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CREDITS FOR ALL ON THIS PAGE :)

I N T R O D U C T I O N

Made by my friend mae!

Hello and welcome, I have decided I'd make a helpful guide to writing your characters as you would one in a book. I used to write obsessively not too long ago and so I thought it'd be helpful to share some of my insight.

I have been seeing a lot of two types of OC's; the the male/female trope that contains the more aggressive and dominating males and the sweet and intelligent females and the direct cannon character copy(most common tends to be Mapleshade); while these are not bad per se they're ununique and tend to lead to uninteresting role-plays. I've also seen a fair bit of clashing personality traits and I will admit I am guilty of that.

I get that we all want our characters to be the main characters in our own stories, we want them to be complex and interesting so we pile things on even if they don't make too much sense and this can lead to an OC with so much piled on it's hard to keep track of, and frankly stressful to role-play as.

We don't need complexity to make our OC unique, what we need is a well thought out and coherent idea that makes up your character itself.

T H E B A S I C S
Firstly we'll start with the most important aspects of a character (personality, design & Idea) I prefer to begin with design and Idea, then personality and Name come later.
IDEA

What do we mean by an idea? I'm sure you haven't seen a section specifically dedicated to the idea of a character it's probably been sprinkled in here and there but that's it.

The idea of a character is by far the most important detail. Your character needs a reason to exist and we have to figure out why that is, it's similar to a character's motivation for doing literally anything.

You're here to find help in creating a character you probably already have a vague idea of. What is that idea? What sparked that inspiration?

Maybe a song? or a movie scene? possibly even a pretty plant you thought would be a nice theme, using a religion or tradition works very well too.

(Your character will probably change drastically from concept to finality and that is not only expected but good, we don't want to confine ourselves to a single idea, leave room for breathing.)

The idea of your character will be the core of your character, what you build off so it needs to be a representation of them. This could be anything but I suggest keeping it simple.

How does your character feel? Not your character itself, but when you think of it, how does that feel; Somber? energetic? Vile? does your character make you think of a cute cinnamon roll anime guy/gal/non-binary pal?

Keep that in mind throughout the design process, try to stick with that feeling, if remember this is supposed to be fun, so grab inspiration from literally anywhere, your character does not have to fit into a box of realism.

DESIGN
Think of design as an expression of the inner workings of your character. As a character designer myself with months of studying colour theory and the basics of animation under my belt I have a pretty okay understanding of it.

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Here are some rules I would suggest keeping in mind(click)

  • Do not add unnecessary elements, everything must be important (if you cannot figure out an aspect of your character from that element, get rid of it)
  • Keep it simple, yet dynamic include a trait that stands out (multi-coloured eyes, a scar, a marking, unique iris shape, paw size, a skin disorder etc.)
  • Avoid conflicting tropes (i.e kind but vicious under certain circumstances)
  • Avoid overused tropes in general, don't create a Mapleshade/Firestar 2.0
  • Your character doesn't have to be hyper-realistic but maintain some sense of an understanding of reality (try some unique pelt colours, but don't go neon yellow)
  • Unless your characters realm or group forbids it, add something personal, like a flower crown, a collar, dog tags, hell even a prosthetic leg (that last one may be a neat plot point for your character, how would they care for it? how would other characters view it? what happens if it were to break?)
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Now that that is over let's move onto picking out a design because this can be one of the hardest parts of character design.

(Feel free to swap back in between idea and this to help you)

You'd probably want to start by picking out a breed/species so here are some examples to get you going. __________________________________________________

SPECIES/BREED

FELINES

DOMESTIC

Domestic (long/short)

Scottish Fold

Persian

Russian blue

(long/short)Siamese

Rag-doll

Mainecoon

Norwegian forest

Munchkin

Sphynx

American curl

Turkish Angora

Birman

Himalayan

Exotic short

Manx

Devon Rex

Bombay

Cornish Rex

Toyger

La perm

American bob-tail

Japanese bob-tail

Snow-shoe

Turkish Van

Oriental (short/long)

Lykoi

Donskoy

Minskin

WILD

Savannah

African golden

Andean mountain

African wildcat

Sunda clouded-leopard

Caracal

Serval

Sand-cat

Ocelot

Bob-cat

CANINES

DOMESTIC

Golden retriever

Husky

Rottweiler

Pitbull

Shollie

German shepherd

Irish wolfhound

Springer spaniel

Australian cattle

Dalmatian

Whippet

Saluki

English setter

Great Dane

English Mastiff

Australian Shepherd

Basenji

Greyhound

Jack Russel

Caucasian Shepherd

Plott hound

Xolo(Mexican hairless)

Chihuahua

WILD

Wolf dog

Dingo

Arctic wolf

Eurasian wolf

Mexican wolf

Japanese wolf

British Columbia wolf

Great plains wolf

Texas wolf

Arabian wolf

Alexander Archipelago wolf

Vancouver island wolf

Iberian wolf

Steppe wolf

Coyote

Maned wolf

Red fox

African wild dog

Fennec fox

Arctic fox

Dhole

Racoon wolf

Dire wolf

Golden jackal

Hoary fox

Sechuran fox

Falklands island wolf

Bat-eared fox

Culpeo

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EYE-COLOUR

Now, you have a breed(s) picked out, which narrows down your design drastically, very helpful. Do a bit of browsing online to find something that you find appealing or find two images and mash them together to get your ultimate OC.

