Thanks for the critique. Yeah there's definitely gonna be a number of key differences between them, as well as parallels, but I've intentionally left them vague in the post so as to not give away too many spoilers, but I'll definitely bear the characterizations in mind. With the story route I'm going, they're gonna be more like deconstructions and subversions of the archetypes you've talked about.
Edited by YouSitTightBuddy on Oct 31st 2021 at 1:58:22 AM
Your base concepts work, but you really need to develop them individually. Taking the base used by other people in this thread and filling one for your every character individually would propably help.
The context for this character is that my story is a "Dark Pulp" story set in WWII. Hans exists just to die, and the actual protagonist is Tom, who doesn't have character profile in there yet.
Real Name: Hans Leonhardt
Alias: Wolfgang Geier (from 1933 onward)
Occupation: Tailor, stormtrooper, Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold member
Age: Born in 1886
Appearance: 5'8", blonde and brown-eyed. His face is horribly disfigured from the right side and he wears a WW1 face prosthetic that's held up with glassesnote . He wears a mustache that's half-fake due to the aforementioned facial disfigurement. I don't know what to call the mustache type, but it's supposed to be something like in this character model◊. The character model in general is pretty much his design sans the glasses, the mask, and the face injury.
Personality: Hans is an ideals person. If something isn't good enough, it has to change. However he doesn't approve of either the far left's or far right's ideas of what's bad, how or why it's bad, or how to fix it. He doesn't want to fight or even talk to people, really, and would prefer to be an obscure tailor. However he's too attached to the idea of personal duty -mostly his own- to sit by and watch which direction the world goes to, because he knows the direction is wrong and because he knows people are going to die. He mentally deals with the events in his life, from his war experiences to his parents' deaths to the revolutions to joining Reichsbanner to meeting Tom and deciding to not commit suidice to having to escape to Franceto fate. Whether he thinks of fate as a force of nature following a certain path or as an entity that decides fate, or if he even actually believes in fate at all remains unclear; he could just be talking about fate to make sense of the shitbthat happens in the world.
Abilities: Stormtrooper training from WWI and combat experience, and non-battlefield experience in situations like bar fights and street fights. Also good at sewing. Speaks Boaritsch, German, and French.
Weaknesses: In addition to being a physically normal person and having a serious facial injury, he has serious PTSD from WWI.
Goals: Saving Germany from the nazis, keeping his adopted son Tom safe.
Motivation: Fear of death, patriotism, actually caring about people.
Role in the story: The Mentor who dies to set the plot into motion.
At the moment Bavaria had been taken over by communists and going by the names Peoples' State of Bavaria and Bavarian Soviet Republic. The communists stole food supplies and money and drafted people, and Bavaria suffered from shortages, censorship, privation, restrictions on freedom, and general chaos, violence, and disorder. Aristocrats and middle-class people were arrested, including Hans because craftsmen are middle-class. Peoples' State Of Bavaria and Bavarian Soviet Republic (the latter controlled MŁnich, where Hans was) fought on 18th april 1919 and PSB surrounded MŁnich, breaking through on may 1th. In the battle involving flamethrowers, heavy artillery, armored vehicles, and aircraft over 606 people were killed. Hans escaped imprisonment on may 4th and reunited with some of the other stormtroopers who had joined Freikorps. However when the city was secured on may 6th Hans and the ex-stormtroopers parted on bad terms because of political differences - these events (and earlier experiences) had understandably and justifiably made Hans hate communism, but he also "strongly disagreed" with the other ex-stormtroopers' far-right ideologies and belief in the stab-in-the-back myth. Order was restored in Bavaria, but the actual power had shifted to the right.
Hans finally returned to his job as a tailor and swore to himself that after his deeds and experiences in WWI and after participating in the may fighting, he'd never take up arms again. Politically, he hovered between SDP and DDP.
