Terms of Service
Updated: 29th Apr 2021
The core service I offer is to apply my expertise on child development and psychology to fictional characters, based on my training as a Transactional Analyst and incorporating any deduction or speculation necessary to account for your character's species or cultural background. I offer this service with a view to improving your insight into your fictional characters.
Other services I offer include:
- Species development and worldbuilding services, which involve deduction or speculation about the culture and physical world you present me with to work on.
- Use of Person-Centered counselling skills to support content creators, point out areas either under- or over-explored in their work, and help them further develop their work.
- Graphic design to present their characters, species, or worldbuilding scenarios in infographics and videos.
- Teaching worldbuilding skills.
- Teaching audience development and management skills.
I offer several services via my Patreon. These include:
- "Character or Story Critique" where you get 20 minutes of my time per month in which I provide critique to any aspect of a character or world you request
- "Q&A On Your Character" where you get 30 minutes of my time per month to help you with any aspect of your character you request
- "Worldbuilding Critique" where you get 45 minutes of my time per month to help you with any aspect of your worldbuilding you request
My Patreon is set to accept payment at the beginning of each month.
On the 5th of each month I will send a general message, using a Patreon post, to all users of the above tiers to invite pledgers to send me links to the work they would like me to do. Pledgers may reply via other platforms, e.g., Discord, but if you are pledging to me then the responsibility is yours to provide me with a link each month, even if we have been working on the same project for multiple months.
Please note that you must use the tier you have pledged to on the month that you pay for it, or you will lose the benefit. I do not allow:
- 'stock-piling' of tier benefits, e.g., if you pledge for the Character or Story Critique for three months and don't use it until the third month (20+20+20 minutes = 60 minutes = 1 hour), I won't provide an hour
- 'advances' where you use months in the future on the promise that you will remain pledged
- use of a tier you used to be pledged to but aren't any more.
I have this rule because these are low-level services and require predictable, regular, smooth running for them to be worth my while to serve. Keeping track of different rates of usage is admin-heavy, which renders them inefficient. If you do not use the reward you are pledged to on the month you pay for it, then you accept that I will take your pledge for that month as a donation, not payment for services.
Please also notice that the two 'Critique' tiers are done strictly on my time, not in the 'consultation style', ie., booked in to my calendar. Send me a link to the work you want me to critique and I'll do it in my own time within the month. This too, is an efficiency measure that makes it economically viable for me to provide this service. I do not accept attempts to haggle for specific delivery times. Excessive requests to do so (ie., continuing to ask me to do a critique in the consultation style after I have said no) will result in me not providing the service.
Works in Progress
WIPs (or "Works In Progress") are provided throughout your commission with me, and are an integral part of the commission process. No Frills, Infographics, and Videos are all written analyses, albeit each are presented differently, so as a result the writing part of the commission process is the same.
I provide you with a first draft of your analysis along with questions and comments for you to respond to. When you have done this, I adjust or add to the analysis accordingly and send you a second draft, with further questions and comments for you to respond to. We continue until the analysis is complete. This takes ana verage of six drafts for character analyses.
- Infographics are No Frills analyses presented in graphic format. After the above WIP process is complete I generally finish the graphic design in one go so do not usually provide WIPs at this stage, however you are welcome to request them. When I have finished making an infographic I will present it to you using the sta.sh facility on DeviantArt for you to view. You are welcome to request adjustments at this time.
- Videos are No Frills analyses presented as videos. You are welcome to request WIPs in the form of the recorded narration and segments of the video.
I work on the basis a 14-day turnaround per draft. I aim to send you your first draft within 14 days of you sending me your completed questionnaire and making payment, whichever happens latest. You may take as long as you wish to return your edited drafts to me. I will aim to send all subsequent drafts within 14 days of you sending your latest edited draft to me.
Corrections and Adjustments
I can make as many corrections to the No Frills draft as needed. When I believe no further adjustments to the draft are needed I will check with you to confirm whether you believe the same.
After we have both confirmed this I will move onto the next stage, whether that means making an infographic or video, formatting the text for uploading to my web site, or archiving the file. Once I have started this, any further adjustments to the text will be at my discretion. I reserve the right to refuse to make further edits after we have both confirmed that the draft has been finalised or to charge for further adjustments.
Delivery of Products
Orders for any of my written products typically result in a finished text-based profile. I will present you with the finished profile, formatted according to the requirements of any web site you wish to upload it to, if any. Please advise me where you would like to upload your finished profile to and I will prepare you an appropriately formatted file.
