Evolution of Characters:
- One of my older characters began as a shallow copy of a villian from a cartoon (I was about 12, all right?) but is now much more developed with an elaborate backstory
- Another older character (who still has his original name) started as disfigured , morally ambiguous, book smart, Deadpan Snarker. The disfigument was later dropped and he's now a former veteran who is a pretty nice guy despite his PTSD and other problems
- Another was originally invisioned as essentially a Genki Girl. She's retained much of that aspect, but has her backstory examined in more detail and an Ambiguous Disorder.
edited 2nd Apr '13 7:53:48 PM by KillerClowns
edited 3rd Apr '13 7:34:48 AM by MajorTom
edited 3rd Apr '13 8:34:46 AM by peasant
- Ignacius started as a copy of a villain from Xiaolin Showdown, specifically, Hannibal Bean. He then became more and more of an Anti-Villain as I created a new, distinct past for him beyond "Lord of All Evil". That's Omni's shindig.
- Speaking of whom, Omni started out very bland. Nothing to him beyond being The Ghost and being "displeased" whenever things start going wrong for the villain of the week. Then he became a different kind of deity, standing more for Human Choice and "Will to Take", than pure evil.
- Wolfang started as a hammy supervillain who never did anything, with a very thin past. He was just Lucifer with a different name. Then, I started altering his past, as I liked the idea of a "moral child corrupted by an amoral society". The crossover RP's established a much, much more badass Wolfang, and his schemes went from made of cardboard to spanning generations. In one such crossover, he was revealed to be better known in the School Days universe as Tomaru Sawagoe, and he set the plot in motion to create the child he needed for a bigger scheme. Outside these, this characterization stuck.
- Evan the Grey, in his earliest incarnation, was simply the more aggressive and less complex member of a villainous double act with Sixtus, the tale's appointed Big Bad. His motivations and backstory soon became more sophisticated to match his partner's, yet how sympathetic this made him waxed and waned in my conception. Over time, this took him from the story's most despicable character to a genuinely pitiable antagonist to something somewhere in between. Two elements that shifted more subtly were his relationship with Sixtus, which grew more ambiguous as time passed; and the issue of gender, which similarly became both subtler and more complex.
- The character of Ianto started out as my attempt to play with the notion of the Broken Ace: A character that initially appears insufferably perfect but gradually reveals themselves to be deeply flawed or morally compromised. As I thought more about his character, however, it became clear to me that the façade was not one of competence, but of mildness. Yet this, too, mutated as I considered his upbringing, particularly who he was playing "perfect" for in the first place and why, bringing out this unease in other people that I had not explored before. While never a flat or truly stereotypical character, I feel that he became a lot more believable after that point.
- Lawrence Ashford, while never a major antagonist, started out as a pretty loathsome individual: A "former" Black Shirt with a nasty attitude and a massive streak of self-righteousness. He was a simple character and I killed him off with great merriment. But then certain elements of the story changed, and so did Ashford. Through his friendship with Lesser, a deeply disturbed character, he gained depth and humanity, slowly evolving into a kind of moral compass for his increasingly extreme friend. Beyond that, certain details began to emerge, certain ideas to form, and after a while he wasn't simple at all...
- Similarly Vasile began as a grinning psychopath and ended up as a righteous self-deprecator. I can attribute this to three factors: A switching-around of allegiances with several characters; the introduction of Caterling, who is basically all of the first and more; and a weird little lark about vengeance which I thought was interesting. Both versions share a few things in common, though—a tenuous grasp on sanity, swanky black armour, being Romanianbut they are quite opposite in most other respects.
- The delicious bundle of criminal ambition and crackpot mysticism that is The Veiled Lord Of Blackmarch was initially intended as my grand sardonic sendup of both the stereotypical criminal mastermind and the megalomaniacal overlord with the master plan to take over the world. Naturally, as my characters became more fleshed out, his motivations got more interesting: I began to see him as someone who genuinely wanted to do the write thing in the long run but was too blinded by selfishness, cruelty and personal hangups to actually be a good person. Another plot thread snared him in its grasp, and in doing so explained and transformed him. He was still ridiculous, but pitiable and, paradoxically, far more threatening: He wants to be good with all his heart and believes that his motivations are pure. And then I began to read about Theosophy...
