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message 1: by Zoey, Heed my commands. Or Die. (new)

Zoey (zzoey) | 623 comments Mod
I had this random idea to put some awesome characterization tips in creating better characters and roleplaying skills. That's what this group is for, right?

So here's how it goes, I'll give you my tips to creating good characters, and then I'll browse the internet for awesome advice. (I'll put the references on with each tip I make.)

When you have read through things, I welcome you to make comments that are worth reading, as well as ask any questions you might have. This is not a topic for trolling in, so please, don't make me erase comments that bug me.


Zoey's Hints

When I create a character, (especially in the past) I've had this urge to make them youthful and idealized. It's not a bad thing, but it's a cliche that everyone uses. So lately, I've been trying to make the age range a little wider than I've been normally comfortable with.

Age: 18
goes to
Age: 29

The cool thing about people under the age of 40 is that they aren't super old, and they are still susceptible to the feelings and needs for romance.

For a more abstract character, I go older. (Because honestly, guys, who doesn't want to be a crazy old man who bugs the shit out of everyone?)

Age: 52

Don't let this scare you into thinking you can't make a vibrant character.

One thing you have to consider though, is that when you make a child character, you have to make sure that you aren't putting information around them that any child in this day and age wouldn't know. That's why most authors have a hard time using child-characters. We do it, though, because of the symbolism and the variety it creates in every story.


I use characters I adore from movies, plays, books as guides. Most authors who write good books have a variety of personalities and characters.

My most favorite recently has been Grey's Anatomy.

If you haven't seen it, it's something worth watching just for the vibrance of the characters they created. If you concentrate on their personalities, you'll find that you'll begin to fall in love with every single character, no matter how much one bugs you or one cheeses everything up.


Think outside your comfort zone.

If you make characters that have the same traits over and over in every different roleplay you participate in, then you're bound to find out you're getting sick of them, and that they become flatter and flatter by the day. (Maybe not for all, but for some.)

If you make a character who is badass and can do anything, you ought to try making a character who is shy and weak but bold in heart and confident with what he does. Just try it. It's more fun!

That's all for now. I'm running out of time. :)

Character Chart
http://www.eclectics.com/articles/cha...

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Age: How old does s/he appear?
Eye Color:
Glasses or contacts?
Hair color: Distinguishable hair feature (bald, receding hairline, etc.):
Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?)
Typical hairstyle:

Height:
Weight: Type of body/build:

Nationality: Skin tone:
Skin type:

Shape of face: Distinguishing Marks?
Scars?
Most predominant feature:
Resembles (famous or not):

Accent?

Is s/he healthy?
If not, why not:

Physical disabilities:
Physical abilities (what is character good at? sports, etc.):

FAVORITES
Color:
Music:
Food:
Literature:
Expressions:
Book:
Quote:
Expletive(s) (swears):
Mode of transportation:


HABITS
Smokes:
What?
How often?

Drinks:
What?
How often?

Worst bad habit?

Quirks:


BACKGROUND
Hometown:
Type of childhood:
First memory:
Most important childhood event that still affects him/her:
Why?

Lower education:

Higher education:

Booksmart or streetsmart?


Religion and/or religious views and/or tendencies?
Firsts:
Job?

Kiss?

Sexual experience?


FAMILY
Mother (name):
Relationship with her:
Father (name):
Relationship with him:
Siblings:
Birth order:
Relationship with each:
Children of Siblings:
Extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.):
Close to family? Yes/No


CHILDREN
Does character have child(ren)?
How many?
Are all children with the same partner?
If no, why not? If no, what is the custody arrangement?
How does character relate to his/her child(ren)?
Which child is character's favorite?
Why?
Character's most favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?
Character's least favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?
Is relationship with children good?
Is relatioinship with children important to character?

OCCUPATION


Where does character work?
How many years?
Relationship with co-workers?
Like his/her job?
Why or why not?

Dream job:



ATTITUDE
Greatest fear:
Worst thing that could happen to him/her?
What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil?

