1. Seth Dracovitch
    Offline

    Seth Dracovitch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Enclave

    My Character Creation Method

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Seth Dracovitch, Dec 30, 2007.

    So a lot of people I know ask me how I end up making a character the way they are, well I figured I'd share that with everyone and use the main character of my novel as an example.

    I do it in steps, kinda like making a chart of how the character will end up. Also if you save that "chart" you make on your comp/paper it often helps when you're stuck wondering how the character should react. Now onto the chart.

    First things first, a name. Some think the name should come last, but I think it should be first, it usually helps with how you think the character will end up.

    Name: Seth Dracovitch

    Next you want to do all the physical aspects of your character, height, weight, look, etc. If your character changes through out the writing then put that on the chart too. This is also the area you'd want to put any special apendages such as tails, wings, etc.

    Physical Aspects Before Transformation
    Height: 6'0
    Weight: 160 ilbs
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Brown
    Body Type: Fit

    Physical Aspects after Transformation
    Height: 6'0" (not including wing height)
    Weight: 200 ilbs (Added weight of wings, tail, and spikes)
    Eye color: Gold w/slits
    Hair Color: Silver
    Body Type: Muscular
    Wing Type: White Dragon wings,
    Wing length: 14 ft from tip to tip
    Tail type: Skeletal w/curved bone blade at end
    Tail Length: 6ft
    Extra: Thorn like arm spikes, wolf ears, the Zero Eye

    Now you should have a basic idea of how your character looks, so next we're gonna go to equipment (if any). Here you would put any special outfits, weapons, important jewely, items, etc. Once again if your character transforms, make sure to seperate the items in before or after if anything changes.

    Before Transformation
    Primary Weapon: Heartseeker (knife)
    Secondary Weapon: Fists
    Jewelry: Anniversary Ring

    After Transformation
    Pirmary Weapon: Tail, Spells
    Secondary Weapons: Heartseeker (Sword), fists, arm spikes
    Jewelry: Anniversary Ring

    My character really has no "Special Outfits" So hence Why I didn't add it in. So now we have a name, a look, and a feel. Now we put those together for a personality. Now this can be done any way you like. Some prefer to base it off themselves, or off other people, others make it up themselves.

    Personality
    I'd put something about my character here, but lets keep some secrets for those that want to read the novel as I produce chapters.

    Now you need relations, friends, family, lovers, etc. This also includes villians, or side characters.

    Relationship Status: Taken
    Significant Other: Renai
    Arch enemy(ies): Relic, etc, etc (I have quite a few in my novel)

    Ok so now we have how they act and who they interact with. Time for the backstory. Get creative, a bad backstory can ruin the future plot of a story/novel and even ruin a character. Sometimes letting the backstory be the prolouge is good, and other times the backstory is best left secret and revealed at points through out the novel.

    Backstory
    Mine is the kinda you find out a you go, you'll have to read to find out.

    At last we have a description of the character as a whole. This is where my examples end, over all the character chart page for Seth was 2 and a half pages because I added a lot side notes and descriptions to each weapon and transformation. Now let's see what we have all together.

    Name: Seth Dracovitch

    Physical Aspects Before Transformation
    Height: 6'0
    Weight: 160 ilbs
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Brown
    Body Type: Fit

    Physical Aspects after Transformation
    Height: 6'0" (not including wing height)
    Weight: 200 ilbs (Added weight of wings, tail, and spikes)
    Eye color: Gold w/slits
    Hair Color: Silver
    Body Type: Muscular
    Wing Type: White Dragon wings,
    Wing length: 14 ft from tip to tip
    Tail type: Skeletal w/curved bone blade at end
    Tail Length: 6ft
    Extra: Thorn like arm spikes, wolf ears, the Zero Eye

    Before Transformation
    Primary Weapon: Heartseeker (knife)
    Secondary Weapon: Fists
    Jewelry: Anniversary Ring

    After Transformation
    Pirmary Weapon: Tail, Spells
    Secondary Weapons: Heartseeker (Sword), fists, arm spikes
    Jewelry: Anniversary Ring

    Relationship Status: Taken
    Significant Other: Renai
    Arch enemy(ies): Relic, etc, etc (I have quite a few in my novel)

    Personality
    I'd put something about my character here, but lets keep some secrets for those that want to read the novel as I produce chapters.

    Backstory
    Mine is the kinda you find out a you go, you'll have to read to find out.

    Description

    >>>>Surprisingly enough I've helped quite afew people get their stories good with this way of creation. Feel free to comment away, I hope this helps some people.<<<<
     
  2. Hulk
    Offline

    Hulk Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,213
    Likes Received:
    5
    Really interesting.
     
  3. Crazy Ivan
    Offline

    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    The dumpster behind your McDonalds.
    It's interesting, but it sounds like something you'd make for an online RPG. As character charts go, of course, this is definitely one of the better models out there.
    But as an individual, unless I'm- as I mentioned- playing an RPG, when writing I like to keep my characters' lives open for change. You mentioned that your character's background is the kind you find out along the way. For me, my characters' backgrounds are things I make up along the way. However, I know this is the kind of writing that would drive many people mad, and it can get inconsistent. So, your chart is very good for someone who wants a definite starting point.

    Something I hadn't thought of until now: Your chart would also be good for someone who wants to organize their thoughts and facts about their character.
     
  4. Edward
    Offline

    Edward Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia
    It also seems rather specific. My character's not going to have wings, because he's not a dragon.

    Also, I think you posted it twice, but that could be fatigue talking
     
  5. RomanticRose
    Offline

    RomanticRose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Character worksheets can be a huge help, at least for me, and I have never played an RPG in all my thirty-something years. Mine runs to 12 pages before any of the answers are on them. If it is a main character, I have had 75-100 pages of character work, before I do even a scrap of plot outline. I have to know my character to know how they will react to the nefarious situations I am going to throw them into.
    (All my characters are human, since I don't write fantasy.)
     
  6. Seth Dracovitch
    Offline

    Seth Dracovitch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Enclave
    This method actually started out as how I made my rp characters, turns out it works for stories, novels, etc too.
     
  7. Irontrousers
    Offline

    Irontrousers Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ah, but does it work for good stories?
     
  8. Smithy
    Offline

    Smithy Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    What kind of a question is that to ask someone about their WIP?

    I don't use character charts, though as I find myself sometimes forgetting things that happened ten chapters earlier perhaps I ought to start. Hmm.
     
  9. Klee
    Offline

    Klee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Mexico, you got a problem with that?
    It depends on the writer to use a character sheet or not. I personally don't use them, but I do tend to write down some data on my characters sometimes just to keep them in mind, so I don't know if that counts as character sheet or not.
     
  10. Gloom Kitty
    Offline

    Gloom Kitty Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    in a little cage in the bowls of Cephalid
    An important part of writing is knowing your character very well, other wise you could end up with an unruly character and leave your reading unamused. Sketches are used widely by authors its the same for story outlines. Now i can't recall the author and I can't find my copy of the book, but it is very useful. It's called building believable characters. Not only does it have one of these character sketches it also contains a Dictionary of things that are useful when creating and writing your character
     
  11. Kratos
    Offline

    Kratos Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Maryland, United States
    Yeah, you want to make a sketch before you write your characters, but don't be confined by it. You can always change it. :)
     

Share This Page