Character conventions are a chance for everyone to get to know your characters. We bring our characters and allow them to interact with one another. Generally, it’s written out like a play.
Ursa: *tries to hold a squirming turtle duck* Keep still! You’ll only make it worse.
*turtle duck squawks*
Roh-Roh: *runs up, beaming* You rescued her! Is she okay?
Ursa: Her wing is broken. *begins stroking the turtle duck’s head* We need to calm her down.
It doesn’t really matter what happens in the convention because it’s not canon. It’s only an exercise to learn the characters –their personalities and reactions– and, trust me, things can get pretty wacky!
Once we’ve played around in the convention and we feel we have a good grip on the cast, we can also assume the roles of other people’s characters. Take them out for a test drive, as it were. Since it’s all a learning experience, out-of-character actions should be pointed out so we can get it right. :)
I’ve only played this on a forum, but I don’t see why we couldn’t tweak it a little to work for the chatroom or even just on a page of the Vortex Wiki.
Another option mentioned for getting acquainted with one another’s characters was for the authors to use several or all characters in their own one shots. This could also work, though I do have some concerns. 1.) It would take more effort, as you would have to develop a story idea in addition to the task of learning the characters and 2.) if the author doesn’t have a good understanding of the cast they could develop a ‘false sense’ for certain characters, which would become inconvenient.
Also suggested was the idea to pull selected scenes from our fanons involving our character. These would certainly help us to get a feel for them, in varied situations, which I see everyone has already done. Good work. (Boy, I need to get in the groove…)