- On the surface, Holtmann really has not changed much: He is still a treacherous sneak-thief of unmatched vanity. That said, the more that Holtmann appears, the stranger he becomes. Initially just an arrogant jackass with a god complex, he seems to have become a kind of Mephistophelean trickster with a manic, hateful streak and nothing to lose. Again, it could be an issue of another character siphoning traits from a less suitable vessel—the gunman Anders Worrell, in this case—but either way, I like this smarmy bastard more than the old smarmy bastard, so I'll keep him.
edited 3rd Apr '13 10:28:25 PM by JHM
edited 3rd Apr '13 11:43:00 PM by Lockedbox
edited 28th Aug '13 12:52:31 AM by KW
My "story" setting, which is mostly NSFW furry, had a long trip. My first character was a llama-gryphon hybrid I made at age 14. The llama part was because I liked The Emperor's New Groove. I chucked him quickly because I didn't like the direction the character was going. He had some lame generic fantasy "lair" that I'm sure I ripped off wholesale from Harry Potter just before I gave up on that series. I quickly created an otter version of me, whose name was @. That's right, his name was an at sign. I then changed his name to a variation of my middle name, which is rather standard. I then set him aside and chose to represent myself as a fox/weasel/dragon named Kent A. Cohut (after the "Kentaco Hut", a KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut combo). Then I chucked him because I didn't like him, and whittled him down to a fox named Ferris. Then a blue ferret named Cleveland. (Or maybe those last two were the other way around, I forget.) Then I brought the otter back, turned him blue, and put a beret and black sweater on him. Then he switched back to normal otter colors, stopped wearing glasses, and became taller and leaner, as a means of separating him from me physically. Over about six years, the otter character changed a lot, until I finally settled on his appearance, personality, and attire, only within the past couple years or so. Otter's girlfriend was originally a petite female ferret, whom I was always drawing as a Rubber Woman, getting stretched and tied into knots. That got old, so I got rid of her. Sometime around the blue-otter era, I introduced a female fox traced from random furry art, but I think I only drew her twice before eliminating her. I then created a female kangaroo, who started off more normal-sized and cherry red, then became smaller and teal. I merged her with an older character from the Kent A. Cohut days who was a female kangaroo-armadillo hybrid, and just made a regular female kangaroo. And she evolved personality-wise, too. I think her personality actually cemented well before the otter, who is supposed to be my "main" character. Sometime back when my otter character was still named @, I created a small booklet full of random characters. I drew head shots and created brief personalities for each, but none really took off. One was a goth something-or-other guy with Peek-a-Bangs; one was a two-headed female hybrid of something; and I forget the rest. I don't think I drew any of them more than once, but they were supposed to be part of a comic I wanted to make called Work in Progress. I kept drawing them on and off until about 2005 or 2006, when I just gave up. Looking back at my later drawings, I could see that I was improving, but I just kept getting distracted before finishing a drawing, and frustrated that I couldn't make them look as good as I wanted.
Then my other universe, which I originally conceived in late 2008-early 2009 as a storyboard for a cartoon called Drawn In, which would involve a cartoonist getting pulled into the world he created. The first character I made there was a "jackibou" (like a jackalope, but jackrabbit/caribou instead) who was originally a loose expy of Sally Acorn and Babs Bunny. Like Sally, she wore little to no clothing, and had obvious boobs obscured by fur. The idea for Drawn In had come from the fact that I had just watched Tiny Toon Adventures for the first time in ages, and was trying to emulate its humor style. But I was at a creative nadir — I hadn't drawn in years, so my first attempt at drawing Jillian looked like an 8-year-old drew it. Some time later, around late 2010, I started drawing again after a long hiatus. I drew a retooled Jillian who had a less cartoonish look, and then an otter-bat hybrid named June as a shout-out to The Life and Times of Juniper Lee (which I had just seen for the first time). I liked what I had, so I bounced them back and forth. June originally wore just a giant hoodie and something random on her head; early on, she also had Fish Eyes to emulate Nutty from Happy Tree Friends (with whom she shares a serious case of Sweet Tooth). I found myself constantly going back to the June and the improved Jillian, and liking what I had. Jillian gained a boyfriend named Jerrod who's armadillo/squirrel, and I tried making a fourth character who was a kangaroo/rat hybrid Straight Man, but I just couldn't make him pop. Eventually, this started forming into a webcomic idea, Confused Continuity, with Jillian and June working and living together. Even after I started cementing their personalities, they changed some. Jillian originally had Hair Antennae which I later removed as too distracting. Her outfit also changed a few times — for a while, she was bottomless — before I decided to avert Limited Wardrobe entirely and just have her wear basic clothing. June was originally a little more cartoony, and always wore an oversized hoodie. Then I decided to draw her without the hoodie on as a means of working on her anatomy. Both of them ended up with Gag Boobs, Jillian first, because I was bored and wanted to draw them that way. June stopped putting random things on her head. However, June still has a more noodly body and shorter limbs to somewhat emulate an otter's body.
