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How do you create your characters (process...)

Discussion in 'Writer's Circle' started by Midnight Melody, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Haven

    Haven *Casually walks in* ... Hi... *Casually walks out*

    I think of my characters motive first of all. Then I build a character around all of that. Mainly one that resembles me and my choices
  2. Mikayla

    Mikayla New Member

    I usually start with a basis of what I want my character to be. More often then not, I got inspiration for a character personality before I start writing it. So once I have a very simple base laid out, I create a name and look that goes with the personality. Then I go in and write out 9 traits; 3 positive traits, 3 neutral traits, and 3 negative traits. I usually write a little description of each trait. Once that is done, I’ll then go and write a detailed backstory. After all that, I write down some of the less necessary things about the character (i.e. likes and dislikes, hobbies, educational background, quirks).

    Sometimes, after I finish writing a character, I write a little short story (either a backstory short or just a little hypothetical scenario-based piece) with the character to get a sense of how the character thinks and acts and reacts.

    It’s a process that takes long, but it’s always worked for me.
  3. Fatality

    Fatality Not dead

    I always start with a single detail. Maybe a character trait I or someone I know has, or any aspect of my life. Then I make a name. Though this is usually one of the longest steps- scrambling other names and words usually does the trick. After that I go on to the backstory, which usually has something to do with the one aspect the character was based off of. From there it’s pretty inconsistent but that is the overall process I go through. Then again, I could write a longer response detailing how I come up with names.
  4. Xelian

    Xelian Magical Cat

    My process kind of depends on the other person and the roleplay at hand. After a plot is figured out, we sort of plan a rough outline of our characters, then I flesh it out, normally using a template that I created specifically for that character, although most are created from this master template, with certain things added to put further detail into the character.

  5. Booper

    Booper Pressing all the buttons!! AT THE SAME TIME!!

    Oooh! Ohh! Me!! Pick MEEE!!! >:]]]]

    Hey~! Alright. So I'm going to skip the process of the whole random spike in your brain that we sometimes get and thinks to ourselves: "I just thought of the coooooolest charrie!!" ;P

    K, so like I always start of with the context ie. the RP Overarching Plot. Cuz if that doesn't tickle my brain then I don't get inspired to RP a charrie. At all. Anyways, at least the Overarching Plot should provide the fiction to my idea.

    Then I hunt a close to appropriate setting pic as possible. But like if I cannot find that then I think of their reason to exist in the RP: A single sentence of what I want them to accomplish.

    So, so far, I go: Fiction, Face, and Frame. Although, yeah, like most important to Booper here next is the Attitude.

    This by far is more important than what my charrie does or visually looks like really. But like to get to the attitude, the 3Fs are pretty important to set me up. I just think that this is the heart of where the charrie is^^ Like how they act a certain way becomes like a 'ground zero' that will expound into the bio/history and persona sections of the charrie sheet until completion. It's like a multi domino effect that explains the charries who, what, where, why,when and how really.

    Almost all my charries fall into the 'good guys' side of conflict and are almost certainly gay girlies. So I always have pretty much that foundation to work with. But as soon as I get to Attitude, that is where the charrie blossoms, I guess you'd say. Like they are all basically the same good guy fighting the good fight and lovers of loverly women, but they shape into something different as soon as I figure out just how they will act/react to things.

    Like for example. Attitude: cavalier, but motherly. This spurned on an idea for this loud-mouth yet mother bear type of hunter. Attitude: snarky but plays pranks. This spurned on an idea for an assassin that seemed like she cared for no one but herself, but only got close to others through shared humour. So like yeah^^!! Things like that. But not matter what I end up playing, this process never leaves me with writers block. Like ever ;DDD I mean it cuz, once that idea explodes not from one linear direction but from a spherical source, the ideas seems endless.

    Like that was a messy explanation :333 But anyways... Hope that helps!
  6. Rubbler

    Rubbler New Member

    I have two methods:

    Picture Method:

    1. Find a picture of a potential character online or draw one.

    2. Imagine a personality based on that picture.

    Usually the theme or their overall demeanor helps with that, but sometimes when I feel like I'm too repetitive, I use online generators such as Rangen.co.uk (http://www.rangen.co.uk/chars/pergen.php) or I find a list of traits and quirks.

    - sometimes I use archetypes (http://jillwilliamson.com/teenage-authors/jills-list-of-character-archetypes)

    - sometimes I use a list of positives/negatives traits (http://ideonomy.mit.edu/essays/traits.html)

    - sometimes I even use this (http://springhole.net/writing_roleplaying_randomators/character-personality.htm)

    Or just make it up myself, but usually whatever I make up isn't that detailed.

