I'm going to write down my characterization because I really would like feedback on my characters so far. If you think something is cliché, or if anything suspicious pops up, feel free to point it out and I'll figure out a way to tweak it and make it better (if you wanna go the extra step and give me some helpful hints on what to tweak and how to do so, feel free).
First and foremost, my story is set in the region of Kanto in the year 2012. There are quite a few made up characters, in addition to a lesser amount of canon figures. Now let's get on to my MCs.
Born to Charles Ryder and Fiona Holly Harris as the third of four. Josephine has spent her life in the shadow of older brother Rowan, initially seeing him as a role model, and later in life as an outcast after an incident involving Team Rocket made her lose all of her respect for her brother.
Superintendent Tyler’s son, Paul, developed a rivalry with Josephine purely due to the fact that he received better grades at the Academy than she did – despite the fact that Josephine graduated second in her class. From there, the rivalry increased as they competed to find out which of their Nidorino was stronger.
Josephine started her journey at the age of fourteen; standard reason for starting later. She received her starter, Riley – a cloned female Shinx – from Professor Oak, through her father. In traversing Route 1, she captured a traumatized Sandshrew, was observed by a TR Admin, battled a Team Rocket-affiliated scientist and played messenger for Paul’s mother, before finally reaching Viridian City.
Josephine’s personality is more straightforward than convoluted. She’s an individual all to her own. While growing up, she was a loner, never wanting to make any friends because she didn’t see them as worthy peers. Back when her sister died, she hated her brother for his involvement and for the path of shadows he was determined to walk. In addition to that, she often vented her impatience on Rowan, when he was being cold and distant, and few things made her excited. Now, however, she is still impatient, but is kind, caring and hyper as well.
After getting her butt kicked by Nighthawk’s Alakazam, Scyla, she becomes slightly depressed. Thanks to a “pick me up” battle initiated by Paul, she eventually regains her composure. She is more sympathetic towards her Pokémon, especially after learning the truth of why Juri was so withdrawn.
She can be fairly useless if required to sleep outdoors, as she has an extreme fear of anything to do with arachnid and bee Pokémon. The redhead has a friendly rivalry going on with Rachel Savina, her best friend of Pewterian blood, and has only once had an argument with the lavender-haired teen.
Realizing her talent after she earns the Boulder Badge, and when she reaches Cerulean City, the Kantonian Police Force decides to recruit her to become a junior undercover law enforcement officer. Leading up to a rematch with Nighthawk, Josephine changed completely – she became more aloof and indifferent. It would take the near-death of her lover, Prince Arthur, at the hands of Nighthawk to bring her original personality back.
With both her and the Prince being 14, it was only natural at some point that a sexual relationship began. Originally, she fell in love with Paul, but then falls in love with Arthur. After Paul finds out, she and the auburn-haired boy argue without end.
More on her personality:
She is very astute and, most of the time, thinks before rushing into anything. After joining the Police Force, her risk-taking becomes obsessive. She has a foul mouth and swears when things go wrong, or when she has to meet someone she loathes. She also likes to stuff herself until she is bloated, being a passionate food lover.
On the other hand, she is funny and usually nice to be around. She is free-spirited and kind to anyone who is kind to her. She is incredibly intelligent and dislikes exercising.
When Paul was eight, his father abandoned him. Before then, they were a happy family, and he wasn't the grumpy sour-puss he is today. But after that all happened, his godfather, Professor Oak, took care of them. He taught them all about Pokémon, but Paul’s not sure how well he listened. Probably very good if he was able to pass school, but he turned cocky and everything. He'll use brawn instead of brain first, and shout out things automatically. He’s pretty much not afraid to speak his mind because of this, but it usually gets him into trouble.
When Paul started getting better grades at the Academy than what Josephine did, was when the rivalry reared its head. It progressed to them wanting to see which of their Nidorino was stronger and, after they bickered constantly about Josephine’s new love, was when they eventually became friends once more.
Paul is very easily put off by TR Grunts who are a cinch to defeat and loves his telepathic Growlithe.
The daughter of Jillian Savina and Rex Sanchez, Rachel Stacey Savina is an only child and the youngest member of one of the richest families in Pewter and Pallet combined. Not much is known about Rachel’s parents, except that they left her in the care of Jillian’s younger sister.
