Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021 Project Intro: The Rise of The Dragon Queen

Hello, everyone! As some of you may know, yesterday was the very first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I am very happy to say that I am participating in it this year.

I decided that instead of coming up with a brand-new project, I would revive an old story idea that I had a while back and change it up. I am only focusing on writing the first seven chapters of it for this month and am planning on breaking it up into chunks since it will be a large project. Here’s some more information about the chunk that I am working on:

Short summary

Ketsuna and her wife Vixia are both highly efficient dragon slayers— which is exactly why the queen’s dragon defense guild hates them. But how will they manage when they are forced into joining the guild in exchange for Ketsuna’s ability to gain citizenship?

Main Characters

  • Ketsuna- A strong-willed elf from another land who knows her way around a sword. She may seem harsh and serious, but she does have a soft spot for cute things, including Vixia. When she is not protecting the kingdom from dragon attacks, she can often be found reading, exploring, or humming to herself while doing mundane tasks.
  • Vixia- A human-wolf hybrid that uses magic bestowed upon her by her deity. She is sweet and many underestimate her due to her kindness, but she is actually stronger than Ketsuna due to her prayers and offerings to her goddess. She enjoys nature walks, singing, and exploring during her free time.

I may add more details and characters as I work on this. When I am done writing and editing the chapters, I will be posting them for anyone to read on Wattpad and here on my site. If you would like to support this project, please consider checking out my Ko-Fi. It allows me to continue working on the things like this and will help me add new things to this story as I go, like illustrations and professional editing.

Anyway, thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day!


Top 5 Methods For Finding Character Inspiration

Hello my fellow writers!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself googling “character inspiration” before. I obviously can’t see you through the screen, but I am guessing that quite a lot of you have. Truth is, finding inspiration for any project is usually difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, I am going to list five methods that you can use to find inspiration for characters.

Let’s jump right in.

1. Use your friends

I used to do this all of the time. In fact, most of my old stories have characters that are based on my friends. I find this method to be the easiest because it makes me feel more familiar with the characters even before I begin writing them. If a character is based off of a living, breathing person that I know already, then it is fairly easy for me to fill in extra details to make them jump off the page.

Side Note: As a personal rule, I never base an antagonist off of anyone I know in real life. Chances are it will cause issues if that person happens to read your work and I’m sure that is a path that nobody wants to go down.

2. Look at character tropes

I utilize this method more frequently now and it helps me a lot. We have all heard about the epic hero or the omnipotent elder, and these characters show up everywhere in fiction. Why not give a go at creating your own character based off of these tropes? Try to twist them in a new way to create some memorable characters!

Side Note: You can also base characters off of elemental tropes. What I mean by this is that a character based off fire would be energetic and volatile while a character based off of water would be cool and calm. Just an idea. You can also twist these to where they are the opposite of what you might expect (like a water-based character acting more aggressive, like a tsunami).

3. Make characters based on zodiac signs

I actually heard about this tip recently. I read somewhere that it is helpful to assign a birthdate to your characters so that you can find out what their zodiac sign is and make their personalities and actions reflect that sign’s typical traits. I have yet to figure out how well this works for me, but it seems like a great place to start. Also, in Japanese culture they tend to do something similar with blood types, so assign your character a blood type and check those traits out too!

4. Use a character generator

This one is really fun. The internet is full of generators that can create amazing concepts and names for you, so character creation generators are available as well! These generators can throw a physical description and personality traits together to help give you ideas for new characters.

5. Look at existing characters

There is nothing wrong with modeling your characters off of existing characters; just don’t just replicate the original character. Maybe you like a particular character’s sarcasm and immaturity. Make another character of your own that has those traits! It’s fairly simple. Just make sure to mold the character into something new, not just a copy-and-pasted version of the character you modeled them after.

So, there you have it! These are five places to look for character inspiration. If you enjoyed the article, please leave a like or comment to tell me how I did. Also, don’t forget to follow for new content or share this article with your writerly friends!

Thank you for reading and good luck in your writing endeavors!

5 Tips For Designing A VTuber Avatar

Hello, everyone! As some of you may know, I have been making some guides for people who want to become VTubers, but are hung-up on the character creation aspect. Today’s guide focuses specifically on crafting the visual components of your avatar.

While I was making my own avatar, I realized that creating a VTuber avatar is very similar to designing an original anime character, but I wanted to share my own tips for creating a character that is unique to you. For the purposes of this article, I will be using my own avatar as an example, but I recognize that it is nowhere near perfect. Anyway, let’s get into the tips.

