Tips for a Good Bio Sept 23, 2011 16:41:17 GMT -8
Post by Trevor Williams on Sept 23, 2011 16:41:17 GMT -8
Below is a list of things you should keep in mind while writing your character sheet. This will make the process a lot quicker and more enjoyable for all parties involved.
Be mindful of your spelling, grammar, and capitalization.
No one is perfect. We all know that. Therefore, all I ask is for you to do your best with those three items. Please avoid the recent trend I've seen on many role-playing sites where people don't capitalize anything. It makes it harder for us to read.
Fill out the forms as directed.
I've been lenient with this of late, especially concerning personality. If a field on the form says "two paragraphs," it needs to be as close to two paragraphs as possible. If you need help figuring out how to fill up the space, ask for help. All admins are more than willing to help answer any and all questions you may have while writing your sheet or at any point in time while you are role-playing. That is what we are here for! No question is too small.
Also, if a format is suggested (i.e., the family information), please try to stick to that as it makes it easier and much faster for an admin to glean the necessary information that way rather than read through a wall of text. For things like history or personality, however? I do not require a specific form. If lists work for you or bullet points, go with it! However, be sure that the information fills up the required space and the points are developed rather than merely thrown out there. One paragraph is considered roughly 100 words.
Avoid Mary Sue/Gary Stu.
Who are these people? Well, let's put it to you this way: they're not a specific character but rather a specific type of character. Mary and Gary are perfect in every way. Their skin is flawless. Their eyes are radiant. Their descriptions include words like, "Mary is absolutely gorgeous." Mary and Gary always know how to act in every situation. Mary and Gary have tragic pasts, but they've come out on top despite no mention of any related struggle. For more information on Mary and Gary, refer to the post below.
Keep your history on topic.
Avoid rambling on about irrelevant content. If you're going to describe some part of the past, please make sure you tie it in. Don't spend time describing how the grandparents and/or parents met if that dynamic isn't somehow going to lead to an event you mention in your history. These things forces your readers have to dig for the information relevant to the character if not tied into the character somehow. If what you're writing on doesn't directly influence the character in some other way than causing them to be born, consider leaving it out. Ten paragraphs for history is not impressive if only the one at the end is actually about your character.
Keep your history believable.
I've had characters pop up on past sites that simply didn't make sense. They were fifteen and an absolute expert at something that didn't even make sense. They had knowledge their parents taught them that no responsible parent would teach their child. They had knowledge no government worker would have taught their child. The list could go on. I've also had characters pop out of the woodwork that were something that made no sense for the fandom by any stretch of the imagination. They were all seemingly thought out, but they still lacked believability. As you write, ask yourself if what you're writing makes sense. If you find yourself having to make excuses for/explain away something, maybe you should reconsider it.
Keep in mind events that happened.
Note: These do not need to be included in your history, but it is something you should at least consider while writing your sheet as they do affect most every character.
There are some key events mentioned in the Introduction Board's threads that would influence all your characters to some degree. Whether or not they are mentioned in your history or anywhere in your sheet, you should at least consider them as they can help you gain more of an idea of who your character is.
For instance, the attacks on Hogwarts and the Ministry on December 18, 2008, which lead to the school being shut down the remainder of the year would have many direct and indirect effects by itself. Parents would have had to decide if their children would be home educated during that year, attend another school, or be sent to Damien Noland's Interim Hogwarts. Children at Hogwarts, whether they were at the Yule Ball or in their dormitories because they were too young to attend, would have had some sort of reaction. Ministry workers would have some sort of reaction. The populous would have had some reaction. Did they believe it really was "terrorists" or did they wonder if the Death Eaters could be back? Did this view change as the random attacks began to occur upon random Wizarding villages?
When blood lineage paperwork began to be required in February of 2009, did your character think it odd? What about when Hogwarts was reopened to all but muggle-borns in August of 2009?
What did they think as Aurors were replaced with the Imperium Guard?
When Minister of Magic, Walter Crane, revealed himself to be a believed-dead, known Death Eater, Harold Masters, and declared Trevor Williams leader on February 14, 2010, everyone would have had some reaction. Did they recognize Trevor's face from the papers back in 2002 following his arrest as "Headmaster Trey Hunter"? Even if they knew nothing of either, were they apprehensive? Hopeful? Were they there as the riot broke out and Death Eaters appeared to squash it? Did they hear about it?
When muggle-borns began to disappear following the December 2008 attacks, what did your character think? As it was revealed later that they were enslaved, what did your character think? Was he appalled by this new regime? Was he appalled by merely they idea of slavery?
You get the idea! I don't expect all of these to be addressed, but they are things to keep in mind regardless of whether or not you mention them as such things do shape your character and help you grasp who he is.
Have your own tip that you think may help a prospective member? PM this account!