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Drakevarg
2010-03-11, 10:45 PM
I'm not sure if this goes here or in Random Banter, but I suppose it could easily be moved.

My question today is; how do y'all create characters when writing? I personally used to simply spin them out of whole cloth, but recently I've taken to using a questionnaire a friend of mine gave me to write them (or at least flesh them out.)

So, yeah. What strategies do you use to create characters?

Egiam
2010-03-12, 05:15 AM
I describe them in a scene. I do this for both RPG's and creative writing. Rather than coming up with a whole backstory/description/theme/personality, just start writing a scene with him/her in it. Include lots of adjectives.

EXAMPLE:
The heavy door swung open, and out came Jerry. His rough, weathered, strong hands strongly pushed the Janitor's cart. The squeaky wheels could be heard throughout the spotless, empty halls of the institution. He wore old white sneakers, torn-up carpenter pants, and a baggy Green Bay packers sweat shirt. On his head is a squarely placed faded blue cap, with yellow letters spelling out NAVY. On his heavyset jaw is a long black goatee, of coarse, messy hair. On his large nose is a pair of thick glasses, with a large black frame, his exhausted complexion completely disinteresting. He travels through the hallways, back hunched over, until he reaches room #126. He reaches for the key ring at his belt, fingering through for the right one. He lazily unlocks the door, and pushed it open.

A dark figure was slumped over his desk. "Uh... Dr Jameson?... we closed up shop an hour ago...". The figure didn't respond. "Um... you sleeping?" No response. He turned on the lights with a non-chalant flick of his finger.

Dark, red blood ran down from a hole in the doctor's forehead, dripping onto his desk. Jerry gasped for breath. He sprinted forward, as fast as his heavy bulk would allow. He grabbed the man by the shoulders, lifting his face up to the light. The eyes rolled in their sockets. In horror, he clumsily shoved away the corpse. It fell out of the chair, and collapsed on the hard floor. He stepped away a few feet, in utter shock. His wide eyes darted over a sticky note pad on the table. There was a bullet casing taped to it. On in the words were written: "This was for Madeline". Jerry screamed.


When I started writting this, I had no idea what was going to happen. I started with a fairly mundane idea (a janitor), and several minutes had a fairly organic character developing. We now know that he follows football, is not very fit, might have been in the navy, is bored of his job, and how he reacts under stress. This is not meant to be a masterpiece. It is meant for the writer to flesh out and give life to characters.

Maximum Zersk
2010-03-12, 03:29 PM
How about this?

First, you set their appearance.
Then, you make their personality.
Choose what their good at.
Then Choose their quirks.