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 How to improve?

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PostSubject: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:05 am

Ok I don't expect anyone to respond to this, but I just want some pointers on character gimmicks.

Dan Alexander says I don't have a gimmick or a personality and that all the admins have talked about this.....

"No one knows who Steel Angel is." -Dan's words

So! I'm here to ask all the Admins and anyone else to offer their suggestions and post them here.

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Chuck Matthews
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Location : Chicago, Illinois

Wrestler Stats
IWF Record: 12-16-2
Alignment: Heel

PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:42 am

I wouldn't really say you don't have a gimmick or a character, because there's definitely some defining characteristics there...

For sake of discussion, I define "gimmick" and "character" very differently. "Gimmick" I think refers to a sort of cookie-cutter, sitcom-esque character. You know exactly who/what they are. You know how they're going to react in any given situation, at any given time. They're predictable, but they have the advantage of being "easy" characters, because it requires little to no thought to understand them. Think any basic sitcom. Knife to Know You is a clown. William Darlington is a noble Englishman. Dan Alexander is a fighter. Jason Hawk is an ETA. Doesn't matter what the situation is, or who it involves...you know exactly how those guys will react, because they do the same basic stuff every single time, with very little deviation from their regular, non-changing agendas.

On the flip side of that coin...while a gimmick answers the question "What are they?" a character answers the "Why are they?" A character might react the same way to various situations, but they're significantly harder to read or predict, because there are very distinct motives and agendas that change based on....whatever the writer happens to be planning. At the risk of sounding like an ETA, Chuck Matthews is a character. Sure he had the whole "Smartest Man in Wrestling" name, which was sort of a gimmick...but he was very difficult to predict, because he had his own motives and plans for everything he did, and he wasn't always after the same thing. USUALLY you knew he was going to react with a plan...but you knew that he was very capable of doing things differently. This is opposed to someone like, for instance, Jason Hawk, who seems incapable of doing anything that doesn't follow a one-sided agenda (Everything Jason ever does is to put himself in the spotlight). Looking back at RP's, there has never been a time when Jason has avoided the spotlight. It's like he's incapable of doing so. Chuck can, and has, done things for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to, trying to put himself at the center of attention. Corey Casey is in a similar boat. USUALLY he reacts violently, but you learn through his story that this is not always the case, and that there's more to him than just "Smash anything and everything in front of him."

To try to use an example, using Chuck:

Chuck had the Sex Icon thing. Sex Icon was a gimmick. Chuck was a womanizer. Boom. End of story.

The character aspect comes into play when you realize the reason he sleeps with all these women is because of a failed relationship that completely crushed his psyche, and he begins sleeping with any woman he meets as a way to cope with his loss. Suddenly, there's a whole lot more to that whole "Sex Icon" thing. See?

In a nutshell: Gimmicks are flatter characters. Characters are complex, and require a bit of thinking and interpretation in order to understand fully. However, you CAN have both at the same time, it's just a matter of explaining WHY they have that particular gimmick (Again, using the definitions I provided here).

That all being said:

Steel Angel is a gimmick. He's the "Honorable Warrior." We know he does things by a strict code of honor that he keeps, and we know he's a very moral person. It makes for a great face character...but who the fuck cares? Like, we know how Steel will react at any given time. Simply look at a dilemma, pick the most moral and ethical path possible, and lo and behold, Steel Angel picks it. The only reason Steel isn't a flat, boring character is because ethics and morals are subjective, and different people would think different courses of action as the "most ethical."

Really, the key to putting some depth into Steel Angel, and turning him from a gimmick to a character is to answer the "Why" question that defines who a character is. We know Steel is Mr. Do What's Right....we know how he's going to react. We know the "What," we just need to know the "Why." WHY does Steel have this code? WHY does he insist on doing everything by the book? WHY does he have such a hard time breaking rules, or using underhanded tactics to come out on top?

Look at Chad Mason. The reason Chad is so difficult to take seriously is because he made a huge 180 leap, while simultaneously making the leap from Gimmick to Character. He went from being "The Shy Loser" character (couldn't speak in front of a camera, fun to be around when he was with his friends, but otherwise an awkward fuck, lost at basically everything he did), to suddenly being a smooth-talking, intellectual tank that nobody could stop, or even begin to understand. Now, he has his own motives, his own agenda, he's got a backstory that explains why he does the things he does, and similarly he has the complexity to explain why he might suddenly change his tactics and take a completely different approach.

To try and wrap this whole thing up, the reason people think Steel Angel is boring, or doesn't have a personality, is because he's simply difficult to relate to. He doesn't really react to anything. He has no real emotions, or any real complexity to him. Nothing to really remember him for. He gets in a fight with Chad Mason. Nothing changes. He wins the IWF Championship. Acts the same as he always did. His fucking girlfriend dies, an event that in any other human being on the face of the earth would completely rock them to the core...and Steel Angel just kinda shrugs, and goes on his merry way, doing absolutely nothing differently than he did before. It's as if nothing ever happened. He doesn't react, he doesn't evolve. He just...is. He exists. That's basically it.

The key, then, to making Steel Angel successful (and this goes for anyone who feels like their character isn't really going anywhere) is to look at the events that you put them through, and picture how they might react to this situation. If Jason Hawk's girlfriend died, we know what he would do. He would step back and smile, and be grateful it wasn't him. If If Corey Casey's girlfriend died...what would he do? His character is more complex. We'd like to think that he'd fly into a rage, and slaughter a town or something...but we've seen sides of his character that hint otherwise. He might break down and cry. He might slip into depression and never speak on TV. He might remain completely silent about it, keeping it hidden away, only to explode a few months later...but the point is, he's going to react SOMEHOW to it. And we know this. With Steel, we have no such guarantee. He's going to keep on going the same way he always has, loving girlfriend be damned.

I don't know if any of that made any sense. It's some idea that's been floating through my head for a while, and I think it applies very nicely to what you're asking. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree though.

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PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:45 am

in all fairness steel... u have a gimmick... just stop being so damn humble in ur rps
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IWF Record: 3-4-0
Alignment: In Between

PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Hostyle Jones wrote:
in all fairness steel... u have a gimmick... just stop being so damn humble in ur rps

Thank you Hostyle cheers cheers

And Steel Granny Razz

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PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

thanks for the help boys

and Sean :Chuck: to you too Razz
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PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:10 pm

Steel ma du, you ain't GOT SHIT. NADA homie, nada.

"Nada" is spanish for nothing yo, yeye, check out ma location in the admin panel.

SCHWAG... nat
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PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:26 pm

sometimes steel reminds me of terminator with a little hint of robocop...
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PostSubject: Re: How to improve?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:49 pm

Buff U asshole

no wait wrong catchprase.......


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