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DISCUSSION: Help designing characters for your fiction

CynthiaLover

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Like the name states, I decided to start a thread where people can discuss different character designs for their stories and for other users to offer feedback and/or suggestions on how to improve their designs. From simple things like hair and eye color to more extravagant things like clothing style, extra limbs (ie: wings, tails, etc), and other such ideas. After all, a good character design can help grease the creativity gears and help make your fiction idea to become a reality more easily. So anyone who wants some to pitch their ideas for their characters and want some feedback/suggestions are free to use this thread for that purpose.

I might as well open things up with my own ideas. In this case I will discuss two of my characters from my prototype idea: Nova and Nina.

Starting with Nova, his character design that I've largely envisioned up to this point is that his physical appearance is "unremarkably average" (in a similar vein to Kimihito from Monster Musume or Keiichi from Ah! My Goddess), with the most noteworthy details of having coral pink hair and green eyes (thus utilizing the Significant Green-Eyed Redhead trope, as he is the main character). But what would be the best way to describe the concept of "unremarkably average" in a physical sense? Please offer some suggestions on what you feel would be a good way to describe such a concept.

In terms of Nina, her character design has largely been decided. However, I was wondering if I should add a certain detail to her? As you may or may not know, I based her off of the various Ninas from Breath of Fire (who are attractive winged women) while also incorporating traits from Angela from Trials of Mana (specifically her ears, long purple hair, and Ms. Fanservice status). However, I was wondering if I should add large plume-like feathers to her design? If you're wondering what I mean, look up Nina from Breath of Fire 3 (who is my favorite Nina) and you'll see that she has long plume-like feathers underneath her wings that give her an almost fairy-like appearance. That's what I mean. It doesn't have to be exclusive to her, as I was thinking it could be a species trait, meaning all Phoenix Clan members have the same large plume-like feathers. Does anyone think that might work for her (and by extension her clan)? Let me know.

Now, with that out of the way, feel free to post your own ideas and offer/ask suggestions to your own character designs here. Happy posting.
 

helperman

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I've been making some super hero comic books and i want some help with the bad guy. he is a cow boy bandit that got teleported to modern times. he fly's around on a jet pack destroying modern technology in a attempt to turn the world back to how it was in cow boy times. i would like it if you could help me think up his personality
 

Torchic W. Pip

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Starting with Nova, his character design that I've largely envisioned up to this point is that his physical appearance is "unremarkably average" (in a similar vein to Kimihito from Monster Musume or Keiichi from Ah! My Goddess), with the most noteworthy details of having coral pink hair and green eyes (thus utilizing the Significant Green-Eyed Redhead trope, as he is the main character). But what would be the best way to describe the concept of "unremarkably average" in a physical sense? Please offer some suggestions on what you feel would be a good way to describe such a concept.
My mind first jumps to “average height, average weight” in the “hey Google what is the average height and weight of a man from [place]” sense. The problem is that average can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
Maybe he’s a 9/5-er who does the same thing every day: wake up at the same time, eat the same meals, go out to the same place for drinks, talks to the same friends about the same things, day in and day out. He’s got enough money to support himself comfortably, but not a whole lot.
In terms of Nina, her character design has largely been decided. However, I was wondering if I should add a certain detail to her? As you may or may not know, I based her off of the various Ninas from Breath of Fire (who are attractive winged women) while also incorporating traits from Angela from Trials of Mana (specifically her ears, long purple hair, and Ms. Fanservice status). However, I was wondering if I should add large plume-like feathers to her design? If you're wondering what I mean, look up Nina from Breath of Fire 3 (who is my favorite Nina) and you'll see that she has long plume-like feathers underneath her wings that give her an almost fairy-like appearance. That's what I mean. It doesn't have to be exclusive to her, as I was thinking it could be a species trait, meaning all Phoenix Clan members have the same large plume-like feathers. Does anyone think that might work for her (and by extension her clan)? Let me know.
Depends on the medium! For writing, you can get away with a lot of little details that would make, saying, animation difficult. I think I’m the context of it being a Phoenix Clan thing, it makes sense.
I've been making some super hero comic books and i want some help with the bad guy. he is a cow boy bandit that got teleported to modern times. he fly's around on a jet pack destroying modern technology in a attempt to turn the world back to how it was in cow boy times. i would like it if you could help me think up his personality
The biggest thing that stands out to me is: why does he want things back to the way they were to the point that he destroys modern technology, but also uses the modern technology of a jet pack? Is he a conservative bigot that wants things back to the way things were in his time? Does new technology make his job as a bandit harder? In what ways and how does he destroy technology?
 

CynthiaLover

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My mind first jumps to “average height, average weight” in the “hey Google what is the average height and weight of a man from [place]” sense. The problem is that average can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
Maybe he’s a 9/5-er who does the same thing every day: wake up at the same time, eat the same meals, go out to the same place for drinks, talks to the same friends about the same things, day in and day out. He’s got enough money to support himself comfortably, but not a whole lot.

Depends on the medium! For writing, you can get away with a lot of little details that would make, saying, animation difficult. I think I’m the context of it being a Phoenix Clan thing, it makes sense.

Thanks for the advice. In Nova's case it's more of a "average height, average weight" kind of thing, while also being rather bland, crossing right into unattractive, in terms of his physical appeal (which, given his already rock-bottom self-esteem it only adds more fuel to that fire). He also doesn't have a great job, complete with a jerkass boss, and given his cowardly lion/perverted tendencies (which he's ashamed of) makes it all the more worse for him.