I typically upload these to the Sta.sh facility on DeviantArt or to my web site for you to view, request changes to, or download at your leisure.
I upload finished videos to The Character Consultancy's Youtube account unless requested otherwise. If you wish to possess a copy of the video yourself I recommend the 4K Video Downloader service.
I currently accept payment by Paypal, in GBP. USD prices are also given on my price list as an approximate guide for those who use USD as a currency.
Xe has an easy-to-use converter facility which you can find here. This should be used if an accurate conversion rate is desired.
I issue refunds if no work has yet been completed and payment was made within the last calendar month.
I do not provide refunds for No Frills once I have sent you the first draft. Refunds under any other circumstances are at my discretion.
I reserve the right to turn down commissions without giving the reason. However as a rough guide, usually when I turn down a commission it is due to the subject character (or a peripheral character, or the population of the setting the character occurs in) being dehumanised, coerced into activities in which it does not want to engage, and this dehumanisation or coersion being fetishised, presented in a positive light, or used without due recognition of its potential likely impact on readers (e.g., being used to for shock value or to purely to make a story 'darker and edgier'). I do not offer refunds under these circumstances*.
If you have concerns over whether I may turn down your commission, please contact me using any of the avenues available on this web site, including in the footer of this page.
Please make any cancellations, reschedulings, or requests to reschedule with more than 24 hours' notice. Rescheduling within 24 hours will incur a £10 charge per booking. Exceptions will be made in the case of emergencies, bereavements, etc.**
I invoice you when the session is booked. I require payment prior to the session, however I can offer flexibility on when you make payment, if you need. Please communicate with me about this prior to the session to avoid confusion.
If you book a session, do not pay, and book any further sessions, I will hold you financially accountable for all sessions that you have booked, whether or not you are present for the booking. Please note that if you have difficulties with payment due to an issue with your bank account or Paypal accounts, then it is your responsibility to resolve the issue and ensure that The Character Consultancy receives payment. I will not waive fees on this basis.
If you book a second session and have not paid for your initial session by the time the second one starts, neither I nor any member of the TCC team will provide the booked service. We will not waive your fee on this basis. Again, clear communication from you regarding reasons for non-payment will help avoid confusion regarding this.
If you book a succession of payments without paying, then I will decline any further bookings from you until full payment of the sessions accrued have been made.
If I miss a consultation session I will book a new session for you at a mutually convenient time. Charges for the missed session will be waived but payment of the new session will require payment as per my standard fees.
E-cheques are accepted, however we will not provide any service until after the e-cheque has cleared.
I, or any worldbuilding assistants of mine, will wait for 15 minutes after the scheduled start of your consultation for you to show up. If you do not communicate with us within this time we will abort the session.
If you fail to notify me that you are going to miss your session, I reserve the right to keep your payment.
I can offer to fit in a missed consultation at another time, but this is at my discretion. However, you cannot 'bank' more than one missed session at a time.
Counselling and Psychotherapy Services
Please note that although I am a counselling and psychotherapy trainee, I offer a character analysis and worldbuilding development service in my capacity at The Character Consultancy - not a therapeutic one. If therapeutic needs arise as a result of analysing your character, species, or setting, I will not offer therapeutic support but instead suggest that you seek an accredited therapist in your area.
This is in line with the ethical guidelines I follow in my capacity as a trainee counsellor, and my own personal preference to keep my two careers separate. I therefore ask you to respect it.
Chat and Freebie Requests
I frequently get invitations to casual conversations and requests to work on other peoples' projects for free. Please note that I have to manage these with the same level of care as I do with my workload, so regrettably the time I can dedicate to conversation is limited. For further information please see my blog article about this, where I give the subject the attention it deserves.
Please note that the opinions, beliefs and values in my work are not necessarily representative of my own.
*If you are unsure about whether your character dehumanises, or is dehumanised by, any other character, or whether your setting accomplishes the same, please see this document for clarification. You are also welcome to send me a completed questionnaire for the character and ask me to check it, but please note I do not do this as standard. You must explicitly ask in order for me to check that your character is acceptable.
**I always send a confirmation of consultation bookings via my calendar, which you should receive in your email inbox. I also strongly recommend that you find a way to remind yourself of your upcoming session. Using the alarm function on your Smartphone or your email/webmail's calendar service are popular options for this.
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