HOW TO WRITE AN IMPRESSIVE PARA SAMPLE
Although every admin may have his/her own personal preference for para samples, and even the same character could be portrayed in different ways, still, there are some basic methods to make your sample stand out among the others. Based on my own experience, you could consider the following steps. And keep in mind that, the most important thing is everything you write should be original. Because only when you’ve put your own efforts into something, you could feel how excited or thrilled or touched once your ideas prove to be genius. Meanwhile, you can also get to learn if there’s any improvements that could be done. So it really is trouble-free!
1. Know your character like the back of your hand.
This may seem like cliché to some people, but honestly this is the most important part. Every writer, or even actor/actress need to become the character in order to portray them flawlessly.
Read through the bio several times until you understand the admin’s desired feelings for the character. Each person is complicated in his/her own way, as they all have their own virtues and vices. But some of their personalities are highlighted compared to the others. So it’s your first job to get to know which ones should be emphasised, which ones should not.
Most bios will include a background story and perhaps the character’s personality. After you finish reading the background, try to fill in the blanks the admin has left out, i.e., create your own headcanons. They may have gone through a terrible accident, or experienced childhood trauma, but what exactly happened that caused them to become who they are? Think of something both realistic and refreshing, then you’ve got a story to write in your para sample.
On the other hand, the personality traits could give you a hint of how your character would behave under certain circumstances. Ask yourself the following questions and some more:
- Is he/she an American teenager who’d say lots of F word?
- Is he/she British who prefers the classic way of speaking?
- Is he/she actually horrible at saying English because he’s/she’s still a beginner?
- Will he/she tend to make a big deal out of everything as if the world ends tomorrow?
- Will he/she stay calm and cool because nothing can really be a surprise?
- How will he/she deal with people’s insults? By making lame jokes or easily getting irritated?
The list really is endless, and it depends on which kind of character you’re going to come across. So stay hungry, stay foolish.
2. Go down to business.
Let’s assume that you already have a headcanon in mind for your character, and you think it’s really IC. Now take another look at it. Are you sure you’re not just repeating the bio by replacing a few phrases? If the admin has stated something really clearly and detailed in the bio, do not write about the same thing in your sample. As I’ve stated, try filling out the blanks, instead of simply rephrasing the words. Though this doesn’t mean you should limit your imagination. Thinking outside the box will always be a benefit I believe.
Also, you can combine two details that may seem to be irrelevant. Here’s a little example for you, though it’ll require you to have watched TVD to understand.
I’ve been playing Klaus for as long as I can remember, and there are two details I think are really important and perhaps amusing - he likes horses and he loves birthdays. Though these two things may already be headcanons themselves, they still got me wonder that, what could possibly be the reason behind all these? Here comes my own headcanon: His big brother Elijah once bought him a horse as a birthday present, and it’s the only gift he ever received from others. So despite the fact that he’s a ruthless monster and killer, this little detail still somewhat shows a little humanity in him, which I think is really precious.
3. Re-read your sample once it’s done.
This may not seem that important to you, especially when you’re so desperate to be accepted so you just have to send in the app right away. But the things is, nobody could be perfect at the first try. There has to be some trivial mistakes, say spelling or grammar, no matter how careful you already are. Use a spell-checker, a dictionary, or grammar books if you feel the need. You can even send the sample to someone you trust before you really submit the application. So be alert! This really is necessary!
I feel like I’m being too talkative again, so thank you so much if you’re still reading this! XD Well, hope it’s helpful in any possible way!