How to make more "flowery" character skeletons?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Wolfsbane706, Dec 30, 2015.

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  1. Usually, when I fill out a character skeleton it's minimalistic. It's not single words, but I tend not to write multiple paragraphs for each line. I also don't add any embellishments to the post itself, just copy/pasting the skeleton, filling it out, and posting it with maybe some formatting adjustments for visibility. Then I see skeletons that have animations, multiple paragraphs for the stuff where it's warranted/possible, multicolored fonts, etc, and it's disheartening. My question is, how do I bring myself to do all that unnecessary fancy BS?
     
  2. Do you really need to? I think you don't. I find it to be an eyesore and know it can be crippling to people with phones or questionable connection speeds. I'm one to stick an image in if it is required, and sometimes bother with a fieldbox and with the character's name in IC posts where I'm playing more than one character. My thoughts are, I'm here to write, all the other stuff can be too much. The fact that you used the phrase "how do I bring myself to do all that unnecessary fancy BS," tells me you don't really want to. So why do you feel like you should?
     
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  3. Because otherwise, my characters tend to feel unremarkable. I've noticed that the ones that get remarked upon the most either have lots of purple prose or lots of little flairs, neither of which I use in my profiles.
     
  4. Well, I don't have much to say about that then. I, personally, would not want to write with people who praise flash and purple prose. Maybe you need to find different RPers with writing goals more in line with yours?

    For the coding, if you are curious what they are doing and want to emulate it then just quote their post and use the bbcode editor to see what it is they've done. (it is in the upper right corner of the reply box) Or strike up a conversation with them about how they do it. They might praise your character sheet more if it emulates theirs and they feel some ownership towards its appearance. Best of luck, hope you find what you need.
     
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  5. Here's what I recommend for making CS's look nicer:
    • Don't align center.
    • Bold the title of each field, and maybe color said titles, as well.
    • If you need to list anything, use the list code (like I'm using here).
    • Put a space in between each field.
    • Beyond that? Focus on the content.
    These are some very small things that you can include into a CS to make it look a lot neater (and add just a touch of visual flare), without going overboard on the "floweryness" of it.

    Even if you still don't include very much in terms of content, this still makes your CS look much more... put together, in almost a subconscious sort of way. If you're looking for something small to do, I'd say this is much more effective than fluffing a CS out with unnecessary detail.
     
    #5 Kagayours, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  6. Oh! I should add, though, if you do color the field titles, make sure they're all one color, and not a bunch of different colors. Trying to give each field title a different color will hurt much more than it will help. @_@ Picking just one color, though -- now that can add just the right amount of visual flair to tie the thing together. It's what I usually do when I can think of a color that I can associate with my character.

    But uh, yeah, just look at the difference!

    Name: Bobbie
    Age: 16
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    Personality: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    History: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

    vs

    Name: Bobbie

    Age: 16

    Gender: Male

    Appearance: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

    Personality: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

    History: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

    I didn't at all change the length of the placeholder text here, but, just a little bit of polish like this just makes it look so much... neater. And it isn't very difficult to do. Beyond that, it also shows that you put a bit more thought into your CS than the first example would -- so you don't have to fluff up your writing to show that you care about what goes into the CS. But if you do include lengthier content -- really anything more than a few lines -- then, adding that space and bolding the field titles also definitely helps with readability, more clearly separating one field from the next.

    On a similar note, be sure to remove anything in parenthesis that clearly doesn't need to be in the actual CS.

    For example, if your GM posts a CS skeleton that looks like this:

    Name: (only need first names)
    Age: (think high school age)
    Appearance: (no anime pics)

    Then remove the parts in parenthesis before editing in your actual content. Keeping them in not only comes off as lazy but it can also make your CS look more cluttered and harder to read.

    On a similar note, don't align center. It does not improve the look of your CS, and, again, can make it look more cluttered/hard to read.

