A Guide to Character Biographies

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by *iPimella (01), Jun 20, 2011.

  1. How to Make a Good Character Biography

    Table of Contents

    • [*] Introduction
      [*] Basic Structure/ Necessary Information
      [*] Weaponry/Special abilities
      [*] Bios
      [*] What NOT to do


    Character biographies, commonly referred to as bios are often asked for on KaW because many authors need help with characters for their stories, or want to get more readers by involving people in their story. This guide is to help make good characters that are easy(er) for the author to use which makes it more likely that your character will have a big part.

    Basic Structure/ Necessary Information

    For every Character bio that you write, ALWAYS put Name, Gender, Appearance, Personality unless the author specifically tells you not to. Also make sure that you have one line per subject (name, appearance etc.). It may help the author to have a space before and after longer subjects like appearance and personality.

    A well organized easy to read bio should look something like this:

    Name: Mary Goodie
    Gender: Female

    Appearance: Short blonde hair, dark blue eyes and tan skin. She usually wears short shorts and a bikini top.

    Personality: Mary is quirky and outgoing. She enjoys hanging out with friends and hitting on cute guys.

    Below are some helpful descriptions on what you should and should not have in your subjects.

    Name: Make sure the name fits the story. The author (usually) doesn't want someone named Bob in a fantasy story, and the author (usually) doesn't want a really ling and complicated name in a story about school. Also if you make the name long (Like Natinarinocada or something) make sure to include a nickname (like Nat).

    Appearance: Make this as descriptive and interesting as possible. Also, your character doesn't always have to be the cutest, handsomest, most athletic etc. Perfect characters are boring. Depending on the story make them fat or short or wayyyy tall.

    Personality: Now I know that everyone always wants to be the sexiest, the most funny outgoing character out there, but like I said above those characters are ANNOYING and not very fun to write. Writers and authors hate it when they get a bunch of characters like that.

    Give them something that sets them apart from the other characters, like they're awkward around girls, or they have a really weird laugh, or maybe they're really formal. Things like that make them more fun to write and put in different scenes and gives you a better chance of getting a bigger part.

    Weaponry/ Special Abilities

    Alright, let's start out with weapons. Make sure the weapon matches the time period!

    I don't like it when people ask for rifles in the medieval period, or magic wands in a modern realistic war story. Seriously pay attention and use common sense.

    Also make sure your armor matches your weapon. You don't want to be wearing hardened leather armor with an axe, or plate metal with katanas. That just doesn't work.

    Don't make your character invincible and overpowered. The author will definitely change it, or may just throw it out all together. This paragraph leads right into the next section.

    Special Abilities

    There haven't been many stories with these, but this is a very necessary section for many sci fis.

    First off, don't make your character cliché/overpowered. This isn't fun to write and is obnoxious. If your character has a powerful/invasive ability like mind reading, give it a weakness, like can't read the minds of people wearing hats with metal in them or something.

    Many powers are also really cliché. Powers you want to avoid are those such as:
    mind reading
    vague shapeshifting (can turn into anything or anyone)
    mind control
    invincibility (like being able to reflect others powers)
    pyromancery (the ability to control fire).

    Some interesting abilities to consider using/tweaking: teleportation
    Technomancer (specialty with gadgets)
    telekinesis (moving objects with your mind)
    weather powers
    specific shapeshifting (can only turn into a cat etc.)
    telepathy (speaking into others minds, different from mind control)
    shields (either blocking physical or magical not both)

    Just remember, your character doesn't always have to be the most bad ass, weaker quieter characters are great too!

    Biographies (Bios)

    Alright first and foremost:

    Do NOT make a bio section unless specifically asked

    Many authors just need characters to fit into their stories in already allotted places, and a biography will just **** them up. Seriously always read directions, this will save you TONS of time.

    So on to basic bio writing.

    In general, make them as specifically vague is possible.

    Makes a bunch of sense right?

    What I mean is don't name a specific place they're from (unless ordered to). Just say they're from "A big city" or "a small town"

    Give family titles and what happened/is happening to them. Here as well it is better to say "older sister" or "baby brother"

    Leave a lot of room for detail, and be sure to make sure that it can fit with the story. Don't tell me that the character was trained as a monk by his father when all of the characters in the story were raised in an orphanage from babies. Seriously, common sense is #1.

    This is also a place to include more of their personality like "Anna got her bitter sarcasm from her father whom she idolized" or "because his mother beat him often, Alex has a pathological fear of loud noises."

    Be specific, but not too specific.

    What Not to Do

    Number one thing not to do:
    Don't make your character perfect. I've stressed this again and again, but seriously, don't.

    Another big thing not to do: DO NOT under any circumstances harass the writer about when your character is coming in the story. That's the number 1 best way to get your character trashed/killed off.

    Also, writers really don't like it when you do things that were specifically instructed as items not to have, so READ.

    Well folks, that's all I have for you today. If you see anything, please tell me and I'll try to fix it! Have a nice day!

  2. Soooooooooooooo long
  3. No offence but who's going to take the time to read that
  4. Someone who cares about making their character bios
  5. Niiice Mystique!
  6. Very prettiful! Lol. haha you had the genders there lol. Good times and good job!

  7. Yes. Genders. A very important part to any character.
  8. I feel like youre looking down on me, Irin. Cough cough.

  9. What?!? Never! I'm just making a statement. What, I'm not aloud to say things anymore? You dare try to take away my freedom of speech?
  10. Nice. Sandy, not long, took me about 2-4 minutes.
  11. Well it would take me 2days to read it
  12. Well you suck at reading. No offence.
  13. Never said you couldnt say anything hon. Dont be putting words in my mouth lol.

  14. That was a joke
  15. I will read it and time myself
  16. A "~ -Mystique-" would've made it so much awesomer ;)
  17. Great guide! The only think I don't like is the list of cliche special abilities. No abilities are overpowered/cliche if they are single abilities. Single abilities leave much for weakness.(Eg. Pyromancery, you can't create fire in water no matter what. Unless it isn't a single ability or the story is some weird sci-fi.(By single I mean the character can only create fire but not have the ability to create fire and create fire in water.)
  18. Wow... I feel special...

    FH referred someone to my guide 