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Anonymous 6808

I think it's time I learned about these puzzling categories of the personages, and if I should even bother to memorize them or just reinterpret what I need in order to make it easier.
Because memorizing hundreds of guides and abstract notions sounds insane…though college still wants people to do that.
I suggest not answering these paragraphs in a descending order and neither directly. Same for not doing it all in one go, but that really goes without saying.

First of all what's the meaning behind ''great'' character development?
If the character slightly or majorly changes his personality across the series? Is it still called development if the character regresses instead of evolving?
Is the evolution of a character always about growing up - getting a mature attitude and become capable of taking up responsibilities?
The total amount of time all of his common emotions and unique traits have been shown for.
If the reasons the character changes for, isn't jarring/poorly made?

Do the quality of the jokes, charm, action have any effect on the depthness? Or Depth and lovable personality are two entirely different things?
How much do relationships with other characters, hobbies, likes&dislikes, roles, different experiences/completed goals affect the character's depth? Or that's the depth of the character's background and has nothing to do with the depth of the personality?
Does the intelligence of a character represent how deep she/he is? Self-awareness/common sense, rational thinking and diplomacy/reasoning.
Same for the indepedence, responsibility and ingenuity of handling challenges. Do these things have their own category, rather than all falling into personality? Because they seem rather different compared to the flavors of an archetype.

Is the depth of a character really represented by how many traits it has or it's actually about the quality; what kinda traits were integrated and how well they are handled together?(or how well each trait is used?) If they go swimmingly//if they contradict each other(for a reason): Happy, but in reality depressed as hell because too dependant on social groups; either because the character was born that way or he had a life changing event, usually found in their childhood.
Because otherwise you can have a character with personality, but it can still end up being a shallow character…or am I getting this wrong? A character with no motivation, beliefs and doesn't care about anything. Which feels like the player from a video game, doing things just because it's funny or he's forced to do it.
Let's see…so far I've identified what seems to be three important depth categories - intelligence, personality and functionality/motivation. Optionally the character's background because it's far more set in stone and unique compared to the other categories, so it can't be passed as easily onto other characters; e.g. what happened in magical mystery cure.

Are stereotypes 1d,2d and archetypes are 3d?
Can't certain stereotypes be considered rounded and fleshed out if they use all the traits? Theres enough traits associated to a stereotype that if you were to use them all then a character would actually be quite deep and fleshed out, as opposed to a flat character with only one real feature. Like often the bubblehead or silent character would let go of all the pinned up anger in one episode, but how about showing off that trait much more often across the entire series. Keep adding predominant traits till it's no longer a one trait defined character.
An eccentric personality posseses a huge amount of traits which other stereotypes only have a few of them: positively ignorant/bubblehead, mischievious, psychopathic, shouting energetic/genki girl, party maniac, perverted/playboy lifestyle, 4th wall breaking, riddler, joker, affinity for evil. There's some more traits found in the Aquarius.
Is there such a thing as an archetype ''character''? I don't remember even one character which managed to exhibit half of those traits by himself. Unless I screwed up the definition of archetype.

TwilightSnarkle!OMGpONypDQ 6809

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I think you're going too far too soon, honestly.
The power of a good character is how relatable they are. In order for a character to be powerful to an audience, the audience must understand them.
Pinkie Pie's a bubblehead partyfreak. Written as a disposable character, that's all we'd know, and some people might relate. But giving her depth? Well, we explain why she likes parties: she likes to make others smile. Why does she like to make others smile? Because before she smiled, her life was (literally) gray and empty.
Take a character concept. Write out the 'features' of the character. Then ask yourself why a few times. In my experience, if I can answer three 'why' questions on the same trait, then that trait has appreciable depth.
Review the other traits and make sure there are (minimal) conflicts unless the character is irrational.
Once you've done that, you can choose to show which facets you wish to the audience, but make sure the character acts according to those hidden 'why' reasons. This will give the illusion of depth without having to go into a six-paragraph exposition for each action.

Soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 6811

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There's a few different things to consider with a character. Their introduction to your story is where they first appear, and where you have to do something to make them memorable. Our introduction to Bilbo Baggins is "Nope, sorry! Not today! I am not–no–not going adventuring today!"

Dialogue is most definitely another important aspect. A relateable character who's boring every time they open their mouth is never going to win over the readers.

Most importantly though, and this applies for your story as a whole, "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself can alone make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat." A character who has inner turmoil, and the subject of that inner turmoil, is what will really make or break a character.

Create a character who is half gryphon half pegasus and stick them in the middle of a war between the two races.
Create a guard who fought on the wrong side of a war and place him and his his loving wife and two daughters in poverty, as the only payment for his loyalty to the fallen crown.
Create a character who has two ponies competing for her affections, each friends that she's known for a long time.
Create someone whose every accomplishment is overshadowed by their father's even greater accomplishments. "Graduated the academy at eighteen? Well, my word that's young! Though not nearly as young as your father; let me tell you, I've never seen somepony handle a spear so well."

You put a character in an interesting situation, form their personality from that situation, then write good enough dialogue to make them interesting and you should have a good character.

Tactical 6812

One good piece of advice is to work bckwards. Creating an interesting character out of love for the character will create distracting elements and will tempt you to create a Sue of one variety or another.

What is your objective in using the character? What role do they play? Why are they interesting? How do their traits complicate matters, drive plot points, or strengthen their symbolic power? Edit: Also, what SLP said about voice. Voice is probably the most important of all.

These questions should guide creating your character.

Sometimes, of course, you create a character who needs to breathe in order to work: a character for whom an interesting personality and a strong, consistent motivation is not enough. To develop these characters, again I advise resisting the urge to create an RP character with an interesting history and with interesting traits or quirks. An interesting quirk or too is good, but quirks do not count as character exploration. Neither does in-depth analysis of personality and how the character should behave.

Instead, think of non-obvious traits of your characters; things that are offscreen, mundane, unimportant. Again this will help you to work backwards and create new angles that make the character interesting in ways that obsessive detail on obvious things can't.

The example I've been using is of an RPG character I once made who was a mage. I had a good, solid theme to her–she had only nonlethal combat magic, she was good at clairvoyance, she followed a religion of peace and spirituality, and she was with the party because she had a dream of retiring to a life of religious pilgrimage.

See the problem? She's nothing but an RPG stereotype, no matter how meticulously I tried to make her a "good character."

I began by asking these questions: What is her ethnicity? Who were her parents? What are her specific beliefs?

I ended up with a terrorist sympathizer with a subtle bias against white men, a problem with compulsive honesty, and a religious need to investigate any unfamiliar magic stuff that she finds. She also sends money to her mother in Mexico and works with a spiritual advisor.
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