However four years after Hans' vow, the Beerhall Putsch happened. Next year the SDP and the DDP formed the paramilitary Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold to defend the republic from far-right and far-left aggressors. Hans spent a long time thinking about his life and his private vow, and ultimately discarded it and joined Reichsbanner, believing that if him killing and suffering again would save Germany, it would be worth it in the end (and that he must). Hans rose in the ranks, becoming semi-important in the organization. However he constantly struggled with PTSD, loneliness, and guilt about his experiences in WWI and about having had to take up arms again despite swearing he never would. Over the next four years Hans started developing suicidal tendencies, and one evening in winter 1928, he went out intending to kill himself.
When he was standing on a bridge and looking into the water, he heard a loud crash from an alley. He wanted to get it over with quickly and without being stopped, but at the same time had to know what was happening, so he rushed to investigate. He found a young boy being beaten up by a group of older street children who wanted his money, and chased them off. The young boy, Tom Handschin, had ran away from an abusive orphanage at age seven and lived in the street for a few years now, and didn't have clothes suitable for winter conditions. Hans still wanted to die, but couldn't just kill himself and leave Tom to his fate, so he decided to die some other day and offered Tom a warm place to stay for the night and his old coat. Tom was at a point he didn't trust people's kindness, but accepted the offer because he was afraid the older children would come back and because he was afraid he really would freeze to death in his sleep. Tom was afraid that this random person who helped him had some ulterior motives because he had almost never seen anybody doing anything out of kindness, and intended to leave in a few days at most. However Tom ended up staying for months and Hans became like a father to him, never killing himself because of where it would leave Tom.
In 1933, five years after Hans and Tom met, the nazis took over Germany and came after their political opponents, including Reichsbanner members. Hans wanted to take a stand in Germany's hour of need, but was worried for Tom's safety. He ultimately chose Tom over his duty to Germany and fled MŁnich with him, taking residence in Paris where he later tried to get in contact with other Reichsbanner members while continuing as a tailor in order to make a living. Tom worked at random small jobs and learned savate, Bartitsu, and early parkour semi-secretly from Hans, thinking that when he was old enough and the time came, he would help liberate Germany from the nazi rule. Hans found out eventually and didn't want Tom to put his life in danger, but as Nazi Germany became more and more aggressive to it's neighbors, Hans started worrying they wouldn't be safe in France and started teaching Tom how to use different guns, and other things he had learned in WWI. His fears were proven right when WWII erupted in 1938, and France fell under nazi rule seven years after his and Tom's arrival in Paris. Hans thought they'd be safer in the giant city with hundreds of hiding spots than trying their luck traveling through the countryside, so they stayed in Paris and just relocated into a different apartment.
Hans sent Tom out with a message to another antifascist in the city, reluctantly but knowing that the nazis wouldn't recognize Tom as anything (unlike Hans whose own face was known to them because he was actually important). When Tom arrived to his destination however, he saw the man being taken away by the nazis. At the same time, the nazis found Hans and another Reichsbanner member and shot them on the spot, and then just left the bodies there. When Tom returned he noticed the neighbors acting weird, but nobody said anything to him. When he got to their apartment door he noticed it was open, and found the bodies. Tom cried on the floor until he realized the nazis could be watching the house, and that he should dissappear quickly. Tom couldn't carry Hans' body and was forced to leave him, escaping the building with his coat, pistol, and Hans' Reichsbanner cap, and swore revenge on his father's murderers.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard / Death by Origin Story: Hans is murdered by the Nazis, which sends Tom on his 5+ years long revenge quest against those specific people and the Nazis more widely.
- Facial Horror: From WWI. I haven't really visualized it yet, and maybe i don't need to. I'm still on the fence.
- Parental Substitute: Hans unofficially adopts Tom in 1928.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: From WWI and the Revolutions of 1918-1919. This mainly manifests as nightmares, touch-aversion, and fear reactions to loud or sudden noises or movements.
