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  • EcchiDreams Guides:
    Making and Introducing a Character

    2) How to Introduce a Character


    Introducing a Character

    This guide is here to give you some ideas as to what to put as the opening post of a character. It is a subjective guide, like the others, and might not apply to you or you may disagree with its contents. That is perfectly fine, as this isn’t a guide that has to be used by everyone and is only meant as a suggestion. 

    Sometimes thinking of what to do for an opening post for a character can be difficult. Especially when you’re introducing them to a large roleplay where you really want to show them off and make a big entrance which can be challenging to not only come up with an idea, but to also implement. 

    For the purposes of this guide, I will be using Olivia. If you read the guide on How to make an RP character, then you would know that Olivia is an eighteen year old Medical Student who is just starting University and was born in raised in New York. Her goal in life is to become a Doctor following the death of her father from Lung Cancer. She’s a kind, empathic person who can be very stubborn. 

    Now I just need to think of a way to introduce her. Olivia is a very focused person, so when she sets herself a task she does not easily get distracted. So, perhaps I could start off the roleplay where she is startled awake by her alarm and finds herself sitting at her desk at home using a Medical textbook as a pillow. I can spend the first few paragraphs going into detail about her thoughts as well as giving insight into her history and also give indications as to how she ended up asleep at her desk. I will put an example paragraph of how I would have started off this Introduction post. 

    Quote

    The penetrating sound of the alarm was what snapped Olivia from the vivid dream that she was having. Her head came up and she took in a deep gasp, as her heart thumped inside of her chest, filling her ears with the sound of her rushing blood. It took several moments for her to calm down from the shock of being awakened so rude. She blinked her brown eyes, feeling the corners entrusted with sleep. She rubbed at them, trying to get the dry crumbs from her eyes in an attempt to wake up fully. She was then aware that the alarm was beeping at her incessantly and she slammed her fist down on top of it. It gave one last startled bleep before falling silent, leaving Olivia alone in her quiet bedroom. She then looked around, to find that she was in her own bedroom at home. Her room was quite small, the smallest of the two bedrooms within her mother’s house. Her bed was up against the wall, lying lengthways beneath a window that looked down onto the street below. The curtains were drawn, but they seemed to glow as the light of the sun was shining directly into her bedroom. Her bed was neatly made, and showed no signs of use, with not even a crinkle in the perfect sheet. There was enough room for a bedside table, that set between the bed and the desk which is where she found herself sitting with an open medical textbook before her. Like her bed, her desk was neat with her books stacked neatly, and her computer monitor looking as if it receives frequent cleaning. Against the opposite wall, shoved into the corner, was a chest of drawers that had pictures lining the top of it. Some of them were Olivia, including one where she had graduated from High School, with her mother standing beside her pridefully. Her favourite one, though, was one that had been taken when she was a little girl. It was of her, and her father, of when he had taken her fishing once and she had caught a respectfully sized fish for her age. In the picture she had the biggest grin, and her father had a warm, tender smile on his face. Olivia paused for a moment, staring at the picture before letting out a sigh and turning back to her medical textbook. That had happened so long ago, and she had sketchy memories of the actual trip. About the most she could remember about it, was how much she loved her father. A father that had been long dead. 

    Once I feel that I have made a proper introduction to my character and what she is like, then it is time to begin moving her. As mentioned in the Character ID, this character is intended to start the roleplay at University however she is currently at home with her parents. This is due to the fact that I will be using the introduction post to have her move her things to her University dorm. Because her father has passed away and her mother is someone that works a lot, Olivia would drive to the University alone. She would collect her room keys and move her things up into her dorm, and perhaps introduce herself to any NPCs. If there is another PC in the same dorm room, and the Roleplayer is agreeable, I can then place Olivia in a position where she can either approach, or be approached. This could be due to other students in the dorm room throwing a welcoming party. In total, I would expect that such an opening post would be at least 6+ paragraphs with plenty of detail about Olivia and the environment around her. There is a lot of content that would be covered in such a post, which I will break down below

    1. Olivia waking up and finding herself at her desk using a medical textbook as a pillow.
    2. Some private thoughts, perhaps about the previous night and what she was studying. Perhaps even about her father.
    3. Her realising that she needs to pack, and leave and doing so. You can also add a small scene of her getting ready, such as having a shower. 
    4. Arrival at the University where she settles into her dorm room.
    5. Some interactions with NPCs.
    6. Conclusion, leaving the character open to being interacted with.