Character is most at ease when:
Most ill at ease when:

Priorities:
Philosophy:

How s/he feels about self:
Past failure s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about:
If granted one wish, what would it be?
Why?

Daredevil or cautious?
Same when alone?

Biggest regret?

Biggest accomplishment:
Minor accomplishments:

Character's darkest secret:
Does anyone else know?
If yes, did character tell them?
If no, how did they find out?


PERSONALITY

Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not):
Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not):

Character's soft spot:
Is this soft spot obvious to others?
If not, how does character hide it?
Biggest vulnerability:

Which of the 7 deadly sins does character fight (or give into, willingly or not)?
(lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)
Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?
(chastity, abstinence, leberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility)


TRAITS
Optimist or pessimist?
Introvert or extrovert?
Drives and motivations?
Talents (hidden or not)?

Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:

Good characteristics:
Character flaws:
Mannerisms:
Peculiarities:


SELF-PERCEPTION
One word character would use to describe self:
One paragraph description of how character would describe self:



What does character consider best physical characteristic?
What does character consider worst physical characteristic?
Are these realistic assessments?
If not, why not?
How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her?
What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? (#1 most important, #2 second most important, etc.)




If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?
If not, why not?


INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS
Is character divorced? Why?
If yes, how many times?
Has character ever cheated on any signficant other?
How does character relate to others?
How is s/he perceived by...
Strangers?
Friends?
Wife/Husband/Lover?
Children
Co-workers?
Protagonist?
Antagonist?
First impression character makes is:
What happens to change this perception?

What do family/friends like most about character?
What do family/friends like least about character?


GOALS

Immediate goal(s):
Long range goal(s):
How does character plan to accomplish goal(s)?
How will other people around character be affected?

PROBLEMS/CRISIS

How character react in a crisis (calm/panic/etc.)?
How does character face problems?
Kinds of problems character usually runs into:
How does character react to NEW problems?
How does character react to change?

GENERAL

Jewelry?
Other accessories?
Drives a ... :
Where does character live?
With anyone? Yes/No
Where does character want to live?
Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc)?
What does s/he do too much of?
Too little of?
Most prized possession: Why?
Play musical instrument?
Which one(s)?
How did s/he learn?
Does character like animals?
Any pets?
Likes music?
What kind?

TECHNICAL

Owns a computer? Yes/No
If not, why not?
Email address(es):
If more than one, each used for...?
"Handle":
Meaning to character:
Uses computer for business, pleasure, both?
Play computer games?
If yes, which game(s)? If yes, how many hours per day?
If so, are they/it multiplayere game/s?
Name used on each game & meaning to character?
List 4 online site(s) (URLs) visited daily?
1.
2.
3.
4.


I challenge everyone to take their favorite character and fill out this sheet about them. Put it down below in the comments. Let me see it!


message 2: by Zoey, Heed my commands. Or Die. (last edited Dec 21, 2012 11:40PM) (new)

Zoey (zzoey) | 623 comments Mod
http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/3...

This is my link to my characters, I did exactly what I posted above. It turned out to be extremely useful. Try it out guys! I Mean it!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I love this!


message 4: by Joseph (last edited Jan 08, 2013 06:12PM) (new)

Joseph (valbatrax) | 125 comments Name: Krayden Falaos

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Age: 182
Appears to Be: 21
Eye Color: A near metallic blue, slightly lighter than Sapphire.
Hair color: Silver in hue
Type of hair: Fine hair that reaches beyond his shoulders
Typical hairstyle: Pony-tail, other times he may wear it up in a loose knot

Height: 5'7"
Weight: 185 pounds, his body is slender but elegant and perfectly proportionate

Race: Elven Nationality: depends on setting
Skin type: Pale but not sickly looking, just very light skinned

Shape of face: Averagely shaped, neither round nor gaunt, a bit more angled than a humans face however, he has a small scar under his right eye where and archer grazed his face with an arrow during war. More scars can befound on his chest and fore arms, most are left from swords, others from smaller blades. On his right arm, just a few inches below his shoulder he has a seemingly tribal tattoo, it is green black and blue and consists of markings, it has been added onto since it was created, markings representing accomplishments or rites of passage.

