1. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    A Fun Way to Develop Characters!?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by mercy, Dec 4, 2008.

    Just wanted to share a fun idea I had. I'm sure it has been done before.
    When I read a magazine and see people that are interesting I cut them out and paste them in a book. Then I write little profiles beside their pictures. I save them in this little book. I mix and match them and imagine how they would get along, what kind of relationship they may have, and what they might say to each other.

    Do you have any nice ways to develop characters??:)

    Edit (a lot tonight)
    I should have been more clear. I use pictures of people in magazines or paintings, and create make believe profiles.
     
  2. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I usually just devote hours of my life thinking about the character. If I feel like I really need to get a good feel of him/her before I begin writing whatever it is I have in mind, I may take the character, stick him/her into a "real" situation (for instance, the character could be a new kid at my school) and see what happens. Otherwise, I just start writing.
     
  3. mynameissarahgrace
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    mynameissarahgrace Member

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    That's a good idea. I don't ever cut their pictures out, but sometimes I wonder about people I've seen in catalogs/magazines and base characters off what I imagine them to be like.

    I never thought about actually making profiles and keeping their pictures, though.. I'd feel sort of like a stalker. But they'd never know (; lol.

    Sometimes {I feel strange admitting this} when I'm really stuck and need to develop a new character, I make them "their own" screennames on AIM. Then I have "them" talk to each other, to see what they'd say. It's really a good way to create dialog, actually.
     
  4. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    I never thought of that. I will try it out
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    sarahgrace I thought you were going to say you log onto a chat service and pretend to be the character and chat with other people.

    I actually do that. I will log into Paltalk with a new nick and pretend to be gay, a Christian, a Buddhist, etc. I do it for several reasons, but it has helped me develope a few cool characters that seem very real to me now.
     
  6. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I did something like this for an elementary school assignment--cut out pictures and used them to tell a story. (I didn't realize at the time that the characters in my story were Corazon Aquino and Fidel Castro. :redface: )

    Nowadays this wouldn't work for me, since I can't just take somebody else's face and create a character around them...the characters just come into being on their own in my head and develop over time. In short, I don't really consciously create them at all, I just wait for them to show up when needed.

    Fun ways to get to know them though are to just let them talk. I once filled out this survey-type thing somebody posted...first you list a certain number of your characters, preferably from different stories, then based on randomly chosen numbers, you put them in weird situations together and see how they interact. So you end up with characters who normally wouldn't associate with each other, and learn quite a lot about them. I ended up doing something like sending a jaded ancient Egyptian warrior, a modern-day highstrung cop, and a naive child to an adult bookstore or something. *LOL*

    There's also the process of "Active Imagination," in which you basically imagine interacting with your characters yourself as if they're real beings, though I haven't tried that yet.
     
  7. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    I found a painting of a woman in a magazine. She and thin, her hair is light blond tied back in a bun. She is so plain, a little quiet, but I imagine that she is a real tiger in the bedroom. She smokes long thin cigarettes on occasion and loves to spend time in the garden. The list of her characteristics goes on.

    Even pictures like "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh are great visual aids in creating a setting. I love to imagine what is happening in that little town.
     
  8. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    I found a painting of a woman in a magazine. She is thin, her hair is light blond & tied back in a bun. She is so plain, a little quiet, but I imagine that she is a real tiger in the bedroom. She smokes long thin cigarettes on occasion and loves to spend time in the garden. The list of her characteristics goes on.

    Even pictures like "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh are great visual aids in creating a story. I love to imagine what is happening in that little town.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my characters are just 'born' in my head and pop out full-grown, as i write... i've never had to do any looking around, or thinking about, or 'imaginating' this 'n that to come up with 'real' people with which to people my fiction...

    probably because i've always been a people-watcher and have come across just about every type there is, either in real life or others' writings/movies/whatevers and they're all stored away in my mental data bank, for whenever one's needed...
     
  10. MarchOfMephisto
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    MarchOfMephisto Member

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    I always give my characters an "interview" to see what they like, and I try and put myself in their shoes and just act like them for a while, to see what people's reactions are towards those type of people.
     
  11. mynameissarahgrace
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    mynameissarahgrace Member

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    I don't like interviewing the characters themselves as much as interviewing other characters to see their perspective on the first character.
    (I hope that made sense, lol.)

    Knowing how a character sees themselves is essential, but the person they imagine themselves to be may be different than how s/he actually is.
     
  12. mobious109
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    mobious109 Member

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    I have tried the interview thing and pictures, but I find it far easier to let the carachtor just "wander around" the real world and see what they do, but that might just be me.
     
  13. mynameissarahgrace
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    mynameissarahgrace Member

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    Oh, and it's really fun to make profiles for REAL people you know, and mix traits of different people together. : )
     
  14. theutopian12342
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    theutopian12342 New Member

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    Sometimes if I already have a character concept, I'll write a short dialogue between him (or her) and I. I include it in relevant settings (I dine with a spacer in an intergalactic bar, a dwarf in a small inn), and I really think it's fun! It probably derives from my love of role-playing, but yeah: I think this way is pretty effective way to develop characters. I love it when I forget that I'm doing an exercise and I'll have the character leap onto the table and start singing, or capture me because I'm wanted by alien thugs. Sparks ideas as well.
     
  15. Thagryn-Sylrand
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    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

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    That's a pretty good idea I think. Never thought of that. I usually just take characteristics from people i know or from characters in books i read and mix them into a personality.
     

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