    One must be careful, to not go too overboard with an opening post. You don’t want to be overly verbose so that your post becomes filled with fluff with little substance to it. It is a very delicate balance that can be hard to achieve. With the post outline I have given above, it’s a good idea to gloss over some of the more uninteresting parts. For example, you don’t want to do a step by step description of how she made her toast and coffee. Keep the focus on the more interesting parts of what is happening, as well as keeping focus on her as the character. Notice how in my example paragraph I was having her look around the room, giving some hints into her personality? Such as the neatness of her room. Clearly she is someone that likes being neat and tidy. She’s also someone that will study hard all night long instead of doing the smart thing and going to bed. 

    If I end up filling my post with fluff, like the toast example above, that might put people off as you’re putting unneeded detail into your post just to lengthen it and make it seem like you can do really nice long, details posts but in reality you’re filling it with little substance. Keep the post relevant for its purpose, which is the character themselves. All of the post focus should be on them. The readers don’t need to know about how toast is made, although if your character does something unique with their toast you could mention it in your post especially if it speaks about your characters quirks… like they like to dip their buttered toast into their coffee. 

    Let’s take that first paragraph, and flesh out my example even further, so you can see what I mean;

    Quote

    The penetrating sound of the alarm was what snapped Olivia from the vivid dream that she was having. Her head came up and she took in a deep gasp, as her heart thumped inside of her chest, filling her ears with the sound of her rushing blood. It took several moments for her to calm down from the shock of being awakened so rude. She blinked her brown eyes, feeling the corners entrusted with sleep. She rubbed at them, trying to get the dry crumbs from her eyes in an attempt to wake up fully. She was then aware that the alarm was beeping at her incessantly and she slammed her fist down on top of it. It gave one last startled bleep before falling silent, leaving Olivia alone in her quiet bedroom. She then looked around, to find that she was in her own bedroom at home. Her room was quite small, the smallest of the two bedrooms within her mother’s house. Her bed was up against the wall, lying lengthways beneath a window that looked down onto the street below. The curtains were drawn, but they seemed to glow as the light of the sun was shining directly into her bedroom. Her bed was neatly made, and showed no signs of use, with not even a crinkle in the perfect sheet. There was enough room for a bedside table, that set between the bed and the desk which is where she found herself sitting with an open medical textbook before her. Like her bed, her desk was neat with her books stacked neatly, and her computer monitor looking as if it receives frequent cleaning. Against the opposite wall, shoved into the corner, was a chest of drawers that had pictures lining the top of it. Some of them were Olivia, including one where she had graduated from High School, with her mother standing beside her pridefully. Her favourite one, though, was one that had been taken when she was a little girl. It was of her, and her father, of when he had taken her fishing once and she had caught a respectfully sized fish for her age. In the picture she had the biggest grin, and her father had a warm, tender smile on his face. Olivia paused for a moment, staring at the picture before letting out a sigh and turning back to her medical textbook. That had happened so long ago, and she had sketchy memories of the actual trip. About the most she could remember about it, was how much she loved her father. A father that had been long dead. 

