CHAPTER 1-2 NOW UPDATED
*Did some much needed touching up on this chapter, might be doing that for the rest of the story as well. I have a poll on my profile to decide my next story I'll make, that I really urge all of you to check out.*
Hello Everybody, I've noticed lately that most characters are very...weird I guess. Most people don't understand some very basic things about districts, whether it be appearance, names, or simply that you can't move to another district. So here's my guide on how to make your tribute as canon, and interesting, as possible. This is mainly for SYOT's but can be used for your own stories also.
Things I'll Be Covering
1) Basic Facts About Districts
4) Back Story
5) Training Scores
Basic Facts About Districts
Some basic facts- There is NO TRAVEL BETWEEN DISTRICTS. They have very little knowledge, they don't even have maps of the other districts. They also don't have things like malls, and (american) football teams. Even the inner districts are extremely poor, and the only sports they MIGHT have are simple things like track and soccer, though that's treading on thin water considering most people can't afford to be wasting calories.
District 1 Is the Luxury District, and one of the richest overall. They are most always careers, and swallow the capitols propaganda fairly well, although not as much as district 2.
District 2 Is the stonework and Peacekeeper district. The people here are either super rich or dirt poor, and most train. They are the capitols lapdog, and always have career volunteers.
District 3 is the electronics/factory district. They are more rich then the outer districts, but aren't as wealthy as the careers.
District 4 is the Fishing District. They are the poorest of the careers, and are only a semi-career district, but almost always manage to turn out two volunteers.
District 5 is the power district. They have some of the harshest peacekeepers, but are more wealthy then the outer districts. They are also one of the smallest districts, and seem to produce a peculiar amount of sibling tributes.
District 6 is the transportation district. They don't have much of a fascination for transportation however. They are more wealthy then outer districts, but are still poor. While not canon, I quite like the idea that district 6 is heavily populated by gangs and is the most dangerous district to live in.
District 7 is the lumber district. They have to start working at a young age, and often have experience with an ax. But that doesn't mean that they can send one through a kids throat, with them not producing many careers(or victors for that matter).
District 8 is the textile district. They are often considered the most friendly district, though they are also one of the most rebellious.
District 9 is the wheat district. The people of this district must usually fend for themselves, and are often very harsh.
District 10 is the livestock district. It is most often depicted as being very spread out and populated by small farms that are mostly left to their own business.
District 11 is the agriculture district. These people often start work early, and have the harshest peacekeepers around. They are usually strong, and have a good knowledge of the land.
District 12 is the mining district. Often forgotten by others in Panem, this district has the smallest peacekeeper force, is the smallest district, and is the poorest as well. They very rarely win games, as they don't start work in the mines until 19, having no advantage, and often being malnourished.
Okay, the main thing for names, is to be unique, but no TOO unique. Nobody wants to have a character that's name is Dilldapar Ryshoola Menleeka Crate. But no one wants Rose Evergreen either. Also note that this is more of a guideline than a rule, and that common/biblical names work for any district.
District One- These names are simple, either Luxury items or qualities of them. Please be original though, I've seen Diamond, Ruby, and Sparkle 500 times.
Names- Jasper, Het, Jet, Jules
District Two- These names are similar to the capitol. So Roman, Latin, and Greek names work. Usually their name is similar to their personality(Brutus), so it's probably safe to say there's some weird ass voodo shit going on in d2.
Names- Styx, Romulus, Acacia, Jules
District Three- These names are all from technology(and TBH the names that Collins came up with are reallyyy bad). You can simply look up (relatively unknown) parts of your TV or computer for this, misspell it and bam, you got a fire name.
Names- Jarvis(add stark as the last name and your set), Hal, Modi, Caeso
District Four- These names all relate to water in some way.
Names- Nami, Marshall, Dewy, Adriana
District Five- So there are no canon names for district 5(unless you count Ceaser calling foxface finch/amber/whatever). So you should probably just go industry related.
Names- Lux, Arc, Pylon, Floe, Array
District Six- So, for this, normally you would think, automobile related things, but there's also Titus, so you can also do capitol/district 2 names(Roman, Latin, Greek). Just make sure to avoid Ford and Mercedes.
Names- Maverick, Dixie, Styx, Acacia
District Seven- For this the first thought is, well duh, tree related. But then you look at Johanna and Blight...so either tree related or old fashioned work. But please dear god don't name your tribute Tree or Branch or anything like that. Unless your explanation is that their parent is a #withit hipster, then your cool.
Names- Aspen, Aiken, Hattie
District Eight- District 8 is simple, their all textile related. So search sewing items, fabrics, etc.
Names- Calicio, Lace, Dash, Scy, Haber
District Nine- So again, no canon names, but just go industry related
Names- Peeta(what?), Demitrius, Avi
District Ten- again, just industry, pretty simple here.
