Common Themes/Tropes in Your Writing?

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Rosso

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@grimmwald:

I wish you wrote more with her.

He says about the character I've written more than any other, ever.

Hehee, I'll take the compliment. Actually LL helped me with that more than she realises. While I do believe she read into the initial encounter more than was necessary (it wasn't that deep; in a sense, G and I were almost racing to see who could sell convincing loss faster...except I say "almost" because there was zero coordination or planning; we just had the same idea), she took the time to explain to me the OODA loop and I started using it with the character. That's why it became priority for her to manage distance (although, OOC, I as a writer was always secretly hoping for someone to overcome the distance so I could write her in another h2h situation).

It's also why, when Abby encountered an enemy of a particular type (mental disposition, power- or skillset, etc), if the encounter presented an outside context problem, she'd work on a new piece of gear to help overcome it. Or even without encountering, if certain people/tech/types (etc.) gained prominence, she'd work on a way to get around it [given what she could know/theorize about it without godmodding]. (Like the smart-sonic arrow. I made that one in a time where there was becoming an abundance of super armor like vibranium and adamantium and others that are hard to damage/bypass through traditional means, and people were covering their entire bodies with them; so the arrow was designed to overcome that resistance, regardless of what it struck.)

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Voracious

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I always bum rush people, usually with player characters

Usually, when someone attacks somebody, I also attack that person, rather than going off into 1v1's.

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Tessa_Callahan

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@rosso said:

@grimmwald:

I wish you wrote more with her.

He says about the character I've written more than any other, ever.

It's still not enough.

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Grimmwald

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@rosso: Yeah but not enough! Not enough for me at least.

It's also why, when Abby encountered an enemy of a particular type (mental disposition, power- or skillset, etc), if the encounter presented an outside context problem, she'd work on a new piece of gear to help overcome it.

I love this a lot because it speaks to the martial artist in me. The game-planning around an opponent's attributes and intangible qualities. Not many characters do that following meaningful encounters with difficult opponents. But Abby makes these tactical adjustments and it's really fun to see.

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Tessa_Callahan

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silvanus

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A silent, mysterious type character often exist in my stories.

An impressive antagonist is something I actively try to make in all stories except those who don't have an antagonist at all. Sometimes I end up making the protagonist look dumb.

Almost aa central characters have fighting skill or intelligence.

Mostly those.

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Rosso

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[NSFW]

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@grimmwald: Same. It's kinda like me IRL except in comic book fiction world it's easier to actualise it because IRL it takes a lot of time to learn the skills and you still might come across someone better [but that's part of the fun, is pushing those boundaries]. Whereas in fiction world, while the problems scale much larger, you can also come up with a solution more easily. The challenge was doing so without going overboard and making her immune to problems. But I never had a problem with selling [that I know of] and my ego never felt the need to protect from things like that.

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Rosso

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Whereas in fiction world, while the problems scale much larger, you can also come up with a solution more easily

On that note, I've often had characters come up with theories about others that are just based on speculation and/or uncertain, or even just plain wrong, if they have no way of coming upon the truth about a certain power or ability. For instance no one ever learned the mechanism behind Ivana's power. They just understood that somehow she appears to possess a form of hyper-awareness that makes her really hard to hit, from any angle. Be that because of precognition, telepathy, enhanced hearing or other senses, instantaneous reflexes, or whatever...You just had to work around it.

Also on that note, another trope...Pretty much none of my characters, even the ones who have powers, talk about what they can do to anybody. Because saber es poder, and all that.

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Grimmwald

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@rosso: It does. And it's a lot harder to stick to a gameplan IRL especially if doing so deliberately stifles your own specific instincts in a fight. It's hard for example, to stick to a patient gameplan where you have to stay on the outside and patiently pick your opponent apart with stiff jabs and front kicks to the body every time they try and close the distance when all your instincts are telling you to step in and swarm. You do a good job of it and you always sell. In fact, you sell hard, LOL.

