Including CC or not for the main character


I’m currently working on the fourth episode of my story while waiting for overlays, backgrounds and my cover to be approved. I’ve been browsing the forums and reading some topics and I could use your opinion on including CC or not before I publish. I know a lot of people really love it so right now I’ve included it for the main character and her family will change their looks as players customize MC. But now I’m second-guessing myself a little bit I guess. I’ll try and explain what I mean.

The main character is written in a certain way with a personality in mind. She has tattoos, she dresses in a certain way and she likes certain music etc… Will it bring readers out of the story if they CC her and her personality doesn’t “match” with how they made her look. They still get to make choices for her, just within the scope of her personality. If you understand what I mean.

Or am I just overthinking things at this point? :blush: :woman_shrugging:


To be honest, I am not a fan of CC. I think you should leave the MC the way the author envisioned it.


Do you want x2 times reads than you are going to get? If yes, include it. That’s what I’m doing LOL.


Depends. If the character is places as you then yes. If for example it in Sally’s place limeted to no customization.


I agree with this. If the player is playing as another character, no CC. If the player is playing as themselves, CC.

I do not recommend writing for reads.


That’s usually how I play to. I like to keep the characters the way the authors pictured them.


Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too. Just wanted to get some second opinions on it. :slight_smile: Thanks for answering.


I think it should go by how specific you are about your characters. If you have a vision of them with a certain type of look (that would influence the plot) then no CC. If your character is more general and looks are not mentioned (and also a specific cultural group doesn’t come into play), then CC is good.


I think it’s only fair to include CC if your story lacks diversity. I personally love to read stories from a MC who is POC, but it is very rare for a MC to be POC. Usually white main characters do really well as opposed to any POC sadly & they are way too prominent. If that element doesn’t matter much to the story, I’d include CC so that everyone feels represented.

When people read books regardless of the character’s personality, they envision the character differently than the Author even when described vividly in detail. Some people care when you take that away, and others appreciate seeing the character through the author’s eyes.

Maybe you can brief the reader on who the character is & they can customize to their liking if they want to or not. Then everybody’s happy lol.


Not always the case, though. Chain Reaction has 80 million reads and no CC.


I often just leave the character the way the author envisioned.

I get really irritated with stories that keep making you rename and redo your character. Sometimes its been so long since an update I dont rven remember the name I used


I’d go with CC (heck, even limited customization is fine) because why not? It’s fun to customize! You get to experience the story with a chararcter you designed, kinda like a Dragon Age Character. However, there’s nothing wrong with having no CC if you pictured a story a certain way (I’ll still read lol if the plot is good and hooks me in.) You could always highlight the choices in gold (the features you pictured them with), and even suggest what name you had in mind for the MC. Again, at the end of the day, a reader is more drawn in by the story plot, directing, choices then how their character looks :wink:


Tbh, I hate CC. It can work for a story where there is a big emphasis on the main character being the reader themselves like in Demi story or Mean Girls, but for stories where the character does not represent the reader, then no CC. In those types if stories, I believe it is important for me to envision the story the way they author wants me to see it. Hence, why I never use CC when it comes up and use the character as is.


I personally don’t like CC… I love to read about a “real” character… not just a shallow husk …
CC only works well on YOU characters… where the MC has no character of her own and gets to be decided by the reader…

but if MC has a backstory, a life of her/his own… then I feel CC ruins it. Especially when the past was sad and tragic… when the MC is evil… or has a traumatic future up ahead… who would want to be her then? :smiley:


Some writers lock a few customization options (hair color, eye color, etc.) because the MC has certain story driven features or corresponding art scenes.

You could allow them to choose some physical features but lock pigment or certain features for story purposes.


I prefer to keep the characters the way the author chooses and not have CC, because it maintains some of the substance in the story. I believe there’s a reason an author chooses specific looks for their characters, whether it’s to add to their personality, or it’s a consequence of their past. However, some readers refuse to read a story unless there’s CC, because they don’t feel immersed into the story otherwise. It depends on if the main character is someone else and referred to as their name (no customization), or if they’re the reader and referred to as ‘I’ or ‘me’ (customization to limited customization).

If you want to please both audiences, I recommend you have limited customization, so the readers can pick certain traits, and you have control over the rest.


I really think it depends on the story.
I have a few “you” stories where the story is more plot driven than character driven. In this case, I think customisation works well because I want the reader to feel like they’re in the story. (In these stories, you name your character.)
I also have a story which is more character driven. Although I did add CC (a couple features are limited), I actually wish I didn’t. I truthfully added it because the story was a contest entry and I know some people really love to customise. For me it’s weird to see the characters customised to look differently lol. In this story, the names are set.

As a reader, if the names of characters have been chosen for me then that tells me instantly that it’s not a “you” story and if I customise, I do so at my own risk. As in, I do so knowing that the personality of the character may be nothing like mine and that there may be art scenes/special effects that may not match my customised character.