Hello hello! The workshop is a place where you can expand on your character's initial sorting application either just for fun or to participate in our ranking system!
For Beginner, Intermediate, and Elite applications, we will look at your character's profile as part of our review process. While we understand that not all people write the same, and people have different styles of writing, we must balance this with a standard by which we review profiles. As such, we have two requirements for our profiles here on WURR:
1. Must be in third person.
All profiles for ranking must be done in a third person POV. What this means is that the profile should not contain, except in dialogue, thoughts, stylistic framing purposes and the like, pronouns such as 'I' or 'me'. For example, instead of saying "I walked into the room," which is a first person POV, you would say "Harry walked into the room." or "He walked into the room."
While the Appearance and Personality sections will probably be in present tense, the History section is generally in past tense. However, as long as you use third person, we allow a degree of flexibility with past and present tense in profiles.
2. Must contain, in some form, an Appearance, Personality, and History.
You may put these sections in any order you wish. You may also choose to do a more freeform profile. However, when we review, we will specifically be looking for the inclusion of these three areas, and our comments will be based on these three areas.
If you chose to not include an Appearance in your initial sorting application, we would like you to add one, and then expand on it in your first revision! When you apply for Beginner rank, we would like to see at least two posts in your Workshop topic - one with your original sorting application plus an appearance if you didn't include one initially, and at least one revision of your entire profile with all sections expanded on.
Writing a profile for the first - or even second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. - time can be daunting! That's where this guide comes into use. And we don't want to limit your creativity, so don't be afraid to do a standard profile or a freeform profile. Below, you can find examples of good profiles for each of those options.
Examples of good 'standard' profiles:
Examples of more freeform profiles:
Some Elite profiles:
But never fear! If you're stuck on the content, then we have some suggestions for you! Though please note that you don't need every one of these to get instantly approved for ranks. Ultimately, it's up to you, the writer, to best describe your characters, because you know them better than any of us do.
Don't just list facts! Have you listed the whys behind important parts of your character? (e.g. Why is he an angry, hateful jerk? Why is she never alone and needs to surround herself with people? Why does your character resent his or her parents? etc.)
Do your paragraphs flow? Where can you separate / move information so that the profile is more pleasing to read? Are the ideas organized?
Have you started to connect different sections of your profile? All the sections are tied to each other! (e.g. A character's personality may be reflected by the clothes he wears, his history will shape how his personality turns out, the way he dresses may affect certain moments in his life, etc.)
Have you covered the basics? (e.g. Hair length and color, eye color, skin color, body type, type of clothes, etc.)
Don't forget to describe the face. Sure, most characters have a nose and a mouth and stuff, but what shape are they? Are the lips full, the nose flat, the eyes narrow? There are lots of ways to describe the facial features!
Is there anything from personality or history that is worth mentioning because it might somehow affect your character's appearance? (e.g. A scar from an important event? Does she always wear a specific article because it has sentimental value?) Why?
If you're up to the challenge, try thinking of dynamic ways to describe your character's appearance. Does your character walk a certain way? Have a certain posture? Talk with a certain accent or feeling? Have a noticeable habit? There are many ways to describe your character outside of, "This is what he looks like if you stare at him"!
Does the profile help the reader understand how your character feels about their looks and why they might feel that way?
Does your character have REAL flaws? AKA is your character a Sue? (If you can't figure it out on your own, check this nifty thread HERE!)
What kind of people does your character hate / like / surround themselves with and why?
What sort of things make your character insecure / afraid / angry and why?
How does your character feel about his or herself? (e.g. do they wish that they were smarter or braver or more outgoing; are they super confident in everything they do, etc.) Why?
Does the history of your character make sense in that it is relative to or shaped his / her personality?
Have you considered mentioning important relationships in the character's life and how they may have influenced your character?
If your character were to recall the history of their life themselves, what events would they feel are important to mention? What events would they want to forget? (Obviously you should mention those events anyways!)
Alternatively, you can check out this profile HERE as a kind of reference for things you might like to find out about your character!
Let's face it. No matter how much we try, no one is perfect. You, me, and even that infuriating person who sits in front of you and always gets perfect scores on their math quizzes has flaws. If real people like that have flaws, then of course, our characters must have flaws as well, or face the risk of falling and turning into what we call a Mary Sue, which tends to be less than desirable not only in the RP world, but the general writing world as well. So with that in mind, let's explore flaws.
