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Character Creation

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Character Creation

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Kurokiku on Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:51 pm

Something I’ve been thinking about recently (as I try to expand my writing repertoire to include other projects) is character creation, as a process. Historically, I’ve made characters in all kinds of orders, from being inspired by some image or piece of art I’ve come across, to wanting to play a certain kind of personality, to needing a certain kind of backstory for the sake of a plot and building outwards from that.

The results have been all over the map; some of the characters that have come about in the ways that seem most “literary” or properly artistic or what-have-you have been relatively uninteresting to me, whereas occasionally the spontaneous, one-line concept or even the image have spawned characters that I really, enduringly love. But relying on inspiration seems like a poor choice for anyone who wants to write reliably well, rather than in fits and starts.

How do you guys create characters? Have you noticed any patterns in what seems to work or not work? To what extent do you find yourselves relying on something as fickle as a muse or inspiration, versus just working at a concept until you have everything where it needs to be regardless of how motivated you feel? What do you think accounts for the difference between the characters you end up loving and the ones that end up merely okay?
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Re: Character Creation

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Chuckles on Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:32 pm

I don't think there is a proper way to build a character. Not in a "literary" sense at least, especially if by doing it that way the character comes out boring. I tend towards inspiration and building off of one random line or trait, and seeing what niche I can carve out in the cast.

I rarely base a character on a picture first, though once I have a basic concept I tend to try to find a picture to give me inspiration for the description. I think the biggest thing I rely on is thinking about old characters, either ones I've made for an RP, or for a story, or just for the sake of a character. The last character I created I actually started by thinking of where I wanted the character to end up development wise late in the game, and worked backwards from that. He's one of the most fun characters I've played because I have something to look forward to outside of the base story, and I can explore what brings about the change in character. I've heard that method before for writing, to write the ending first, and at least in this case it certainly seems to have worked.

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Re: Character Creation

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby maccotango on Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:26 am

I'm in a similar boat as Chuckles wherein I don't really think there's a "proper" way to create them.

I tend to work better when confined to a box, and then pushing the boundaries of that said box. When I'm given full creative liberty, it actually becomes a struggle for me as I find myself relying more on cliches and archetypes. I wind up using things that are proven to work rather than trying to test the limits simply because I'm afraid of my character being too "out there". Being given something to start with, and then figuring out how to make that mold "mine" instead of just filling out the niche laid out is really fun for me.

The main difference between characters I love and the ones that are okay are probably in their backstory. If I can think of a character's backstory before their overall archetype, then there's a good chance I'll grow to love the character.

I forgot who said it, but I read once that if you don't feel inspired or motivated, keep writing regardless. This influenced me greatly and I apply this not only to writing but to any of my creative endeavors. Sure, I take a few hours break every once in a while if I'm feeling frustrated at a project, but I think anything longer than a couple of days and I'll have trouble connecting with the piece again.

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Re: Character Creation

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zodia195 on Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:13 pm

Well, as a rule, if an rpg allows it, I always create a character I can see fitting into the RPG. But half of the RPGs I've been have Character slots, especially the romance rpgs. I always check out the characters who have been submitted at that time and figure out a character type that hasn't been used before. Even before I started roleplaying online, I was always creating my own stories and acting them out through my toys or as I grew older, writing them down. I have a very active imagination and enjoy playing all types of character, but I will admit, I enjoy playing females the best lol.

No matter what kind of character I make, I always make sure it's a balanced out character with pros and cons. I also tend to enjoy creating complex characters the most. As I learned more about cultures and other things through college, I sought to create more diverse characters and this led me to create my own rpgs on this site.

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