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Rosso

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@grimmwald: Ohhh my God, yesssss! I feel that soooo hard! And it goes back and forth sometimes. By nature, I am not a patient girl. Which is usually not a problem, even though I like to counter, because a lot of people liked to press an attack anyway. Except often when someone was new to me but they had more experience, I tend to get tagged more early on, because a lot of the more experienced people are really good at being patient, waiting for reads, and I'll get tired of waiting and swarm...and end up eating a lot of hits. But I'm also an analyst so if I'm getting hit a lot I'm honest with myself about what's going on, and I take care to make adjustments. I got a lot better with the whole thing, though, after reading through your breakdowns of Anderson's counter style vs Lyoto's. So before I was more like AS, but now it's a bit more like Lyoto in that now I'm an active counter-striker. I press and feint and read, and draw particular reactions (over time, panicked reactions even) that I can see coming and counter those. [It also takes advantage of cardio, which is arguably my strongest asset, while pressuring other people to do work, which is great because there's not a lot of people who can match me there and people get exhausted.]
Rambles.

I probably sell hard because I'm so anxious about not selling hard enough.

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Grimmwald

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@rosso: It's the worst, LOL. Especially when, mentally, you swear you saw an opening for a shot that would at least your rock your opponent, but you have to stick to the gameplan instead of risk getting into a compromising position. I remember when we spoke about that. I'm glad you made adjustments! It's always a shock factor when you face someone with a little (or a lot) more experience. There's one story I can tell you (I'll tell you in our PM) and it's just... LOL.

I think most of us do that, at least from time to time. Especially if we feel like we're doing too well in a battle.

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Voracious

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I make many a situation that are designed to challenge whoever I'm writing with's moral compass. To see what they would do in a proposed scenario. Sometimes complex. Sometimes, simple. It isn't meant to challenge one physically, really, so it can also give oppertunity to look badass because the physical challenge isn't really the point. It's the compromise that you have to make or avoid.

I make roads off small interactions, constantly thinking of every action someone could take. And I just kinda ride with whatever the other person does.

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Grimmwald

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My villains tend to embody the psychology of evil to the extreme. All of them actually. Satar, Brahma Bull, and Ezra Strix.

Adding to this, I always write villains who are completely irredeemable. They're never tragic villains or anti-villains, they're almost always straightforward villains. Just sick sick people, LOL. Characters can be villains depending on how irredeemable they are in their means and or their ends. A character like Amaranth for example, is a tragic villain/anti-villain hybrid because while he is willing to go extremely far with his means, he's a villain by circumstance instead of choice, and his goal can be empathized with. Whereas characters like Satar, Brahma Bull, and especially Ezra, are irredeemable in their means and their ends. They do horrible things for horrible reasons.

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Rosso

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Just generally, being accidentally tougher/stronger than expected. Particularly as a result of ignorance.

I remember when Kratesis oversold a magical spell from Arturia that was meant to be weak. But we were in the "just roll with it" phase so everyone just kinda went "welp, guess Turi's got talent." The next time, Trinity took a devastating hit from Kelly which Impero later told me should've killed them both. And the Abby thing with the kick. Anya, generally speaking (mostly learned through reading people debating her in the battles thread). Also Amaranth with the taser. >_>

It's kind of ironic because I used to worry about that a lot when I started out. Doing things and people half-selling it, but selling it wrong due to not knowing. (Like in one early on battle, someone writing a "normal/peak [maybe enhanced?]" person allowed their Achilles to be slashed and just kept going like it was nothing.)

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Voracious

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I actually have a bunch of different vaguely written out system for different kinds of magic and supernatural forces I go off.

Usually I try to keep everything consistent and often draw from lore to construct my magic. I'll make limitations something that is actually logical (not necessarily scientific) that is it's bane. IE. How Jackie Estacardo from the Darkness is vulnerable to light. Asmodeus can't have maximum attack and defend at the same time. Septimus needs blood for his powers to work and it has various elderitch properties.

Magic just follows a different set of rules. It's own logic.

I also tend to avert the "Omnidiscplinary mage" thing and makes spheres of influence or expand on concepts, rather than burden myself with a vague powerset that is gonna make people be like "nope" unless they just trust me that much.

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Rosso

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@rosso: It's the worst, LOL. Especially when, mentally, you swear you saw an opening for a shot that would at least your rock your opponent, but you have to stick to the gameplan instead of risk getting into a compromising position. I remember when we spoke about that. I'm glad you made adjustments! It's always a shock factor when you face someone with a little (or a lot) more experience. There's one story I can tell you (I'll tell you in our PM) and it's just... LOL.

