Creating Characters

Discussion in 'Role Play Discussion' started by Doukuro, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Doukuro Chaser

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    Got a mild curiosity about others' processes for creating characters for RPs. Like where in the skeleton do you start; the name, back story, personality or someplace else? Do they come easy or does it take some time to think of something? Do you have pretty much everything about them laid out from the start or do things come to mind as you go?

    Also wondering what things you like to see in the skeleton and what things you don't like seeing.

    To be fair I'll answer my own questions.

    I normally start with the character's appearance, everything else normally flows pretty easily from there as I am a visual person; once I have something to see my work is made easy. As for their story I always at least have the basis of it though the world in which I rp is a live one, if the RP is interesting enough anyway. And it shapes and changes my character, sometimes without me even realizing it.

    As for skeletons... Having their bio there can be helpful to plan it out beforehand but it can be a bit tedious sometimes and I have had problems of people knowing my character's history before they have even finished introducing themselves which really irks me. Other than that I don't really have much of a preference.
     
  2. Arch Mana Knight

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    I start with the easiest things first. Well, the stuff that requires the least amount of writing. Like the name, age, appearance and that kind of thing. That way I can focus on other, more involved, parts.

    Usually it comes easy. Names and appearances take me longer in general.

    If I'm really into it, I have a background for my character in mind. I name my character and find an appearance appropriate for what I have in mind, then fill out the rest. I think of it along the lines of..."what kind of character fits into this story" and "what kind of character do I want". I never base my character off of appearance first.

    Personality. That's the biggest one I like seeing. If not, I like seeing it fit into the bio or "history" of the character. I hate it when people say that their character is the "silent type" then have them be the most talkative person in the RP. Thankfully, I haven't seen that recently. Good RPers are able to stay in character with their own character. You just don't suddenly redefine your character out of nowhere and have them act differently for no reason.

    Other than that, I like seeing general basic stuff like "age", "name", and "appearance". I'm not fond of seeing "sexuality" in there because...I dunno. I'm not uncomfortable with it but it seems like a little...useless. I guess if you want a homosexual character and don't want to lead anyone on(and vice-versa), then that's good. Theme songs. Those are totally useless. Sometimes I see that in a skeleton and just wonder why it's there. XD
     
  3. cstar stay away from my waifu

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    Like where in the skeleton do you start; the name, back story, personality or someplace else?

    -Usually I tend to start off with backstory and personality because that tends to influence my character's appearances. Then I pick the appearance and the last thing I choose is a name. Often I like to choose names with a symbolism to them whether or not it is used in the actual RP is a different story.

    (ie. Aoife means "Dear" in gaelic. Or a name that references to a famous person.)

    Do they come easy or does it take some time to think of something?

    -This usually varies for me depending on the RP. One time I spent a total of 2 weeks on a character sheet for something because I developed a backstory, while others I can make in a day or so.

    Do you have pretty much everything about them laid out from the start or do things come to mind as you go?

    -Often things tend to come in mind as I go, which leads to me straying from original CS frequently... but a lot of things I usually have layed out from the start.

    Also wondering what things you like to see in the skeleton and what things you don't like seeing.

    - I really love it when I see a skeleton that asks for character flaws, but at the same time I hate it when they ask for strengths... it's weird I know...
     
  4. Midnight Star Master of Physics

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    I usually start with name, age, gender then do powers and other extras that vary from rp to rp, for example what side/team my character is or where they are from. After that I work on bio and personality, usually doing them in the order they appear on the form.

    I find it hard to do personalities as my characters often don't turn out the way I expect them to and I find it hard to stick to what I wrote. Because of that my personalities tend to be very general to give me flexibility. Once I start rping, my characters will stay constant/develop naturally but they might not always fit exactly the personality I write in the OC.

    Bio's usually take me a while as I like to think them through, quite often my characters have fairly normal lives and I avoid the really tragic backgrounds as I like putting someone who has had a normal life so far and putting them in extraordinary circumstances to see how they react. Though obviously that depends on the rp and sometimes I'll really think it through.

    Appearance is the one thing that takes me longest, I will either do this first or last. I can spend ages just searching for an image that is just right, as I make banners I can't just skim over it.