Most predominant feature: His pointy ears, common with most elves.

Accent: Slight Elven (its like a slight French accent)

Is he healthy: Very
Physical disabilities: In the harsh cold weather his joints start to lock up causing him pain when he moves.
Physical abilities: A exceptionally talented Archer, trained warrior, thief, assassin and mercinary.

FAVORITES
Color: Green, specifically Wintergreen
Music: He enjoys most of the songs and ballads from his homeland
Food: Venison
Literature: Most things pretaining to world history and nature
Expressions: Shrugging
Book: Unknown
Quote: "To be betrayed, you must first trust someone."
Expletives: He tries not to, but he will laugh at the occasional insult of someone's mother
Mode of transportation: Feet


HABITS
Smokes: No

Drinks: Mead, Ale, Wine, Water, Milk
How often: With meals

Worst bad habit: Sometimes he will sit back and stay out of a fight, Usually because he sees that the battle will be a loss, but some times he just does it to piss people off

Quirks: The above, Likes to spen time on roof tops, Enjoys starting barfights.


BACKGROUND
Hometown: A small village of wild elves

Type of childhood: Traditional Elven childhood (I will explain this more later for i am tired XD ))

First memory: Bonding with a injured wolf he found in the forest

Most important childhood event that still affects him: His village burning down infront of him

Education: He learned mainly of Elven life as a child, studied History and Nature, when he grew older he was taught how to hunt and fight.

Booksmart or streetsmart?: A good combination of the two, but he tends to be more street smart


Religion: Ehlonna (The goddess of forests)

Firsts:
Job: Village Hunter

Kiss: a friend from his childhood, He kissed her after rescuing her from a pack of wolves

Sexual experience: with the same girl he kissed, they later went on to marry eachother.


FAMILY

Mother (name): Enladya Rhuieme

Relationship with her: Was good, Deceased when Krayden was 98

Father (name):Ainmon Falaos

Relationship with him: was good Deceased when Krayden was 120

Siblings: Olthoi Falaos
Birth order: Krayden is the firstborn

Relationship with each: Very well

Extended family: To many to name
He is only close with his brother

CHILDREN
Does character have children: Had a child, deceased
How many? 1
Are all children with the same partner? Yes
How does character relate to his child? He related with her well
Character's most favorite memory of his child?: Seeing the smile on her face when ever he would come home
Character's least favorite memory of his child?: Her death


OCCUPATION


Where does character work?: Mercenary for hire
How many years? Many
Like his/her job? It pays well


Dream job: Dosent Have one



ATTITUDE
Greatest fear: Fire
What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil? Watching all whom he care for being burned alive

Character is most at ease when: he meditates, when he is outside enjoying the world and all its beauties (Sleep for elves)

Most ill at ease when: around fire

Priorities: Keep his loved ones and friends safe, Attone for his actions
Philosophy: Death shouldn't come without a reason

How he feels about self: He seems perfectly fine with himself on the outside, but he feels that he has to many demons trapped inside of him

Past failure he would be embarrassed to have people know about: He was tasked with infiltrating a village once, he was caught and then tar and feathered, its no fun looking like a chicken
If granted one wish, what would it be? To take back what he has done to Mckenzie


Krayden is a very precautios man, he is always wieghing his options as opposed to charging at obstacles head on. He seems very cool and confident on the outside. He tends not to let people know all that he is thinking, Inside he is struggling with personal conflicts.