    Olivia had been told repeatedly by grief counselors that, over time, her grief would ease. But she had found quite the opposite. As each year passed, she found that she missed her father more and more. Sometimes she would cry herself to sleep at night, wishing that he was there. And sometimes, like when she had won the designer prize at school, her eyes had scanned the crowd wishing and hoping that he would be there to share her accomplishments. But, to her bitter disappointment, he never appeared. Sometimes her imagination liked to tease her, to drive that knife deeper into her heart, by imagining that he will simply walk through the door one day and sweep her off of her feet. To tell her that everything was going to be okay, and that the cancer hadn’t beaten him. But, as she stared at her closed bedroom door, she knew that was only a fantasy that would never come true. The only thing she could do, was to try and stop other children like herself from experiencing the same pain. It was that thought that caused her head to snap back towards the medical textbook as she remembered something important. She looked at her alarm before cursing,

    “Shit!” She remembered that today was the day that she was going to bed heading off to University. She had been working hard during her school career to get the grades she needed to enter a medical school to become a doctor. She closed the book before standing up. She picked up the book and carried it over to a travel case that was sitting next to the chest of drawers, open and already filled with clothes. She had already packed most of her stuff, which were sitting in her car ready for her, including a brand new laptop that she had bought specifically for University. Her mother had offered to help with the costs, but Olivia was insistent that she pay for it herself. How else could she learn to be independent if her mother kept paying for things? During her spare time, she had taken up a part time job to save up the money for University, and she had a tidy sum sitting in her bank account. Olivia dropped the book into the suitcase before she stood up and left her bedroom.

    The house was quiet, which didn’t surprise Olivia. Her mother was an extremely busy woman, working from early in the morning to late at night. In fact Olivia rarely saw her anymore, but she wasn’t resentful. She knew her mother was doing it to pay off the mortgage on the house, and without her father in the picture she had to work extra hard to do so. It was the house where Olivia had been born, where she had married Olivia’s father and had created a life for herself. Olivia couldn’t blame her mother for wanting to cling to those memories. Still, Olivia had hoped that her mother had been there to see her off. Clearly whatever it was, was too important for her mother to leave work alone for the morning. Olivia shuffled down the stairs, and entered the neat, modern designed kitchen. The kitchen that her mother and father had always dreamed to have. The first thing that Olivia noticed was a note on the counter, which she picked up. It was a note, from her mother;

    ‘Have a good time, honey! I wish I could be there to say goodbye, but there’s an important meeting that I can’t excuse myself from. Text me when you arrive, just so that I know that you got there safe and sound. I will call you later tonight. Lots of love, and the best of luck, your mother x’

    Olivia couldn’t help but to smile at the note. Even though her mother was always rushed off her feet, she had taken the time to let Olivia know that she had her mother’s support. With a lighter heart, Olivia made herself a simple breakfast of buttered toast and coffee. The latter to help shake the rest of the sleep from her wits and to make her alert for the long drive she had to make. When she had eaten, she made sure that everything was placed inside of the dishwasher before she returned to her bedroom where she stripped herself down completely and threw her clothes into the hamper. She picked up her towel before going into the bathroom for a hot shower.

    When she returned from the bathroom, she was clutching a small bag that had her hygiene products inside. That was something that she certainly didn’t want to be caught without. She placed them into her travel case before closing the lid and zipping it up before clicking the lock into place. She then stood up and dried herself down, before wrapping the towel around her hair. She dressed herself in clothes that she had set aside the previous night. A red and black pleated mini-skirt that flared out slightly with white crosses that ran along the rim of the skirt. Her top was almost tank-top like in that it had no sleeves. It was rather tight, showing off the outline of her torso as it covered her stomach and breasts. There was a collar that wrapped around her throat, with a black and red tie that hung down over her chest. The area just above her breasts was left open, showing off some of her cleavage. The main part of the top was connected to the shoulder through a thin slice of material close to her arms. Her left hand was covered in an arm warmer that went from her wrist to the middle of her upper arm, with a studded bracelet clinging to her lower arm. On her right arm, she put on a spiked armband around her upper arm. Around her lower arm were several silver bracelets, and her hand was covered by a fingerless glove. On her legs, she had thigh highs that went up to above her knees which were further connected to her underwear by straps that disappeared underneath her skirt. All in all, she was rather pleased with the result as she inspected herself in the mirror. 

