Which is to say, do you ever reuse the same characters in different contexts/settings? Some might dismiss this as lazy, but if you're like me and you easily get attached to your characters, organizing them into a sort of "theatre troupe" can be the way to go.
My troupe currently consists of:
- Icira Witherflame
- Originally designed as Misty's evil clone in an idea I had for a Pokémon anime-based fanfic. The idea, as you can probably tell, was scrapped for good reason.
- Her official debut was as a playful, difficult-to-kill villainess with no clear goal, a role she played in an IRC Pokémon RP and the small-scale Rogues Gallery RP. This version of her was also vaguely referenced in the Knight Pokémon University RP, but was never seen or mentioned by name.
- In a more recent IRC Pokémon RP, she plays the role of a well-intentioned extremist intending to create a world of powerful beings with no concept of hate or greed. The entire clone concept is absent from this portrayal.
- In an Elder Scrolls fanfic or modded quest I may develop at some point, she plays a benevolent character previously in the employment of the main antagonist. She joins up with the protagonist in an effort to thwart the villain's efforts.
- In yet another RP, this time of the traditional tabletop variety, she is set to play the "token evil teammate" in the party of player characters.
- Colin Sonan
- Originally designed as a morally-ambiguous character in the above-mentioned fanfic idea, Colin went through several iterations before settling on being an anti-hero cloned from the same DNA as Icira, making him more or less her brother, as well as being the leader of a group of advanced trainers called the Forgotten Fourteen.
- His official debut was as a student in the Knight Pokémon University RP, having been aged down to be college-appropriate. He also became much more temperamental. This version of him was also used in an IRC Pokémon RP.
- In a more recent IRC Pokémon RP, he is aged back up and once again made leader of the Forgotten Fourteen, this time under the name of "the Fourteen Generals". The clone concept is abandoned and he is no longer Icira's brother, but instead her fiancé.
- Eye Candy (Joanie Aimes, Collie Calloway, Annie Jameson and Bella Austin)
- In most portrayals, these girls are presented as either the wisecracking Greek chorus or the fun-loving resident rock band. In some settings, one or more of the characters may go out on their own, but it's rare to see just one of them alone for very long.
- "Those Three Villains" (Eliza DiMaggio, Douglas Fogelberg and Emerson Blackfield)
- The first two were originally designed as element-themed dungeon bosses (Ice and Fire, respectively) for an abandoned IRC game, where they were named "Snedronningen" and "Skonabyto". A later revision identified them as humans who had been transformed into elemental monsters by the main antagonist, a sentient energy storm called The Entity; it was at this point that they received their proper names.
- In a more recent IRC Pokémon RP, they are presented as Icira's subordinates as well as Burst users, allowing them to keep the elemental powers they would have had in the previous IRC game. They are joined by Emerson Blackfield (a Poison-type user) to complete a trio referencing parts of Icira's name.
- In the redesigned Rogues Gallery RP on another board, these three are set to once again play Icira's subordinates, this time receiving their elemental powers through more typical supervillain means. The first two reclaim their original names as supervillain codenames—Blackfield takes the codename "Vesdieh".
- Willis ra Teremolve
- Originally based on my avatar in RuneScape, this character was meant to star in a fictionalized account of my adventures in that game, with an extension incorporating ideas from a Spore story I had partially written. Went through several revisions—sometimes he had a brother or two, sometimes not. Was usually depicted with several familiars, including a spider, a snow imp and even a full-blown demon (rarely seen, for obvious reasons). This fic may get resurrected at some point, but given my abandonment of RuneScape, this is unlikely.
- Currently based on my player character in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, he is set to star in a fanfic or modded quest where he will team up with Icira Witherflame to combat a wicked sorcerer. This version of the character has a sister who dies at the hands of the villain.
- The Narrator (Me)
- In many of my works, be they RP or fanfic, comedic moments will often feature the narrator interacting with the characters—usually, this involves the characters criticizing the quality of the plot and verbally abusing the increasingly disgruntled narrator.
Yes, I'm aware that most of these examples are RP characters, but they would work just as well in fanfiction if I took the time to write it.