Let's Make Some Characters!

Discussion in 'Writing' started by CondescendedWow, May 11, 2016.


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  1. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    Hi I'm Quitaren.
    You can call me Quita(cue posh laugh).
    I'm a fairly talented writer.
    I'm a talented writer when I'm not exhausted like as I write this.

    Anyway, my point is that I've got a creative mind, can draw(to a degree), and I'm glad to help with writing and developing a character you have in mind for a story, roleplay, comic, or just to have for fun.
    Really anything works, if characters start being created faster than I thought then I'll put them in the OP(this post/Original Post) and provide a short summary of who they are along with a visual aid if provided in the development process.

    If you don't want to consult me about developing a character directly(I'm so hurt, aw man) then in this next section of the OP I'll provide guidelines for developing a character to make the process a little smoother rather than being confused about how to do things and in what order.
    Reminder: These are guidelines/suggestions, not rules.

    Step ONE: Start out with the basics: name, race, gender, basic appearance.

    Step TWO: Think of a general character archetype you'd like to model them around. IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH THIS ONE, REFER TO BREAKFAST CLUB(the princess, the jock, the rebel, the outcast, and the geek). Or you can just refer to my list of the 12 basic archetypes.

    Step THREE: Mold your character's fashion sense, posture, and possibly redo the appearance to LOOSELY, AT LEAST to fit your character's archetype or general personality(93% of communication is nonverbal).

    Step FOUR: With an archetype, basic appearance, and fashion all set in mind. Now try to complete your character's aesthetic, possibly with the aid of someone more visually minded if you don't believe you can manage that on your own.

    Step FIVE: Now that you have a roughly completed aesthetic and archetype, now try to make your character less flat by giving them a backstory. NOTE: a backstory doesn't HAVE to be original, you can go with the classic traumatically losing parents or family kind of thing if you want or if it fits the character well. Although it does help if there's something to specifically discern your character from others(PLEASE ATTEMPT TO CONTACT SOMEONE ELSE ABOUT A BACKSTORY, to check that it makes sense or seems right for your character).

    Step SIX: After you've roughly completed your character's backstory I suggest that you think of some strengths and weaknesses.
    If your character is a main character then generally it's crucial that they have a fatal weakness, something that the villain can use to their advantage to the point where your hero could die if it weren't for something else.
    I think a hand full of strengths and weaknesses that balance each other out, not literally but in terms of value to the character.
    Example: High intellect balances the fact that maybe your character has a weak frame.
    THE MORE THE BETTER, but don't get too crazy with it, a character with 50 strengths and 50 weaknesses seems very silly, unless most of them are smaller things.

    Step SEVEN: At this point you can start to really flesh out your character's personality, loosely basing a lot of how they act from their past or the dire weaknesses they may be aware of, maybe a character has a paranoia over people finding their weaknesses and could lose their cool once even their friends start to find out things. Which would also provide a handy character development arc(or HCDA as I'll call it from now on). So by all means at this step try to get a friend to help you look at all the parts of your character's archetype, their weaknesses and strengths, their backstory, and try to flesh out their personality a ton more.

    Step EIGHT: Now you can really start to step back and see that your character is starting to seem very rounded as opposed to the flat guy/gal/etc you started with. So before step 10, step 8 and 9 will be more relaxed so your brain can cool down a bit.
    For step eight I'd like you to look at how you character solves problems, how your character fights, whether they want to even fight or not. All of the things that are more based on circumstance. I make this step SOUND complicated but in reality it's pretty SIMPLE.
    PROTIP: Throw your character into a random scenario that fits whatever world or universe they'll inhabit, and then just daydream about how they'd go about the scenario.
    This is important because in stories of any kind characters are constantly having obstacles thrown at them, it's very important to know how your character solves these problems and gets past these obstacles. Depending on how well their way of thinking works this can also provide an HCDA for developing your character further to OTHER people.