- Nice Hat: Both his civilian fedora and his Reichsbanner cap. Latter becomes a Tragic Keepsake to Tom after Hans' death.
- Martial Pacifist: After his experiences as a soldier Hans tries to become an Actual Pacifist, but Germany's dangerous internal situations and his own sense of duty cause him to reach the conclusion that when faced with violence and dictatorship, Violence is the Only Option. He's right, too.
- Accomplice by Inaction: Hans believes he would be this if he didn't actively fight against the communists and the far-right.
- The Remnant: Together with other surviving Reichsbanner members and German Social Democrats after the nazis seize power in 1933.
- Patriotic Fervor: To some extent. He's very attached to the idea of Germany, not necessarily to how Germany actually was most of the time or ever. He also cares about the people of Germany, not just about germans as a vague concept.
- Interrupted Suicide: Hans was about to commit suicide when he met Tom in 1928. First he didn't kill himself because he couldn't just leave a child to freeze in a street corner, and when Tom started living with him Hans started regaining his will to live.
- Values Resonance: Hans is more tolerant than an average person propably was in the era, and doesn't believe in conspiracy theories.
- We Used to Be Friends: It becomes like this between Hans and other veterans from his and nearby units when they join or militarily support far-right organizations that undermine the republic.
- Government in Exile: Viewed Sopade as this for Germany.
- Background Halo: I'm in the habit of making these for this story's characters. Hans' halo would be the sun-eagle◊ in the wikipedia page's second photo.
- All for Nothing: Reichsbanner's efforts at securing German democracy fail and most of them die, including Hans himself.
- The Woobie: His life was pretty terrible since 1914. At least he got occassional respite.
- Run for the Border: When the Nazis seize control of Germany in 1933, Hans and Tom escape and only barely make it to France.
Edited by Nukeli on Oct 7th 2022 at 5:25:52 PM
I like the sound of him enough to already hope we see more in flashbacks (or that he somehow survives his apparent death without turning out to be evil, which his backstory is detailed enough to avoid). Also, as a stitcher I have a weakness for anyone who can sew :)
Edited by Jadabunz on Jan 19th 2022 at 11:29:50 AM
Name: Tug Moxley
Age: Either 27 or 96
Personality: Always smiling and trying to make people laugh. It only hurts him when it isn't funny.
Abilities: an endless array of clown gadgets and weapons in his jacket (woven entirely of pockets): time bombs, a mallet, a bazooka, boxing gloves, a 60,000-volt joy buzzer, juggling balls that gain speed the more they bounce, and many others. He can also heal almost instantly from any injury.
Weaknesses: Can be goaded into doubting himself, which dampens his skills. Also, his enemies know his resilience and often simply apply a More Dakka approach.
Goals: to protect lost dreamers and stop the Schism Corporation from controlling dreams.
Motivation: The simplest and oldest one; because he wants to.
Role in the story: Since The Protagonist is an audience surrogate (a journalist who reports on the heroes' war in the dream hotel), Tug does most of the heroic heavy lifting. At first he is simply the one who introduces her to the dreamworld, but as the story continues he's the first one to get a Big Damn Heroes moment, the romantic lead, and ultimately the one who will face the climactic confrontation.
Backstory: Born in the silent town of Vaudeville. Graduate of the notorious Punchinello Clown College, recruited from a Parisian street corner after throwing himself in front of a delivery truck to save a little girl from being run down.
Also, what sounds more surreal fantasy: punk clown or punk vaudevillian?
Edited by Jadabunz on Jan 19th 2022 at 11:43:42 AM
I think Iíll write two entries for the two main characters for my series, Alex and Elise, in the morning.
Please critique Jadabunz's character first.
Sounds interesting. Especially the Non-Ironic Clown hero aspect. Iíd spiffy up his motivation to be a bit more in depth than ďbecause he wants toĒ.
Name: Alex Clark
Age: Early 20s.
