CHARACTERS Getting Into the Character

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by WhisperingWillows, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. How do you get into the 'mood' for a character? Is there any specific things you do to help write a character? Are there any characters that you have that are easier to write than others?
     
  2. I find that collecting a playlist that fits a character's general tone helps me to get the right themes across as I'm writing or preparing myself for writing. Musical atmospheres have always been a big deal to me, especially when attempting to inspire, maintain, and augment certain moods.

    Characters are more of a muse to me than a personality; that is to say, I feel that an emotional context to a character is the unique aspect which helps me to write a continuous and familiar individual. Without that, it feels shoed in, and the experience is more draining than rewarding. Thus, which characters I happen to be effective with varies dramatically from time to time, and that's one of those weaknesses I really struggle with.
     
    #2 Samster, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
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  3. Is each playlist one specific genre, or are they all varied for each character?
     
  4. It depends more or less on the character. Very often I find the playlist that syncs best with a particular character comes from a single artist, but that's more a parity preference on my part than a necessity. Some of the characters I write are a jumbled mess of themes, and that's when I know I've got a keeper!
     
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  5. For the most part, I have an easy time getting into character, but I do sometimes have days where I just can't manage, and those days, I find a song, just one song, to put on repeat. Usually, the song is something with an active beat that can get my heart beating, which prompts my ability.

    It also helps to use doll makers (such as on doll divine or rinmaru games) to try making more images for a character, and I've had pretty good luck with going through and editing my character pages as well to help get in the mood and the right mindset.

    Finally, if none of that works, I shove myself at my keyboard and post anyway. If it's a shit post, it's ok. It gets the action moving again, and that in itself tends to make it SO much easier.

    If even THAT doesn't work, and it doesn't get easier, it might be time to put the character to rest for a while. A person's mind is rarely the same between one day and the next, and sometimes setting it aside for later is really the best option. I've had to do it countless times, and eventually the mindset comes back to play the character.
     
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  6. This is excellent guys!
    I definitely agree with still posting even if it isn't as good as you usually put out. ^.^
     
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  7. I do the playlisting thing, too! I also like to develop the character's backstory by answering questions (ie: filling out a character sheet, or going to a page like this one). Usually just thinking about/working on a character outside of posts is enough for me!
     
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  8. Have you tried using charahub? It comes with a whole bunch of questions built into its character host. The only downside of the site is its unfortunate tendency to go down.
     
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  9. :o this is a great resource! You should post it as its own thread with the 'resource' tag and a quick rundown of what the site is!
     
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  10. I hadn't thought of that. :x I think I'll give that a go tomorrow! Writing guides and helpful threads while tired is kind of a derpy thing for me to do. 8D

    I think I have another list of questions though, lemmie just...

    Here and here!

    I'm going through them rather slowly myself, since I'm not currently having much difficulty, but they seem legit.
     
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  11. Thank you for the resources!
     
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  12. Nothing pumps me up better for an RP than watching a movie, reading a book, or admiring artwork related to the genre/character. Post-apocalyptic? Time for a Mad Max marathon. Fantasy? Watching Lord of the Rings, or even playing some D&D or video games centered on fantasy, really help get inspiration going, or help you create a better, more nuanced character. Believe me, if everyone in an RP chipped in some good playlists or movie recs every so often, just to remind the players why they love the genre they're RPing, half the threads that start up could last for years.
     
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  13. Yes yes yes! I didn't even think to put this to words. Beautifully said.

    Absolutely, sharing movie recs, sending music, sending images: all of that will work towards keeping both parties excited. I do this with one of my favorite partners, and our RP has gone on further story-wise than most others with which I've been involved.

    A lot of the time, it's as simple as browsing imgur for images that remind me of my main character in an RP and sharing—"Hey! This reminds me of my character! Look at those tiny boyish hips on her!" or "Oh wow, these look like my character's favorite dice!" and my partner comes back with "Oh gosh yes! So cute!" and a spree of posting begins, or my partner comes ti me with "Hey, I found this weightlifter with a pixie cut that looks like my character!" "JESUS SHIT THAT IS CUTE." and more posting.
     
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  14. People can forget the little things that make a character awesome. Another thing I like to do is try to answer personality quizzes from my character's perspective--even if my character will never have to choose a favorite snack, or animal, or what sort of career they'd want if money was no object, it helps to give your character more individuality and life.

    It also helps to remember your character is something independent of their setting--their background and their skills can change between genres, but what should stay solid is their most basic personality traits and proclivities. In what ways could you get your character's inner self to shine through, whether they were born into royalty or slavery, medieval times or the cyberpunk future? Details, details, details. (Just try not to focus too much on the details, because then you'll forget the bigger picture and your character will become a muddled mess of random traits with no base. :P)
     
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  15. It's kind of dumb, but I try to imagine myself as the character I want to write as when I am doing day to day activities and ask myself how they'd handle certain situations, how they perceive things, and even how they'd talk. Somewhere between figuring out how they handle grocery trips and driving a vehicle, something clicks and I start getting ideas.
     
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  16. I tend to reuse characters a lot, so what usually helps me is reading old posts for the specific character I'm looking to get into. If I'm using someone completely new (even to me), I'll usually write a little short story from their perspective on my own time so I can "get to know them" before I launch into the RP. Some important event from their backstory, or even just a typical day in their life.
     
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  17. Sometimes when I'm laying down and trying to sleep, I literally pretend to be the character. Sometimes I even act things out.

    That's it for #embarrassingconfessionswithOpal, thanks for joining me.
     
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  18. Shoutout to us Method Writers!

    Roleplaying is a cross between writing and acting, so it makes total sense to employ some practices of method acting to get in character!
     
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  19. I'm a visual person. For me, it's important to have pictures associated with the character and the picture isn't so much about appearance (physical traits) but feel. Do they look naive? Do they look like they have something to hide? I keep a OneNote (MS Office) Notebook where I cut and paste pictures for different characters into the pages. Sometimes their pictures of the character, but really its just whatever makes me think of them. A picture of a desert town, or two people fighting. All of it gets dumped int he notebook. Sometimes I link to songs as well, but usually I tend to associate songs more with particular scenes or settings rather than characters.

    The other one I do is to write short scenes. I almost always keep the character in "their universe" (and I usually create a new character for each RPG I join unless their from a fandom) but I write mundane things. Maybe for a fierce warrior, I write about a time he was injured in battle and how he reacted. Did he feel inadequate? Did he whine about the pain? Was he indignant? For a character whose lover died, maybe I write a scene of them lying together or having breakfast. Just little things.
     
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