Now, first of all, let me say that I am not someone who should be giving advice. I should not even help people.
I should not be allowed within 50 metres of a school. But due to the lack of people who are good enough at explaining things and doing them and being bothered to write a thing about them, here I am. But, I shall teach you how to not make something which is, to quote SAO Abridged, "The most horrific, awful thing you can think of, and multiply it by cancer." And no matter how much I want to, I won't poke fingers (despite how much I want to).
Now, for today's seminar (ooh, I almost feel like a lecturer now) I shall be
doing what I always do and be stealing content from Fairy Tail Fanon borrowing some ideas from Ash at Fairy Tail Fanon (don't tell him about this, please, I have an irrational fear of them that transcends even a phobia) and using them as a base for this.
Step 1. A Foundation
To make a house you need strong support, to make a sandwich you need bread, to ruin someone's faith in humanity you need memes, and to make a strong character you need a strong idea. So, who is your character? Is he a dashing rogue who goes on countless adventures and charms every woman he meets? A rogue Ancient on a quest to find his fallen brethren and possibly find himself on the way? A seafaring older brother stuck in Oceania who must traverse the harsh seas and distant lands to reach his younger brother in the Big Apple? A real world chef who is running a five star restaurant out of a bathroom in Akiba? All these are possibilities, so find your own basic character and go onto the next step.
Step 2. Fleshing Them Out
Imagine your character is like a lump of clay you're trying to make a pot out of, but at the moment its only got an indentation where the hole should be; it is a pretty shit pot and we both know it. But, if we refine it and work on it the pot becomes something your parents can be really impressed with and accidentally break
(I'm not mad, I've gotten over it, I have). By this I mean we figure out who your character is.
Why is your character always chipper? Did his grandfather impart some wise words of wisdom that redefined what it meant to live for live? How was the grandfather to the character's dad? How did this impact upon the character's upbringing? You see, when you finally figure out why they are the way they are you find yourself actually figuring out how they operate and why. They stop being a two dimensional puppet who acts however you want them to and becomes a three dimensional character who you can see all the fine parts of.
A good example of this would be my character (who I will probably refer to as I recently made her and she's fresh in my mind) the Generalissimo. She started off as a joke antagonist who was a crazed dictator of the Ninetails Dominona who was nothing more than a crazy bitch. But then I thought, "why is she like this?" So, I looked around and found this diamond in the rough. It is essentially a proforma which helps you flesh out a character and bring them to life, giving them history and personality that seperates them from Generic Blond #8. But it takes a good half hour at least to do well, so it might not be for everyone.
If it's not for you then you should just start asking "Why?" whenever you write something down about a character and you'll find yourself with a character who has surprising depth.
Step 3. What Do They Look Like?
So, by now you almost certainly have a character who makes you feel inadequate for not being interesting enough, you should (if you did the proforma this will be easier, although it doesn't really change much) have a clear look for them. If you're lucky then you may have originally came here to create a clone of some shounen protagonist *cough* Kirito *cough* who by now looks nothing like their progenitor and is much more developed *cough* fuck you Kirito *cough*, but most of us don't have that luxury. So, you're sitting here with an idea for a character but no vessel for their uncontrollable amazingness? There are two solutions: solely use a description (not frequently used, but perfectly fine and valid, do it if you want) or find a character to make them look like.
Step 4. Looking Back
Now you've got a character who has a history, personality, and apperance, you can look at them and admire them. Or not? Here is where you give them a look over and ask yourself "is this what I want to work with?" Here is the easiest time to remake and redefine your character, as you probably haven't invested 2+ hours in them so you don't have massive feelings off attachment.
Right here is where you can scrap the final product and go back to any of the previous steps while retaining whatever you want with ease, but make sure you only do it if you knowi this is what you want, as nothing feels worse than ruining a perfectly good character.
And once you've finished this we get into the meat of the issue, the big formatting areas which are harder than you think.
