First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
Post Reply How to make an original character?
1893 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
69 / F / The Cat Kingdom
Offline
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?
19401 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / F / Florida
Online
Posted 8/18/14
I hear some people base their characters on people they know. Something that makes them stand out.
13121 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
17 / M / UK
Offline
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
1893 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
69 / F / The Cat Kingdom
Offline
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
13121 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
17 / M / UK
Offline
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
10255 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M / California
Offline
Posted 8/21/14
Make it about dinosaurs
13548 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/22/14

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


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?
13121 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
17 / M / UK
Offline
Posted 8/23/14

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

2506 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
46 / M
Offline
Posted 8/31/14
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.
5657 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25
Offline
Posted 9/1/14
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.
1056 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Online
Posted 9/1/14 , edited 9/1/14
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.
857 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / F / Florida
Offline
Posted 9/1/14
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
272 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / Los Santos San An...
Offline
Posted 10/25/14 , edited 10/25/14
Try to give him/her quirks you don't see normally. I might give my character a quirk like he's able to easily discuss politics with anyone. But so much as mention trickle down economics and he might just lose his cool and start cursing you out for believing in "keeping the rich as rich and the poor as poor. Basically take a quirk you might see happen in real life. Like giving him an outrageous hatred for a certain Republican belief.

Also if you want to give him heritage that isn't mary sue-ish but want him to have some other worldly strength, then give him a mostly human side and a very small percentage of alien side of demon side or whatever side you can think of. Like an example, my character is 50% Japanese, 40% Mexican 5% White and 5% Saiyan. Actual truth in story (Might have forgot to include the white part in his actual bios). I tend to think that adding in an extra set of genes instead of the usual 50/50 is a nice way of changing things up. And it gives him more variety in inherited culture. He could easily be seen dancing to music on the "Day Of The Dead" while wearing a half skull mask. You don't have to outright state all of this. But you can do it slowly through the story by giving the characters some breathing space. Too much going on isn't always good. It needs a break.

I also tend to think that as a character, they should always be decent in morals, but also have their own flaws. Like not supporting certain criminals. My character hates pedophiles who don't keep it in their pants. But he won't think himself beneath the law to not try and kill one if he finds them acting on their desires. He may sound hypocritical, and he does hate murderers. But he more so analyzes what he does, and tends to think of certain evils as being lesser and not worthy of him worrying about the legal consequences. He also might tend to think it has to be taken upon himself to do everything major himself. He'll ask for help for certain things. But if it's truly something major to him, he won't let anyone help him unless it's absolutely required to achieve victory. And by that I mean it has to be a certain kind of help. An example of some scenarios below.

1: Major villain beats him effortelessly. MC can take it. But then the villain shows himself off as a haughty jerk and humiliates him by telling him he's too weak to win and never will win no matter what.

2: MC doesn't want help. Denies all help offered. Goes to train and find a master. That would be the kind of help he accepts. So long as it's a natural part of training (Having a mentor of sorts) he'll take as much of it as he can handle until he vomits last years lunch somehow. But any direct and instant help will be denied unless he suddenly found himself evolving into a new Pokemon or something. If it's a major scenario and he has a personal grudge, then he won't let anyone help him and want it to be done by his own earned power. He'll basically be as anti social as Batman is when being asked if they can help. He doesn't want help. And he won't accept it unless it's something minor or moderate and non personal. Now he may accept help in the form of giving him new weapons. As in normal but upgraded weapons. Like upgrading from a lower caliber bullet and gun type to a higher grade one. Like going from a squirrel/small game rifle to a moose killing rifle. Personal combat skill and his own strength (Mostly technique in fighting and skill in guns with minor inhuman ability) are what he wants. And he won't let anyone help in the fight itself unless he's about to die and there's some kind of emotional conversation with each other.

Also about names, I tend to think that making names seem realistic is actually a good thing. Powerful sounding names that are not realistic like "Maxlor Axwell" sounds mary sue-ish. Try to give it more real meaning if you want a name that has purpose other than sounding powerful. Like if he has a Hebrew origin, then give him something that means greatness in Hebrew. But don't give him a non Hebrew name. Like making a character who's Japanese, but he literally lacks any Japanese name. If you give a reason, then make it believable as to why he has no name that sounds like a Japanese family name.

My character is 50% Japanese so I give him a Japanese surname (Murakami) and a more variable name in meaning. Kai. Kai has been used in many places so it's less a name of a single place. Wikipedia lists it as a name in many places. Even in the UK with a rise in popularity during the 1990's. Kai is an actual name. It has real meanings, and it's not too powerful sounding but also sounds like a good name if you want a touch of badass to it. Murakami also can mean different things.

Also give him something you don't normally see in terms of physical appearance. Make the hair spiky in an not so common way. Make the clothes that he normally wears be uncommon for casual wear. Like my character will commonly wear a suit without a tie and an open jacket. But also make it of an uncommon color.
356 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M
Offline
Posted 10/27/14 , edited 10/27/14
For me, original characters take archetypes and anti-archetypes, but rolled into one actor. It's good to know the genre you're writing, because each genre has its own style of comedy and suspense and action and tragedy. To get a lot of characters working in synch to pull these out, there need to be expectations, and they need to be exceeded in original ways.

So, get yourself an archetype like the hard-boiled male detective. Serious, loathing, down to business, ready to take action in a moment, this detective can see through anything. Which would get boring. So you make him less serious, give him a sarcastic view of the world around him. Then either give him that same sarcastic view of himself or attempt to make it obvious to the reader that the only thing he can't see through is his own faults. Then create the faults, where some matter and some don't. Then make him a her. Or make him a her trying to be a him. Or make him a him trying to be a her.

Start with something obvious, then push it around and mix it up until the archetype is still present, but now a secondary trait to the character.
10062 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / Rustboro City, Ca...
Offline
Posted 10/27/14
Don't do this, and you should be fine! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fGFjoeyc6I
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.