    Step NINE: Now like I was saying, step 8 and 9 are more relaxed. Step 9 is more about your character's possessions, for example something that their dying grandmother(perhaps the only person who cared for them) gave them to treasure and remember them by. This, as well as providing a pretty solid HCDA, will also be an important piece of your character as a whole, it may be something like a weapon or locket or watch, the size and shape doesn't matter as long as it carries a heavy message and an even heavier metaphorical baggage for your character to carry.
    If your character is possibly on the edge of losing an important battle they can hold their special locket with a picture of the wife and kids and then rise up and turn the tables! Possessions can also be people, I don't mean slavery. I mean. If you want. But I mean people as in maybe your character loves someone deeply and has a piece of their clothing sewn into their shirt or something of the sort, possessions for your character play a big role in making them more rounded.

    Step TEN: Well, we've made it, the final step. Step 10 as you hopefully could've guessed is mainly about looking over your character as a whole at this point and just filling in the gaps, maybe making small adjustments to their backstory so the possessions fit better into it or vice versa, step 10 is really just bringing your character together as a whole and finishing the process.
    Again, I recommend a friend for this one as sometimes looking at things in the big picture sense can be difficult since you're also trying to nitpick the smaller details at the same time.
    Step 10.5 can basically be visualizing your character via artistic media, you don't have to do it but you can if you want to.

    Congratulations! You've completed my 10 steps for creating a wholly dynamic and rounded character, now go use them wherever, whenever, and however you want. You deserve it! :DD

    Character Archetypes:
    1. The Saint, optimistic, wishes for paradise, is very naive
    2. The Everyman, realist, wants to connect the world, fears being left out
    3. The Hero, competent and courageous, wants to make the world a better place, very arrogant at times
    4. The Helper, caring, wishes for everyone to just be alright, won't hesitate to become a martyr
    5. The Explorer, free spirit, wants to do as they do and be as they be, is fairly aimless
    6. The Rebel, radically thinking, wants the world to work a different and better way, fears being ineffective
    7. The Friend, very socially forward, wishes to be and do what they love, fears being alone
    8. The Dreamer, artistic, wishes to create as it can be imagined, is sometimes a perfectionist
    9. The Jester, enjoys the moment, wishes to bring joy to the world, fears being boring to others
    10. The Sage, honest, analyzes to find a solution, can overanalyze very easily
    11. The Magician, a visionary, someone who wishes to understand, fears their own imperfection
    12. The Ruler, responsible, aristocratic, power hungry

    Character TYPES:
    1. Dynamic, susceptible to change and very rounded
    2. Flat, reveals maybe one or two personality traits worth noting, does not change
    3. Round, a very well developed character, often dynamic as well
    4. Static, remains the same throughout the story, doesn't change AT ALL
    5. Stock, instantly recognizable as the coach, the ruthless politician, or other stereotypes

    As you can see, a rounded and dynamic character is probably what you want.

    Characters developed thus far:
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  2. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Guest

    *Sees this and inmediatly goes to work on more alternate version of Zetta*
  3. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    YES, awesome, good luck!
  4. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Guest

    *Meanwhile in Zettaverse 000*
  5. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    WHO CARES? WE NEED MORE BWAHAHAAHAH. Also because then you can keep using my 10 steps. I mean. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  6. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Guest

    *Finally finishes a character that is essential to Zetta's backstory*
    Yay for not sleeping and doing this instead
    CondescendedWow likes this.
  7. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    Man I really hope this is helping, i thought I'd get a little more replies though, y'know, about people asking for help and stuff.
  8. Jirky-Kake

    Jirky-Kake Phantasmal Quasar

    I think that this is a very solid and helpful guideline to making good, dynamic characters, so don't worry! I feel that none of the steps seemed too difficult while still touching on pretty important ways in developing a character. However, personally I think step 9 isn't as important as the other steps and could extend a little further than a memento of someone or something (then again, these are only suggestions anyway :rofl:), but it is still a good way to give a character more personality and can still be versatile for a dynamic character.
    I wouldn't think too much about not getting many replies since I feel this could be something someone might want to take pointers from anonymously. :3
    CondescendedWow likes this.
  9. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    The point of step 9 was to come up with something to let your brain cool down so you were ready to face the detail strong step 10, but thank you for the criticism and it was greatly appreciated.
    I hope my guidelines helped a ton!
    Jirky-Kake likes this.
  10. CondescendedWow

    CondescendedWow Supernova

    In the case that people no longer read this
  11. Paladin Aeldrel Embershade

    Paladin Aeldrel Embershade Aquatic Astronaut

    I ran out of fuel for my ship so It crash derped here

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