Okay, so cameos.
Pretty awesome feeling to put something you made into a story all of us here enjoy reading. Cameos allow you to make your mark on the story in a way you can show fellow fans and interact with the creations of others.
There are a few things that may not have been made totally clear about the process of making a successful cameo. What do I mean by that? Well, it may come to the attention of the reader that not all cameos will be shown in equal light.
"But Khora, that sucks! We all paid the same amount right?"
Most of the time? Yes. It is however very hard for a writer to allow for everyone to get an awesome role in the story, and even if you do? Then nobody stands out. So what to do? Well there are a number of great cameos in the past that have truly stood out as exemplary over the years. Therefore, we have made a list to help out with the process of making your cameo experience as good as possible.
1. Cameos are side characters. Please for the love of the goddess do not assume your cameo will be a permanent fixture or significant to the plot. Odds are, they wont be.
2. There are no superheros in Chel. Or supervillains for that matter. Keep cameo powers to what we have already seen, basic mana arts and the like. Few characters will even show their powers during combat, and if the chapter is not a violent one, then try not to get too disappointed at your cameo's affinity never being shown.
3. GC: Cameos are given traits, their quirks, goofy or otherwise, as a way of helping them seem like more than helmed Sharen #67, but it's important to consider the limitations of how said traits can be applied. A cameo that has traits that are incredibly difficult to portray are less likely to get screen time. Think easy, like Fame and her love of goats and music. It's easy for her to have a goat floating along or happily hum a musical tune while going about her business.
4. GC: Cull the herd! Or at least be aware of it. Depending on the chapter, certain factions have more roles than others. This leads to a lot of opportunities for characters to appear, but it also means limited page space is being shared by all those characters. We're all getting a bare minimum amount for certain, but if you'd like to see your cameo with more time for themselves, it's wise to consider the current population of any particular faction, and manage your expectations based on that.
5. GC: Falling under the concept of a side character, keep in mind there's a lot of us, and we might be drawn enmasse in some scenes. As vital as Gregory Balthrew's juggling sling is to his character, the seventeen different coloured balls and golden dangly bits attached to it is a bit of a pain to reproduce quickly. We design the characters, but a courtesy would be keeping their design distinct but clean. Visually cluttering their form isn't a great way to secure screen time for yourself, just from a production stand point. Time is precious on a heavy update schedule. And Gregory isn't the only one who needs it.
6. When it comes to combat, don't go overboard! Exotic weapons and move sets sound nice on the script, but are going to be a real pain to draw in action. Cameos fighting so far has been very brief affairs. Do not expect a ten page layout of your cameo exchanging fancy martial arts moves with others. Giving a brief one line description of their combat gear is fine. A page long essay on their kung fu mastery is not.
7. Go in a group! Like any good horror film, going off on your own is often going to result in a very brief appearance unless you are the protagonist. Having a group of like minded cameos is easier to place in a script than finding spots for a bunch of individual characters. Generally speaking, the easier it is to arrange for a given cameo to be in a situation, the more often they will show up.
8. Avoid too much backstory in your cameo sheets. Kern may or may not read it, but it almost certainly won't get more than a passing mention at best in the actual comic. Try instead to show their backstory in how they act. Traumatic event from a past altercation with guards? Could be nervous or hostile around authority figures as a quirk.
9. P: 9. Make your cameo fit the setting. If you really want to make your cameo unique, try to explore established world building information and see what implications you can draw from there that Kern hasn't explored. Take, for example, the fact that the Sarghress has a lot of ex-Kyorls. If you think about it, they had to have loved ones they left behind. What became of them? This idea has been explored with Ari'nara and Nuru'lara. Nuru'lara is one of many ex-Kyorls who abandoned the clan after getting tainted, but it meant she could no longer be near her own sister, Ari'nara, something which took a huge mental toll on Ari'nara. This is what made Ari'nara unique, and Kern used this trait to first show Anahid's progressive views.
10. P: No Mary Sues! This was a huge problem in the brainstorming thread. Warning signs that you made your cameo a Mary Sue includes but are not limited to:
i: Having High Sorceries
ii: An air of being excessively perfect
11. P: When designing your cameo, be mindful of how long it takes for someone else to go through your cameo's backstory, personality traits, quirks and physical appearance. Kern has to sort through lots of these every chapter, so to make his job easier, and to make sure he gets your cameo right, try to summarise the most important traits of your cameo using as little words as possible.
More edits likely to follow!
Thanks to Guilty Carrion and Partner555 for helping out with the list