As for Nina, I ultimately decided to add the large plume feathers to her (and by extension, her clan's) design. Which meant I had to edit Chapter 2 quite a bit in order to add in those details regarding them (as it's both her introduction and Nova's introduction to the clan, as he also runs into two more clan members shortly afterward). But since my proofreader hasn't done anything with this new series' chapters it worked out. And, besides, it makes her (and her clan) look more mystical and majestic, due to being related to real phoenixes. Thanks again.
 

helperman

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The biggest thing that stands out to me is: why does he want things back to the way they were to the point that he destroys modern technology, but also uses the modern technology of a jet pack? Is he a conservative bigot that wants things back to the way things were in his time? Does new technology make his job as a bandit harder? In what ways and how does he destroy technology?
yes he want to destroy it because it makes his job harder. and for how he destroys it, mainly by stealing it
 

Serverus Snope

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As the kids these days say: oof. This is kind of a toughie if you don't also do art. I used to do text descriptions for my OCs and, quite frankly, it's so much easier to work with drawing up the design than relying on text alone. Sometimes what sounds good in a description might not look so great in a picture. Stuff like that.

But even then, drawing character designs has its own challenges. Sometimes you don't get the right look the first time around... or the fourth.

Maybe I'm biased because I come from Gaia Online, a website where the RP community outright requires pix and stuff.
 

Torchic W. Pip

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As the kids these days say: oof. This is kind of a toughie if you don't also do art. I used to do text descriptions for my OCs and, quite frankly, it's so much easier to work with drawing up the design than relying on text alone. Sometimes what sounds good in a description might not look so great in a picture. Stuff like that.

But even then, drawing character designs has its own challenges. Sometimes you don't get the right look the first time around... or the fourth.

Maybe I'm biased because I come from Gaia Online, a website where the RP community outright requires pix and stuff.
I draw OCs a lot, but sometimes I use websites like Picrew to figure out an idea for the character’s design before working in the final design. I think online dress up games are really helpful for people who design characters but don’t draw. I can find a few especially good sources later once my laptop is charged, because linking isn’t fun on mobile lol.
 

Serverus Snope

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I draw OCs a lot, but sometimes I use websites like Picrew to figure out an idea for the character’s design before working in the final design. I think online dress up games are really helpful for people who design characters but don’t draw. I can find a few especially good sources later once my laptop is charged, because linking isn’t fun on mobile lol.
I forgot about those. joy-ling made one but now you need to do some Flash emulator stuff to use it.
 

CynthiaLover

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Okay, because I decided on expanding the shaman magic concept in my series I've been brainstorming designs for the main cast to take when invoking the Shaman Magic System (via elemental energy gem bracelets). In a similar vein Breath of Fire 2 (where the idea came from, albeit there are two methods in this series instead of one), whenever a character uses either form of Shaman magic (be it Soul Unison or Elemental Energy Fusion) they can take a new form. Depending on the combo depends on what the form will look like. Generally speaking, whenever one Elemental Shaman or Elemental Energy Gem is used on a character (especially if they're compatible, like combining the Fire element with Nina, a Phoenix Clan member) will result in a palate swap, albeit with the newly added elemental energy increasing the user's overall strength (there are some exceptions). Combining two Elemental Shamans or up to five Elemental Energy Gems will result in new transformations, complete with new powers, abilities, and skills. I've come up with a handful of designs and combos but I could use some help with new ideas for forms. The ideas I have so far are below so to give you an idea of what I mean. Oh, also, the elements in this world are Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, Lightning, Ice, Wood, Light, and Dark.

Nina: Goddess of Phoenixes (Fire + Wind + Light). She resembles a flaming goddess with two pairs of wings and six plumes, her hair is now blonde with fire burning from the top and tips, her eyes are now sapphire blue, wearing a very regal Cleopatra-like gown studded with gems and gold, wearing high-heeled gold boots, a red and blue crystal crown, had three orbiting rings consisting of Fire, Wind, and Light energy, and is constantly floating.

Sir Reginald: Terra Dark Knight (Earth + Dark). He resembles a knight clad in black armor, with stone knight boots and gauntlets, his hair is now mud brown, his eyes are now gold, twin claymores on his back, stones orbiting him, and wearing a knight helmet made of crystal.

Angelo: Tsunami Knight (Water + Light). He resembles a leaner, more muscular versions of himself, now with aqua blue skin, blue eyes, a green mohawk, wearing shining armor that seems to be made of solid water in some places, and wielding a two-handed halberd.

Van: Guardian of Edyn (Wood + Earth). His horse lower body is now made of earth and tree bark, with a wooden catapult-like tail, hooves made of crystal, his upper body is in full armor with vines and leaves on it, his head is encased in a helmet made of rock, his hair is now green, and he wields two lances made of rock and bark that can fire thorny vines.

Nova: Chaos Archer (Light + Dark). Resembles the Black Luster Soldier from Yu-Gi-Oh, only both the sword and shield have been replaced by arm-mounted automatic crossbows that fire endless chaos energy arrows, his eyes are now red and hidden behind a knight's visor (but are glowing), his skin is turned into pure chaos energy, and he's much taller and muscular. (Note that Nova doesn't gain access to this form until much, much later, long after the others gain at least two, as he was originally not compatible with Shaman magic until his body "evolved" due to repeated exposure to Edyn's magical energies, and even then it's not a perfect fit, as his restrictions, such as longevity, are greater in exchange for more immediate power and the ability to absorb the enemy's power and turn it into his own.)

That should give you a general idea of what I'm looking for. Any ideas would be helpful, as I'm trying to get at least two forms for everyone (outside of palate swaps). Thanks in advance.
 
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