Character creation process

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October Knight

Original poster
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
Fantasy, Horror and Sci-fi. I'll try basically anything though. I also love strange and unusual RP genre concepts. Different is good!
What is your Character creation process?

What is your personal process when creating a new character? Does the idea just 'come to you' or do you sit down and think about the game you will be playing him/her in? Have any cool techniques you use to help with the creative juices?
Every character is always different for me. x___x Sometimes I will have one single idea for a character like "I wanna play a character that has a crazy fear of olives!" and then go from there. Then there's times where I really want to join a certain roleplay, but a character idea doesn't immediately come to me. So I'll look at other player bios and see if I can fill a missing gap with a personality or tid bit.

When I get really really stuck, I LOVE using random generators! After generating a few random ideas, it usually gets my plot bunnies breeding so I can think up some awesome stuff. >:D
I have used random generators when I'm really in character creation mode, but have no ideas. They're so much fun! In a long-running world, the characters usually create themselves to fill an unfilled niche. I'll come up with one basic aspect of their character, whether it's appearance, religion, place of origin, occupation, (or species, on occasion) and then create the entire character around that. This for me usually involves a lot of Internet research. I research the hell out of an idea! If I have the time and am not creating it for a specific thread, I have been known to knock around a character idea for a couple of days before committing the idea to paper.

One thing I ALWAYS do when naming a character, is to do a name meaning search. Just go in any of those baby naming search sites and find a meaning you want to associate your character with, then search through the names until you find one you like!
I often start with a specific character in mind, but I seldom keep that character as they are when I first join the RP. First, I look at all the information given for the plot/storyline/etc. If any ideas hit I write them down. Next, if there are any characters made or being made I write down traits for a character that would compliment those characters. The traits aren't necessary the kind that would make the characters get along, rather, they would be traits that would prompt interaction between the characters (be it meshing or clashing). After that I look to see what is missing. What does the plot need? How can this character make the story more interesting and help it progress/grow? Once that's done it's usually just a matter of finding some outside inspiration.

Sometimes, when doing the above, I get almost a literal light bulb above my head. I may have already listened to a song, played a game, read a story, watched a show, et cetera which would combine well with the plot/storyline. I try to avoid carbon copies, but certain events/characteristics/traits might be really inspired by a particular source. Regardless, I always make sure a character has some sort of meaning and a means to grow throughout the story so that the audience (or other role-players in this case) can -hopefully- relate to them. I often look to actual people in my life for inspiration for behaviour, speech patterns, or whatever. It's really the best resource for writing a realistic character and you can mix and match certain aspects to get interesting results.