CHARACTERS Help me out?

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by -Kuroko-, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. I have problems being able to come up with a really good character background or history or Bio, which ever you prefer to call it. A lot of my characters end up with like a 3 or 4 lines history.

    I want to be able to create a bigger story background for my characters.
    Anything would be of help. I want to be able to create these amazing profiles I've seen people do, but I also want to keep it simple so that people do not lose interest.
  2. Creating solid character backgrounds usually involves asking yourself questions such as Where did my character come from? and How did they get to where they are today?

    You probably have a concept for each character you set out to play, whether it be as simple as "cute but fiesty girl" or as complex as "the reincarnation of the goddess Morrigan, housed in a scrawny and adorable but tomboyish Irish teenager named Molly". From there, it's only a matter of fleshing out that concept and filling in the blanks to make it more detailed. For example, I might ask myself: How did the Morrigan come to be reincarnated as a human? How has Molly's literal inner goddess affected her childhood? Does she know she's the Morrigan yet, and what would she think about it if she does? How would it change her behavior? Would it make her act more or less like a hooligan? Why is she a tomboy? Who is her mortal family?

    When you're not used to sitting down and brainstorming like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin and what questions to ask. In times like these, character questionnaires or exercises can be really useful because they ask the questions for you! Just remember that you don't necessarily need to obsess over every detail of your character. If you can't answer a question, it's probably not important. It will likely take you some trial and error to be able to tell what is relevant info about your character and what isn't, but you can always hack and slash at the bio to remove anything that turns out unnecessary.

    Here are a few resources to help you get started:

    Basic Character History
    Character Backgrounds
    Character Questionnaire: A Thru Z
    Ultimate Iwaku Character Questionnaire

    Hopefully that helps!
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  3. Another tactic is to stop and really think about this character, and ask the:


    Who are they today?
    Who in their past did them wrong?
    Who in their past did them right?
    Who was there for them?
    Who wasn't?


    What has made them into who they are today?
    What caused their, if any, psychological problems?
    What gave them incentive to move on or stay?
    What did they do to remedy a bad situation?


    When did they start out a new life?
    When did a certain event happen?
    When did they decide that things needed to be changed?
    When did they decide things didn't?


    Where did this take place?
    Where are they now?
    Where's the people who supported him/her/other now?
    Where are the people who didn't?


    Why did they make the choices they have?
    Why are they where they are now?


    How did they escape if it was needed?
    How do people react to him/her/other?

    You can add anything to those questions, those were examples.
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  4. Personally, I never take those methods above. They work for a lot of people, but it doesn't work well for me. I find the task of answering questions tedious and sometimes unnecessary. This is because I draw my inspiration differently.

    Remember, your characters can be also inspired by real people. If you need to, go people watching. The next time you go shopping or eat a restaurant, look at the people around. Do you see that person who you think is kinda trashy? (I'm not encouraging you to be judgmental, but--honestly--there are some people who give off bad impressions.) What about that person who looks kinda nerdy? Or the super fashionable?

    Try giving them a history. But don't tell just WHAT happened, but HOW did it affect them?

    Also, remember that there are many possible outcomes/reasons for the same circumstance.

    A teenager with drug addict parents could end up a drug addict or an advocate against drugs. Maybe he will become a drug dealer or he'll be a police officer who specializes in drug busts.

    A wife who suffers abuse from her husband may not suffer abuse because she WANTS to, but because she HAS to. Why would she have to? It's your reason. Maybe her husband has some sort of blackmail? Maybe because they're hiding some special secret that she's unintentionally revealed many times. Who knows?

    A man who falls asleep on the bus? Is it because he's narcoleptic? Is it because he's homeless and he's always ousted from his resting spots? Is it because he works three jobs to pay off his debts?

    Their behavior or quirks can also be a surprising backstory creator. For example, do you hear that lady who always speaks in hushed tones? Maybe that's because she's been a librarian for much too long. What about that man who seems to yell? Is it because he's deaf? Maybe he lost his hearing working with loud tools and machinery? And that girl who is too excited over video games? Maybe she's getting teased about it at school and only has this time alone to be able to be fanatical about it? And what about that man who peeks too often at the women's clothing section? Maybe he's a cross-dresser by night? Or he could even be a fashion designer!

    If you don't go where people are or you are active at a time when few people are around, watch the news or look up a newsletter website. Find an article that interests you and read about the people involved. How did they get in that circumstance? What do they do?

    You can use these tactics to use on your own characters.

    If you feel like these methods weren't sufficient, feel free to give me or any of the others a message so we can help.
    #4 Levusti, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
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  5. Another way that you could create a bigger history; gather a quick idea of where they came from, who they are in society, and what is their purpose. Then you could go roleplay it out 1x1 with someone else; to see if that would fit your character. It'd be a great way to learn more about your character while already getting practice in on using them and how they act; as a personality is very big factor in their past.

    Oh! Don't forget to mention how one's parents raise your character; as parents play a very important role on how their child will be as an adult. c:
  6. I tend to base my characters off of different sides of my personality. I know this may not work for everyone, but i usually put a piece of myself into my characters and think about how I would go about my life as, for example, Leon "Wolf" Corvinus or Victor "Hell's Marksman" Markov. What my past would be and what I would strive to accomplish. Most of the personality i put into my characters is the basis for their history. Why is he an avenger? Who did he loose and who is he after? Why is he a lone wolf? Did he loose someone close to him and doesn't want another wound from losing someone else he allowed to get "too close"? What makes him who he is? These are the questions I ask myself for the characters I make and I save the history for last because it is indeed the hardest part for me to think of when I start making the character, but as each of the other pieces fall into place, his backstory becomes just a little more clear, but it also gets me to thinking of the very reasons Leon and Victor are who they are.