    When she was deemed that she was ready, she pulled up the travel case and pulled it out of her bedroom. She paused just before closing the door to look back into the bedroom. She gave a slight smile, as she knew that for the next few years she would not see much of this bedroom, she there was no doubt in her mind that her mother would keep it the way it was left. She closed the door, before she went downstairs and left her home. She would not be back for several months, when it was the holidays. She was already missing it, but she knew that she couldn’t go back now. She needed to try and move forward with life, or risk being stuck in a place she couldn’t escape from. Olivia opened the boot of her car, before placing the travel case inside next to a box of her belongings and laptop bag. She closed the boot before going around the left side of the car and getting into the drivers side. While she was putting her seatbelt on, she was also playing with the satnav, inputting her destination so that it could calculate a route for her. The seatbelt locked with a faint click as Olivia’s eyes glued themselves on the satnav as he displayed that travel time would take her three hours. It was a long drive, further than she had ever gone in her life, but she was prepared for it. Taking a breath, she turned on the entertainment system, which synced with her phone to load up the songs. Music then began to play through the speakers, instantly helping her relax into her carseat. With a smile, she turned on the engine of her car and pulled out of her mother’s driveway. With one last glance back, she started off on her journey to a new part of her life.

    With no one in the car with her, Olivia was unable to pass the time by idle chatter but the music helped keep her occupied and focused at the same time. She could relax, and take her time as she listened to her favourite music, from her favourite bands such as Cradle of Filth, Rammstein and Nightwish although she only liked their old music back when they had Tarja as their lead singer. Without her, Olivia had felt that the band had gone downhill. But such things never lasted, or so it seemed to her. Either way, she enjoyed the drive as it helped her to prepare for what was to come, because she needed it. When she first pulled into the grounds of the University, her eyes almost bulged out of their sockets. The building was done in a very old, elegant style that was popular with the old Universities. The architecture was complicated, yet awe-inspiring at the same time. To Olivia, it looked rather intimidating, but she wasn’t about to let a building get in the way of her dreams. To be intimidated by a building was silly. Shaking her head, she followed the signs that lead to her student dorm; Haelar Hall. 

    Thankfully, this building had a more modern design to it, but it was still large. At least ten stories high. And she was going to be living on floor six. She really hoped that they had a lift that she could use. Pulling up in one of the parking stops, she turned off the engine which caused the entertainment system to fall silent. It was then that she noticed that there were other young adults like herself that were moving things in. Clearly the students she would spend the next year of her life living with. Her stomach fluttered with nervousness and she had the overwhelming urge to run away, but she took a firm control of her nerves. She had come too far to simply turn around and to abandon everything she had worked so hard for. She wasn’t doing this just for herself. She was doing it for her father, and for all the people out there she could help avoid the pain of the loss of a loved one. They were counting on her.

    With her resolve back in line, she removed her car keys, picked up her handbag and got out of the car, locking it behind her. She spied a sign that pointed in the direction of student offices, where she knew she could pick up her dorm keys from. She swung her handbag over her shoulder before she purposefully marched into the office area, only to find that there was a queue of several other students. With a grimace, she was resigned to wait in the queue. While she waited, she opened up her bag and pulled out the relevant letter as well as her wallet that had her identification. Thus, when the lady called for her to step forward, all she did was put the letter and ID on the table and said, “Olivia Wilson, room sixty-six.” 