Flaws, at the heart of it, are imperfections. They are things that hinder a person--whether it causes them to ignore their own shortcomings, ruins their relationships with others, or otherwise causes undesirable circumstances. Examples can include a short temper, chronic lying, an inability to ever say no, arrogance, or an inability to keep a secret. But don't limit yourself to these, or variations of these, when creating a character. Look at people around you, or even yourself, for ideas. Again, everybody has their flaws. You just have to look deep enough to find them!
But while you're looking, what exactly constitutes a flaw? The urge to give a character the least harmful flaws can be strong at times, but all that results in is flaws that aren't really flaws, and a character who, again, can border on being a Mary Sue. Examples of these flaws which are not really flaws can be an inability to cook, being clumsy, or even being too perfect. These are not flaws. An inability to cook can be fixed with time and lessons, and clumsiness, while it has the potential to be a true flaw, usually comes off as more of an endearing trait rather than a true flaw. As for being too perfect...well, we won't even touch that until we discuss Mary Sues.
So now that you have a grasp of what a flaw is and what isn't, let's address the question of why one should give their characters flaws. Again, the urge to make a character as perfect as possible can be very strong. But, quite frankly, a flawed character is just more fun. Flaws give so much potential for plots based on misunderstandings and wrongs, and the growth that comes from facing shortcomings is exactly the type of thing we look for in higher ranks!
Now, after that lesson on flaws, let's move on to what happens in a complete absence of character flaws. A Mary Sue, or her male counterpart, Gary Stu, is the perfect character. She is flawless in appearance and personality and loved by all, perhaps despite a tragic past or abuses done towards her. Her abilities are numerous, and whatever she tries, even if she hasn't had any training, is met with success. Remember that person who always sits behind you in math class who always gets perfect scores on their math tests? Take away all her hidden flaws, and you've got a Mary Sue.
But why do people hate Mary Sues so much? Everyone aspires to be perfect--shouldn't a Mary Sue be that standard people look up to? The answer lies in the fact, once again, that no one is perfect. No one is flawless, and to look at Mary Sue is to see a character no one can relate to, and a character who, quite frankly, is boring. Mary Sues don't change--they're perfect, so why would they need to change? And if a Mary Sue character and another character interact, the Mary Sue would be better at something than the other character is--even if the other character is quite skilled at whatever activity the two were doing. This, of course, is frustrating not only for the character, but the player as well.
The obvious way to prevent this from happening, then is to not have a Mary Sue. But how can you make sure a character isn't a Mary Sue? Well, the MARY SUE LITMUS TEST is a quiz you can take about your character to determine where your character lies on the scale of Mary Sue-ness. Just check the boxes as they apply, and don't lie to yourself! And if you find you do have a Mary Sue, you can always fix it! Give your character one or two things he or she is good at, not ten. Give them actual flaws, as described above. You'll have a non-Mary Sue in no time!
Your friendly neighborhood Review Team is proud to announce that in addition to doing ranking reviews, we are now also doing profile reviews as well! We hope that this will help you in your quest towards building a better profile and a better character, and ultimately, help you become a better writer! There are, however, a few restrictions to this, as listed below:
1. For now, only characters already ranked Novice or above can be reviewed through this process. As profiles are a significant part of ranking for the Beginner and Intermediate, we feel that another review of the profile would be redundant at that point in time. If you do not plan on participating in the ranking system, but would like to have your profile reviewed, please PM a Review Team member!
2. After you have been reviewed, you must wait 1 month before asking for another review. This is partially for the sake of Review Team, and partially for your sake. We want to give you enough time to consider the advice you've been given and make adjustments as necessary. After the time restriction, however, we will be happy to take another look!
Still interested? Here's how to apply!
Step One: Fill out the form below, and then post it in your workshop topic, as a reply to your latest profile revision. The more detailed you are in filling out your form, the better we can help you!
Step Two: Place a star at the start of your workshop title, so we can see where your profile topic is!
Step Three: Sit back, and we'll get to your profile as soon as we can! As a note--unlike ranking, only 1 member of the review team will review your profile, and post their review in your profile topic.
|[b]Name:[/b] Character name|
[b]Rank:[/b] Character rank
[b]Area of concern:[/b] What you would like us to focus on--this can be as generic as asking us to do a review of your entire profile, or as specific as asking us to look at a certain paragraph in a section. Content, style, anything you would like us to pay attention to, please let us know!
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