The Character Consortium

A blog dedicated to answering any and all questions regarding character creation, Mary Sues, how many vampires in a story is too much, and other inquiries associated with creating realistic, complex characters or stories that don't make people want to cry out of embarrassment.

Sometimes I will be posting from my iPod so please excuse awkward typos! I wanted to warn everyone in advance because I just found out that it disagrees when I try to go back and edit things! Isn’t that wonderful? I think it’s wonderful.

captainjazzhook asked: Do you, or have you ever ran across anyone, that has a problem with making all of their characters very similar?

I have - not only have I fallen into this problem a few times, I know people who make characters that all have distinct similarities in either look or personality. I think it’s mostly a comfort issue, to be honest. People find their strength playing or writing certain types of characters and then stick to it. It can lead to really bland characters or get incredibly tedious to read after a while, so I would encourage everyone to try new things because the only way to get better at something is to practice and push out of your safe zone. I’m not saying that similar characters are necessarily a horrible thing, but in literature variety is much more interesting.

I guess it’s kind of like actors being typecast, I guess. No matter how good of an actor (or writer) you are, if people only see you as a certain sort, you might have trouble later on breaking free of the classification, especially if you’ve gotten comfortable. Let’s say Stephenie Meyer gets it together and writes the best book ever written, with an amazing main character who is well thought out and relates to every human being alive - people will still shy away from the book because about half of the population is so unimpressed with her bland heroine from Twilight.

I have a really good IRL friend who I saw this happening to and I tried to politely point it out, but when you don’t intentionally set out to make similar characters (as is often the case, I think) it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why they feel do similar. I try to avoid this by getting into the character’s head as much as possible - what made them the way the are. They’re vegetarian? Why? What caused them to make this life choice, etc. Once you go a little deeper I think most characters begin to start standing on their own and break away from other characters that might be similar. There’s long, long profiles you can find on the internets (like this one) that do just that - they take a while to fill out, but they’re invaluable as a way to better know your character.



If you have any requests for Helpful Links, feel free to tell me! I’m planning on making many, many more of them so if I know what you guys want it’ll be easier for me to plan for them c:

What about that personality site? It works well for when you have an idea but aren’t entirely sure how to write it out. The questions help figure out some things, at least. I’ve used it for Devin and Sasha, and it’s helped out with both.

It’s like you read my mind! I’ll do that next :)

(via raiykei-deactivated20130404)

If you have any requests for Helpful Links, feel free to tell me! I’m planning on making many, many more of them so if I know what you guys want it’ll be easier for me to plan for them c:

Helpful Links: Names

Behind The Name
This place is my name bible. It’s a good starting point, and has names that span nearly every country on the globe as well as include meaning of the names. They have a huge section of name themes, too, in case you wanted all your characters to have names that correspond to colors or minerals or mythology.

Victorian & Steampunk Name Generator
What I like about this one is that it gives you titles as well as names. The names you get are pretty much fantastic: Harrison Raddish Betoyne, Calvin D. Timmins III, Elvira Tulkinghorn.

Fantasy Name Generator

This generator is ridiculously well structured - you can pick from a short name to a long name to a name with lots of vowels to names that are insults or ones that are just plain bad. You get a ton of options, as well - if my calculations are correct, roughly 119 names per category.

Seventh Sanctum: Names
This site has basically every name category ever. I should have put this at the top, but too late now. It’s got a ton of options and is super fun to browse through - they don’t just do names, but has resources for magic spells, technology, combat, armor, just about anything you need to get started writing.

Obligatory First Post

So! I’ve been inspired by a lot of blogs on Tumblr that give advice on cosplay, RP, not being obnoxious, etc. I thought it might be nice to make a blog that assesses character ideas - not just for RP, but for original fiction and short stories or really anything that you write that includes a character. I know that there are several blogs already like this, but to be honest, everyone gives advice differently, and for me personally getting several different viewpoints on something is helpful. I apologize in advance if I step on toes. I know that I’m not 100% qualified to be doing this, being a lowly college student, but I like helping people and I’ve heard from people that my skills in character creation aren’t sucky so if I can put that talent (so to speak) to good use I’ll be happy!

You aren’t required to implement anything I say, and I do ask that you take any and all critique not only as a mostly mature adult (or teen) but with a grain of salt. Just because I say that your AU Alice in Wonderland that takes place in outer space with aliens would be better with lasers doesn’t mean you gotta add them in. Also I call dibs on that idea. That idea is really badass.

I’m mostly doing this to benefit the people around me who are friends that might like some honest critique, but it’s open to everyone and I look forward to seeing the characters you all make! I’m going to work my hardest to make sure everything is mostly objective and fair, and this means that everything posted here is meant to be the creation of the person who thought it up - honor system, people. Stealing other people’s ideas outright isn’t cool and every time you do that you get -5 karma points. It’s like stealing a kitten. Nobody likes people who steal kittens. This isn’t to say that being inspired is bad - maybe as you browse, you’ll see something interesting and be like, “Wow, a science-fiction take on classical things is pretty neat!” And then you go write Moby Dick in Space. With a huge alien whale. Fish from space.

I call that idea too. Sorry. Dibs again.

On a separate note, my computer keeps wanting to correct “Queequeg” as “squeegee.”

Love and kisses, Kat