I think most of us do that, at least from time to time. Especially if we feel like we're doing too well in a battle.

Liar. -___-

Maybe it's the immersion. Most of my characters do what they can to avoid battles anyway, and a lot of those battles tend to go in weird ways, so maybe I just never got comfortable enough, found my footing.

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Grimmwald

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@rosso said:
@grimmwald said:

@rosso: It's the worst, LOL. Especially when, mentally, you swear you saw an opening for a shot that would at least your rock your opponent, but you have to stick to the gameplan instead of risk getting into a compromising position. I remember when we spoke about that. I'm glad you made adjustments! It's always a shock factor when you face someone with a little (or a lot) more experience. There's one story I can tell you (I'll tell you in our PM) and it's just... LOL.

I think most of us do that, at least from time to time. Especially if we feel like we're doing too well in a battle.

Liar. -___-

Maybe it's the immersion. Most of my characters do what they can to avoid battles anyway, and a lot of those battles tend to go in weird ways, so maybe I just never got comfortable enough, found my footing.

I forgot! I'll bump our PM to tell you about it a little later.

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_Drake

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Instead of a symbol or a conceptual character, most of the times my main issue creating a new character is how exactly they think and act. I love the extremes of Batman, Superman and the like, but their mentality when facing dangers or simply the thought of selflessness isn't something I believe to be very human in itself. Which is why I spend a great deal of time crafting my character's mentality and personality before anything else. It is the main aspect of my writing, while the alt I'm working on feels and acts human, passing on how their thought process works, then I know I'm doing a good job.

I think that's the best part of writing, honestly. Conveying the ideas of a human being within a world of fiction, giving it a realistic approach even within, sometimes, an entirely fictional world around it.

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Voracious

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@_drake: I agree!

When making a hero, I still like to look at how people in real life think. The closest equivilents of heroes anyway. Firefighter volunteers. Special Forces Operators. Police. People who work jobs that don't pay well but do it anyway out of a deeper purpose than a material.

I like to take the mentality and challenge it. Sometimes I feel writers tend to put heroes in positions where they are right. Where certain typically noble and selfless acts aren't the best thing to do. I like seeing people like batman be treated as insane because he won't kill the joker. I love seeing the practical aspects weighed with the moral ones and seeing a thought process in response to a very complex, multi-faceted situation.

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_Drake

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@voracious:

The more challenging it is to fit your character as a human that does whatever he/she does, the better for me. I love it, the act of reacting to magic, superpowerful people, armies, alien invasions, it all makes me enjoy writing so much more.

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Lucian_LeBeau

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@_drake said:

Instead of a symbol or a conceptual character, most of the times my main issue creating a new character is how exactly they think and act. I love the extremes of Batman, Superman and the like, but their mentality when facing dangers or simply the thought of selflessness isn't something I believe to be very human in itself. Which is why I spend a great deal of time crafting my character's mentality and personality before anything else. It is the main aspect of my writing, while the alt I'm working on feels and acts human, passing on how their thought process works, then I know I'm doing a good job.

I think that's the best part of writing, honestly. Conveying the ideas of a human being within a world of fiction, giving it a realistic approach even within, sometimes, an entirely fictional world around it.

Interesting

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_Drake

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@lucian_lebeau: I'd like to think so. My writing never was the descriptive or flashy sort, I'm trying to improve that, but the humanity of my characters was something everyone always praised me for, so it was something I decided to improve thr best I could. It's good that it's what I mostly enjoy in a story.

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Lichter

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#223  Edited By Lichter

Fichtean triads. Not so much a trope as much as the foundation for my last two years on the site. The story arcs and character concepts of Lichter and Nemo are in direct contradiction with each other in every sense I can think of, so much so that you can pretty much invert the adjectives which describe them. Just off the top of my head I can make a huge list of polar descriptions between the two: weak / strong, lying / authentic, cowardly / brave, self-hating / self-embracing, new / experienced, self-obsessed / compassionate, ruthless / merciful, evil / good, self-destroying / self-creating, and fundamentally, human / ideal human. The "hidden arc" where Nemo prevents Lichter from killing himself and redeems him was aufheben, or the uplifting of both without their essences cancelling out.

I went more into a specific contradiction two months ago (this one is probably the biggest):

@supra-man said:

Both Lichter and Nemo are opposite sides of the same coin in the way that both deal with the pressures revolving around paternal relationships.

