How do you balance giving your character story and letting people choose their own character?

I’m currently writing my first story but I’m really struggling with writing the main character. I have backstories and in-depth personalities for all the other characters but not the main character. I’m not sure how much should I provide and how much I should let the player decide. I know there are some things where I can just write the story and go back and make it a choice if it doesn’t really affect the story too much but other things will affect the story too much so I have to choose if I want it to be a choice or for it to actually affect the story a lot.

I know when I read other people’s stories I enjoy it when I can make the character me. When I can change their name, how they look, make them act like me with every choice. But I don’t want my character to just be a blank slate, that would be boring. I want the character to have a proper backstory and interests. I’m just not sure where to draw the line.

How do you guys balance it?

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Hey!

It can be very hard balacing out trying to let your reader decide who they want to be and who you want your character to be, I think the best thing (atleast that works for me) is maybe give your character a backstory but don’t go too into depth with it like most Episode author’s do. I’d say maybe let the reader pick the hobbies and interests so it can be more like them, but do definitely give your character a backstory, even if it’s as simple as the character was a foster kid or the character’s parents got divorced when they were young, that still gives your character uniqueness and quality, even if it isn’t the most creative thing in the world. As far as choices go though, I’d say think about the choices and the possibles outcomes it could have depending on what the reader chooses and decide whether or not you want to continue on with that said choice. Sorry, that is really the only advice that comes to my mind right now, but hopefully it can help guide you a little bit into the right path.

Bestest of luck babes! :blob_hearts:

Personally I love stories where the MC has a personality of their own instead of being bland. I hate MCs that are just nice or clumsy and call it a personality…

You could make the reader gain points with different characters for either bonus scenes or different endings (or both).

As a writer it’s been a pain for me to decide that too :weary: and I love interactivity but it’s so difficult to build in and still keep the plot the way you imagined it. I even wondered if I should just leave the choices out but I know for a fact that stories with no choices perform significantly worse… :confused:
So for my next story I decided to write choices that add love interest points (maybe other characters too) and if they have a specific amount of them (probably like 75%) they can see bonus scenes that are from the love interest’s POV. They can also pay gems to see them if they don’t have enough points or buy points at the end of the episode.
I think that’s what gonna work for me the best and I wish I did it in my other 2 stories instead of adding “forced” choices to make the story interactive and struggling with the outcomes :woozy_face:

So yeah, maybe that’s what’ll work for you too? I know that many authors do it and it’s way easier to code too. Some even do outfit and make-up choices only to not “ruin” their original storyline which I totally get :slight_smile:

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Hey! :two_hearts:
What’s a “bo choice”?

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Oh sorry :laughing: I meant “no choices”

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Lmao.
And do you know if stories with dialogue and outfit choices perform much worse than those with more substantial choices?
Bc in my case I prefer to read a well-resolved stories and in which my decision doesn’t have a determined impact on the story. That feels like too much responsibility for me :joy:

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I can’t really tell. I only know about stories with no choice at all :thinking: But I think as long as the reader has some impact, you’re okay :slight_smile:

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I’m currently writing a story that’s straightforward, instead of allowing people to change the way the story ends, and the backstories are all intricate, of all the main characters, cuz even if the MC manages to finish the quest given to her by a ghost, people still want to know what happened to the LIs sister, to cousin Margaret, to the french guy Bastien after the war, to Eugene and each character has their own arc they have to complete, and giving choices would only ruin my desire to give everybody a happy ending even if some of them die in the end … Well I’m thinking of giving the option of dress up choices (simple ones ofc) which only result in people thinking of the character differently for a bit, and to give game-like choices since the story includes the game of seduction, the war, a lot of sneaking around and a bunch of hauntings, just to not make it boring as if it was a book. Do you think I should complicate such a complicated story already with these choices or should I just write it out as if it was a book with visuals?

I think you shouldn’t make it too complicated for you especially because in the end you might lose motivation to write (like me :raising_hand_woman:). I think the best way to make a story interactive but at a low cost are bonus scenes for points, outfit choices or small dialogue choices.

Just do what’s best for you :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the advice, but considering I am motivated to write whenever I hear any song form Les Mis, Do you hear the people sing in original french, the intro song to Poldark or any song from the North and South soundtrack, and I’m currently obsessed with Les Mis and if I’m not obsessed with Les Mis then I’m obsessed with North and South and Richard Armitage, I can safely say I’ll write as long as my obsessions will last, and even longer, knowing there’s a bunch of music that motivates me …

There will be no points … Because the point system means that one of the things that happens could be only obtained by having enough points … And since every death, every minor detail … Is there to make a certain thing happen and when that thing happens it paves the way for a different thing to happen, and it all comes full circle at the end, having the point system would be like Whose Line Is It Anyways points, they don’t matter.
So instead I think the clothing choices and the mini-games that award nothing they just keep the story from being boring … Will have to do …

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You could have a special point system just for bonus scenes. Otherwise the reader would have to pay gems :thinking: That’s what I meant. And that’s what I’ll use in my story.
But I think “real” readers (not 13 year olds just wanting to hook up with the bad boy for 7463 gems) prefer a good plot over interactivity. :slight_smile:

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Oh no, I’m not putting gem choices in my book, no way

Also, I’m making a character based on a real character … Actually it’s a depiction of the real life character and I want your opinion if I managed to get them to look the same?

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Definitely! :clapping: Too bad the beard variations are so few on the portal :weary:

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