The Actual Page
So, by this point our character is written perfection with a picture to match, we finally get onto making the article. Here is the home straight, where we see the labour of our love come to fruition. As such, I will explain each area individually.
Some Quick Points Before You Do Anything
You need a Template:Character Infobox, you'll know what to do with it once you use it.
Flick through the Character Building tab, you'll find some vital information there (like the Classes page, the Subclasses page, the Races page, etc.).
Remember, your character is not god (unless they are, in which case, shit) so don't make them like that. Should you do that I'll probably come around and shoot you down with logic and reasoning,
A normally unnamed section of the article, this is where you give a general outline of your character. Who are they, what Class are they, what Subclass do they have, where are they, etc., mostly covering who they are. But this is meant to be a brief introduction of your character about who they are and what they've done, not an epic about their existence from birth. No, just keep it simple and straightforward, telling the reader all the basics about the character. This should be no longer than three paragraphs (two is best in my opinion, but anything higher than three is just too long).
Pretty simple, this is where you tell us what your character looks like. This has to be at least one paragraph, preferably somewhat detailed. The best would be three paragraphs (one for their physical appearance, on for general/work attire, and one for casual clothes), but you can have as many as you like. Just make sure to provide a good image of what your character looks like, not like "NotKirito is the most hottest guy ever. He has black hair... the end."
Similar to appearance, except this is how your character reacts to things, how they live their life, their beliefs, etc. Here you go into your character's personality and who they are as a person, meaning you can write volumes about how they react to certain things and why they react that way. This has no set limit, but you should strive for at least two decent length paragraphs.
An entirely optional part which you can choose to omit, it is just the backstory of the chartacter. You can leave it out to make your character more mysterious, make it very detailed as a reference point, or do whatever you like. It can either consist of someone's real life history or in game history or, and the best in my opinion, a seemless mix between the two with the two flowing between them. As this isn't necessary it has no minimum nor limit.
What happened in your story. Either a brief summary or a link to that particular arc is fine.
Okay, here is where I can get easily annoyed. In Elder Tale you have 9 equipment with them being: Right Hand, Left Hand,Head, Body, Arms. Accessories (presumably necklaces or the like), Mount. Now, check the equipment page for specific details on item tiers, but I'm going to take a moment to talk about Phantasmal items. The chances of you have all Phantasmal items is so close to zero it is impossible. Nyanata, an experience player who was in the beta, doesn't have a single known scrap of Phantsmal gear up until Volume 10. And he was part of Debauchary Tea Party, a legendary Raiding group. This shows you that even high end Adventurer's don't necessarily have them, and that's perfectly okay.
Nyanta wasn't weak for not having them, he was just as good as everyone else is. The most Phantasmal items we've seen a single person have is ~4 with it being Shiroe who has them, the main character of the whole show. A character could have maybe three if they were incredibly lucky (Gilgamesh level lucky), one being much more common. Artifact Class and Production Class are vastly more common and practical as they can be sold (some of them at least), so preferably make them most of your gear.
But in terms of formatting, give your gear a quick flavour text description in a seperate paragaphs with quotation marks around them, and then describe them normally, such as how your characters uses them, how they look, if they've changed post-Apocalypse, etc.
Her you have only two required sections: Class and Subclass. With these you describe what level the Class/Subclass is and how the person uses it. Simple, no? Then you can go into things like an Overskill (which is another can of worms entirely) they have, a trait they have from the real world (e.g. short sightedness, perfect memory, analytical mind, swordsmanship, etc), or whatever you can think of. But they can't be a god, remember that.
As simple as it sounds, tidbits on your character. It can be anything from their theme song, to a funny experience they had with a guildmate, to the reason for ther subclass being Magical Girl, do whatever you please.
If you follow the above steps then you wil have... an article? I can't really promise it'll be any good or even legible, that's all up to you. If you need any help with something feel free to ask , I'll get back to you ASAP.