Eye-colour is a bit tricky, depending on what you've chosen, in Huskies heterochromia is more common than most others. Otherwise, the most common eye colour is a shade of brown.

Cats have a little more leeway but the most common eye-colour amongst them is yellow. Try to use a bit of colour-theory for the eyes. Or better yet assign an eye-colour based on your characters core emotion.

What is a core emotion?

We'll delve deeper into it in the personality section but as a basic example you have;

Red; Ambition/Passion(Anger)

Orange; Stability/Bravery(Confidence)

Yellow; Optimism/Sociable(Happiness)

Green; Growth/Quality(Hope)

Blue; Tranquil/Emotional(Woe/Calm)

Purple; Royalty/Sophisticated(Pride)

Pink; Compassion/Empathy(Kindness)

Brown; Dependable/Loyal (Comfort)

White; Purity/Innocence(Naievity)

Gray; Distant/Independence(Independent)

Black; Class/Intelligence(Control)

(Don't be afraid of using dynamic colours, we are a race of talking organized animals)

Here is a chart for eyes that may help

Eye-colours.jpg

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PELT & PATTERNS

There are a MULTITUDE of pelt patterns so instead of listing them, I will be borrowing images from Messybeast.com

(these are in no way owned by me and are being used for constructive purposes)

PERSONALITY
Note: This will probably be the hardest part of creating your character, do not lose hope if it takes a while to get to a satisfying conclusionHOW WE'RE USING COLOURS

Alright, this is how I use colours to convey things in my characters, I will try and simplify it, but this could get complicated, I find it a fun method to use.

Lets take a look at this colour chart (Not mine, I will link back to the origional source)

1366745879973259629Color Wheel.svg.med.png

Think of your character as a colour? what would they be, Are they hot-headed and stubborn? you have red.

Are they sturdy mentally or physically, the backbone or the emotional support of their group? you have orange/brown.

Sassy and egotistical? Purple.

Think of character traits as complimentary colours.

Red (Hot-headed, Stubborn, Aggressive) and Blue (Sensitive, Emotional, Passive) don't really mix well, do they? it would take a lot of work to get them to get along.

But let's try yellow and purple, yellow (energetic, loud, joyful) and purple (sassy, egotistical and maybe a little bit of a diva?)

Put them together and you get a high energy character with a big personality. A character like this would probably draw lots of both negative and positive attention to themselves.

They're probably an extrovert who enjoys socializing in mass groups, but at the same time, they're probably very judgemental and possibly oblivious to peoples feelings, putting their own before others.

It would be reasonable to believe that they'd enjoy being the centre of attention and this is a character who (depending on which side you lean for) could be a good person or a bad person. It all depends on which personality traits you choose to exaggerate.

(this was a basic example but I'm sure you understand what I'm going for)

COLOURS AND THEIR MEANINGS

NOTE: I have a personal way of seeing colours that probably isn't the same as other people but this guide is a starting point, not an end all be all, we will be categorizing colours into emotions too. These core emotions are sort of the building blocks of your character.

RED

(Anger)
Red is a passionate colour; it's the colour of a fighter, someone who refuses to give up no matter the circumstances. The colour of a stubborn bull, strong and intimidating foe with a fire a-light in their very blood, A high energy colour.
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ORANGE

(Confidence)
Orange is a solid colour; like a mountain this colour is immovable. No matter the force it shall remain stable, even in the face of immeasurable danger or distress this colour remains to stand, It's mindset clear and confident, A medium energy colour.
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YELLOW

(Happiness)
Yellow is a blinding colour; even the brightest stars would not compare. Yellow lights up every room they step into, Seeping into the very souls of their peers. Their spirit lighter than air, Yellow is an optimistic and energetic person, A high energy colour.
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GREEN

(Hope)
Green is an uplifting colour, While not at bright as Yellow, Green flickers in even the direst circumstances. It grows and supports those around it, protecting the darkest minds with a sense of anticipation for the future, A medium energy colour.
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BLUE

(Woe/Calm)
Blue is the most intimate of colours; It is emotional, it understands and it accepts. Blue is the strongest colour mentally, It allows for a deeper connection with one's self and it is in a sense gray, understanding is the way of Blue; A low energy colour.
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PURPLE

