conflict driving the plot in different directions and causing your character to rethink both their plans and their lifestyle.  Without Katniss’s moral conflict over killing other tributes, The Hunger Games would be the story of a girl who entered an arena, killed a lot of people, and lived the rest of her life rich and comfortable.  If Luke Skywalker didn’t have interpersonal conflict with Darth Vader, Star Wars would be the war-story of a guy who joined a rebellion and then… yeah.
  • Health – Physical, mental, and emotional health is a huge limiting factor for characters that often goes untouched, but it’s valuable nonetheless.  Not everyone has a clean bill of health and can jump off trains without pulling a muscle, go through a traumatic life experience without any hint of depression or anxiety, or watch a loved one die in gunfire and shove right on without emotional repercussions. Consider creating a character who’s not perfect – who isn’t perfectly in-shape or abled, or neurotypical or stable day-to-day, or completely clean and clear of residual heartache, unhealthy relationships, or bad emotional habits.  Don’t define them by these traits, of course – but don’t feel that you can’t write a character with health issues without writing a “sick character.”

So this post got ridiculously long, but I hope it works as a reference for you when creating unique characters.  Remember that you don’t need to outline all of this information to create an individual, realistic character.  These are just some relevant ideas to get you started!  It’s up to you, as the writer, to decide what’s necessary and what’s excessive for your creative process.

Still, I hope a majority of this is helpful to you!  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in and we’ll get back to you :)  Good luck!

- Mod Joanna ♥️


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask us!

  • Bi character is only stated to be bi by the creators outside of the canon source: "That doesn't count at all, they should have at least mentioned it in the source material!"
  • Bi character is said to be bi within the source material: "That doesn't count, because it was only mentioned!"
  • Bi character's sexuality is an important part of their character: "Here we go again with the thinking mlm and wlw's lives revolve around their sexualities, ugh!"
  • Bi character has a love interest of the opposite gender: "So they're basically straight, the creators just want Woke Points™."
  • Bi character has a love interest of the same gender: "So they're basically gay, like nice try but bi people are still underrepresented and this isn't representation."
  • Bi character has more than one love interest: "Classic stereotyping bi people as promiscuous, god!"
  • Bi character literally exists in media at all: "This is somehow bad and problematic!!"

That silly idea that you were thinking of writing? Write it. 

That embarrassing self-insert that you made? Write a story where they make out with someone you’d like. 

That oc who’s just a little too overpowered, maybe? Keep writing them. You’ll just have to make ridiculously powerful villains.

In a short amount of time you could die, and the universe will not care if you wrote about that self-insert, or typed up that silly story, or indulged in that oc. So why not do it? Fuck it.

Questions to Ask When: Developing Character Appearance

Hey everyone, Abby here! Today I’m coming at you with something a little different from the usual “advice on a certain topic”; this is something that has a lot to do with development instead. So what I’m going to do is think of as many questions as I can about character appearances and list them all here; hopefully it helps!

The Questions

  • What color are their eyes? 
  • Do they have heterochromia or anything like it?
  • How tall are they? 
  • How much do they weigh?
  • Are the answers to the previous two questions about the same as the average where your character lives?
  • What are your character’s three most prominent features?
  • Which of their features are they the most proud of?
  • Which of them are they most insecure about?
  • What color is their hair?
  • What is their favorite hairstyle? Do they wear it like this daily?
  • How much do they actually care about their hair?
  • Do they enjoy changing the style and color often, or will they wear it the same way their whole lives given the chance?
  • What race (or races) is your character?
  • Do they have any tattoos or scars?
  • How easily do they emote? 
  • Do they have a generally emotional face?
  • Which emotion do they most easily show?
  • Do they enjoy wearing makeup? If yes, do they prefer a more subtle or bold look?
  • Do they enjoy wearing jewelry? If yes, what sort do they prefer (necklace, bracelet, ring, etc.)?
  • How often do they wear makeup or jewelry?
  • Does you character ever wear merchandise for things they like?
  • Are they more likely to be found in a long- or short-sleeved shirt?
  • If your character had the opportunity, would they choose ripped or regular jeans?
  • Do they wear hats often? If yes, which one do they wear the most?
  • Take a look at their wardrobe. Which color is most prominently featured?
  • Still looking at their wardrobe, how would you describe the color scheme: monochromatic, gray-ish, pastels, earth tones, bright colors, or all over the place?
  • What is their favorite article of clothing to wear? Do they wear it more for look or for feel?
  • When choosing their clothes, does your character base their decision on look, feel, or both?
  • What constitutes as pajamas for them? Does it have to be strictly things meant to be pajamas or just anything comfortable enough to sleep in?
  • Your character has nothing to do today; they’re staying at home and nobody super important is going to see them. How are they dressed?

So, I think this should be enough to help you get started on developing your character’s appearance; I hope this helped! If you or anyone else wants to see me cover another topic in my next post, please don’t hesitate to leave a message in my ask. Until next time, much love! <333

you know, even with all the other bill cipher related crap, and the weirdmageddon itself taken into account, i still think that the creepiest scene in all of gravity falls is when pacifica tries to stand up for dipper and explain herself, but her father just rings that bell and she immediately snaps her mouth shut, takes a submissive stance, and retreats in shame

A: “WAKE UP!”

B: “Wha-what’s wrong?!”

A: “Shrek 5 comes out 2020 and will be about Shrek’s backstory and how he came to be and I’m so excited, was he born an ogre? Was he cursed? Will we see baby Shrek? Angsty teen Shrek? I need answers.”

B: “…did you honestly break into my room in the middle of the night to discuss SHREK?!”