General Characterization

(Looking for articles on writing certain types of characters? Check out Specific Character Types!)

Character Infatuation & Over-Identification - Do You Have These Problems?
These two issues can make life a real pain for you and others. Do you have either one of them?

Writing Character Profiles & Bios - Tips & Advice
How to write informative and useful bios for your characters.

Basic Tips For Writing Better Ensemble Casts
Whether they be a team of superheroes or a band of wandering vagabonds!

How To Write People On Large Scales
Writing single characters believably is easy enough, but handling entire groups of people is another story. Here's what you need to know to do it.

Plotting, Conniving, & Manipulating - What It Isn't, And What It Is
Tips to help you write more believable plotters and manipulators.

Exercises To Improve Your Character Writing & Roleplaying Skills
Write and play better characters.

A Few Things Writers Need To Know About Sexuality & Gender Expression
Particularly with regard to writing gender and sexual minorities.

Of Character Voices & Slang
The whats and whys of character voice and slang, and why you should take it into account when writing a character.

Changing Alignments, Allegiances, & Loyalties More Believably
Want to make a villain good, or a hero evil? Or just want to write about a change of loyalty in general? Here are tips to write it more naturally and believably.

Describing Your Character: Tips & Advice
Tips to write better descriptions for your characters.

Why "Purity" Is An Overrated Character Trait
A critical look at why "purity" does not necessarily make one a good or worthy person.

Protagonist-Centered Morality: What It Is, And How You Can Avoid It
Protagonist-centered morality can easily make your "heroes" look like villains and monsters to your audience, so make sure you learn how to minimize it in your works!

Character Morality & Ethics - What Separates Your Heroes From The Villains?
Have you thought much about what makes your good guys good and your bad guys bad? Have you thought much about why good is good and why bad is bad? If not, maybe it's time.

Ethical Considerations For Fantastic Situations - Are Your Sci-Fi & Fantasy Heroes Ethical People?
Many characters intended to be heroes and champions of justice end up being a little... less than stellar in the ethics department. How do yours hold up?

How To Write & Roleplay Characters Who Are Different From You (Or, How To Stop Writing Self-Inserts!) - NEW!
This is an important skill for any writer or roleplayer to have, so here's how to develop it!

Simple Tips To Put Yourself In The Shoes Of Characters Who Aren't You
This is something every writer and roleplayer must learn to do if they want to be able to write characters who aren't them (or based on them) and have them come across believably.

Grail Character Syndrome: How To Be The Center Of Attention And Yet Be A Total Bore
This is a problem that plagues many a character. Do any of yours have it?

Alexis Feynman's Guide To Writing Proactive Characters
What exactly does it mean to be a proactive character? Find out right here, right now!

Dropping In Characterization Without Dragging The Story
How to drop in little tidbits that tell us about your characters without bringing the plot to a halt.

Simple Ways To Fill Out & Humanize Your Character
Both in terms of your character's history and personality, and in terms of how the character acts in the story.

Tips To Keep Your Characters In Perspective & Make The Right Impressions With Them
If you want your characters to come off as you intended, you need to make sure you keep them in perspective and cultivate the right impressions about them. Here are some tips how.

Old Mary Sue Articles

If you're concerned that your character might be a Mary Sue, please visit "Does My Character Work Okay?" - How To Tell For Yourself!

What Is A Mary Sue?
What constitutes a Mary Sue 'round these parts.

Mary Sue Subtypes
Detailed descriptions of various subtypes of Mary Sues.

Before You Go Declaring Other Peoples' Characters Mary Sues...
Because people are often way too happy and quick to point fingers at other peoples' characters.

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