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 Shale's Character Workshop

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PostSubject: Shale's Character Workshop   Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:52 pm

This is a place to make a good character with interesting details and depths and break away from the routine of copying from per-existing genres.

Step 1: Meshing What's Good

To start I want you to list the three favorite personalities from characters from, cartoons, games, real life ect you know and list a few reason why you like them. Don't be picky about the details or afraid to pick more or less than three.

character 1:

character 2:

character 3:

Now you have an idea for what personality you like and perhaps the style and genre even a little too.

Step 2: Flaws Make You Unique

I want you to pick two flaws, one horribly off what is normal and the the other something that is just weird or perhaps slightly different. At least one has to be bad, but preferably both.

Example: Imorii is obsessed with perfection, she is also abnormally calculating to the point where she lacks visible emotion.

flaw 1:

flaw 2:

Step 3: Flaws Make You Strong

List three reasons for each flaw why they make you stronger. What other side effects do these flaws have and are they themselves the side effect of a greater strength that has led to your character having these flaws. If so explain. Don't worry if you can't get all three or if you have more these are just approximate numbers.

Example: Shale eats too much, however this is because she has a high metabolism, heals faster and has more muscle that she needs to maintain.

first strength of flaw 1:

second strength of flaw 1:

third strength of flaw 1:

first strength of flaw 2:

second strength of flaw 2:

third strength of flaw 2:

Step 4: History

Take what you wrote down in step 3 and answer explain what happened that made your character end up that way. Was it something to do with the people they grew up with? Who were they? Was it something to do with their lifestyle? Explain a bit of the story behind how these traits became parts of your character.

Step 5: Pick a Genre

What type of genre do you want? Fantasy, Science Fiction? Some other? Don't stop there, the world you come from is important. If it has magic then does it have a rock paper scissors affect? If so what magic beats what types? What magic is considered what?

If it is science: Do you know much about this science, explain how it is used and what is happening, how does this effect the purpose of your hero or villain. Did they take advantage of it? Or is it someone who is merely a victim?

If it is something else don't be afraid to describe your world, its your rules, and you explain how things work and what monsters or people are on top and who's at the bottom of the food chain. This is the hardest topic but also the one you should spend the most time adding too and editing over time.

Step 6: Pick a Name

Make the name something that sounds related to your genre, or if you have one in mind obviously it is your character. Make sure to list a few names and give them all a good look, perhaps mix and match the syllables you like from some with others, perhaps even look up names of people who are from similar genres for inspiration.

Step 6: Parents and Looks
When making your character its important to make them look like their parents. You should describe the father and the mother briefly, then explain what attributes from each parent your character inherited. Obviously not all characters are human, some don't even have parents but it is important to try and make a reasonable explanation for as to their appearance.

Slim, fat, built, or frail:
Hair color:
Eye color:
Skin color:

For inhuman characters list other features as well

Step 7: Genetic and Learned Abilities

Is their any special power your character has or has been taught. Make sure if they were taught you include the teacher even if that teacher was themself or their environment.

Try to make sure if you give your character an ability that you include a weakness. Especially if its magic, for magic should have a counter magic, or perhaps your character has not the time to exercise properly. If its a scientific ability to fight then there should be a limit on what sort of things damage your character. Metal melts in acid, plastic dissolves in certain oils and wires need repair. Do not be afraid to place reasonable limits. By no means will your character gain respect or give you thrill if you make them impervious.

Step 8: Clothes
Lots of people over value this, but clothes are merely a reflection of your characters personality and lifestyle. Try to pick a few colors that match the personality which shouldn't necessarily be anything spectacular. Also if its necessary based on what your character does include any gear related to their job. Don't be afraid to get into detail on how the gear works. The more detail you add the more solid your character is.

You have just finished making your own character and are now done. Well not quite, you will continue to adapt them as you use them and make them take on their own personality. You may also start making other characters that support and tag along with your character, this will only deepen the world from which them come and make them more unique, but for now enjoy what you have made.
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