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Your Honor, the fish sticks are done!

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Dunsparce's 5 Aspect Guide to Making Your "Character Crossover" Stand Out · 3:25pm Sep 15th, 2015

I'm gonna be the first to admit it: I'm NOT a very creative guy. Crossovers are really the only thing I can write moderately well, or so it is apparent. Even if I'm not that popular, I do know how to write these puppies, and it's rather heartbreaking to see this genre starting to go in the dumps, as if it weren't there already. Writing a crossover is like playing Little Mac in Smash Bros. If you know what your doing, it's easy-peasy, but if you're a noob looking for some writing experience, this is gonna end up bad very quickly. I'mma give give you guys a little 101 on how to write a decent crossover and stop plaguing the feature box with lazy garbage.

As well, take in mind that this is a "CHARACTER GOES TO EQUESTRIA OR VICE VERSA" guide, not a "worlds merged" guide. Like, if Twilight goes out to sea to find a disturbance in peace and finds Naga and The Tomb of Sargeras from WoW, that's a world combination. ______ in Equestria is a character crossover. Take that into mind.

STEP 1: Crossover of Choice

I would say that it is much easier to do a single character over a bunch of characters, but I digress. There are two types of crossovers: submerging ponies in another world, or, the much more popular choice, submerging characters from another world into Equestria. Both will do. I'm gonna go with the mindset that you put somebody in Equestria. Easier on me that way. Follow the same basic steps if you did it the other way around, just reverse the character roles.

STEP 2: Why They're There.

I cannot stress this enough: you must have a good reason why they are there. "Just cause" is out of the window here. For instance, I have a story with Bowser in Equestria. The reason he got there? The Shadow Queen, a villain to him and Mario, banished him there after Mario got a game over because he was too stubborn to follow her. It's a good reason, she's a huge demon, the power to do so is there.

What you SHOULDN'T do is simple: bandwagon it. He/she finds a magical book randomly, he/she finds a random nexus portal and goes through it because he/she is half way brain damaged, and worst of all, he/she/me ends up in Equestria as ________. That last one is atrocious. NEVER write displaced, and here's why: it paints you as lazy. It paints you as a self-righteous, lazy twit that can't find a good crossover idea without incorporating your own ego into it. A lot of high quality writers agree with this, and do you really want to appeal to the low quality writers and bugger off the high quality ones? No, you don't. But if you DO want to appeal to people that wouldn't know a decent plotline if it hit them in the face with a flaming mallet, go ahead, write your braindead story. Please, don't write displaced. Make your story interesting.

STEP 3: The Characterization of Your Characters

Everyone knows what the ponies act like. Hasbro made them stereotypical because it's just easier for kids to understand. Sometimes, our crossover characters aren't as simple. Crossovers are all about the characters and getting them to have new bonds and learn things in their own clunky way. I love writing characters, and that's why I do crossovers, but you need to be ultra safe that you know EXACTLY how the character is portrayed. Let me give you an example of what not to do.

The apple fell on Princess Peach's head and knocked her crown off of her blonde head.

"Dang it! I hate you, gravity! I hope you die!" She spouted, jumping up and down angrily.

Anyone that knows anything about Mario is that Peach does not act like that. Sure, she can get angry rarely, but not over something so trivial. Let's see the correct way to do it.

The apple fell on Princess Peach's head and knocked her crown off of her blonde head.

"Ouch! Oh dear, my crown's in a puddle." She said, hanging her shoulders in disappointment.

Much more believable, see? You can't just make up a new personality for your character on the spot, it doesn't work that way. Crossovers are about taking a character's personality and putting them in a place that will stretch that personality to its limits. You gotta play with it, not make a new craft. An out of character crossover will destroy itself before people destroy it. Take the time to learn your material.

STEP 4: What Do they Do in Equestria?

Yes, yes, when there's a new character in Equestria, they have to learn about Equestria, it's just that simple. However, there is one thing you should stay away from, and that is "exploring Ponyville and making friends". That has been done so many times it will bury your Crossover in with all the other ones that don't know how to do it. Unless it is EXTREMELY NECESSARY that your character must go and make friends before the plot progresses, then fine. Otherwise, find another way to learn. If we've learned anything from High School, watching other people being taught is less than enthralling. Watching a character progress themselves is another thing. So, take Bowser in my fic. Bowser is the last guy to go make friends. How is he gonna learn about Equestria? By trying to kidnap Celestia/Luna and failing multiple times. He learns how stuff works in the process.

Also, if you're going to include a villain to vanquish, make it a believable villain. Don't just pop Ganondorf in Equestria just because he's from Zelda and you're doing a Zelda crossover. Make it a MLP villain, or better yet, a totally new guy or girl. Originality is still half the battle in that the main character doesn't do what he normally does in his or her own story, and if they do, it's in a new and innovative way.

STEP 5: Other World Acquaintances

Something that bugs me incredibly about some crossovers is how accepting some of the ponies are to creatures that have never seen before. Look at the Zecora episode; they're complete xenophobes! Ponies are NOT accepting to races that they don't know, even if they're friendly. You need to make them have some kind of believable entrance. You cannot put, say, Harry Potter in Equestria and expect them to welcome him with open arms. He's a human wizard, and a huge turn off is an out of character "HI THERE I know you just plopped in here but I can sense with my magic that you are in good spirits." You just can't do that, it doesn't make any sense. Remember to include that before anything. While you can't believe that the story makes sense, you CAN believe that the characters' reactions are spot on and in character to each other. Please, remember that, because otherwise, your story will be far more short and far less interesting than it could have been.

As well, you cannot expect ponies to know about foreign races. Sometimes, it will take some explanation, and that can be hard. There is a simple solution to this: don't introduce your character to EVERYBODY so you have to explain the same thing EVERY TIME. If it comes to "What are you?" then let it come to "that doesn't matter right now, all that matters is _________". If it's an intro to some of the main characters, THAT'S when you should explain his or her race or entity. Ignore this portion if your character becomes a pony, as strongly as I don't recommend it.

One last little note on that. Don't explain what they are to individuals. Find some way to round them up to explain it once or twice if possible. If two of your main characters are Pinkie Pie and Queen Chrysalis, then no, you can't round them up. But, if it's someone like Rainbow Dash and Rarity, then yes, get both of them there, and tell them at once. Repetition is the bane of all writers.

In my opinion, these are the five main aspects of what makes a character crossover. I think that if you make sure everything is as far away as the "stereotypical character crossover" as possible, the better it gets. Take it with a hint of salt, and tell me what you think. It's how I've written my stories, anyway. Also, critiques about the guide are fine with me, too. I like to listen to others' opinions. I can also try to answer any questions.

Again, I know I'm not the master crossover writer, but I feel like I can help to those trying to make one and struggling. It's harder than it seems, I promise. A totally new character in a whole new world can be a very hard thing to write. I believe it can be done right. Just if more people followed even a few of these aspects.


Anyway, hope this helped to anyone that writes a character crossover even a little bit!

Happy Writing!

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Comments ( 3 )

>inb4 "you shouldn't write crossovers in general"

3394831 This was helpful, even if I learned most of these tricks from Turnabout Storm. :twilightsmile:
I can never NOT laugh at that! :rainbowlaugh:

3394862 The thing is a lot of crossovers completely miss one or two of these aspects and they just crumble. I just hate that feeling of "coulda been good"

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