I create lots and lots of characters and creatures for the kinds of writing I do. Sometimes they come naturally, sometimes I need to spend hours clicking through Deviant Art or TV Tropes or Wikipedia until I read about something that inspires me. Sometimes I need to flip through my Dungeons & Dragons books or reorganize the cards in my Magic collection.

There are a couple of these places that I haven’t really tapped — usually because I get one good idea and then lose them or forget about them, and I wanted to put them in a prominent place where I could try and incorporate them into my routine character-building refueling sessions. Here are a couple, specific to TV Tropes:

Power Source — not a very large index (not much of an index at all, really) but a good place to start thinking about things. There are probably a great deal more things you can think of than are even on this list.

Functional Magic — I love this trope because it describes different “flavors” of magic that generates effect B based on cause A. Since I’m directly descended from an engineer and enjoy analyzing and constructing systems, Functional Magic is my go-to for making something that smacks of “different.”

Stock Superpowers — this is a list of pretty standard superpowers that one might give their characters. The next logical step up from power sources is powers themselves, considering where they come from and how often they can be used.

Applied Phlebotinum — Some overlap with previous lists, Applied Phlebotinum also deals with when and how and where to apply your super powers and magical effects.

Anatomy of the Soul — This is the one I’m going to leave off on, because it’s also the biggest can of worms. When you consider who a character is, what their powers are, and where those powers come from, it’s important to consider how a character can be affected by those powers.