Lichter's entire life revolved around his desperate attempts to both redeem his family name as well as elude the meticulous machinations of his father, who he is eventually revealed to be a perfect clone of. He never had a mother IC or OOC in the sense that I never wrote one into existence for him. The abuse he received from his clone-dad is eventually passed onto those he interacted with, as his struggle to escape Lichter-1's influence ultimately consumes his life. His function as what basically amounts to a lethal, incredibly strict superhero (to the point of being a supervillain himself) mirrors a severe paternal relationship. He eventually begins to "take care" of the United States, but is only really concerned with punishing disorder. His rejection of himself eventually caused his suicide - mostly because his father, Lichter-1, didn't show him adequate care. It's implied in the last post, though, that the cycle will go on, and Lichter-3 will be one day be just as bad if nobody interferes in the circle.

Nemo, on the other hand, is a more overtly paternal character, though he more embodies the caring aspect of fatherhood than the retributive aspect. He was outright called "the Superhero community dad" in this thread (#49) by Maxwell Hastings, who would eventually become his sidekick. Nemo also has to constantly balance the amount of influence he exerts on society. He wants humanity to thrive, but would abhor taking control of its direction; he has a far more conservative "hands-off" approach to protecting the world. One of the reasons I chose to channel Superman so strongly with the character in both name and look is because Superman is in many ways the archetypal "father" of the superhero concept. Finally, there's the issue of Nemo's own apparent fatherlessness; he is causa sui, or self-created, much in the same sense that Lichter was (if you take cloning to be self-creating). However, his self-creation is far more positive; he brings himself life in order to live fully, whereas Lichter's original cloning was an attempt to avoid death.

In addition to the dialectic between Lichter and Nemo, there's also a significant one between Heavens Divide and Heavens Unite. In addition to the difference between the titles, Divide represents to me the destructive / competitive component of RPG; Lichter just drops a city out of the sky and starts an arbitrary war between several species, and there's no clear resolution to the story because it wasn't designed to have one. There's also almost no buildup at all; it's just a thing that happens and lots of characters die. It's fundamentally meaningless and chaotic. There's a clear and present danger to challenge and it's purposelessly dropping a city out of the air. There are no moral questions. Divide represented complete discord, basically absolute dystopic-nihilistic entropy.

In complete opposition is the "creative" Unite, which begins with an entirely new world being created rather than something being destroyed. Rather than a meaningless slugfest, it was meant to test characters' wills and ideologies, examining what they desired most in the world and questioning whether they would give up the pleasant lie for the less-pleasant but more authentic truth. The threat in Unite was a secret one with ostensibly benevolent reasoning for restructuring reality; there were genuinely meaningful choices made in Unite. Unite's setting is also utopian in contrast to the dystopian surroundings of Divide, a powerful structure replacing the preceding tumult in Divide.

On a more meta level, I'd say Divide and Unite represented two extreme and opposite types of RPG. Lichter in Divide drops what is essentially the IC equivalent of a for-fun empire claim without buildup, devastating Nebraska (which was chosen as a callback to B0G's) and wreaking absolute havoc without any genuine purpose. On the contrary, Unite's world IC is super-structured and intricately designed by its "author" Darkevius Halliwell (big thanks to my collaborator Dreadpool!) to be as perfect as possible. Nothing happens without his approval, the "plotlines" are all set out for the world's inhabitants, etc. etc. Neither are condemnations of either sort of RPing, just representations of each RP philosophy taken to the absolute extreme. The synthesis of the two is a balance between being willing to do spontaneous things and enable creativity while still working to establish meaning within a story, not necessarily physical guidelines of what people can and cannot do.

Within Heavens Unite there is also a dialectic relationship between death and life. "Death" is basically staying in the gentle universe, going along with a predictable path in which there's no conflict, whereas "life" is choosing to reject comfort / slow death and moving into the "real world" with all of its challenges. I think that all human stories can be derived from the basic "to be" (life) "or not to be" (death) question, where one side is about surrender and the other is about asserting meaning in the world. The ending of Unite was an assertion of meaning by the characters beyond hedonism. On a more personal level, it ties into how I was feeling about the Vine at the time. The main reason I left CV (though there were a few others) was because I was getting comfortable here and not challenging myself creatively. I didn't want to keep writing the same stories over and over, and the surge of nostalgia on the board made me question what I was staying for (plus Nox left for the same reason and he and I tend to come to the same conclusions on things). Unite was basically me wrapping up my "last story" on the site that simultaneously leaves room for new stories on a bigger "site." Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," specifically the lyric about "exchanging a walk-on part in a war for a lead role in a cage," was what I had in my head when I came up with the main theme (which is why I had it play on Nox's character's radio. It's like a double triple meaning).