Names- Myra, Mazie, Vernon, Neo
District Eleven- so these are all just nature and plant names, pretty simple. That doesn't mean their names are all dandelion, rose, and petal though
Names- Till, Barley, Chive, Reggie, Tanya
District Twelve- These names are not mining, or coal related, they are instead all nature related, which is broad, so be unique.
Names- Ash(ley), Juniper(June), Cliff, Bay, Ace
Okay, so for appearance, the main thing is to not be too unique, as weird as that may sound. No author wants to have a character submitted to them that has one eye that's orange, and turns yellow when she's sad and red when she's mad. With the other being Grey, then black when he's mad and white when he's sad. Also no purple hair...finally, when describing your tribute, don't say, pretty, beautiful, handsome, or anything like that. Oh ya, and there's no people who are Chinese in district 1 guys. Trust me.
Just as an aside, we only have 2-4 appearances to base this off of for most districts, and in d12 they have two separate looks, so you can go away from this, but have a reason/explanation for it if you do.
District One- Blue eyes, Platinum blonde hair, often quite attractive(though that probably has to do with them being the only ones who get to be careers)
District Two- Brown hair, Brown eyes
District Three- Often Weak/scrawny, Dark hair, dark eyes, some have glasses(so we can assume they can afford them if needed, no hipstering though please)
District Four- Brown hair, Sea green eyes, usually tanned
District 5-11- None of these districts are described appearance wise, so just don't do anything to crazy. No purple hair, nobody with one gold and one red eye. Be realistic. Also district 11 seems to be darker skinned, with 5,6, and 8 being pale, 7 and 9 fairly tanned,and 10 often latino.
District Twelve- Seam have dark black hair, seam grey eyes. Town people have strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes.
Finally, be realistic for your age, 12 year olds aren't 6'5", but despite what many think, most aren't 5'0" either, and 9 year olds aren't 4'0" guys...
This is where most characters start to drop downhill. Not every kid in Panem is a orphan who takes care of his cute younger sibling(s). Not everyone has single parents either. Not everybody has had a traumatic life changing event. Some kids have had some happy lives, with both parents alive and well.
Of course, you want interesting characters, but instead of having your two siblings dirt poor orphans, maybe make it so their parents work long hours, trying to keep them with food on the table. That way it's more realistic(okay maybe not in Panem, but the point stands), and quite frankly, more interesting.
Also, when describing personality, don't just say; Funny, likable, shy, protective. Instead say; June(remember naming 101) is the kind of person who is shy at first, but once you get to know her, can be really friendly. She is very funny to his few friends, and is very protective of his little brother.
Although that isn't anyways near perfect, it's a lot better. And I mean A LOT better. I would recommend explaining why your character acts a certain way, instead of just saying they do, that instantly makes your character more relatable, understandable, and more interesting/easy to write. I mean, no one, not even district 2 males, are brutal, killing machines, that were born to hate. Things happen to cause this, so instead of divulging into how cruel they are, explain why they act that way, and what/who can break past that part of them.
Everyone has reasons, and everyone has a breaking point. Take Cato and Clove for example. Clove was practically crying for Cato when she was about to die. And for Cato, the movie ending shows that even he has a breaking point.
So remember. Not too tragic, but still interesting, full sentences, and reasons.
Okay, this is something that grinds my gears. People seem to think, "Oh hey! Rue got a seven, Thresh got a nine, Peeta got an 8, and Katniss got 11. That means I'll have my 14 year old from district 12 with no experience get a 9, I mean, it's not THAT unrealistic, right?
But it is. Think about it for a second. Katniss shot an arrow at an apple in a pig, nearly killing some Gamemakers, plus they probably gave her that score to make her a target. It says in the books she was the 4th(or 5th IDK) person to get an 11, no one ever has gotten a 12 unless the Gamemakers really want your tribute dead. If you say your character got a 12, I'm going to change it. Period.
Katniss says she'd be lucky to get a 5, the average score for non careers. They usually get 3-7, not 7-11 guys. Every tried learning to play a sport you have no experience with whatsoever? Now imagine being in a tense situation where you must learn tons of these sports in 3 days while under the pressure of your most likely imminent death looming over you. Probably not going to become a sword expert who can identify all types of poisonous berries while creating a fire with just sticks and a rock(which is a lot harder then most realize, see: Castaway)
So, to wrap things up, BE REALISTIC! Not every character can win, not every tribute has trained, in fact, almost no non careers have, and learning these skills in the training period to a even remotely advanced level is near impossible. District 4 IS a semi-career, fairly poor district. Not everyone in district 12 hunts, very few do. No other districts can even be hunted in, district 12 is just special.
And finally, DEAR GOD GUYS. NO, AND I MEAN NONE, ZIP, NADA, ZILCH, Sparkle Magnificent's who are beautiful pure blooded Pakistanis from district 1, have purple hair and one gold and one orange eye that changes color based on mood. She does not have one parent killed by muggers, the other am abusive dick who throws knives around her head while drunk; and dear god she didn't get a goddamn 12 training score thanks to her charisma and fast learning skillz.