Personality: Alex is a very kindhearted and selfless individual who always puts others before himself. Heís very observant and a good problem solver, which is what makes him such a good asset to the Hunters of Nightmares. Even as the series progresses and being put through the physical and emotional wringer wears on him, he never gives up on his quest.
Abilities: As a Hunter he not only has the superhuman strength, endurance, and agility that come part and parcel but a variety of tools beyond his default sword and gun, ranging from firecrackers that allow him to parry enemies to magic to a flat out BFG.
Weaknesses: Near the start he was somewhat gullible and was quite inexperienced at being a hunter leading to Rookie mistakes but later on was forced to grapple with PTSD and depression that can lead to moments of weakness. Also he, like most hunters, is hardly an even match with many of the nightmares he fights, being significantly more fragile and less powerful, and is forced to rely on fighting smart rather than brute force. Late in the series there is a very devastating reveal that can potentially lead Alex to be consumed by despair and become driven by revenge on the Greater-Scope Villain and eventually use their powers to wage a genocidal war against mankind.
Goals: To protect humanity from threats that emerge in the cognitive world.
Motivation: At the start he was reluctant to have anything to do with the hunters and it took a request from his brother (who is also a hunter) to help rescue fellow hunters who were captured by the nightmares but he eventually grew determined to fight off threats that emerged in the cognitive world. In the third game he also wishes to avenge his brotherís death and atone for killing him in self defense.
Role in the Story: He is the main protagonist and him joining the hunters was key in them rebounding from a massacre they suffered a year prior.
Backstory: He grew up in the city along with his brother before moving to another part of the city to take up a job offering after graduating college.
- All-Loving Hero: Even as he repeatedly faces monsters that are literal manifestations of mankindís flaws, he never maddens into misanthropy and sees the best in people. Notably he tries to spare the human villains of the 1st and 3rd, preferring to see them live to atone for their crimes rather than killing them despite all they have done.
- Ax-Crazy: Under the Frostbite Curse (which causes one to take the form of the person they fear becoming) he becomes a mindlessly violent and blood thirsty monster, barely any different from the nightmares he fights.
- Being Good Sucks: Being a hunter meant sacrificing a normal life and resulted in great mental and physical pain, not to mention losing his brother. However in contrast to the villains, where Being Evil Sucks through and through, itís ultimately Worth It in the end as his personal sacrifices pay off and he achieves a happy ending for his efforts.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Alex is generally a nice fellow but heís a champion of the Hunters for good reasons.
- BFG: The Sunrise. An extremely power cannon that fires a miniature sun that destroys or heavily wounds any nightmares in the immediate vicinity. Upgraded to the Daybreaker at the climax of the first game though that only manifests in dire circumstances and its destroyed after one shot.
- Celibate Hero: He never really shows any romantic interest.
- The Chosen One: A reconstruction. He is chosen to become a hunter by the Greater-Scope Villain because of his strength of character. Not because of a prophecy, but because he actually earned the title.
- Cowardly Lion: Upon being pulled into the cognitive world for the first time, he initially panics and runs in fear from the nightmares. But when he sees a wounded hunter about to be finished off by nightmares, he leaps in and grabs a broken sword to defend him, leading to him awakening his powers.
- Deadpan Snarker: Carries a tinge of snark and sarcasm in his dialogue, especially as the series carries on.
- Determinator: Alex never gives up. Even when his opponents are of godlike power, he wonít hesitate to try and take them down to protect the cognitive world. In the final battle of the first game, even as he is heavily wounded and his sword is destroyed, he still still stands back up. This act of bravery allowed him to merge his broken sword and the Sunrise to create the Daybreaker.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: In the best ending of the trilogy he defeats the god of nightmares, preventing the nightmares from becoming a threat ever again, frees mankind from the meddling of the Greater-Scope Villain, avenging his brotherís death in the process, and ultimately gets to live a happy life with his True Companions, the cognitive world now being a paradise due to the efforts of the Hunters.