In short, reconciling Hegelian contradictions is how things grow, so I thought I'd try my hand at the ultimate "existence vs non-existence" arc with some other dialectics sprinkled in for my last project on here. I didn't mean for it to be my last RP as I was writing it, but looking back, there was definitely a sense of absolute finality present from the beginning. I didn't expect this analysis to end up this long but I'm procrastinating on an essay (about Hegelian dialectics, funnily enough) and thought this would be a fun share of sorts. If there's something to be taken from it, I'd say that it's probably that it's time for synthesis on the forum as a whole (we're two-thirds through the nU-CVU-??? triad, after all), but I don't have a horse in that race anymore aside from wanting to see people grow on both sides, because that's the core of meaningful living (plus thinking of all the good stories that could come out of it which otherwise wouldn't).

Also, #sitetoobright. It burns.

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ParagonxXx

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Awesome!

@_drake said:

Instead of a symbol or a conceptual character, most of the times my main issue creating a new character is how exactly they think and act. I love the extremes of Batman, Superman and the like, but their mentality when facing dangers or simply the thought of selflessness isn't something I believe to be very human in itself. Which is why I spend a great deal of time crafting my character's mentality and personality before anything else. It is the main aspect of my writing, while the alt I'm working on feels and acts human, passing on how their thought process works, then I know I'm doing a good job.

I think that's the best part of writing, honestly. Conveying the ideas of a human being within a world of fiction, giving it a realistic approach even within, sometimes, an entirely fictional world around it.

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Tessa_Callahan

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@_drake said:

@lucian_lebeau: I'd like to think so. My writing never was the descriptive or flashy sort, I'm trying to improve that, but the humanity of my characters was something everyone always praised me for, so it was something I decided to improve thr best I could. It's good that it's what I mostly enjoy in a story.

Yeah, this is more important to me than top tier writing. The emotional connection has to be there.

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Will_Worker

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@_drake:

Yeah! To be honest, even in giving a character superpowers to me, I have always been trying to think of what conceptually goes through their heads. How does their powers change them. I always wonder if people could write how their characters were before they had the powers.

I love reacting to crazy stuff and to still have my character apart of the story. Honestly, that's a really big part of why I like open tier systems and areas. I like the diversity it allows and to react to just about anything one can throw at me. It fits in the world of fiction and in my opinion, having this makes being a hero actually more meaningful. So long as the world doesn't change to make the most idealistic thing to so the most practical. That's something that a few people did in the past and that happens in some forms of media.

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_Drake

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@tessa_callahan: I concur. I feel it's way more meaningful when you have the connection, if you read the post and can project yourself or someone you know into it, feel the struggles, the becauses and the whys. I like to think I can do that well, which is why I recently focus on the more aesthetic parts of my posts.

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_Drake

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@will_worker:

Honestly, how powers and the such affect the characters is something I find very interesting, especially when it is related to a past trauma or bad experiences. A big example is how TNTank's lack of confidence and inferiority complex were the way his powers, due to the treatment he had as a monster, translated to his life. The cover up of being unbeatable only because he didn't want any more "Tanks" around, his powers and existence making him so inferior he fought so no more children were like that.

Crazy stuff is great to react to, the whole way the universe is weaved, superheroes with magical world with technology, how it all blends is the greatest thing to come up with.

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Voracious

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@lichter: You write all that but really, all I have to say more or less is that is M E T A as * * * *.

Heavens Unite is always gonna be the best event ever, in my eyes. It got everything right. I'll prolly talk about it some time.

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Tessa_Callahan

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@_drake said:

@tessa_callahan: I concur. I feel it's way more meaningful when you have the connection, if you read the post and can project yourself or someone you know into it, feel the struggles, the becauses and the whys. I like to think I can do that well, which is why I recently focus on the more aesthetic parts of my posts.