    I'm not keen on seeing sexuality in the form as I find it limits me, most of my characters are probably straight as that's what I am and my charas are all a little based on me but putting that in the form removes the possibility that I could make them not if it happens that way, likewise making them homosexual limits me. I tend to just make them whatever feels natural and right as I rp them.

    I do like seeing flaws in a form though or side affects to a power, that's always an interesting one and forces people to give there characters more depth.

    Also I quite often do them from scratch but sometimes I'll see an rp then go away and an idea for a character will form in my head and I'll plan them all out in my head. That has happened a few times and convinced me to join a few rps that I wasn't originally planning on joining.
     
  5. CrownMoksha Decimo

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    Noramaly I start with Name and work my way down. Bio and personality can be a problem for me if I don't give it any thought, which could lead to me hating it later. Name I either reuse on or attempt to think up another one.
     
  6. Jayn

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    I usually just go down the list, leaving name and biography (if required) for the end.
    I love looking for appearances. Takes me a while, but it's fun for me.

    I dislike seeing 'bio' in a skeleton. It's tedious and I think it's a bit silly. Of course I don't mind if people NEED to write a biography, but you can do that on your own, I think. Putting it in a skeleton means your past and such is all decided at the start and shared with everyone else, before you get into the flow of the RP and character dynamics. Your whole backstory is already decided, which is natural, but like...that means everyone in your role play knows your story already. Even if your characters haven't even interacted, the RPer behind the character(s) already know everything.

    Doesn't leave much room to, let's say...several pages into your RP, you are struck with creativity and inspiration and would like to add like a plot twist or turn to your character's past. Well, their past is already written out and submitted and everyone in that RP already knows everything. It also makes things a bit less interesting to me. Instead of being drawn into interacting with a character to get to know more about them or their situation, I just have to go to the OOC thread or whatever and find the bio they wrote. Isn't very...exciting or anything.

    I honestly like really simple character sheets. I basically just want to know your name and appearance. Everything else is motivation to get more involved in the role play and actually get to know a character. Very rarely, before you read a book or watch a movie is there a section in the beginning that tells you basically everything you need to know about the character. You find out through the work and the actual journey and natural progression of things.
    Wanted to address this, sorta (not as a debate, just my opinion on the same thing).
    I've put 'sexuality' in my character sheets, and the reason I've done it is because it promotes diversity in that area. In my experience, it's kind of...'standard' to make a heterosexual character, even if you're homosexual / whatever. I find that when you actually put 'sexual orientation' or something in your character sheet, you end up with a larger variety of orientations, as people understand there's a choice in the matter and that I'm not going to say, "Sorry can you make your character straight?"

    I also add it, sometimes, so that people know before they sign up that there will be non-heterosexual characters (or how many are signed up). Unfortunately, there are still a handful of people in the roleplaying community who are turned off by anything that's not 'straight'. I like people to know right off the bat what they're walking into, so no one is put in a highly uncomfortable situation.

    When it comes to 'limitation', unless it's a biography (because suddenly changing what you said about their past is just plain inconsistent), I think that it's not so much the sexuality that limits, but yourself. If I have a straight female character who falls in love with another female, and that's the natural progression of things, unlike your past, you can actually change it with something as simple as "I've never felt this way before, I thought I was straight but now I don't know." Sexuality can be changing thing, I think. I would have said I was straight ten years ago. I've gone through like four different sexualities on the journey of ~finding myself~ and growing up. I think a lot of people who aren't closed minded to that sort of thing go through something like that.
    So while I understand what you're saying in that regard, I don't think you have to feel limited if there's a sexuality section of a CS. If you really think you're going to have a majorly tough time with it, you can always say 'unknown' or 'unsure', which are perfectly valid choices.
     
  7. Doukuro Chaser

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    Oh, yeah good points above which I forgot to mention. Would like to add to it, or well may just be a rephrase, but it seems like it's always assumed that every character is straight so in RPs without that in the form I feel...I typed frightened at first but it doesn't fit... Well, I just feel like it's harder to rp anything else. It stems from my feelings in real life too I think, even if I have gotten over them currently. Just everyone acts like your character is straight so therefore if they are proven otherwise they treat them differently or make a fuss. Least that is what I fear sometimes. So having it at least avoids that.
     