- First Matthew was a cardboard, cut and dry hero. Not interesting at all. Then I started adding bits and pieces of a really, really bad past, subverting Ordinary High-School Student, and instead making him a Child Soldier with Laser-Guided Amnesia. Then I added a Superpowered Evil Side and more character development in the direction of him realizing that he has to become his own person, that he's not going to be everything his father wanted, and that his future is his own to make. He also went from an outcast at the start, to probably one of the first sympathetic protagonist High School Quarterbacks. Let alone one that's actually the hero. Namely because I realized how silly it would be to have someone as strong as Matthew, and remarked as good looking and popular, be an outcast. It was simply not consistent. His personal beliefs also changed. At first, he espoused my beliefs. Then he gained his own, working purely at the middle of the road. He isn't affiliated with one group or another, and though he bemoans at times having to rescue a corrupt corporate executive from a vengeful Nebiros or whosoever wanted said exec dead (and they usually have a pretty good cause for wanting the Executive dead), its clear that he doesn't want people to randomly be judge jury and executioner. He usually also exposes what the executive he's just rescued did to the police, purely in order to make sure justice is done.
- Another of the heroes, Shuuji, also got character evolution. He started as a card carrying, completely lame Shinji Matou expy. At least until I started diverging his backstory, making a story about how he must become a gangster or his really Ax-Crazy father will do away with his sister. Shuuji and Matthew become very fast friends after his turn to good, and its actually revealed Shuuji wants to be a little more than friends with Matthew, another divergence. He also gets a lot of heroic traits, becoming a leader, a tactician, and a strong fighter on his own, using his new Spell Core power over weather to actually really stand out in the Five-Man Band. He also evolves in the direction of being Matthew's "conscience", so to speak, speaking out if The Hero is going to do something a little too reckless or tactless.
- Liam, out of all characters, got a lot of this. He started as a blank, stupidly average guy who likes partying and has a disorganized apartment, giving off the feel of a guy going to college and trying to save the world at the same time. There wasn't much to him; I did not even have a reliable picture in my head as to what he looked like. And then I found I needed a member in the main cast to have a defensive ability aside from Dex. This made me look more into Liam as a character and how an average guy might fit into such an extraordinary cast. As Liam puts it "I feel like a normal guy standing around with the Avengers." He's made a lot less normal when I finally decided to give him Regalia, which as seen on the worldbuilding thread, is a really big deal. He one-shots a God of Evil. He fights one Big Bad all by himself and wins handily.
- On the other side, Queen Anathema started out as a lamewitted monarch of a usurper angel regime. She only brought in Pretty Boy "knights" out of a naive thought that the most beautiful humans were the strongest. Except then I decided that would not work for a long lasting enemy who Matthew considers his personal archenemy. So I started having her learn. Over time, she goes from naive and careless idiot queen in Book I to a much more calculating foe in Book II, and even in Book I, she showed hints of a more ruthless nature later on, as well as pulling out of the Nebiros Incident and ending the alliance with Reverie and Nebiros when its clear both are out of their damn minds and don't have a comprehensive plan for dealing with Matthew. As she starts becoming desperate for her loved one's return and her "Paradise", she becomes a much, much more cold figure, and "sealed her emotions away". She punishes failure with what is essentially force lightning shot with a flick of her fingers. She becomes a more driven figure, deciding that if Edward doesn't want to return to her side, well, she's gonna make do and rule alone until he decides he wants back in to the plan. She starts to really become a threatening villain with a large, looming shadow thanks to plenty of coups, schemes and plots.
- Ein Woe also goes through some more evolution recently. He went from a rather loud clown with a tiny organization and less overt power, to a snickering villain with a deadpan demeanor...and who is also a dangerous crime lord and kingpin. While he is a flaming bisexual, a weirdo who spends most of his time dancing on tables and provoking police officers, and harassing Matthew in pseudo-sexual ways, its clear he's dangerous. The Not-So-Harmless Villain aspect of his persona is very, very well shown. Long story short; do not mock or underestimate the Hell Clown, or ever think rules or law protect you from him. There's a reason mobsters call him that. He basically uses old style mob murder methods like concrete shoes and woodchippers, and he only gets worse once the Masquerade goes down. All of a sudden, he can do almost anything he wants. Some of his antics are amusing as heck, others are disturbing shows of a violent mob boss with a much bigger power base than most, but other times he does things that dwell deep in Gallows Humor - at one point, he lives near a toxic facility, complains about hurting due to it despite being a magical healing nigh-immortal magic demon clown, and gets a gag order, which he promptly violates by singing and dancing about how frakking didn't ruin his life, gave him a singing and dancing routine, and how he's doing this to spite the laws of the world. He then spits in the corporate lawyer's face, strips said lawyer naked on live, national television, mind controls him into pole dancing behind Woe as the clown hums Sexy and I Know It, and forces the lawyer to dance until he dies by having jagged, spiked blades protrude out of the pole. Ein Woe - you don't know whether to laugh, cry, or scream. It gets really hard to tell some times whether he's doing something intended to produce Black Comedy, or something dead serious.
edited 31st Aug '13 12:12:31 AM by NickTheSwing
- The mark of a good story means not feeling like The Angry Video Game Nerd hearing it."What would Buffy do?" Spike.