Tip #1: Come Up With A Persona & Go From There

I have a whole guide on this here and I think that getting this out of the way first makes the whole process of creating an avatar run much smoother. Knowing what your character is like personality-wise can help you make decisions about what visual traits suit them best. Is your character a fiery gamer? You could give them spiky hair or make it a color that reflects that energy. Is your character more mature and calm? This can be shown by giving the character smaller eyes and using a mellow color palette. When making anime-styled characters, it is important to remember that their personality influences their physical appearance more often than not.

Tip #2: List Physical Traits That You Like From Other Characters

This isn’t limited to just other VTubers or even anime characters because you can draw inspiration from anywhere! Look at different outfits that you like or people that you look up to. It might be easiest to look at anime characters, especially if you intend to have an anime-styled avatar, but you are not confined to it.

When I was trying to design my avatar, I realized red eye-makeup was a trait that I really liked on anime characters. So, I added it to my list. I then looked at traits that I liked from other characters and began choosing other details that I would like to add. I even added freckles because I have them in real life and didn’t see many other avatars with them when I created mine. Take time to explore all of the possibilities.

An example of Ashelynn’s freckles and eye make-up

Tip #3: Take Personality Quizzes For Certain Physical Traits

As I mentioned earlier, anime-styled characters tend to have physical traits that correlate with their personalities. If you understand your character’s personality, but aren’t sure how to reflect it in their appearance, try taking some personality quizzes online. Start with simple ones like “What is your anime hair color” and things like that. If your avatar is based on yourself rather than its own character, answer the questions the way that you normally would. If your avatar is being made for a character you want to act as, answer the questions as if you are that character.

Just remember that your results from these quizzes don’t have to determine how you create your avatar and are just a fun way to weigh your options.

Tip #4: Make Your Avatar’s Appearance Reflect Your Content

This may seem basic, but a lot of people forget it when they first try to design their avatar. Are you a gamer that is planning on streaming gameplay? Try giving your avatar some headphones or apparel from your favorite game. You could even make your character reflect your job in real life if you want to. In my case, my avatar is an elf because I enjoy writing fantasy stories and I thought that having a fantasy-related avatar would reflect my main content. I also gave her a semi-colon tattoo for suicide prevention awareness because it reflects a cause that I care deeply about while also keeping to the theme of writing and grammar. (The tattoo is also designed to look like a cat, but that is mostly because I love cats.)

A picture showing Ashelynn’s elf ears and tattoo, which are mentioned above.

Try to be aware of your limitations, though. Different programs have different limits when it comes to making avatars, so try to keep that in mind. Making an avatar in VRoid has different limits than one made for Live 2D.

Tip #5: Give Your Avatar Memorable Features

This is one of the most important parts. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen VTubers with very similar avatars to other VTubers. For example, there are at least a dozen VTubers out there that can be described as a “white-haired neko girl”. I’m not saying that you can’t be a white-haired neko girl, but try to give your avatar enough unique traits so that they become distinguishable from the others. This can be in the form of specific styles of makeup and hair, tattoos/markings, piercings, etc.

I did this with my avatar by making her different from the other elf VTubers that you normally see online. For example, her hair is a different color from most of the ones that you would see on a simple Google search. Paired with her tattoo, clothing, and freckles, she stands out from the others and becomes more recognizable. Try to experiment with this! You may be surprised by what you come up with.

A picture of Ashelynn’s ombre hair, which is the part of her design that I get the most compliments on.

Bonus Tip: Make Pinterest Boards For Your Avatars

I used Pinterest every step of the way when designing my avatar and it has been a life-saver. You can make separate boards for each of your avatars and then use sections to sort images that show the kinds of eyes, outfits, and hairstyles you want to give your avatar. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. (No, I am not sponsored, I just really love using Pinterest.)

I hope these tips helped you with trying to design your VTuber avatar and thank you for reading this little article. If it did help, please let me know with a like or a comment below! Is your avatar going to be 3D or 2D? Tell me! I would love to hear from you guys!

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day.


How To Make A VTuber Persona

Hello, everyone! Today I wanted to address something that I struggled with when I was first trying to become a VTuber. I wanted to be a VTuber for years, but I didn’t know where to start. I tried looking for information online, but I noticed that everything seemed to point to how to physically create a virtual avatar, but not how to find the personality behind it. I also couldn’t find information about how to come up with personas for these characters and make them unique and genuine. So, I wanted to share the three things that I did to find my VTuber persona.