Yeah, you have to find a niche and be good at it. Some people have really robust imagery, some people are able to evoke certain aesthetics, some people are able to write really beautifully. For me, I was really good at certain things, but where I excel is forging an emotional connection between reader and character. It pulls people along for the ride, and for me it's the most fun part of writing.

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_Drake

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@tessa_callahan:

It's definitely one of the most gratifying parts of writing, when you can simply type a couple words and get so absorbed in your character's mentality that when you realize it, you already have three paragraphs more than you thought you would.

Especially when it gets recognized by someone else, that's just the best.

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Lichter

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@voracious: Thanks a ton man. I'm glad you think the event was that good, despite all the delays. :)

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Tessa_Callahan

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@_drake: Yeah, absolutely. I'm a little bit of a sadist with that because if I know people are attached to a character I'll put them through even more hell to mess with feels lol.

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_Drake

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@tessa_callahan: Ah, you and me both. A little bit of pain and suffering is always welcome, especially with well-liked characters.

It accentuates them even more, tbh lol

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Will_Worker

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@_drake: Yeah. Tank's a great examples.

Sometimes I think a character will feel off to me because of how their powers effected their personality is for the most part unexplained. If a character is humble and has superpowers,great! But why? I almost usually expect someone born with superpowers to in a sense, feel like they are better than others in many cirumnstances. A big part of the superhero genre is what powers someone has and thinking of how it effects them makes making a character's personality more organic.

Yeah. That is what drew me to comics. I would play ultimate alliance and learn about all these characters who have little in the realm of coherent source for all their powers. The only thing was that there were heroee,villains and people in between. Some stories deviate from this and color in different shades. Take different takes on it. But Superhero comics that are diverse and yet well written are united by deeper concepts than that and if you realize that,you can make most any kinda character work.

That's why I liked Marvel and DC. Evem if the comics I read now are few and far in between.

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Maverick_6

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I pride myself on versatility.

I write a very wide array of characters. From backgrounds Soldiers, to mages. Mutants to vampires. Adults. Teenagers. Children. Animals. I will take another person's army and write them. It kinda opens up new avenues for RPs for the types of characters I can write into a story and the increasing complexity of situations I can make.

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WolverineBatmanFTW

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I like to write about the bleakness of human violence and the sort of darker aspects of the human mind.

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Voracious

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For some reason I always find myself gravitating specifically to the CZ75 when I write any character using a 9mm handgun. Its like, the only choice for me even though I haven't ever actually fired it. I just really like the way it looks and when I read through gun forums, I see very positive replies about it. I just never find myself able to give my character any other kind of 9mm.

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Rosso

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A lot of characters I write deal with the theme of inherent good/evil, nature vs nurture, and the possibility for redemption.

Wanna say more but I'm super sleepy.

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Grimmwald

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Like I mentioned before, I rarely write characters that are ideal heroes or straightforward villains. Especially ideal heroes because I don't usually like characters who embody all the ethical principles that are generally assumed by the world to be in the moral right. And I don't like those characters because they don't really challenge your perception of morality, at least not in any meaningful way. But I don't write many straightforward villains either. Since I first wrote Impero back in Prime, I gravitated a lot towards more morally ambiguous characters like antiheroes, Byronic heroes etc. and I've stuck with it since. Most of my characters operate in a space of moral ambiguity.

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Voracious

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#241  Edited By Voracious

I rarely make characters who reside on any one end of the killing Spectrum. It's usually in the middle and based on what they perceive would be the most effective. Or based on how they feel about the person they're killing.

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Rosso

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@rosso said:

A lot of characters I write deal with the theme of inherent good/evil, nature vs nurture, and the possibility for redemption.

Wanna say more but I'm super sleepy.

Don't think a single one of them's had a resolution though.