    Oh and sometimes I base a somg off of a character or their certain emotions and that helps me visualize, since music impacts me emotionally, heh.

    3. Add other details, such as background, family, weapons, occupation, etc.

    This usually depends on the rpsite you're on.

    The OTHER Method I Rarely (Never) Use Because My Brain Has Too Many Dead Braincells:

    1. Define the purpose of your character, how they will add on to the plot, and what you generally want to achieve woth them.

    This gets so many things out of the way. Me, I personally start drooling bored as I try to think up this and then my brain forgets and just goes back to the Picture Method. :V

    2. Figure out their history, their background, their past, their anti-future, their childhood happenings, what they did, what they didnt do, what made them who they are currently.

    (Sorry, lol, this helps me think when I do this)

    Everyone's makes up who they are, whether they like it or not. Unless your character is a robot who was programmed with their entire personality. (Cough cough, R2D2)

    But basically, create all of this based off of the rp. Usually I don't do this in a detailed fashion but thats just me.

    4. (Nobody cares about 3) Create the appearance.

    This is my favorite part, probably because I'm a visual person and like seeing things. I like to visualize scenes in a rp played out cinematically.

    3. (I like 3 more than 5) Add the extras.

    Here comes the weapons, occupations, families, items, magics, pets, companions, etc.

    Lol this wasn't planned to go this way. I hoped this helped someone. :D
    Helena Alexin likes this.
  7. Helena Alexin

    Helena Alexin Wood Nymph

    Well, I create mine depending on the role play requirement. Most of my characters --- with the exception of the canon characters from an existing series --- are created as soon as the character is required. Anyway, here's my process:

    1. Start with the story prompt or idea. What role is the character supposed to play? What race? What pairing is needed?
    2. Ask my partner. Does he/she have a particular preference for the character's appearance/background? I take these into consideration because I want my partner to be comfortable around my character.
    3. Choose a random name. I use fantasynamegenerators for name ideas. It would help if you already know the nationality/race of your character.
    4. Choose a basic appearance. What's the gender? Race/nationality? Hair color? Eye color? Age? Body size/frame? Height? Clothing preference?
    5. Choose a personality. I use the zodiac as personality guide. lol For example, the vengeful ones are "Scorpio" while the happy-go-lucky ones are "Sagittarius."
    6. Add the character's quirks. Does he/she have an obsession with key chains? Chain smoker? Habit of doing a marathon every morning? Gossip monger? Kitchen disaster? Thinks body piercings are sexy? Used to stutter? Stalks someone on Instagram? Random stuff to make your character different from all the others you made before.
    7. Develop the character's background. Does he/she have a painful or normal past? How did he/she reach his/her current circumstance? Does he/she have a goal/ambition?
    8. Add additional details such as family background, motivations, memories.
    9. Look for a face that matches your idea of the character (if needed).
    10. Update the character sheet whenever you think of a random trait that would be nice on your character.
    Or, just grab a character sheet template and write the details. lol
  8. Helena Alexin

    Helena Alexin Wood Nymph

    Hey, this one is really helpful! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Rubbler likes this.
  9. othyrworld

    othyrworld Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

    I usually use a prompt, plot, or story idea to figure out my chracters role in the story, then use that role to help shape the bare bones of a personality and backstory. Then I give the character an appearance based on their backstory (If they're a farmer they'll be tall and muscular from working fields, and will probably have a pretty gnarly tan), and then I try to flesh out the chracteristics more and more until I'm satisfied. Then I give the character a name based on the personality, backstory, and personality of the character. If I get stuck, I usually fill out a semi-detailed character sheet to help catagorize and fill in everything.
  10. starsavvy

    starsavvy New Member

    I think I tend to make my world (or read about the GM’s world) first, get a sense of who or what’s already there, and then decide what role I want to fill. Maybe we need a doctor, and I play cleric... but maybe there would be more tension if I chose this other faction. I put a character in who has reasons to interact with other people, positive or negative. It makes it interesting.

    Then of course, I think about what would be fun to write. Is this character brash? Timid? Snarky? What’s their personality, and how does it fit into any established groups the story has? How has it been shaped by their history?