Rachel has had a fairly easy lifestyle throughout her growing years, with only one big problem, Paul Johnson. Life in Pallet included daily squabbles at the magnet school. Rachel would never admit it to Paul’s face but the wrinkle in her life’s fabric helped keep her lively. She shares a fair amount of Josephine’s impatience, but unlike her best friend, she’s stress-free. Maverick, her Leafeon, developed a severe rivalry with Josephine’s Luxio – Riley – when the feline won after fighting the Grass type.
Rachel, when not around Paul, is known to be laid-back and charitable. She can be careless and hasty, however.
She will have the following Pokémon on her team:
Prince Arthur (Supporting Protagonist)
Originally from Sinnoh, the Prince, his younger sister and his mother were forced to leave their homeland before the region was reduced to nothing by abnormal weather occurrences. Arthur’s whole life, from the tender age of nine, has been to serve Saffron’s Royal Castle. But now, at the age of fourteen, he’s had enough of the royal life and wants to explore his home region. Naturally, his mother disagrees, so he storms out, taking only his Pokémon and belongings with him. He enjoys teasing Paul about how Josephine fell in love with his princely self.
Katie is a Pharaohonian-born Johton trainer who received a Firkit (a Beklanite Pokémon) as her starter, due to the fact that she had come in the off-season autumn period, when she was meant to come in spring. She nicknamed the Fire Cheetah Kyga (a play on the word cougar). During her second appearance, she is shown to be mature and good-humoured. Her Pokémon care a lot about her, and vice versa. In that same appearance, Rachel challenges her to a battle, i.e. Laverne VS Kyga. The dual-typed Growlithe lost due to Kyga’s incredible endurance.
It is revealed much later that she does manage to obtain an Espeon and a Scizor (through a trade).
Josephine’s older brother by three years. Rowan was handpicked by Giovanni himself and is their new leader, now that Giovanni Walker has since permanently retired. He is an aloof person who struggles with his inner demons.
Rowan is fully aware of Nighthawk’s ultimate goal of overthrowing him and is quite content to test the young Admin, to see if he is really ready for such a big responsibility. The test began when the leader of Johton-based forces of TR called upon Rowan to help them negate the new evil organization over there, Johto Destroyers, led by Silver – Giovanni’s son.
That certainly is a lot of characters. An entire cast, you might say. This is looking like the set-up for a fanfic of epic proportions.
Although your characters' histories are quite detailed histories and interconnected, I'm not getting a real sense of...character. Take Josephine, your protagonist. After reading about her, I still have no idea of what she's like. Being told that she swears a lot, likes to eat, and dislikes excersize - well, that's like being told that her favourite colour is purple and she's not a morning person. I don't get a unifying image of her character. What's more, some of the information about her personality is contradictory. For instance, at the very top, you write:
"While growing up, she was a loner, never wanting to make any friends because she didn’t see them as worthy peers."
.... Wow. That's a really crappy world view. Good thing that she is now "kind, caring and hyper as well." How did that change come about?
Then you write that "...Josephine changed completely – she became more aloof and indifferent. It would take the near-death of her lover, Prince Arthur, at the hands of Nighthawk to bring her original personality back."
Did she really change completely? In my experience, it would take something as major as brain damage or a religious conversion to change someone's social habits so that their entire personality would seem different. Becoming more aloof and withdrawn does not change a person's personality 100%. There must be more to Josephine than her warmth towards people, or lack of it.
I levy the same critisisms against your other characters, from Paul, the designated rival, to Arthur, the wandering prince, to Rowan, who shows promise (Giovanni must have picked him for a reason) but is given no motivation for joining TR at all.
Aside from that, there are some cliche moments, but they may be cleared up with strong, plausible characterization. Take Paul, for instance. Not only is he kind of an orphan, he has a telepathic Growlithe. (Is that canon?) But if you write him vividly and credibly, your readers won't mind at all.
Edit: After looking at another thread on this forum, I can guess where the problem lies. Putting together bits of other peoples' characters never works. The result will be a Frankenstein's monster of inconsistency. My advice to you is to sit down and pencil out a plot for your fanfic (or at least the important scenarios that you want to write). Then determine what personalities and histories the different characters need to have for the story to hold together. I've always thought character should be determined by plot, not the other way around. Plus, you might be able to avoid irrelevant details this way.
dreaming again of a train track ending at the edge of the sea
Last edited by Rabbit; November 24th, 2009 at 04:28 PM.