tips on creating characters.:

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Element of love
Hey guys

I am planing on creating an story.But first I want to start creating the characters. I would like some tips if possible on creating interesting personalities. thanks!
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
2 doorhandle13th Feb 2011 12:12:03 AM from Space Australia!
Element of love
I already have. Even tough those tips are great.None of them focus on personality.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
4 doorhandle13th Feb 2011 12:21:20 AM from Space Australia!
Hmmm.. well, the only two tips I can give are A) Find personalities that would interest you and are fun to write for and B) Make sure a character actually HAS a personality.
5 SandJosieph13th Feb 2011 12:21:53 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday , Relationship Status: Brony
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6 animemetalhead13th Feb 2011 01:22:00 AM from Ashwood Landing, ME
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7 Morven13th Feb 2011 01:40:59 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
I think it's a bit too much of an open-ended question to get a good answer.

I'm not sure how I create characters. They just come to me.
A brighter future for a darker age.
8 LoniJay13th Feb 2011 03:15:41 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
See, I find that it's generally easier to start the story out with only the haziest idea of a character's personality. As the story goes on, how they react to events and why, as well as mannerisms or attitudes that creep in, will give you ideas to flesh it out more.

Be not afraid...
9 KillerClowns13th Feb 2011 07:31:25 AM from the Midwest , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Not as singularly broad-minded as a turnip
Meet people. I cannot emphasize this enough: the more people you meet, especially outside of your usual social group, the more sources you'll have to draw on, even subconsciously, when you write, and the more varied your characters will be. I'm not comfortable in crowds myself, and generally prefer my own company, but I've found that even making a few token efforts to meet people — joining a club, going out to bars, going to live music shows, and even striking up a few casual conversations with my professors — has drastically improved my writing.
10 Voltech4413th Feb 2011 09:45:46 AM from Alongside a Virtual Weasel , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
All Guns Sparking
Well, what kind of characters do you like? Like the above troper mentioned, meeting people in real life can add a lot; by the same token, fictional characters can offer something useful as well. You can see tropes in action, or carry on the ideas presented by your favorite heroes/villains, or even use your skills to fix any issues that you have with them.
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11 ch00beh13th Feb 2011 07:49:48 PM from Who Knows Where
???
I usually just start with a personality archetype, deconstruct it, mix it with other elements I feel like, and keep working it until it all makes some sense.
"Never let the truth get in the way of a good story."

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12 Acebrock14th Feb 2011 12:43:22 AM from So-Cal , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Persoanlly I start with a vague blob and see what feels right to them, refining them along the way, such as a character that started life as a Shrinking Violet morphing into a Kuudere, then I extrapolate their backstory from their behavior.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
Ask what would benefit the plot, and then keep asking and answering "Why?"

For example:

You need the final obstacle to be climactic.

Why is this obstacle more significant to the character than previous obstacles? Because this character is especially afraid of bears.

Why is this character especially afraid of bears? Because this character has spent time under the tutelage of the amazing Stephen Colbert.

Why is this important to him? The girl he has a crush on has a collection of teddy bears.

... And so on. The character's personality will grow out of these questions. For example, the above character I just made up will at the least be nervous around this girl, terrified of bears, and have a love for Stephen Colbert to the point where he becomes a Colbert Impostor. If I asked and answered more questions, I'd have a more fleshed out personality for the character. Also, this is good for writing as a whole because you want the pieces of your story to work symbioticly.

I also second Loni Jay's and Acebrock's suggestion. The character's personality can come about simply because you need a character to say something to continue writing (like a character that is inquisitive or two characters with opposing viewpoints on an issue).

I do a combination of these two. Occasionally but very rarely, I'll think of a fun/funny personality and start from there. I usually only do that for silly/supporting characters.

edited 14th Feb '11 12:51:15 AM by colbertimposter

blop
The way that I come up with characters is usually by reading TV Tropes. Usually, whatever index I'm Archive Bingeing on has little or nothing to do with characters, and an idea for a character utilizing those will usually just come to me. I came up with the first version of my protagonist, Matthias, when I was reading about Parental Issues- he started out as a seventeen-year-old boy who was Promoted To Parent after his father died in a plane crash. His godfather, Kiyoi, came to me after I consolidated four different oneshot characters I used for writing assignments into one person, and he became a pragmatic assassin after I fell in love with Darker Than Black. So in other words, go out, Archive Binge, meet new people, and try watching different shows and reading different stories. Seriously, you never know where an idea could hit you.

And one more thing- if you're a younger author (like junior high school age) your characters will inevitably evolve as you grow and experience new stuff, which may be the reason why my story is still in the Unpublished Works. Yeah, those two guys I mentioned above? I made them in 2008, when I was a seventh grader. Currently, they're nothing like from where they started.
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The best way to get good at creating characters, like all things, is to practice, practice, practice. Just take a moment every day to write and create characters. They're not all going to be good, but the very act of creating characters will help you to improve.

To help create a variety of characters, watch and observe different kinds of people. This includes both real and fictional people. Not only does it help to look at actual people that you know or the occasional stranger off the street, but it could also help to look at some of your favorite fictional characters and look at how they were created and what you like about them.

Then, just create. Create a ton of characters. They don't have to be fully fleshed out. There is such a thing as over fleshing a character. It will help to create a ton of characters with just a basic outline of their personality and history, and then pick a few of them that seem interesting to you, and then flesh them out more fully. And you may find that when you discover the characters that interest you, that you don't have to force yourself to develop them. They just develop themselves.
Think of some of the things you're planning to have the character do, and figure out what kind of person would do those things. Or else take someone you find interesting and try to figure out how they tick and base a character off of them.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
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Total posts: 16
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