Arturia faced a lot of criticism for being a demon, and so from most people she hid that truth about herself. A lot of the Prime characters were the kinds who'd be after her for various reasons. A number of the Ten In crew tried to be mentors and encouraged her to embrace the darker facets of her being, to indulge herself whatever her desires may be. A number of blues wanted to hunt her down. Others, like Victor and Park, just wanted her to be a person. She dealt with the morality of the fact that the only way she could sustain herself was through the death of another person. And I tried to put certain mechanisms in place to make it so she had to kill people. A lot of people were into the auto-solving your problems thing, trying to be helpful, particularly if you were a girl but they didn't seem to get that people like me wanted the conflict. So in the case of someone who would never die no matter what [like Deadpool with the undying curse], she could never derive any sustenance from them. That was to force the issue. There were times when she was very loose with it, times when she'd only go after people she figured nobody would miss (including homeless people, old people, and criminals [her judgement]), and times [particularly after she befriended Park and Victor and that went along more] when she would only go after people who'd try to do harm. A lot of her journey, though, was dealing with the fact she felt she was evil by nature, trying to resist that, trying to overcome all the bad things she had to do and redeem herself. Although now it seems she's reached a spot where she's comfortable with herself and is just trying to live a fulfilling life. She's even got a human friend, in Ambrosius!

Shiho a bit more quietly, and I think the answers to a lot of questions were more clear than with a lot of others. She was a good kid in a bad situation, and she still managed to turn out well up until the point where she was captured and rescued by a particular group of terrorists. It was clearly more of a "nurture" thing with her. But even then she didn't see herself as evil because she was just helping out the people she cared about. Thus, she also didn't seek redemption for anything, except the failure to save her family who were also captured. A similar thing happened when Ishin was killed and Milo tried turning the Kejijo clan against her. And if I continued to write her, I'd explore the angle of how she reacts to her inability to locate and save Amaranth. And likely what not having any of her guiding figures means for her life as she tries to navigate it without them. And, without those particular influences in her life, could she at this stage be redeemed for the things she's done.

Trinity is the opposite; she embodies this very loudly, and as of yet none of her answers are 100% clear. She was created by Nordok and hardwired to be predisposed to emotions like anger, to lack empathy, to be a perfectly engineered killing machine. She was also fed a steady stream of stories from her first day about the people of Earth, about their goddess (Kelly), about how Trinity fits in with them. She was engineered by nature to be what we would call "evil." But apparently even Nordok himself didn't believe that was enough because he actually played on some very human emotions to bring that out and have it fully realised. "They killed your parents," he told her. "They want you dead" was another. "I saved you." Et cetera. Empathy, feelings of loss, even gratitude (to him) and insecurity (making her feel like she had to prove she was better than the goddess and to bring the goddess back to make it up to him), he used those things to drive it all home. So I'd sometimes wonder if Nordok didn't have complete faith in the method [she was one in a long line of experimentation, after all]. It's also possible he was just being an a-hole because that's his nature. Although in many ways he was (and is) sort of like Thanos to Gamora. Then later Antonia did the microsurgery on Trinity to help her along, and she is somewhat better but still has a rough time of it. Still in a formative phase, her future is still wide open. I see a number of big possibilities even now, some in which she's a hero, others in which she's a major villain.

I actually haven't gotten to explore it a ton with Nastya, but it was there a lot in the beginning. Particularly in the ways Antonia conditioned her, and the control methods she has for her, things used to keep her in check. Actually that's kind of a funny one because where Amaranth was a good guy who was made villainous (or anti-villainous) by circumstance, Nastya was kind of approached from the opposite angle; treated as someone who was inherently evil but attempts made to condition her to be "good." [Although one could argue Toni's actions actually did more to damage that than help it along. She was always more of the "motivate by punishment" type than rewarding, and sometimes you have to question whether she was saving lives because it was the right thing to do, or if she was instead more on saving certain principles attached to those lives. It could also maybe be the other way around.]