- FaceĖHeel Turn: The bad ending for the trilogy sees him succumb to despair and rage and uses his newfound power over the cognitive world to wage a genocidal war against mankind.
- Glass Cannon: Alex canít take much in terms of punishment but he can make short work of his foes with smart use of his equipment.
- The Hero: He is the main protagonist of the series and one of the greatest forces pf good in the setting.
- The Idealist: In contrast to Eliseís cynical attitude, Alex is a very idealistic man, never losing sight of it even as he is put through the ringer for it.
- Knight in Shining Armor: His hunter outfit invokes this archetype.
- Nice Guy: Polite, generous, and tries to see the good in everyone.
- Sword and Gun: Like most hunters, he primary wields a melee weapon (his sword) in one hand, and a firearm in the other.
Edited by TheLivingDrawing on Mar 23rd 2022 at 4:03:59 AM
Iím probably going to get shot at for thisÖ
Name: Kyle Azuka
- A little snarky at times.
- Tends to apologize a lot, even for stuff that isnít his fault.
- Loves his family.
- Not very social.
- Turns out to be good at video games.
- A better artist than he lets on.
- He thinks heís worthless, that if he dies people will forget about him.
- Socially inept at times.
- A harsh critic of his own skills, namely at drawing, and compares himself to other people.
- Fearful of the future: thoughts of never getting a job and all his friends and relatives dying.
- Plagued by nightmares about his nephew and his friends leading hollow, unhappy lives as adults.
- He canít stand to look at home movies of his family, or himself as a little kid. It reminds him of all the time he canít do over.
- He has convinced himself that heís the worst possible person because he has a diaper fetish (and doesnít know it), something his own father claims will make him a child predator one day.
- In the long run, to survive life and figure out what to do with himself. His primary end, though, is to become ďnormalĒ by curing his diaper fetish.
- He lives with his older brother, eighteen years his senior, his sister-in-law and their two small children, neither of which are potty trained yet; he feels itís wrong to be around them because of his affliction. When he finds out what itís called, he discovers the massive hate people have for it, pushing him further to rid himself of it. After all, who would love him (romantically or platonically) because he likes babyish stuff?
Role in the story:
- An ordinary high school kid living his life under his brotherís roof, struggling with a secret he canít even discuss out in the open for fear of a metaphorical lynching. His father has already convinced him that heíll go to prison if he doesnít kick his persuasions and heís struggling to do so.
You need to review the previous character first in some way. It doesn't need to be a long analysis, just some kind of feedback about concept, characterization, etc.
My opinion on your character is that maybe you shouldn't insert a weird fetish into a non-fetishistic work (i'm assuming it's for mainstream audience). He also doesn't seem to have anything positive going on in his life at all, and too much angst and not much else can become a problem.
Edited by Nukeli on May 8th 2022 at 1:01:17 PM
Thatís part of the reason as to why I gave him that trait. He feels alien to everyone because he CANíT discuss it with anyone because heís afraid heíll of what his loved ones would say.
This is a realistic situation and itís never explored. Heís a good kid, he just has this one quirk heís extremely mum about. If word got out, he thinks, his life is over.
But a fetish like that will alienate readers. You're better off finding another way to make him feel alien. One that readers won't find gross.
Name: Sarelia Vethalas
Personality: Sarelia is fiercely determined and loyal to her loved ones, and often stubborn. She's passionate and deeply caring, and unafraid to do what she believes is right.
Abilities: Sarelia was born with psychic abilities, namely telekinesis and telepathy. At the beginning of the story, she's started to have precognitive visions.
Weaknesses: Though her magic is strong, she's untrained, and as such it can be difficult to manage. Her visions come when they want to, not when she wants them to, and sometimes the thoughts of others will overwhelm her and she'll have to actively work to not hear them. Personality-wise, Sarelia's stubbornness and determination mean she doesn't know when to quit.