    You can maybe get away with using center align if you have an image or line of text at the top of your CS (like if you want to include a meaningful quote or something), but, if so, only center that opening bit. As for the actual content? Keep it aligned left. It will look much more organized.

    Oh! And, this is another small thing that's easy to fix and really helps a lot. If you do plan on including any images -- especially if it's, say, under the appearance field, and not placed above the CS as a whole, make sure that the image is set on the line below the field title, not on the same line as it.

    When you're on the same line as the field title, you look like this,

    Appearance: [​IMG]

    Which just looks really weird. But when you remember to hit enter and go to the line below, you get this,

    Appearance:
    [​IMG]

    Which looks much better, especially when it's put within the context of the rest of the CS.

    If you want your CS's to look better, well, these small tips are probably the best ways to go about doing it. You don't have to feel like you're "flowering" up your CS just by doing a few tiny things to make it look nicer. And, you don't have to fluff up the actual content, either. These are all just easy ways to show the GM that you've put at least a little thought into making your CS presentable, readable, and aesthetically pleasing. And they definitely help you avoid that bare-bones feeling of a scrunched-up, non-formatted CS.

    As a GM, I don't really feel like I can punish players for not following these rules, but, I do kind of groan when I see centered text or awkwardly-formatted images. And I tend to be a lot more eager to read a CS that's well-formatted than one that isn't. Of course I do try to actually focus on the content of the CS and judge it based on that, but, I gotta admit -- a CS with that little bit of polish just makes a good first impression on me.
     
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  7. I tend to do all of that already (except for the field coloring), but it's good advice all the same.
     
  8. Oh! M'bad. Sorry for assuming, then. But, if you're already following all the suggestions I made here, then... I really don't know what else you could add, and I really don't think it's necessary to add anything else. @_@

    The suggestions I made help not only with visual appearance but also things like readability, which is why I think they can be really helpful to have. But, if you're already doing all of that... I don't think you need anything else.

    I mean, I admit, sometimes I see a really nice CS that someone spent a lot of time formatting, and, I'll admit, it looks nice! And sometimes I'm really impressed with the amount of effort put into it. But, of course, that's only if the fancy formatting doesn't interfere with the readability of it. You can make a CS as gorgeous as you want, but, if you use a tiny, hard-to-read font? I'll be more annoyed than anything else.

    But, you know, everything I listed here is generally enough to make me pretty happy with a CS's formatting. Anything beyond that really is... extra, which isn't necessarily bad, but... yeah. If you don't want to do it, then, I don't see much of a need for it. Just focus on making the content good, at that point. Hopefully your GM doesn't actually give anyone advantages based on how pretty their CS's are. XD

    But, yeah, hopefully the thing I mentioned about the colors will help make your CS's more visually interesting, if you really want to focus on that. You could play around a bit more with color, if you like, but, remember, color can be reeeaally easy to go overboard with and have it work against you. If you find something that really looks nice then go for it. But, if you find yourself hesitating, I would hold back on it.
     
  9. While others may disagree, I tend to appreciate a character skeleton that shows effort in its execution and presentation. Having a more simplistic character skeleton does not decrease the value of any given character skeleton. Similarly, if you have poor content, then all the decorative implementations in the world cannot make it seem impressive. However, I personally prefer more elaborate or "flowery" profiles simply because it has the potential to show that you are committed to displaying your work as what it truly is: a work of art. Also, you have the opportunity to experiment with different themes to see how they affect the mood of a certain profile and you can then use this to give readers a deeper understanding of your character.

    I suppose that I've developed a distinct type of character sheet, and I would be more than willing to link you to a few examples of how I personally like to structure and embellish my character profiles. Also, fontmeme.com. Just use the text generator as it is invaluable.

    Here are a few examples:

    Adanessa Oakenwreath (Ignore the John Green quote! I was only 15.)

    Branath Oakenwreath

    Selene Lothaire

    More recently, I tend to do more simplistic profiles simply because all of image coding is a lot of work.
     
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