  8. Dinny I am Anime ( ⚈้̤͡ ◡ ⚈้̤͡ )

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    I always thought I would start with the appearance, being an incredibly visual person and I think that really helps but sometimes it's just SO RANDOM. Um, I just got back into RPing officially this year and my main concern with creating characters, or RPs in general is that I want to challenge myself. When I think of characters, it literally is so random where I start because sometimes I look back at one character I made and I think, oh I want to make something different than that. I usually look for something I haven't done and I build it on that. I do start with ONE THING. It's usually random at times in terms of where in the skeleton but I definitely start with one thing - like, even with personality - I start with a word and then I build everything up on that. I think about what that character desires, been through, core personality and little habits, I sometimes base them on people I know or read about, one thing about that person only again. I can tell you though that I usually - usually being almost always - name them last and with past experiences, (being two out of six characters haha) start with appearance.


    No, they do not come easy! Haha! I admit that I spend so much time creating a character or filling out a skeleton - even though in the end all I gice out is super simple because I treat character creation for RPs like I treat original character that I draw and stuff. I create them like I'd create someone for a comic I'd make on my own. I like to think very well about them and study them like an actor studies a character he or she would play - even though I only say so little about them in the character skeleton. I mean, thinking of that first concept I use to create the character may come easy, orI have to think hard about it - it usually does come easy, but then I dive into the character's desires, conflicts, reasons for being this and that, age, sexuality and all other things - these I love to take my time in. I would even spend two days create a character - I really would.


    I prefer to have everything laid out from the start, and I like to think that I do but obviously, RPs aren't done alone. I may have things planned in my head but just because a situation can hinder me from that and change my character's personality or how she/he interacts with people I'm not going to push for what I want. I mean, I don't lose character but I definitely like to keep them flexible - because RPs don't really go the way you usually want them (unless you control the RP of course, but at some points they still don't, the only difference is you actually have authority to change that) so I like to go with whatever happens. So conclusively, it's a little bit of both.


    I love seeing personality, weakness and strength, and appearance. Those are my top three things because I usually base the ENTIRE character out of one of those three. Um, I personally don't like seeing "bio", of course just in my own personal opinion. I don't know. I just don't really like it when everyone knows everything about your character. I mean, that's how it is when you RP anyway - usually, unless you planned to be siblings, best friends, boyfriend/girlfriend with someone else's character - no one else's character should be completely aware of what your character has been through because I believe their past/bio creates a character and I think the creator of the character should know this. I mean, bios help so that you really remember things but I personally just don't like filling them out.
     
  9. Sebax Avatar by Xerona

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    Like where in the skeleton do you start; the name, back story, personality or someplace else?



    Well, for starters, in Real Life, I'm one of those people who have more than just an acting bug; I have a passion for it. I think that plays a big part in answering this question. 40% percent of the time, where OC's are concerned, I play as an old character model I conceived when I was, probably around, 14; Sebastian "Base" [Last Name Changes]. The character is based off of my own personality and the likes, dislikes and such usually stay the same, but I do mold the character to whatever RP I involve him in. 30% of the time, I play preconceived characters from other media, and while this is somewhat irrelevant to hear at first, it's the same basic principle of this: I mold the character to the situation. But when I create entirely new characters specific to the RP I made them for, they generally pop into my head in a flash. I get the name from whatever I think suites them (Names never were my speciality for years; now I'm better at it.); I get the backstory sometimes from my own life experiences or how I perceive certain people; their personality usually stems from what I think people can bounce their own ideas off of, because I really like malleable characters that are as fun to play as they are to interact with.
    Do they come easy or does it take some time to think of something?


    Not very difficult for me, when I do create new characters. Like I said before: they tend to pop up in my head. The trick to to avoid making them Gary or Mary.
    Do you have pretty much everything about them laid out from the start or do things come to mind as you go?
    Certain things I do. Sometimes, if I have more than one character, I have things mapped out for interactions between them, so that my characters are assured dynamics I want them to follow. On the other hand, I do like to see how interactions with other characters change them; it's the whole point of RP.​
     
  10. Krowley Super Moderator

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    Like where in the skeleton do you start; the name, back story, personality or someplace else?
    Do they come easy or does it take some time to think of something?