    The lady looked up at her, before looking at the two items on the table. She pulled them towards her, peering down at them in silence as Olivia watched her. The lady then nodded, and said, “Alright… let me just check on the system…” She then turned towards her computer, her pudgy fingers suddenly flashing across the keyboard for a moment, “Alright. Let me go and get the keys for you.” She said before getting up and heading to the wall behind the desk. Using a key that was secured to her belt, she opened up a small drawer and pulled out a set of keys and a secure key fob. She came back to the desk and sat back down, putting the items on the desk with a clatter as she typed in a couple more things into the computer to confirm that Olivia had come to pick up the keys. The lady then said, “You’re free to take them, since you’ve already read and signed the tenancy agreement. Happy studying.” Olivia then saw the first smile that woman had given that day, and Olivia smiled in return,

    “I hope you have a good day.” Olivia said as she picked up the items and quickly made way for the next person in line. Excitement began to fill her as she put her ID and papers away, leaving her clutching at her keys. She finally had her hands on them, and there was nothing stopping her from moving her things into her new room. Quietly, she slipped out of the office and headed back to her car where she unlocked the boot and opened it up. She picked out the laptop bag and swung it over her shoulder before she picked up her box of items. She closed the boot and locked it again so that no one could steal her travel case. She then went up to the front door of the actual dorm and pressed the key fob against the small black plate. Feeling a thrill run through her, the door unlocked and she was allowed to push it open to step inside. Her excitement was short lived when she realised that no, there was no life. Cursing a little under her breath, she started making her way up the stairs. She was glad that she had already made the decision to make a second trip down to get the travel case. She could hear people talking, as well as a booming laugh that echoed down from time to time. Her annoyance with the lack of lift soon disappeared as she once again began to get caught up in the excitement of starting her first day of University. 

    When she finally reached the sixth floor, she was slightly out of breath as the stairs had been rather steep. She used the second key fob which allowed her access to the hallway. When she entered, she could hear an animated conversation taking place at the other end of the hallway. She looked up, to see a couple of guys standing in the doorway of what looked to be a kitchen area. Clearly where the students of this floor could prepare their meals. That was not what interested Olivia at the moment, though. She could look into it later. She went down the hall until she came to the room that had the number six etched into the door. Putting down her box of items, she used her keys to unlock the door and opened it up to reveal the bedroom. There was a small wall on the right, which blocked some of the view but she picked up her box of items and stepped forward into the room, leaving the door open.

    The room was roughly the same size as her bedroom at home, which was strangely comforting to Olivia. It had a single bed in the right hand corner which only had a mattress on the metal frame. Unlike her bedroom, though, there was no bedside table. Instead, the desk was up against the wall beside the bed with a chair tucked beneath it. The desk had the window in front of it, which granted her a nice view of the street below. Along the wall to her left, was a chest of drawers where she could store her things. The intent in the wall stopped at the end of her bed with a cupboard where she could store items such as towels, cooking utensils, hygiene products among others. Olivia had, had the option for an en-suite accommodation, but she had decided to skip it in favour for the cheaper option. With a smile, Olivia put the box down on the bed and carefully put her laptop down on the desk. She then stared out of the window, the feeling of surrealism overwhelming her to know that tonight, she would be sleeping in a completely new place. She could only hope that she got on well with those she had to live with.

    I decided to cut it there, because there is actually a chance for another character to come and interact with her. A student that lives on the same floor as she does, who can notice that her door is open which can only mean one thing; a new neighbour. So, the character could be curious enough to go and see who it is, and thus the actual roleplay begins. But the opening post for Olivia is quite long, and tells quite a bit of story about her, how she things and how she is reacting to the environment around her. She is nervous, but at the same time she is excited and eager to get to know the people she will be staying with. There are other points which would have been good cut-offs, especially if something has been agreed beforehand with another Dreamer. For example, when she went to wait in the queue. If another roleplayer had a character there already, that would have been a good cut off point to allow for any interaction. Another good point would have been when she pulled her items out of the boot of her car. Another character could have come along and offered to help her take her things up to her dorm, to save her the effort of doing two trips. 

    Hopefully this guide has given you some ideas as to how you can give your character a good introduction into the roleplay, and to impress other roleplayers with your skill and attention to detail.



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