Biggest regret? What he has done to Mckenzie ( I dont want to give spoilers)

Biggest accomplishment: His many awards recived from the military

Minor accomplishments: the same as above

Character's darkest secret: What he has done to Mckenzie

Does anyone else know? Syrusses

If yes, did character tell them? n/a
If no, how did they find out? He gave the order


PERSONALITY

Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not): Being as catious as he is, it tends to prove a challenge to intterogate him

Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not): What can i say, he's a sucker for love

Character's soft spot: Alyshia
Is this soft spot obvious to others? After time it has be come so

Biggest vulnerability: Alyshia

Which of the 7 deadly sins does character fight: Wrath

Which of the 7 virtues does your character have: Kindness, Patience


TRAITS
Optimist
Introvert
Drives and motivations? Redemption, Sorrow, Wrath
Talents: He's not half bad with a lute

Extremely skilled at: Archery
Extremely unskilled at: Magic

Good characteristics: Free spirit, forgiving
Character flaws: He's a Jack-ass, compulsive liar and has a lack of obeidience
Mannerisms: HE acts of his own accord, tending to ignore orders if he disagrees with them morally or strategically
Peculiarities: Tends to get arrested quite often


SELF-PERCEPTION
One word character would use to describe self: Efficient
One paragraph description of how character would describe self:
I am loyal. Im also very skilled at what i do, if you need an arrow in someone, give me a reason a bow and a pouch full of gold and you wont see them again. Be warned, i don't like peole who try to cross me, so if you try it, your going to be watching as your men clean up the blood pouring out from your throat.



What does character consider best physical characteristic? His agility

What does character consider worst physical characteristic? His nose

How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her? he only pays attention when he thinks some one doesnt like him.

What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? His past, his home, his attitude, and his nose



If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks? Possibly


INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS
Is character divorced? Widowed
Has character ever cheated on any signficant other? No
How does character relate to others? Depends on how they relate to him
How is he perceived by...
Strangers? He seemes aloof to most
Friends? Ike: Mysterious, quiet. Ben: Thinks of him as a Hero.
Wife/Lover? He can be mysterious but is great man
Children: A great Daddy
Protaganist: Ignores him
Antagonist?: consider's him a pest
First impression character makes is: He tends to look useless and acts annoying
What happens to change this perception? He proves his worth

What do family/friends like most about character? His soft side
What do family/friends like least about character? His attitude


GOALS

Immediate goal(s): Keep Alyshia and the others safe
Long range goal(s): Attone his actions.
How does character plan to accomplish goal(s)?
How will other people around character be affected?

PROBLEMS/CRISIS

How character react in a crisis (calm/panic/etc.)?
How does character face problems?
Kinds of problems character usually runs into:
How does character react to NEW problems?
How does character react to change?

GENERAL

Jewelry?
Other accessories?
Drives a ... :
Where does character live?
With anyone? Yes/No
Where does character want to live?
Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc)?
What does s/he do too much of?
Too little of?
Most prized possession: Why?
Play musical instrument?
Which one(s)?
How did s/he learn?
Does character like animals?
Any pets?
Likes music?
What kind?

TECHNICAL

Owns a computer? Yes/No
If not, why not?
Email address(es):
If more than one, each used for...?
"Handle":
Meaning to character:
Uses computer for business, pleasure, both?
Play computer games?
If yes, which game(s)? If yes, how many hours per day?
If so, are they/it multiplayere game/s?
Name used on each game & meaning to character?
List 4 online site(s) (URLs) visited daily?
1.
2.
3.
4.


message 5: by Zoey, Heed my commands. Or Die. (new)

Zoey (zzoey) | 623 comments Mod
YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!

And May, I love it so much! It helps me with the deeper questions I have about my characters.


message 6: by sucre'd fiend (new)

sucre'd fiend (sucredfiend) | 1014 comments PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Age: How old does s/he appear? She appears to be a woman of twenty one years.
Eye Color: Green, with more hazel than the primary hue it is initially
Glasses or contacts?: Neither
Hair color: Distinguishable hair feature (bald, receding hairline, etc.):
Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?)
Typical hairstyle:

Height:
Weight: Type of body/build:

Nationality: Skin tone:
Skin type:

Shape of face: Distinguishing Marks?
Scars?
Most predominant feature:
Resembles (famous or not):

Accent?

Is s/he healthy?
If not, why not:

Physical disabilities:
Physical abilities (what is character good at? sports, etc.):

FAVORITES
Color:
Music:
Food:
Literature:
Expressions:
Book:
Quote:
Expletive(s) (swears):
Mode of transportation:


HABITS
Smokes:
What?
How often?

