Post Reply How to make an original character?
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69 / F / In the solace of...
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Posted 8/18/14 , edited 8/18/14
I'm writing a murder/mystery novel and acquire 12 characters, however it's hard not to fall into a tendency of writing the same usual characters. A lot of writers' characters are boring with personalities or appearances alike. How do you make an original character?
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28 / F / Florida
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Posted 8/18/14
I hear some people base their characters on people they know. Something that makes them stand out.
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17 / M / UK
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Posted 8/19/14
Try and distance yourself from other similar works maybe, so you don't end up taking too much influence on the character front.
As said above, basing them off people you know, whether in personality or appearance is useful, especially since you can get new ideas and inspiration for their character based on things the real person may do!

Try doing a table of traits, quirks and basic appearances, then pick mixtures of these. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. That's based off a concept technique used for product design, list a bunch of features then pick and choose to make some concepts
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69 / F / In the solace of...
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Posted 8/20/14

cbborfmm wrote:

Try and distance yourself from other similar works maybe, so you don't end up taking too much influence on the character front.
As said above, basing them off people you know, whether in personality or appearance is useful, especially since you can get new ideas and inspiration for their character based on things the real person may do!

Try doing a table of traits, quirks and basic appearances, then pick mixtures of these. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. That's based off a concept technique used for product design, list a bunch of features then pick and choose to make some concepts


Thank you, that's helped me a lot!:3
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17 / M / UK
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Posted 8/20/14

devouringdragons wrote:


cbborfmm wrote:

Try and distance yourself from other similar works maybe, so you don't end up taking too much influence on the character front.
As said above, basing them off people you know, whether in personality or appearance is useful, especially since you can get new ideas and inspiration for their character based on things the real person may do!

Try doing a table of traits, quirks and basic appearances, then pick mixtures of these. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. That's based off a concept technique used for product design, list a bunch of features then pick and choose to make some concepts


Thank you, that's helped me a lot!:3


Good to hear!
Glad I could be of help

Keep me updated with how it's going if you want, it sounds interesting Plus I like that sort of genre
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Posted 29 days ago
Make it about dinosaurs
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Posted 28 days ago

cbborfmm wrote:

Try and distance yourself from other similar works maybe, so you don't end up taking too much influence on the character front.
As said above, basing them off people you know, whether in personality or appearance is useful, especially since you can get new ideas and inspiration for their character based on things the real person may do!

Try doing a table of traits, quirks and basic appearances, then pick mixtures of these. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. That's based off a concept technique used for product design, list a bunch of features then pick and choose to make some concepts


Do you need permission to base it exactly from people?

How about using TV characters acted by real people and use them as your comic characters? That's illegal, right?
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Posted 28 days ago

onibrotonel wrote:


cbborfmm wrote:

Try and distance yourself from other similar works maybe, so you don't end up taking too much influence on the character front.
As said above, basing them off people you know, whether in personality or appearance is useful, especially since you can get new ideas and inspiration for their character based on things the real person may do!

Try doing a table of traits, quirks and basic appearances, then pick mixtures of these. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. That's based off a concept technique used for product design, list a bunch of features then pick and choose to make some concepts


Do you need permission to base it exactly from people?

How about using TV characters acted by real people and use them as your comic characters? That's illegal, right?



Not sure, unless you are using their exact likeness I don't think you MUST get permission. I'd have to check that out though, and it'll vary country to country.

I think going as far as stealing characters from shows might be a bit naughty, but there's more than enough ways to find character ideas without having to resort to that I'd say. It's always ok to take inspiration from anywhere, so long as that doesn't turn into theft.

Tv shows and films often seem to have that little disclaimer at the start saying any likeness to real life people is unintended. Works like that I'd say

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Posted 19 days ago
I usually start by looking at the story first thinking what exact type of character I think would fit it.

1. Will it be a he or she.
2. What will thier age be.
3. Will they have a profession, student or will there be some other factor involved (i.e. rich guy's daughter, disabled vet, etc)
4. Why would they be there? What is thier reason for being in the story? at that location?

Then I'd figure what thier importance would be to the story. Whould they be a victim in the making? A villain? A killer? A hero? A hero's helper? Or just an innocent dragged into it all?

From there I'd create thier family and friends just by writing a paragraph to describe thier relationship with the people in thier life and the character's short backstory.

It sounds like a lot of work but it all can actually be accomplished in 5-10 minutes most of the time.
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Posted 19 days ago
It's all trial and error.

Don't be afraid to change your character(s) as you write - it's for the greater good!
There are tons of exercises/character development sheets available online too. Just Google it. They're rather fun.
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Posted 18 days ago , edited 18 days ago
I build them using the character generator for GURPS (a tabletop RPG). Although it's best used for more action-based characters. I get to peruse a lot of skills/personality quirks that I normally don't think of when creating a character. I require myself to pick several that might not even come up within whatever I'm writing, but I feel it fleshes out the character all the same. I have no idea how well that works, but it's definitely better than nothing for me. Besides, my Pirate King with an affection for interior decorating still makes me laugh.
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23 / F / Florida
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Posted 18 days ago
Most of the character I've created are honestly based off of friends that I know or have known. And Ive met some pretty interesting people. Lol
I think even the most popular characters, like in anime, movies video games and etc are based off of real people. I created a character in one of my stories, that had a personality of one friend and the appearance of another. So you just have to try different things until you come up with something you like. Hope that helps with something
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