As a roleplayer, I need to keep making fresh concepts for my characters. Say what you will of me, but it's difficult.
One little niche that I have in my roleplay circles is the ambiguous gender. Dunno what that means? Well give these paragraphs a little look. This is the description and basic profile of one of my RPCs, Sage Skarba.
The sole member of Niwadaigaku Tantei: Afterschool Detective, a group of prodigies (Although Sage is once again, the only member) who do detective work. Of course, being a single-member group, nothing really gets done by them in terms of actual work. Attending college at the young age of 14, the flexibility of Sage's days tends to be extremely erratic.
Sage's appearence easily stands out a good bit, having pale-green hair and dark red eyes to contrast. Sage is an intelligent kid, almost a prodigy by definition, and enjoys doing detective work when crimes kick in. Being able to see the DNA of tissue and substance at a glance, tracking down the culprit is simply a matter of passing them in the street. Although clothing and gloves keep them concealed, Sage has a prosthetic left leg and hand, having lost them to meningococcal meningitis during childhood. Prior to that, a plane crash resulted in two ruptured eardrums that ended in deafness.
Sage has a rather significant ego, and can be quite sarcastic and snarky at times, often keeping it to private thoughts usually. Being quite rude at times, and a little big-headed, it often causes a good bit of trouble. Though fairly athletic, Sage is a compulsive smoker with a nasty tobacco addiction, and can't keep up any strenous activity for long.
I have to say though, you have an infinite amount of time to write, and you eventually pick up a few tricks. Using their name as a pronoun is one of those tricks, but like all tricks, you shouldn't do them over and over. From the bio I gave for Sage, you can discern that Sage is a 14 year old college student, a freelance hobbyist detective, a chain smoker, and also a bit of snarker. Another thing that gets mentioned in brief is the power to see DNA, and that Sage wears prosthetic limbs and a hearing aid. Lastly, an unnatural hair
But despite that, I completely avoided mentioning what sex Sage is.
You just read it again. You scoured it, and you blinked. And then you realized that you have no idea if Sage is a boy or a girl. You probably had an idea, or just assumed that it was one or the other.
It's a rule of mine that all of my characters must either break some rule somewhere, or have something subtle, but unusual about them. In Sage's case, it's an unknown gender, and the ability to see DNA as a string of numbers.
Sage is the third original character I've had that has an ambiguous gender, but unlike the other two, I've actually not settled on a gender for Sage. I think I'll just keep it ambiguous, just to keep people up at night.