Goals: Sarelia is The Unchosen One in a world where The Chosen One is destined to prevent a curse on the land from ever coming to pass. Now that it's happening, she wants to save the world and protect her twin brother, Saelith.
Motivation: She wants to save the world for two reasons: one, she lives there. And two, because she's an opponent of the idea that You Can't Fight Fate, and wants to prove it's not true.
Role in the story: Though the story has an ensemble cast with a Switching P.O.V., Sarelia incites the plot, and at its core is its protagonist.
Backstory: Sarelia and her identical twin brother Saelith grew up in the elven village of Ryndor, where they were raised by their blacksmith parents. Sarelia's powers showed themselves when she was young, and growing up, she wasn't well-liked by the other children, who didn't like the idea of someone who could poke around in their head. Saelith always defended her, though, and ensured she wouldn't have a Friendless Background. When the twins were sixteen, their parents vanished one day without explanation, and with no leads on where they might be or if they're even alive, they've simply taken care of themselves since. Until eight years later, when Sarelia begins having strange, prophetic dreams, which is where the story kicks off.
Relevant tropes: Determinator, Living Emotional Crutch (to Saelith, who is one to her in turn), The Unchosen One, Mind over Matter, Twin Telepathy, BrotherĖSister Team, Good Is Not Dumb.
If readers are writing the character off on account of that, then I believe that makes them exactly the type of people who are being criticized, so I'd actually call that a win.
Edited by Dragon573 on Jun 3rd 2022 at 3:20:54 AM
It's a creepy fetish, people don't get to scream ""kinkshaming!!!"" when everybody else is disturbed by it.
Guys, make a spin off discussion if you want to debate the diaper thing. Let's critique the other characters who are getting glossed over.
@No Its Becky: This character is a little too archetypal. Stubborn Plucky Girl elf with Psychic Powers starts Dreaming of Things to Come and decides to save the world. That's...close to it. This is, at best, a starting point, and if that's the case, I would recommend having a mental roadmap for how you intend the character to develop. It might not happen as you're writing the story, but I still recommend outlining it. How is her stubbornness going to screw her over and what's she going to learn from that?
The most interesting part, though, is the one where she's planning to Screw Destiny. There's some meat in that, especially in how other characters react to the related prophecies and how she's kicking things over.
x5: You say that she's fiercely determined and loyal to her loved ones, but the only other person you named here seems to be her emotional crutch, which undermines things outside of the context of the story. And if she doesn't have many friends and loved ones as seems to be implied, where did the determination, stubborness, and fate-fighting come from? Other than that, nothing stands out, and she'll probably be a serviceable protagonist (not one I'd be particularly interested in, but enough for a purpose).
- Name: Roisin Hogan
- Age: 23
- Personality: Roisin is a very tricky individual to deal with; she loves talking with people, especially if she hasn't for a while. She's good at keeping secrets... until she gets a chance to gloat. She sees a good side to most things and people, and is as hard to convince to stop as your average tornado.
- Abilities: She's a Classy Cat-Burglar (figuratively and literally), so she has a majority of the relevant skills; sneaking, lock-picking, pocket-picking, and talking her way out of small problems. She's also an amateurish actress, with results that may vary.
- Weaknesses: Personality-wise, she's way too eager to be the center of attention. Sure, she loves putting on a good show, but sometimes that gets to her head. She also trusts her heart way more than her gut or her mind, something that will have disastrous consequences.
- Goals: Her overarching goal is to make history and become famous by any almost means necessary. In the current small-scope first story, it's to track down a load of gold bullion that vanished in the 70s, find out who stole it and why, and revel in the publicity.
- Motivation: Roisin's absolutely tired of being ignored. Prom? Single. Transition? Accepted sometimes, ridiculed at others. Acting? Sidelined as an extra. Crime is, in her eyes, a great way to get noticed. Who wouldn't love a real-life Arsene Lupin, or an Al Capone without the bloodshed?
