Guide: Character Development Apr 11, 2012 22:30:29 GMT -6
Post by Shizuka on Apr 11, 2012 22:30:29 GMT -6
(c) KEIRA from origin-wolves-v2.proboards.com
Hey there, sunshine! It's three in the morning, and I'm here to elaborate on the steps to developing a character. Or rather, what has helped me through the years in creating them! It's incredibly important to really think your character through. Time and effort are key. You see, there is a chain reaction to development. This happens not just in characters, but as a result of your choice to really put thought into plotting, or to simply wing it and wait for something to happen. The latter, I'm afraid, does not work very well in many situations for one simple reason: mixed signals. You want your character to be one way, but an action she or he portrays completely contradicts your facts about your character. If you are one that chooses to what I call “skim” your character, then the reaction happens as so: Half-hearted development > trying to figure your character out > contradictory plot-lines and actions > lack of muse. Ah, yes, the infamous lack of muse. We all dread it, don't we? I'm happy to announce that if you take the time to develop your character thoroughly, and truly get to know them, you will succeed in having a fresh outlook on things, which often leads to a lot more of that lovely thing we call muse. Instead of spending so much time “figuring things out”, you will be able to jump right into plotting, relationships, and posting! So, without further delay and/or babbling, I will introduce you to a few helpful hints and tricks to developing a character, and guide you through some steps that may lead to an easier outlook on the subject.
- THINKING UP A CHARACTER
Let's make believe that you have found an amazing site. Oh, the joys! The wonderful skin! The beautiful characters, and the friendly members! Now we hit the major roadblock to joining every site: a character. While there are perhaps canons (no worries, we'll get there! Just hold on tight...), you may want to consider your own original character. To do so, however, you must cover every aspect you can about them to avoid hitting major bumps along the way after your character has been released into their new world.
1. Female or male? It is important to pick a sex you are comfortable with. At the same time, consider what the site needs more. If they are blatantly asking for males, do not run off to make a female, as it is simply rude. Challenge yourself! You may find you like it.
2.Think of three major personality traits. Try to make two good, and one a flaw. Put them in degrees, preferably. One really great trait (happy all the time, spice up a party, loyal friend), one okay trait that could go either way (impulsive, spontaneous, little miss sunshine), and a trait that flaws your character (temper, worrisome, ignorant, cocky). Also consider if you want to make your character a complete bad girl and subtly good at heart, or over-the-top with cupcakes and butterflies. Or maybe you prefer a balance?
3.Think of a motive to their history. Rate it on a scale of one to ten. One being the worst kind of history they can have (their whole family was murdered by a gang of angry Slovakians) and ten being the perfect life (their parents love them, and their life is always “swell” – Breakfast Club reference FTW!). Do they hate this? Do they love it? Endless possibilities here. If you'd like, make one major event that happened (death of a family member, abduction by aliens, getting Sam Winchester in bed, you know!). The most important thing is to try and think of something interesting. Being cliché gets old after a while, and it is very easy to slip into a one-sided character if you are!
- WRITING YOUR CHARACTER
1.Name – You may want to skip this step until you get to know your character a little better. When you consider a name, you have to consider how long you will be using it! Hopefully a long time, am I right? So be careful when you go all out and name your character something odd, or perhaps a name that could easily be worn out. Don't be too classic, but try to be generally classic.
2.Personality – the first thing I usually think of when imagining a character. Picture their actions in your mind, how they would go about their daily life. (* Try imagining their everyday morning, afternoon, and nighttime routine! Do they even have one?)
- Likes – what are they fond of? Think of things outside the box. Sure, they may love dogs and cats, but what kinds of dogs and cats? Are there certain dogs and cats that they can't stand? What kind of scents do they like? The smell after rain? Choking dirt, overcoming the senses and giving them a place in limbo for a little while? What is their preferable hair color? Do they like the X-Files but hate CSI? This is a chance to be creative! You can write these random facts out later in posts. See? Chain reaction.
- Dislikes – what are they not so fond of? Again, think outside the box! Not everything they dislike has to be opposite to what they like. Mix it up a little bit! Make it interesting and worth reading. Be humorous or totally morbid! Endless possibilities.
- Goals – long-term and short-term. Have at least one of each, and make them good. If you were your character, would you like the goals you have picked out for yourself? Is the point that your character doesn't like your goals? Elaborate!
- Quirks – what are some habits? Does your character twirl their hair while they talk? When they're on the phone, do they doodle on random objects? Do they babble when they're nervous? Be fun here, it'll be a great way to think of actions and thoughts to write into a thorough post later on!
- My philosophy is this: to every up, there is a down. Characters are much more interesting when they have flaws to deal with as well. Imagine a world without imperfection – no individuality whatsoever. Sounds boring, doesn't it?
3.History – The next major chunk to your creation. Some things to keep in mind are how their history will effect their personality, and how the biggie: how it will effect their present-day life and future! Hitting some “God, I don't want to do this...” emotions? Try writing the history in first person, or perhaps with some new twist. Add color, make chapters, go by age. You can be creative here too!
4.The most important thing to remember through this whole process is take your time. Work at a steady pace, concentrate, and find your strengths. I find it easier if you start off with an outline for the History and Personality. Make it something fun, like random headlines. Some topics you may write when outlining your personality, for instance:
- Tell your boyfriend if he's got beef that I'm a vegetarian. (cocky, arrogant, and it gets them in trouble?)
- Slow down, baby! (they like to take things slow because ...)
- I can't kill the spiders in my shower.... (could represent how sensitive your character is, or some belief the have)
This will possibly let your imagination take the reigns, and result in a more creative way of writing.
5.Canons – If you happen to create a canon, keep three general subjects in mind: the sub-plot involved, how that sub-plot would effect the way they are as a person (personality) and how it will effect their future. Have somewhat of a plan for them, or rather, a general idea of what you want to happen.
Thank you for reading, and I hope this helped. These are all the topics I remember whilst creating a character, and I have recently realized that it is vital that you take your time! Do not rush your character, as you will become stuck in a rut. Get to know them a little, it will make things much easier. While creating a character, always be creative. Just because I have been preaching “plans, plans, plans” does not mean you can't give yourself some freedom. Like a space cushion while you're driving. There is always room for development, and with these steps, the process should go smoothly! Again, thank you for reading, and I bid you all a happy role playing.
Created by lacey bby of CAUTION