Talking Shop: Character Creation

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Talking Shop: Character Creation

Post by Valrogg on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:41 pm

So, guys, I've had a bit of a question for you regarding how we write our stories, kind of a way for us to compare notes and such.
What is your thought process when making new characters? What kinds of things inspire new characters for you, and what little quirks and nuances influence their design and stories?
Personally, a lot of my characters are designed around a certain aspect, basically I choose some innocuous thing or personality trait, and I build the character around that. When I'm determining their personalities I ask a few questions like "What would this character do in X situation?", and that gives me a general idea of how to write the character. I also tend to make them in sets, I never make just one character at a time, I make sure that they are made in conjunction with a sibling, family member, close friend, rival, or love interest. This allows me to determine which relationships define their roles in the story, it's always a thing I like to do when looking up characters form other stories is look up what their relationships are with other characters, if they don't have many then it leads me to believe that their involvement in the story or their development as a character is lacking, which is disappointing when it ends up being a main protagonist. This is also a reason why a lot (read, about 2/3) of my characters have siblings/are the sibling of another character.

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Re: Talking Shop: Character Creation

Post by Turwaithiel on Thu May 26, 2016 11:34 am

I think a lot of my characters are made on a more random basis than anything. By this I mean I'll randomly generate an image in my mind (either voluntarily or involuntarily procured) of a character and then based on how that character looks, I'll create a personality that I personally feel fits their appearance. I take inspiration in creating their personalities by their pose, whether they look happy, sad, proud, etc., the mood I feel in their surroundings (they usually have some sort of background). For example, for my Captain Scarlet character (if you haven't read that post already, I'd recommend reading that now), when her image came to me, I saw her standing on a ship, presumably hers, with one hand on her hip, her head tilted down so her hat shades her face, but she has a distinctive mischievous look to her which I of course decide to apply to her personality. When I first saw her, I thought pirate and then pirate captain and more specifically a well-accomplished pirate captain because of her fancy dress.

I don't just go by looks either, sometimes I go by the feel of the image/character I see. For example, I got the feeling that Captain Scarlet was a well-respected individual, and not just by those who work for her. There was nothing in the image that suggested that this may have been true, but I just felt that this was something that could apply to her.

As far as other characters or aspects of characters goes, I take inspiration from real life as well as other people's creations, although this can be said of anyone.
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