1. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    My character development

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SeverinR, Mar 11, 2011.

    My character development goes the same pretty much everytime.

    I create a character, think of a recent history, then work on the highlights of their life, some I even write the interesting part of their life story.

    The month long challenge got me to write a history on one character I hadn't developed to much. She is so mysterious in the book, I had her avoiding indepth questions about her past, because of her secret.

    But have had fun writing the history, while still not revealing the secret. I thought I had hinted all I could in the book without giving it away before it is announced.

    My history pretty much includes:
    type of childhood, parental influence, age
    area of study growing up(martial arts, arcane arts, religious study, etc)
    What weapon if any they chose and why.(less muscular fencing style, more muscle sword or unique weapons. I am trying to stay away from traditional swords)
    Special abilities if any.
    Close friends if applicable to the story, enemies even if only a subplot.
    Any affiliations with special groups? (Blackstar, Highway man, Mage counsel)
    I also try to give them some human quality, something they like to do, some stupid fear, some item or being they love, some weakness(loves different food)
    During the story I usually add stuff to their life.
     
  2. Earphone
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    Earphone Active Member

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    I'm not sure if you were asking for any advice, or if this was simply meant to be something to compare styles. I'll take it as the latter.

    I usually go about it in a different way, in that I don't plan anything. I simple start my character off, and let them develop with the flow of the story. Same for plot. This has its disadvantages though, since it's very easy to get stuck, and I've left many a story because I simply couldn't think of where to take it next. Even ones I really liked.

    I just don't do well planning ahead though, it makes me feel like I'm stifling my impromptu creativity, and if your character is already laid out, a new character altering idea could mean having to re-write your story.

    I dunno, to each his own.
     
  3. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    That's all good, but one most important point missing is 'what does your char want?'
     
  4. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    I tend to work in reverse when making characters.

    I start with the kind of person I want--my protagonists are never typical. They always have several very strange but interesting qualities that draw the reader in. With their character developed, I usually start getting ideas of why they are the way they are, and develop a background that fits them and what I've described in the story. It feels much more natural to me this way. It's like when you meet someone new, first you see who they are, and then when you get to know them, you see what made them that way.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really create my characters they create themselves.

    I do try to cast the MCs as actors/singers to give me an idea of mannerisms etc I put together scrapbooks of clothings and homes. Also tend to start out with a bit of a stereotype.

    I let them tell me the story and show their personality through it.
     
  6. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I like putting in small bits of history in the story, including their quirks, sometimes I don't think of the little things to include if I haven't thought of it before hand.

    That is the point of the story, sometimes I get the story from thinking of the history, other times I have to work on the plot and what the character wants to gain from the event/events.

    Oh, and this was to share my character development, and hear how others do it.
     
  7. Jaded Mist
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    Jaded Mist New Member

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    Ditto Elgaisma- I never create characters. They show up on the doorstep of my mind fully developed and demanding to have their stories written down.

    I will often ask people to talk to, or have their own characters talk to, my characters. As iron sharpens iron, characters sharpen characters.

    ~JM
     
  8. MLKerrick
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    MLKerrick Member

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    My characters, as Jaded Mist said, tend to suddenly pop up and start screaming for me to write about them, but never are they fully developed. I always know the one major thing they're looking to acheive, but I know nothing of their past or their personality or even their name: only their appearance and their goal. Once I've got that, I choose a name for them, then start to slowly craft a basic personality that'll scrape by in the plot. I outline the plot of my story and add details to the character's personality as I go. I usually write down a little profile for them, which looks like this:
    Name:
    Age:
    Height and Build:
    Hair and Eyes:
    Face:
    Clothes:
    Occupation:
    Home and Family:
    Personality:
    And then I write a little experimental scene from the story in which the character's personality shows.
     
  9. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Last week a 30 question character interview was posted here. I thought I knew my characters however after playing along and posting my answers I discovered a cool dramatic element I can use over and over and over ...as a conflict starter , as a conflict solver , as the patch in what could be pointed out as a plot hole etc.)
    The exercise was so phat I blasted out the flash fiction rough draft of three essential future chapters
     
  10. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I like hearing how others develop their characters,
    I don't believe there is any one right way to do it. But hearing how someone else does it might help give our char's that little extra something.
     
  11. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    I create my characters as I know people. First I see them and that gives me a first impression, then every time they speak or act it either surprises me or confirms my preconceptions.

    Their combined actions and words are who they are for me and I believe in that persona when they stop surprising me.
     

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