Drinks:
What?
How often?

Worst bad habit?

Quirks:


BACKGROUND
Hometown:
Type of childhood:
First memory:
Most important childhood event that still affects him/her:
Why?

Lower education:

Higher education:

Booksmart or streetsmart?


Religion and/or religious views and/or tendencies?
Firsts:
Job?

Kiss?

Sexual experience?


FAMILY
Mother (name):
Relationship with her:
Father (name):
Relationship with him:
Siblings:
Birth order:
Relationship with each:
Children of Siblings:
Extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.):
Close to family? Yes/No


CHILDREN
Does character have child(ren)?
How many?
Are all children with the same partner?
If no, why not? If no, what is the custody arrangement?
How does character relate to his/her child(ren)?
Which child is character's favorite?
Why?
Character's most favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?
Character's least favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?
Is relationship with children good?
Is relatioinship with children important to character?

OCCUPATION


Where does character work?
How many years?
Relationship with co-workers?
Like his/her job?
Why or why not?

Dream job:



ATTITUDE
Greatest fear:
Worst thing that could happen to him/her?
What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil?

Character is most at ease when:
Most ill at ease when:

Priorities:
Philosophy:

How s/he feels about self:
Past failure s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about:
If granted one wish, what would it be?
Why?

Daredevil or cautious?
Same when alone?

Biggest regret?

Biggest accomplishment:
Minor accomplishments:

Character's darkest secret:
Does anyone else know?
If yes, did character tell them?
If no, how did they find out?


PERSONALITY

Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not):
Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not):

Character's soft spot:
Is this soft spot obvious to others?
If not, how does character hide it?
Biggest vulnerability:

Which of the 7 deadly sins does character fight (or give into, willingly or not)?
(lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)
Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?
(chastity, abstinence, leberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility)


TRAITS
Optimist or pessimist?
Introvert or extrovert?
Drives and motivations?
Talents (hidden or not)?

Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:

Good characteristics:
Character flaws:
Mannerisms:
Peculiarities:


SELF-PERCEPTION
One word character would use to describe self:
One paragraph description of how character would describe self:



What does character consider best physical characteristic?
What does character consider worst physical characteristic?
Are these realistic assessments?
If not, why not?
How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her?
What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? (#1 most important, #2 second most important, etc.)




If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?
If not, why not?


INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS
Is character divorced? Why?
If yes, how many times?
Has character ever cheated on any signficant other?
How does character relate to others?
How is s/he perceived by...
Strangers?
Friends?
Wife/Husband/Lover?
Children
Co-workers?
Protagonist?
Antagonist?
First impression character makes is:
What happens to change this perception?

What do family/friends like most about character?
What do family/friends like least about character?


GOALS

Immediate goal(s):
Long range goal(s):
How does character plan to accomplish goal(s)?
How will other people around character be affected?

PROBLEMS/CRISIS

How character react in a crisis (calm/panic/etc.)?
How does character face problems?
Kinds of problems character usually runs into:
How does character react to NEW problems?
How does character react to change?

GENERAL

Jewelry?
Other accessories?
Drives a ... :
Where does character live?
With anyone? Yes/No
Where does character want to live?
Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc)?
What does s/he do too much of?
Too little of?
Most prized possession: Why?
Play musical instrument?
Which one(s)?
How did s/he learn?
Does character like animals?
Any pets?
Likes music?
What kind?

TECHNICAL

Owns a computer? Yes/No
If not, why not?
Email address(es):
If more than one, each used for...?
"Handle":
Meaning to character:
Uses computer for business, pleasure, both?
Play computer games?
If yes, which game(s)? If yes, how many hours per day?
If so, are they/it multiplayere game/s?
Name used on each game & meaning to character?
List 4 online site(s) (URLs) visited daily?
1.
2.
3.
4.


message 7: by Zoey, Heed my commands. Or Die. (new)

Zoey (zzoey) | 623 comments Mod
The point of doing these is actually doing them.

Try putting it in a word document on your computer, then copying and pasting it in here when it's all done!


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