The character development guide will help you design characters to interact with others on this wiki in a cohesive manner.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Your character's appearance should make sense with whatever species they are a part of. Their clothing should also be practical for their job. For example, one shouldn't wear a long flowing dress in combat.

Age[edit | edit source]

Be sure your character has a reasonable age for whatever his/her role is. If your character is a soldier, generally, he/she should be young adult to middle aged. If your character is ruling a country, their age will help serve as a visual cue for their experience.

Most amateur writers make the mistake of either making the character far too young, or so old that they are beyond the normal lifespan of whatever their species is. Young characters are difficult to write because they think differently than older individuals. On the converse, writing super ancient characters is difficult because there are no real life examples of such.

The widest appeal tends to be characters with the human age between 20 and 40, though you should also choose an age that goes well with their skillset.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Make sure that whatever species your character is from has an actual, developed history. It is better to design your character based off the species rather than the other way around. If your species is a planet of hats where everyone has the same personality, then your character will turn out to be nothing more than a mouth piece for that species' ideas. This is a common mistake when writing with non-human characters and should be avoided at all costs.

In truth, your character will be influenced by the species' culture, but in the Galactic Crucibles universe, there has been a lot of cultural intermingling between other aliens.

Lastly, remember that it is very difficult to come up with a good personality before you start writing. Instead, the easiest way to give your character personality is to actually put them in stories. The stories help to explain how your character reacts in unique situations.

While you may create a character based off yourself, by all means, do NOT actually make yourself as that character. This type of character is infamously known as the Mary Sue (also known as Marty Stu or Gary Stu). A Mary Sue is a fantasized version of yourself doing great things and often filibustering their own beliefs into the story.

Backstory[edit | edit source]

Tragic backstories can be interesting, but if you are going for something dark and really tragic, you must do so accurately. If you do not portray a tragic backstory realistically, then your character will likely receive negative reactions from people who have actually been through such incidents. You need to find an even balance with the amount of angst. Too much angst is annoying. No angst at all is inhuman. If you want to avoid angst altogether, then give your character a non-tragic backstory.

Also, the most important thing to avoid in the backstory is the act of handing your character their specialties on a silver platter. The audience cannot relate to those who have ascended to greatness through just luck. A competent character should be able to solve their own problem without deus ex machina.

Choosing a skillset[edit | edit source]

Superhuman abilities[edit | edit source]

Your character should not be a knock-off of a comic book superhero. Don't make your character the last of a species that is superior to humanity in every way as an excuse to give him/her super powerful abilities. These characters have a difficult time fitting into a setting with a plethora of characters with more normal backstories.

Some extraordinary abilities are okay, but one of the reasons we discourage their use is the tendency for amateur writers to build invincible characters. If the purpose of the character was to show off how powerful he/she is in comparison to everyone else (i.e. one-man armies or curb stomping existing characters), then that is a sign of godmodding.

Granted, superhero characters can be done well, but remember Galactic Crucibles places more focus on the interactions between civilizations rather than the characters. If your character ever utters the line, "I just want to be normal", then consider heeding your character's request and actually make them normal.

"Normal" Skills[edit | edit source]

Even if the character doesn't have superpowers, many amateur writers make the mistake of giving them more skill than they need. They add a plethora of talents to a character just to make them seem amazing, when the reality is, hardly any of them are actually important.

The Law of Conservation of Detail mandates that if a particular element is not critical to the plot of the story, it should not be there. For example, a character's cooking skills should only ever be mentioned in a story where cooking is actually involved.

Do not make your character talented at everything. In real life, a person's talent is only found in a unique area. It is also important to know the difference between knowledge and intelligence. Just because a character knows a lot doesn't make him/her intelligent and vice versa.

Working with a team[edit | edit source]

If your character is part of a team, make sure they are balanced with the other characters. Do not have your character be the center of attention. You should also avoid writing other characters to make yours seem better.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.