The way it's approached with Abby is so ironic because most would probably universally agree she's the most "good" of all my characters, and of many/most characters on CV. A more or less classical Christian, at least in many ways, she's probably back and forth herself on her own beliefs in people being inherently good or bad. She not only believes in the idea of no killing under any circumstance [well, except for lately with the illness taking hold], but she's very much against cruelty. More often than not, before engaging an opponent in battle she would offer them the opportunity to stop what they were doing peacefully, try to reason with them. She'd also attempt to end things as quickly as possible, in the least brutal way possible, for most enemies. But she's also had some major screw-ups in her lifetime. Acquiescing to Quintus in Venezuela, which led to children being gunned down. Black House. Lives lost with the League. Et cetera. [Not to mention people harping on how her unwillingness to kill perpetuates the dangers her enemies pose.] Constantly trying to atone for the wrongdoings and mistakes in her life, and though she preaches forgiveness and grace for others [Vincent, for example], she doesn't really believe the same things for herself. She's quite a contrary person, contradicting herself a lot. She fights for peaceful coexistence, for humans and mutants to accept one another despite their differences, but the entire time she bears a metric ton of self-loathing for herself being a mutant--and it is because she's a mutant. Also, like many others here, a lifestyle that wasn't in her hands; it was forced upon her because her father used his power to exercise influence over her mother's pregnancy. Still, she's probably the person on this list who exercises the most control, over her destiny; and still probably feels the most like a slave to a damnation she can't escape no matter what. Explored those themes perhaps most notably in her dealings with Charles and Ivana, because they were two of her worst enemies and she tried to get to know them most, see "what made you this way" and try to "help" them (only to be rejected and slighted/attacked). Will probably pick back up with her at a later time too.

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Rosso

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Those are at least some of them. I didn't explore Valentina here, for one, because I'm actively writing her right now, and she's still in the beginning phase. And that's one of those things where I don't wanna talk about things too much because it might influence how they happen.

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Voracious

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My characters do not use an appeal to force and usually don't respond to it unless they are placed under extenuating circumstances. They functionally would sooner run/retreat from someone than actually concede to it. Such, my characters are more inclined to engage in verbal judo (AKA Shit Talking) than to threaten someone physically. This also actually implies to people they can physically threaten due to the sheer premise of fact that they can't really threaten everyone on a relatively equal plain like you can in real life or in fictional universes with a relative degree balance.

Even my more powerful characters and more villainous characters tend to be far more aware of the fact that there is always a bigger fish. They more so inclined to prove themselves mentally superior because they are on equal/greater footing in that regard to everyone. Not only this, but power isn't hard to come by when all one needs to do in the universe is be born with {Insert Super Gene here} to get it. And none of the work of an Olympic athlete required to obtain it's full potential/maintain it.

Thusly, the values they have in their universe are completely different in real life. are in things that are seen as rare and difficult for people to have. Such as logical intelligence, complex decision making and social understanding.

(They also do not really respect people who are good at inventing things or who have extra-sensory perception to break the fourth wall.)

More or less, my characters are all usually impressed by things that are from a relative standpoint, difficult. That's always what I've sold.

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Rosso

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A good chunk of my characters, no matter who they are, where they fall on the spectrum, how long they've been active, how many people they've killed, view killing as a big deal. Generally speaking, if a character is completely apathetic to killing, you have to really sell it to me in a way that makes me want to buy in. And I feel like with my characters there has to be a good reason, if they don't think much of it. But almost all of them do consider it a big deal.

The worst (IMO) is if it feels like someone's just doing it purely for the sake of being edgy, or having their character be stoic/unflappable in order to be cool/badass and not show any vulnerability. (The "nothing bothers me" type characters.)

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Hawkshade

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@rosso said:

The worst (IMO) is if it feels like someone's just doing it purely for the sake of being edgy, or having their character be stoic/unflappable in order to be cool/badass and not show any vulnerability. (The "nothing bothers me" type characters.)

Yeah. Major deviation from human norms needs something behind it to preserve verisimilitude. They don't have to explain it and it is often best if they don't but if it comes across as 'I'm so cool I just don't care' then it can snap me out of the scene.

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Rosso

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@hawkshade: Absolutely. I haven't even explained - one way or another - with all my characters. (But I'm all too happy to ramble if someone asks.) But for me, there always has to be a reason for a thing, even if I'm the only one who knows and it's just in my head. Having that will inform the way I write them, and that optimises my performance (feels especially necessary with people classifying me as more of a "character writer" than anything else).

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Rosso

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Most of them tend to be taller than average, and weight fluctuates over time depending on what's happening in their life [e.g. as Abigail trained more and got more experience she put on muscle, and when she fell into the deep depression that led to her quitting, she lost a bunch of weight]; but as far as the forum, I think generally more. [I see a lot in the 120s, and I remember back in Prime there were a lot even around 90s to low 100s.]

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Warsman

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Making too much all at once :]

At least now I have alts 8]

Sooooo many alts 8,]

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Animus_

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Intelligence is usually worked in some how, even for the dumb ones...as much sense as that doesn't make.