Application Advice

Table of contents


Here on Newgulf, our requirements for accepting applications seem to be much higher than most people are used to; very few applications should go through without requiring at least a few edits to clarify the character further, to help us understand him/her, and to make sure that he/she will work in the setting.

There are a few common mistakes that many people on forums make, so it seems like a good idea to address these in a topic all to themselves.

Similar Characters

Please, please read over the Character Directory at least some before beginning your application. Don't use the same name as someone else, if it can be avoided, and make sure you're not duplicating a concept that several other people have already created.

Conflicting, Opposing or Changing Personalities

Personalities are a flexible thing, and everyone understand that — but there are certain elements of personality that should remain stagnant, and others that should shift and change.

When writing up your character's personality, define the things about them that are inflexible, not the ones that are changing; naturally, most people will fight back when stuck in a corner, that's not a fundamental building block of your character's personality. If you refer to your character as 'peaceful', what that means is that your character would not fight back; saying something like 'she's peaceful, except when she's attacked' ends up being meaningless and tells us nothing about the character, because most people are like that.

In summary, don't give us a list of things such as "Shy, but can be outgoing in certain situations; quiet, but gets very loud when drunk; a coward, except when s/he needs to be a hero," because all this is saying to us is 'the character has no personality except to fit into whatever situation how best I want him/her to.' Just focus on some of the fundamentals of your character.

Perfect Bodies and Faces

NO ONE IS PERFECT.

I thought about just leaving this section as that, but I figured I'd explain a bit better. Seriously, not everyone has a dancer's body, or a fighter's body; not everyone has gorgeous glowing skin or long flowing locks; not everyone is impeccably, neatly dressed all the time. You have to stop and think 'what would make my character more complete? What details could I add to bring some life into his/her appearance, to tie the looks to the personality to the history?'

Cute birthmarks and distinctive scars don't count as 'imperfections'. Neither does having a small waist and big boobs. It has to be something about your character that makes him/her distinctive and human. It has to be something that ties into his/her personality and history, and draws it all together. It has to be something that has an effect on their everyday life, and makes them unhappy.

A pretty birthmark? Not a flaw. A scar? Who doesn't have a scar?

Tragic Pasts

Many people have a tendency toward tragic and dramatic backgrounds, using common plot devices like dead parents or running away from home, to make their characters seem 'different' or 'special'. While there's nothing wrong with having a bit of drama or melancholy in your history, try not to make a character who is designed entirely around having an awful, tragic background. If you want them to have a dead parent, write it reasonably into the background, and balance it out with something good. If you want to employ dramatic themes like rape or abuse, do it sensitively, and think about all the repercussions that might come from this event in your character's background. Do not employ a dramatic event just to stand out.

Relationships and Romance

The point of RPing on this forum is not to get two characters to enter into a relationship together. While it's perfectly alright for two characters to become friendly, to enter into a relationship, or to be intimate, this should not be the purpose of your character. When entering into creation, please be conscious of how your character will interact with others and make sure that there are more opportunities for scenes beyond just lovey-dovey. Don't make a character only because you want them to enter into a relationship, especially not because you want them to enter into a relationship with another specific character.

Continuity and Connections

Overall, just try to tie everything together. Make the history connect to the personality to the appearance to the magical ability. If there's an important person in your character's history, explain them. Give us some information. Explain why he/she is important, what he/she did, etc etc. If an event is major, try to go into some detail. If it's minor, please give us enough that we understand, at least. Really, that is all that makes a good app — continuity and connections.

Formatting

This is a minor thing but for our sake, please format your applications nicely. Don't overuse italics, bold, or center. Put line breaks, or 'enters' between paragraphs — and separate out those huge blocks of text into more manageable segments. Emphasize what needs to be emphasized, and organize your thoughts.

Length vs Quality

In each app submitted to us, we look for character cohesion, believability, and playability. This means we need enough information to get a feel for the character, the history has to be in depth enough for us to understand the background behind the character. This does not mean that we want a 10 page long application. It's not about length; an application that gives us the full feel in three pages is much better than one ten pages long that fails to cover all our concerns.

It seems like erring toward too high would be a good plan, but when we get apps that huge, they're intimidating to read. It's a much better bet to err on the low side of things and be prepared to provide more information when we ask.

When Editing

Final piece of information — if you're asked to edit something in your app, it will reflect much better on you if you go in and change and rework and make everything sound good together, as opposed to just adding in a sentence, or changing a word, to adjust as little as possible. If you just add something, without segue, without tying it in, then once again the app feels disjointed and confusing.