Creating A Successful Cast Application
Please keep in mind that this is merely a guide to help you. What the RP Helpers look for is ultimately up to their discretion. However, practicing writing apps with a few OCs beforehand might be in your best interest. But, here are some tips to help you make an excellent Cast character.
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Writing an Application for a Cast character isn't too difficult, but hitting all the right points can prove a challenge for many. It's a bit daunting, especially for higher tier characters, that only one person at a time gets the chance to play as that character. The bright side is, if you don't win, you still have the chance to RP with
that Cast character, just not as them. I have found that I like playing some characters, and I like interacting with others better. Don't apply a character just because you want an RP with them, apply for them because you feel you can play the character as the show has portrayed them.
Here are some things the staff look for:
- Content: While you may think detailing every little event that has happened in the show is a good thing, it is commonly seen as 'fluff'. Everyone already knows what has happened in the show, true, but you also need to pretend that staff are looking at the character without any prior knowledge of them. Much like an OC, they know nothing about this character other than what you tell them in the app. Don't assume that they know all the details the show has given us, they may pretend they don't.
Remember quality, not quantity. “Less is more”, if you will. While a lot of content may seem like a good idea, it's more important to have good quality writing and an ability to feel and have insight on the character. Put yourself in place of the character to try to get an idea of who they are and how they'd feel in certain situations.
Also, please try not to write the application in first person. It is difficult to read and may distract from the character you have written. You are writing basically a biography for the character. You are telling their life story, but telling every little detail and event is going to get boring and lengthy. Try to only keep in the important things, and summarize where you can.
Try not to say how a character might be or what others think of them. Who are they? Don't just say what they does or who others think they are or who they might/could be. YOU are that character. Make the character yours. Show the staff that you know what the character is feeling and thinking, that you know how to play them.
Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation before posting. You're welcome to have a friend look over your app and give critique, but please do not ask a staff member to do so. Good writing is a sign of a good Roleplayer, and yes, this is something that is judged when looking for the best player. However, this is not a large part of the selection process, so if you are not a native English speaker, please do not worry.
- Originality: Try to add something to the character without breaking show canon, and still being realistic with the character. Added something unique that seems feasible for the character will help show that you can get into their head and think as they do. You aren't writing for the character, you are writing as them. You ARE that character, and part of the point of an application is to prove that. The show offers many opportunities to fill in gaps in character history, but keep in mind to stay logical and true to the character.
For example, when writing an application for Spike, you might mention he likes to go to the local pond and feed the ducks. You have just added something unique to the application that you made up. Then, say in the show, it's later shown that Spike hates or is afraid of ducks. If you take that part out, do you need to rewrite the application? Do you need to change any RPs? Is it a detail you'd be reluctant to change? The answer to all these things should be no. Yet you've added something to the application, instead of just writing about everything everyone already knows from the show. This changes NOTHING about a character as we know them, and you can fill the app with stuff like this. Spike has a secret comic book collection, Rainbow Dash still sleeps with a teddy bear! These do not change how we see the characters in show and what they do. From user Ashton: “Keep in line with canon but expand the background, while at the same time trying to keep it as modular as possible so different bits can be added/removed as needed based on what happens on the show.”
- Accuracy: While it's great to add your own spin on how you portray the character, make sure they also fit with the character in-show. Don't try to add things into events that didn't happen, or mention things a character shouldn't know because they weren't there. Headcanon is not a good thing to try to fit into an app, as commonly headcanon goes against certain things from the show. However, it is alright to add a little bit of spice and a unique play on the character, so long as it's something that could either fit into the show, or easily be taken out of the app if proven otherwise. Remember that while making your app unique and having quality writing and content are important, don't forget the major events from the show.
When adding details to an application that have not been seen in show, remember that they should not change who the character is and how they are played. Fill in the blanks, but make it believable, fit with canon, able to fit into an episode, and easily changeable/removed so it won't majorly affect the character. Keep things flexible. Don't make a whole lot of assumption or hard facts that could 'break' the character should they be proven wrong in show. There may be some things you need to go out on a limb about, just be careful where you tread when it comes to Cast characters.
You might also look at some of the already accepted Cast applications
to get a look at how other Cast holders have written their characters. They may give you an idea of what is good to include and what is better to leave out, and what is a good length for a Cast application.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Under Construction
What about character's who haven't had their parents shown?
This one is always tricky. Leave it out, or make something up? Leaving it out feels like leaving out a major detail, but putting it in feels like fringing on headcanon. This question has no right answer. Remember what was said above: will changing what you've written about the parents (if something different is shown) cause you to have to rewrite the application? Whatever you decide to add, make sure it can easily be changed or removed.
Do I have to use the fanon accepted name for a background character?
No! If a background character has not been given an official name through toys or named in show, you can use whatever name you like, even if it's not the generally accepted fandom one. For example, you could name the pony known as Octavia something else, like Music Notes. Until she has an official canon name, she can have any name you like.