(Pride)
Purple sees themselves as god-like, whether justified or not. Purple puts their needs before those of their peers and is often vain in nature. Purple, is boisterous and confident in their achievements, A high energy colour.
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PINK

(Kindness)
Pink is a colour that gets along well with Blue; Both have a strong sense of understanding but pink takes it a step further with their support, while Blue expresses empathy, Pink expresses sympathy and often extends a helping hand to those in need, A fluctuating colour.
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BROWN

(Comfort)
Brown and Orange also share similarities; Brown tends to be a dependable backbone and is an extremely reliable colour. Brown helps those who depend on them, their protection encompassing many, A medium energy colour.
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WHITE

(Naivety)
White is pure, incorruptible yet also inexperienced, White is foolish. White tends to be emotionally distant and serious and is a colour based around gaining experience and learning humility, A fluctuating colour.
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GRAY


(Independent)
Gray is a clear mix of White and Black, It is a self-reliant colour with wavering experience but much logic, Gray is smart but emotionally detached, Gray would rather spend time in a cave than with peers, A low energy colour.
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BLACK

(Control)
Black is a powerful colour, An all-consuming colour that commands all else. It is the colour of a king. Black can often be found in positions of power or seeking power. Black is cunning and ambitious but easily misguided. a fluctuating colour.
NAMING

The moment you've all been waiting for!

BEFORE WE JUMP IN

Naming a character can be daunting! Especially if its a warrior cats character then you have to pick TWO names for them!

Here are some pointers for picking your OC's name!

  • Does it fit their personality?

(If your character is as kind as can be, does a name like Wickedclaw fit? NO!)

  • Does it flow nicely?

(Say the name out loud, as an EX Rainchaser flows better than Mulberrywhisper)

  • Is it unique?

(A name like Littleberry is more unique than (Name)Claw/Pelt/Tail)

  • (for those non-clanners) Is the name dynamic?

(A name like Salem or [insert cannon character name from tv show] has been overused to an extensive point, try something new like Gael, or Lumber)