    When creating a character, their backstory is the first thing that comes to mind. Once I have a character's origins, his personality and appearance slowly follow. Both are affect from the character's lifestyle. The name is always the last thing I work on. I'm not great with names, and I try to pick something that makes the character unique as well as reflect them.

    Do you have pretty much everything about them laid out from the start or do things come to mind as you go?

    Depending on the theme or story of the roleplay, my character's appearance and personality may very. For the sake of character development, I may put things in reserve for an opportune moment later on down the road, but I usually make a quick basis and will alter anything that needs to be fixed to suit the fictional world. One thing I always take too much time on is an appearance for the character. I'm like this way with MMOs as well, trying to find a perfect character face to fit my character's description.

    Also wondering what things you like to see in the skeleton and what things you don't like seeing.

    I'm not a big fan of the "Biography" tag. I do love character development, but I wish for most characters to start off meeting each other on a blank slate. Reactions and reveals are very good plot movers and develop no only the character, but to those affected around them. Gender tag might seem a bit useless if you have a character portrait and name. In fact, maybe it's really A girl passing herself off as a man, but if that tag is there, it kind of conflicts the character creation process.
     
  11. Saxima [screams geometrically]

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    Usually, the first thing I come up with is the name, though when I think about it, starting with the personality or the appearance image would be easier. But a name is, besides a physical appearance, something that you can base the rest of your character off of as well, despite it being only two or three words.
    I do admit, it takes me some time to come up with a character that isn't similar to one I've made from before, though I have found that a lot of my characters have similar traits ( i.e. Anastasia Nix from Grimm Cadet and Vanille Frost from 100 DAYS are both childish at base ), but no one fits another to a T, which is nice.

    Generally, it does take me some time to find an appearance image, which is why I build up a folder of character stocks and such, even though I still never seem to have one I like ( so I build more, haha ), but once I'm confident enough about the appearance, most everything else comes easy. I think that might be the most fun, besides filling out the Personality section, that I like the most because it sets a visual for the other players to see, and I'm a very visual person.

    I've also noticed that a lot of my characters are around the same age, but most roleplays don't exactly . . . allot for older ages. To be factual, I don't mind that because I personally don't have the maturity level to write a character who is an adult without giving them many, many child-like traits, as I'm that way myself.
    What happens to my character, how my character develops, all of that stuff depends on the events of the roleplay, and the outcomes have to be . . . realistic - even though I do believe that sometimes, mine aren't. I'm honestly not a good future-thinker, a good planner, and so it's rare that I have plans for the long run, but I am able to come up with things for the moment to put out and execute.
    I like skeletons that ask for the details, and personally, I love filling out little details, but those things could also be revealed as the roleplay went along so that the small things aren't always set in stone. I think that, with simple character sheets, I would forget what I even started with and the character would morph into someone undesirable I wasn't for. Were most skeletons simple, I would probably make a list of things about my character somewhere private.

    What I don't like about skeletons, just in a general manner, is when people fill them out, I read them, and then their character turns out to be totally different from the original description. It makes me wonder if they really thought out what they originally wrote or not.

    I don't mind a Biography section ( as I set one in for the previously closed Hunger Games roleplay ), but most of the time, I do not prefer it. I generally write out a character biography and keep it private, so that I can use it for future reference ( as I said about the personality ), as I am forgetful and might accidentally change an event or something. When there is a Biography section in the skeleton, that kind of takes away the mystery of the character and if it's a really character-development oriented roleplay, then I definitely don't want to know that Madeline Moore drowned her kitten because she had daddy/mommy issues before it was revealed.

    My favorite thing about skeletons would probably be the appearance and personality; they just seem to go hand in hand. Writing long personalities is a pet peeve of mine, but sometimes, there are just too many emotional/mental odds and ends about a character that they have to get a little long. Writing a brief four, maybe five sentences about your character is great because it's a start, and you can build on that, you can develop from that, change from it, and the other players can watch you do that and the other characters can develop with you.