- Role in the story: She's the protagonist, the constant POV character.
- Backstory: As above, not much. Born to a decent family, found out she was trans, and quickly became of little interest to anyone other than her parents, her good friend Sashi, and anyone who hadn't heard of her before. She tried acting, but got frustrated at the lack of "good roles" to play. When Sashi joined a crime-for-hire squad, Roisin was quick to follow. Barring basic training and locking the odd transphobic coworker in the broom closet, she hasn't done much field work yet. But one day, she overhears a phone call in her boss' office, and gets a little idea...
- Relevant Tropes: Trans Tribulations, Fame Through Infamy, Classy Cat-Burglar, Determinator.
Thanks! I'll definitely work on balancing her out a bit more. I've definitely seen more than my fair share of thievery media, so I feel like I know what I'm aiming for there.
Edited by GoldenCityBird on Aug 7th 2022 at 7:38:15 PM
Sarelia's refusal to back down from a fight eventually gets Saelith captured by the baddies, and she presumes him dead. It's mostly just an awful time for her (and him too, but this isn't about him right now), but she does learn that sometimes she has to cut her losses.
Yeah, the "loved ones" is just an error on my part, whoops. She's only got the one at the time of the story's beginning, and like I said, they're pretty emotionally dependent on one another. The personality traits didn't really come from anywhere—she's just by nature a stubborn person. Which is probably lazy writing, now that I type it out, but it's all I've got right now.
That's something I'd drill a little deeper on in a brainstorming session before you go too much further. Major characters need a fair amount of "why? why? why?" about their personality and motivations.
Keep writing! You've got the bones of an interesting character there whose story is waiting to be told, you just need to get some meat there!
To be fair, some people are just stubborn by nature. I'm pretty stubborn, but I have no real reason to be aside from that it's just in my personality to argue and not drop the subject unless I'm satisfied.
X3 Roisin seems like a "double edged" protagonist from a writing stand point. Her desire to become famous, need for attention, optimistic views of other people, tendency to follow her gut instinc and stubborness could make for a great, flawed character but if you're not careful those traits, even if presented as flaws, could annoy the readers. I think you should try to balance them out with her more positive qualities and add a bit more spice to make her truly interesting, something as small as a quirk of personality could help to make the readers want her to suceed. Since she's a criminal, and based on the plot you mention, I'd recommed watching or reading some fun stories about thieves and rogues to look for what makes us root for this kind of character.
- Name: Ravenlocks
- Age: 41
- Personality: A sarcastic and laid back individual, Raven does a great job at making people doubt when he's being genuinely casual and relaxed and when he's taking something extremely seriously. Because of his gift of prophecy, he believes firmly in destiny but also that each person can influence their own to some degree, as he knows not all of his visions come to pass. In that sense, he's rather cynical but not completely fatalistic. Because of his strained relationship with his own parents, he tries to be as good of a father as he can to his own children.
- Abilities: Skills in witchcraft, great aim with his cane-pistol, good social abilities.
- Weaknesses: Too prideful for his own good and obsessed with hiding anything he feels makes him less than the perfect father, husband, etc which leads to a lot of misunderstandings and a lot of bottling up negative emotions. His perfectionism also presents itself in a fear of losing control, so he can be a bit of a Control Freak. This isn't his only fear, however. In fact he's deeply afraid of many things, even if he'll never vocalize that he thinks of himself as a coward.
- Goals: To keep his family safe and make sure his children have a future.
- Motivation: Raven spent his childhood in a poor neighborhood, followed by a career as a huntsman-for-hire that ended when his partner and future husband was cursed. Now he wants a peaceful life for himself and his family.