Sidenote: This guide will not focus so much on the visual details of the character/avatar, but rather their core personality. If you would like to see tips that relate to your avatar’s appearance, check out this post, but I recommend that you at least skim through this one first. Going through the steps below will help you along in the next guide.

Step 1: Find Your Content & Purpose

Believe it or not, this may heavily influence the development of your VTuber personality and maybe even your avatar’s general appearance. Usually, when starting out with anything creative like VTubing, you will want to have a general idea of what you are setting out to do. Try to make a list of what you would like to do as a VTuber if you can. If you want to share gameplay videos, consider what kind of games you like to play and how you can use elements from these to make your character unique to you. The same could be said if you are planning on creating music, too; try to take the genre that you are focusing on and make your character take on traits that people expect of that genre. For example, if you are a streamer that plays fighting games, you might want to give your character a fiery or assertive personality. On the other hand, if you want to write and perform love songs, you can make your character seem very sweet and cute. You can also try to do the opposite to subvert people’s expectations, but be careful when doing so. Try to consider what sort of personality vibes best with your content.

Another question to ask yourself is why you want to create this specific kind of content. Does gaming genuinely make you happy? Express that! Is there a specific reason why you are writing or covering the songs that you are? These things can also bleed into your persona and work as a mission statement to keep you focused.

When I listed the answers to these questions, I noticed that I mainly wanted my content to revolve around my fantasy stories, gaming, and song covers. This led to me making my character into a friendly elf (since I write fantasy) with a very feminine appearance (to match my singing voice). This made it a little easier to solidify the personality I wanted to convey and even some aspects of my avatar’s design.

Step 2: Decide If You Want To Act As A Fictional Character or Be Your Regular Self

This part may be a little tricky and I struggled with it when I was first conceptualizing my VTuber persona. As you may know, some VTubers use their avatars to act as a character that is separate from their IRL selves (this is especially common in Hololive VTubers, such as Mori Calliope). Others create their avatars to be a virtual representation of themselves. There is no right or wrong way to create a persona and I think this part mostly depends on the content you are trying to make.

When I was initially coming up with the concept for my own persona, I wanted to act as a character separate from myself. However, I quickly realized that this would limit what I could talk about with my viewers and readers. If I strictly stuck with this sort of character, then I wouldn’t be able to discuss some of my personal experiences that I feel bring more of a meaning and purpose to my content without going way out of character. So, I decided to make my avatar as some sort of hybrid between the two. Ashelynn is a character who can also act as a direct representation of myself if I want. This was also influenced by the next step in this guide, which is . . .

Step 3: Come Up With A Backstory For Your Character

This step essentially focuses on finding the reasons why your character is the way they are. I would recommend using character planning sheets or questionnaires for this one. (They can be found all over Pinterest and Google, mainly on websites that revolve around writing.) Was your character once the ruler of some domain, but they were kicked out and now stream gameplay instead? What experiences from your own life can you bring into this character’s backstory to make them seem more authentic? It’s very similar to creating the backstory for a fictional character because, in a way, you are. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different things out to see what fits your persona best. You could also come up with a basic premise for their backstory and wing it if you want to, but try to be consistent during your streams and videos.

When I was brainstorming one for my persona, I came up with the idea of her being an elf that was reverse-isekaied into the human world. She writes stories and sings songs in order to keep in touch with her homeworld’s culture, which greatly values storytelling in different forms. While there are holes in this backstory, especially why my real-life experiences come in, I still enjoyed creating it and exploring the different ways that it would influence her personality and behavior.

This can also be helpful if you decide not to act as a fictional character while you are VTubing. How much of your real life do you want to influence your presence as a VTuber? Are there any experiences that influence your content? What sort of things are you comfortable talking about on your channel? What is off-limits? How much of your personal life are you willing to share? It is always good to lay down boundaries for what you are and are not willing to discuss online. Using character questionnaires to describe yourself can also help you find a way to summarize your real-life backstory as well, if you so choose.

By following these steps, you should have a pretty good basis for your VTuber persona. Thank you for reading this little guide! If you are still interested, feel free to check out my next guide, which gives tips on how to come up with the visual details of your avatar.

If this helped, please let me know with a like or a comment below! Did you come up with any fun ideas for your own avatar? Feel free to share them in a comment. I would love to hear from you guys!

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful day.