    Right, right . . . Forgot to mention; I also like seeing a Sexuality/Sexual Orientation section in skeletons because, as previously said, all characters created seem to be . . . heterosexual to a default. Not that it's a bad thing, I suppose, but I definitely don't prefer it. If there are different sexualities running around, that lets way for more character interaction, personality quirks, and character development.
     
  12. Hyuge ✧ [[ Fairy Queen ]]

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    The very first thing I start with is gender. Do I want a male or female character? More often than not, it's female, but every once-in-awhile I mix it up and go male instead. THEN, I move onto appearance. I like to find an image that I think would fit a character for the specific roleplay. Then I base off all my other information on that image. I spend a great deal of time reflecting on the image and basically saying "what do you want me to write?" I let the appearance speak to me and create based on what I get off of the image.

    I usually greatly dislike when there are bios and even personalities at times. I hate doing lots of writing for CS's and I always feel like I don't write enough. Without the bio or the personality, it makes me feel better about not writing as much as possible. Short CS's are neat and clean. Excessively long ones just seem over the top and personally like I don't want to read them. It just takes up room and makes people seem... idk... pretentious. LOL Like, look how much I can write about this character before the RP is even up. No thanks.

    I like seeing extra things in CS's. Like when I'm joining one that's fantasy based or some sort, it's fun to look for all the other items listed. Weapon/Race/etc, or more recently what I enjoy is in Jayn's RP's she has likes/dislikes/strengths/weaknesses. It's just something different you don't usually see in your average sheet.
     
  13. jackdaniel0 Twilight Town Denizen

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    Like where in the skeleton do you start; the name, back story, personality or someplace else?
    I start easy, then I move on to the hard ones. So it'd be like name, personality, age...
    Do they come easy or does it take some time to think of something?
    Well, it all depends on the roleplay I'm in. It may be hard, it may not, it just all depends on what I have to work with. But I won't lie, every single character I've made are based off one that I roleplay the most, which isn't on this site. Usually, my characters would have the name Poke, and if you noticed the pictures I put in the appearance sections, they all have the same appearance. I try and base my characters off my OC, "Poke". A guy I roleplay on tumblr, and occasionally other sites. He feels natural to me, and he's someone that I work with bestyouknowyou'renerdwhenyoutalklikeyourcharactersareliving
    Do you have pretty much everything about them laid out from the start or do things come to mind as you go?
    Sometimes, a bit of both. I might think of one thing, post it, then think of another idea, then find some way to morph it in so that it seems sensible.
    Also wondering what things you like to see in the skeleton and what things you don't like seeing.
    Uhh, well I'd like to see the appearance and height. Makes things a lot easier so that you don't screw up much. As for personality and backstory, those are some things that I don't particularly like. Why reveal so much in the beginning when you can make people go 'Jesus, that guy's an emotional wreck!' as you progress through the roleplay? I get it if the characters are somehow tied together, but maybe we shouldn't need an entire biography about them. Maybe just the details that everyone should know...
     
  14. Glen Returned from the dead

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    Like where in the skeleton do you start; the name, back story, personality or someplace else?
    I usually start with the name and appearance.
    Do they come easy or does it take some time to think of something?
    Depends on the character usually. Quite often it takes me a while to come up with a character, i get stuck on simple things like the name a lot of the time.
    Do you have pretty much everything about them laid out from the start or do things come to mind as you go?
    Usually when i sign up for a RP or create a new character in a RP, i've already thought of a character so i just run with that. Although when signing up for a new RP i generally prefer to sign up with a character i'm quite familiar with.
    Also wondering what things you like to see in the skeleton and what things you don't like seeing.
    I usually do like it when backstory is included in the skeleton. While sure, it shows a lot about the character that upon meeting them you really wouldn't know normally, i like the fact that people already have a grasp on who your character is and get a basic understanding of them. Something i dislike seeing is when it says Likes and Dislikes. There's nothing wrong with them, i sort of like having to put that information in, but i just find it really difficult to come up with likes and dislikes for some reason.