- Role in the story: Main/POV character
- Backstory: Raised by his grandparents and rarely seeing his parents, Raven grew up watching people die in the streets from overdose, hearing about the latest crimes in school and listening to poor veterans talk about the horrors of the Civil War of Alazar. During his teenage years, he met a fairy that tried to seduce him, which he rejected. The offended fairy cursed his grandparents with death and after his apology was worthless he decided to make a deal: He'd become the fairy's partner if she gave him the power to be able to heal them. However, due to Exact Words, he failed at this and refused to fulfill the deal, giving the fairy the excuse she wanted to give him a Witchmark: Every Madman's Moon he'd feel compelled to eat his loved ones. While he felt guilty for the deaths of his grandparents he was still young and ambitious and partly due to wanting to avoid harming his friends and family he decided to become a huntsman. At nineteen he met Magno, whom with, after a competition over a bounty, he began working and later dating until the day Mag became afflicted with his beast curse, at which point he convinced him to retire from the huntsmen business. A year after this, they married and another year later, adopted (or rather, were followed everywhere until adopting) a changeling girl they named Cinder Grey. And after Cinder, came her sister, an Azure's child named Platinum. Now he works as a witch, offering magic and teaches Cinder to do the same in the hopes of securing a future for her.
- Relevant Tropes: Broken Ace, The Dandy, Horror Hunger, Our Witches Are Different, Parents as People
Edited by Nukeli on Dec 4th 2022 at 12:24:13 PM
So, I intend to review Winterbird's character when I am in a place where I can give it the attention he deserves. But in the meantime, I have a question.
I intend to post a character here soon, but he's not someone I would entirely call a hero, even Anti-Hero is stretching things. He is hateful and malicious and his goals involve mass murder of innocent people. But he is committed to fighting the good fight against the actual villains and battles alongside the outright heroes. Would he still be welcome here or is there another more appropriate thread?
I genuinely can't remember if we ever had a "Morally Gray Characters Critique" thread. Either it never existed or it died from lack of use.
It wouldn't be the first time someone posted a character here that stretched the "Hero" definition though.
I have to agree with the others regarding how the memories aspect of your Eternal Hero work. Aside from the previously proposed soul assigned at conception idea, I fail to see how that part of the reincarnation rules would work. Perhaps if the memories were more like a subconscious instinct, where the character retains previous skills and knowledge acquired but manifests them as a sort of sixth sense, then I might find it more believable. You could even keep the bored "seen-it-all-before" attitude of this character by describing it as a gut feeling the character does not understand the exact cause for. Then again, I know nothing about your story save for what I can implicitly assume from reading your post; for all I know, there might be more details that would make that specific rule to your character's immortality work perfectly.
My first thought regarding your characters is that you might want to consider developing them one at a time. From what I read of each, I could only get a general synopsis of how they fit into the story's plot. While that synopsis is a good foundation to work from, each of these characters are currently missing details which could make them unique.
Let's take the second of your band of protagonists as an example. You say that his tour of duty as a peacekeeper left him with a pessimistic outlook on life, but such cynicism can express itself in different ways. For example, he could harbor hard-line anti-war/anti-authority views which drive him to lash out against society, or he can go the other way and use his life experiences to glorify authority/power and demonize those who question or operate outside it. The detail of him being the son of a mafia lieutenant doesn't narrow things down as much as may be believed at first glance, since his struggle to take charge of his crew and climb the ranks can be motivated by either a desire to undermine authority, or to usurp it (or both depending on his motivations). And that's just illustrating two examples of a vast array of potential manifestations his worldview can take; there are many more.
I notice similar trends with the characterizations of the other three protagonists presented in your post. By focusing on the characterization of each one at a time, you could present a more detailed picture of these characters which would in turn give us a better opportunity to give more detailed feedback.
I do wish to end this critique on a more positive note, however, so I'll say this: the information you provided on each of your protagonists is again a good foundation to build up from. It shows that you put quite a bit of thought into the general concept of who they are in relation to the story. With some more focused hashing out of details, these characters could become more unique to your story rather than appear like vague archetypes.