    Gender, sexuality, appearance, those are all bottom of the list for me. I’m a woman, but I write men as well, since I do a lot of solo fiction. And I can write romance with men or women, though I don’t write smut. Appearance is least important, unless there’s something special to note like a big scar or birthmark.
  11. King Diamond

    King Diamond New Member

    Early 2000's EDM

    NOS energy drink

    usually thats how it's done.
  12. KTallent

    KTallent Member

    Lol, I feel like the odd one out now... I don't really have a set process. I usually just think of a general character idea when it pops into my head, then start writing. I get to know what my characters are like by writing them, not by making them a super complex template. It's like acting, you can't play a character without getting inside them. Somewhere in the first or second scene with that character I might get tired of using my placeholder instead of a name. Then I cheat with the names. And when I say cheat, I mean cheat. As in, my "African" prince's name is derived from "prince" in Xhosa. As in, my black-magic-necromancer-baby-who-I-love-so-so-much's name is Saafa, which comes from the name Safa. Safa means "innocent" in Arabic. I know, haha, I'm hilarious.

    I will allow that I don't actually do this with roleplays. This is what I do with original stories. However, I'm not entirely sure what I do with roleplays, because I don't think I've created a roleplay character from scratch in at least a year. Yikes! Welp, that's why I'm here.

    TL:DR; I get to know my characters by writing them, I hardcore cheat with my character names, and I really should start doing original roleplays again.
  13. Reliance

    Reliance New Member

    Haven't set up a character in a long while, BUT what I got into the swing of doing was finding a song that described your character - aka whatever song I was addicted to that week which really connected to my soul. Quite often this was the foundation of my character. It gave a brilliant basis for the personality of the character and quite nice to build upon. I feel like having a "sound" for your character really assisted in the image I had in my head for them, but then finding an image in the good ol' google to match what I was imaging was always a challenge.

    All in all, I always assessed where said character was needed. As I often had a bank of characters, whom I loved and will have to rebuild, X character may always be better suited to action-y/fantasy rp's and Y may have been more suided to realistic, day-to-day rp's.
  14. Liebe

    Liebe New Member

    Ooohhhhh I love everyones different thought processes. I guess I just sort of wing it, personally. But that doesn't mean I don't put thought into it all.
    I am huge on character development, I think it is one of the only ways to have a successful story, you have to be at least attached to the characters. Being able to relate is also a way I develop mine, whether it be from personal experiences or things I have seen others go through. I don't think there always has to be a long, deep, dark backstory but it sure helps.

    I listen to music a lot when I write, so it influences a lot. A lot of my characters tend to come with playlists so it sets off a ~vibe~ of who they are. I also pick very distinctive traits of a person to give to them. Smoker, non smoker? Academically inclined? Divided family? Hobbies? This helps tie into their personality.
    But it is always best for me to first decide if the person will be generally good, chaotic good, evil, necessary evil, chaotic evil, sometimes multiple at different times. Then I go for looks, and general appearance.
  15. Angel In Red

    Angel In Red Active Member

    Hey :)

    I try not to over complicate it for myself. I think the beauty of having a character is that you can mold them into a personality post by post.

    The initial things I will decide on is , Key Personality Trait, Main Life Goal, Appearance and Age, Background History, Story Use and where they are currently Presently. This may not make it's way to a Character Sheet but I need to envision all this in my head and this will then help me figure out how to write them up.

    All my characters have to have this one part of their personality that is key to the story line. Of course they get progressively complicated and complex but what's the largest part of them. Their bravery, intelligence or cunning etc. The rest of their personality sort of is pieced together a bit by bit.
    What exactly am I writing them for, what is my character trying to push themselves to. We all want to be somewhere and achieve something so surely my character is veering towards something. Appearance and age, what are their limitations due to how I've designed them. For example if they're elderly their history could be of a sportsperson but they ain't track running now!
    History, so so so important. Your past may not define your current self but it does push you and model you into what you are now.

    Story Use - exactly why am I building this character. Is it to bridge the space between others or are they driving force for plots and ideas?

    Present time - health wise, physically and emotionally where are they now? Is my character content with where they are or are they feeling restless.

    Perhaps this is too simple but it is what I do, and it works for me so I just keep going with it. XD
  16. Bobcat49

    Bobcat49 New Member

    An idea typically starts off as a quirk or other personality trait. From there I branch off and figure out what sort of character could be created to be the most dissimilar from those already created. With the basic quirk/trait and the farthest limit I find what I believe could mesh with the current story and against the other characters. Physical traits are typically randomized until finding a fitting description from which I can expand to better fit the character. A backstory typically starts as an initially vague idea that could on its own provide a meager reasoning behind my character's actions, a starting point that will expand with the possible interactions from others.
  17. Jail Rose

    Jail Rose A rose in jail

    I usually think of a character on a whim. While I'm thinking of a story, I'm also thinking of a character that fits the lore and storyline. From there I try to draw them, visualize what they would look like, and think how they would act in situations that call for action. That's when I get to know what kind of personality they have. For their backstory, I think of all the possible things they could have gone through which might be the reason as to why they are the person they are today.

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