PREFIXS

PLANTS

Apple

Asper

Aspen

Ash

Acorn

Abelia

Almond

Aloe

Aster

Artichoke

Avacado

Basil

Bark

Banana

Birch

Beech

Bay

Bean

Blackberry

Beet

Bramble

Burnet

Borage

Bracken

Carrot

Cabbage

Cedar

Celery

Citrus

Chokeberry

Coffee

Coconut

Comfrey

Corn

Cyperus

Cypress

Dill

Dandelion

Date

Dahlia

Elm

Eucalyptus

Elderberry

Eggplant

Fig

Fir

Ficus

Flax

Fern

Foxglove

Garlic

Ginger

Gladiolus

Grape

Gourde

Guava

Goldenrod

Hemlock

Hawthorn

Hickory

Holly

Hop

Hydrangea

Hawthorn

Iris

Ivy

Jasmine

Juniper

Kiwi

Kale

Larch

Leek

Lavender

Leaf

Lilac

Lilly

Lupis

Larkspur

Lark

Mallow

Magnolia

Mint

Melon

Mango

Maple

Myrtle

Moor

Nettle

Oak

Okra

Orange

Oregano

Olive

Oleander

Onion

Orchid

Pakera

Palm

Peanut

Pea

Pepper

Pecan

Peony

Pine

Plum

Poppy

Potato

Pumpkin

Primrose

Pineapple

Quince

Radish

Raspberry

Rose

Rush

Rosemary

Rue

Sage

Sassafras

Sedge

Spruce

Stock

Sundew

Tomato

Thyme

Tulip

Tree

Wallflower

Wood

Willow

Watermelon

Valerian

Yarrow

Yew

Yucca

ANIMAL

Ant

Aardvark

Bat

Badger

Bear

Baboon

Bass

Bird

Camel

Carp

Cardinal

Crab

Canary

Deer

Duck

Doe

Dingo

Dolphin

Eagle

Elephant

Fish

Falcon

Fallow

Fennec

Ferret

Fox

Fin

Finch

Flamingo

Fiddler

Frog

Fawn

Gecko

Gerbil

Gazelle

Hare

Hedgehog

Hermit

Hawk

Herring

Ibis

Iguana

Jellyfish

Jackal

Jaguar

Kangaroo

Kiwi

Kingfisher

Leech

Ladybug

Lamb

Lamprey

Leopard

Lemming

Lemur

Lion

Lynx

Macaw

Magpie

Mamba

Mammoth

Moth

Narwhal

Newt

Numbat

Ocelot

Octopus

Opossom

Orca

Oyster

Okapi

Ostrich

Panther

Parrot

Peafowl

Pelican

Penguin

Parakeet

Rabbit

Racoon

Rat

Rattlesnake

Snake

Salamander

Scorpion

Tetra

Termite

Tapir

Urial

Viper

Vulture

Walrus

Weasle

Wasp

Wallaby

Yak

Zebra

Zebu

COLOURS

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Blue

Purple

White

Black

Gray

Russet

Brown

Pearl

Tan

beige

Flaxen

Blonde

Rust

Amber

Bronze

Scarlet

Mahogany

Ruby

Magenta

Slate

Navy

Sapphire

Emerald

Hickory

Tawny

Slate

Ink

Onyx

Obsidian

PHYSICAL/PERSONAL

Speckle

Spotted

Stripe

Stripped

Freckle

Scar

Crooked

Broken

Cracked

Tattered

Withered

Long

Short

Tall

Dark

Light

Wicked

Wither

Torn

Crumble

Twisted

Split

Tangle

Sweet

Dapple

Little

Tiny

Small

Hollow

Sour

Bitter

NATURE

Pebble

Pond

Lake

Rain

Wind

Fire

Air

Earth

Grass

Tunnel

Forest

Moor

Mountain

Sky

Cloud

Thunder

Hail

Hurricane

Marsh

Swamp

Night

Day

Dawn

Twilight

Moss

Rock

Stone

Wave

Temple

Snow

Ice

Sleet

Breeze

Flower

Shadow

Drizzle

Dew

Spark

Flicker

Flake

ACTION

Hop

Running

Skid

Pounce

Shudder

Fidget

Fall

Falling

Drop

Tumble

Tackle

Leap

Rasp

Whisper

Splash

Shake

Paddle

Rumble

Rustle

Holler

SUFFIX

Claw

Pelt

Tail

Muzzle

Leaves

Hunter

Chaser

Heart

Spirit

Pool

Watcher (Tbh combining prefix's makes for better names)

ROGUE/KITTYPET

Copper

Rusty

Harper

Harpy

Rookie

May'may

June

Ladybug

Pickle

Pancake

Waffle

Hunter

Oliver

Tinkle

Socks

Sweater

Tea

Tapper

Rootbeer

Doctor

Hugo

Black-Jack

Ace

Casper

Ghost

Oscar

Zipper

Gael

Thumper

Thatcher

F U R T H E R M O R E
In this section we'll be tackling more serious subjects but I'll do my best to make it fun nonetheless.
DISABILITIES

Disabilities are something you need to be careful with; from the smallest of limps to the most crippling of mental disorders you always have to treat it like you would any other sensitive subject, With care.

When choosing to diagnose your character with a mental disorder in particular you must do your research!

As someone diagnosed with PTSD and Asperger's syndrome and a some other things I understand the disappointment and embarrassment that stems from seeing a character with said struggle designed in poor taste and/or without any care put into it.

Disabilities are not aesthetics and they're not cool nor do they make you 'unique' you should never diagnose a character with an illness to make them unique, or add flair.

For example, people headcanon autistic male characters as; "soft uwu, needing protection and cute/socially awkward" but only to a point of making them aesthetically pleasing sometimes even fetishizing them. And then theres the other side that treats them as subhuman and prefers to use many colourful choice words as descriptions.

As someone living with said illness, it is not cute, it's uncomfortable and makes daily life outside of my comfort bubble (my room) a struggle.

You have to be careful and if you're not willing to put in the effort to portray it right then do not portray it at all.

HEY LOOK QUESTIONS

I suggest asking yourself these before giving your character a trait as serious as this.

  • Does this illness contribute to your character?

(Is it there just to be there or is there a reason?)

  • Is this illness why your character is evil?

(If your character goes through psychosis or has schizophrenia is this the reason why they do bad things? If so I suggest you be careful as to not generalize and recognize that most schizophrenics do not harm people and are almost always not a danger. Mapleshade is a complicated subject and I will be using her as an example in the future.)

  • Are you basing their disability off of tropes or actual facts?

(It's fine to have fun with it but do not make it a stereotype it does more harm than help)

  • How does this disability affect them and their peers?

(Surely this trait would affect how the world views and reacts to them in some way)

  • How does your character think about themselves/their disability?

(Do they hate it? have they learned to live with it? does it not affect them much?)

BIG NOTE: Mental health is a serious subject, and I will not be attempting to explain it in depth because I am not a mental health professional; I am an obsessive 16-year-old. I am merely here to try and aid you with my slightly above average knowledge on the subject, and I will gladly accept any critisim as long as you can provide facts/sources to back your statement or I have the time to confirm or deny your statement.

MORE TBA; I'm back, but this update was mostly dedicated to fixing spelling and grammatical errors while I work on the next section I intend to put a lot of effort into it to make sure it is as helpful as possible <3

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