EXERCISE Keeping Characters in Character

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by BlossomStars, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Hello there! This is my first crack at posting a thread in the institute, so I'll do my best to make sense. Please just bear with me, and if you need anything explained don't be afraid to ask. ^-^ (Also if you have any practical advice/criticism on how to better this post or my attempted aid that's welcome too.)

    So basically I'm creating this thread because it can be difficult for roleplayers, and new roleplayers especially, to play characters in character. What I mean by that is making the character act in the way that that character would actually act in any given situation instead of making them act in the way that you want them to or would be most convenient. To help improve that tendency I've thought up this little exercise. For the sake of simplicity I'll jot down the instructions of list form.


    1. Pick a character (OC's may work better, but any character will do)
    2. Look at the questions below and take a minute to think about your answer - how would this character honestly act in this situation, or how would this end up effecting them. Remember to take their personality and past experiences into account.
    3. You can answer the question in one of two ways; You can either simply write down how that character would react to a given situation and why they react that way, or you can write a short paragraph describing that characters response. Still with this second response remember to consider why your character is reacting in the way that they do (what personality trait or experience makes them act that way?).

    OK, so, clear as mud? Perfect, onto the questions~


    1. How does your character express sadness? Are they very overt about it, showing tears and wearing their heart on their sleeve? Do they isolate themselves or perhaps even grow increasingly irritable and angry?

    2. Similarly, how does your character express anger? Do they internalize it and explode later, cry, hit things?

    3. More positively, how does your character express happiness? Are they overt about it, cheering and laughing, or are they more subtle? Do they try to hide it?

    4. If your character very suddenly was thrust into a position of leadership, perhaps forced to become the leader of a large group of people, how would they react? Essentially, how do they respond to positions of high authority and extreme responsibility?

    5. How would your character react if, when visiting a big city for the first time, they realize that someone stole their wallet? What emotion would come to them first? Would they try to get it back?

    6. If a stranger were to randomly insult your character what would they do? Would they jump into a brawl, let it go?

    7. Now think of the previous question once more, but this time imagine that the person insulting your character is much larger and more powerful than your character is. Would that change their reaction?

    8. If your character was asked out by someone who was kind, yet they had no interest in, what would they do?

    9. If a close friend of your character's made food for them but it ended up tasting terrible what would your character do?

    10. If, after starting a fight or battle, your character found out that they were massively overpowered and had no hope or chance of winning, what would they do? Would they leave their pride at the door or perhaps fight on in a hopeless effort to keep that pride alive?
    • Useful Useful x 3
  2. Okay, time to play with Xan~

    "Yeah, whatever," cutting off the messenger Xan turned and walked away. Gritting hir teeth ze struggled to keep hir expression neutral while among people. Don't. No. Stay cool. Entering a private room hir hand was shivering. No, no, no, no, no, stay calm, stay calm. Closing the door ze felt something wet trail down hir cheek, wiping the drop of water away it was quickly followed by a punch straight at the wall. "Shit... Stupid, stupid, stupid... Argh!" Between muttered curses, stubbornly wiping away hir tears and minor outbursts ze tried to get a hold of hir emotions. What the hell? Was that the value of a promise? Pacing along the floor ze switched between making up insults and making the broken promise seem small. There was always next year. One time wasn't that bad. Ze had just put way too much into it. That's all. Yeah, just... Looked forward to seeing that person... A bit too much... Sitting down the tears could no longer be held back, still the sounds were muted, face hidden, the shaking of hir shoulders the only proof that the prideful Xan was actually crying. Honestly crying.

    That bastard... Smiling coldly Xan's light brown, almost honeyed, eyes betrayed the anger hir felt. Clenching hir fist it took a decent amount of self-control to not punch the face out of the smug bastard in front of hir. Slowly ze started to plot revenge, proportional to the insult being delivered. The cold smile still in place, but with the clenched fist loosened ze started the first step of the revenge plot having taken place in hir mind. "So, you wanted to join so badly that you risked my friends?" The smug snake's smile faltered, but Xan had barely started, it was going to get worse, much worse. "Well, there's a few... Trials for you to complete first. Of course, if you're not feeling up to it then you can walk out the door right now." He took the bait, got him, now it was time to ruin him.

    "Yes! I won!" Grinning Xan pulled in the money, normally ze rarely played poker, a certain card counter made that difficult to win so now that the card counter had passed on a round ze agreed to play. Counting the money ze hummed cheerfully, visibly celebrating the victory, winning felt good. Scratch that, winning felt great!

    "Xan, good luck," the comforting pat on the shoulder wasn't very comforting, it felt heavy, unneeded and overwhelming. Ze could only watch as the leader of the group walked away, leaving everything to hir. Don't go? We need a leader? Are you betraying us? While the phrases popped into his head it wasn't possible for the brunette to say them. Ze had joined the group as a whim, to fulfill a passing need, and now he expected hir to just take over the whole job? Ze was a plotter, a thinker and a tactician, not a leader inspiring people, even if they were a band of thieves. This was going straight to hell, and hir was the one with the compass pointing there. This was not good, not good at all. There had to be someone else for the job.

    The city was huge! Larger than the teen had expected. Looking around ze saw opportunities, challenges and risks. This place was gonna be awesome. While studying the crowd ze felt a hand brushing against hir, what? And moments later a pocket felt empty. Spinning on hir heel ze grabbed the offender and pushed the thief into an alley. As apathetic people didn't even care Xan her the offending child in a chokehold. "Give it back. Now." Frightened the child returned the wallet and Xan pocketed it, a chain would be necessary later, before glaring intensely at the brat. "Are you dumb? In what way do I look rich to you?" Tone low ze questioned the confused child. "Answer me. Now." "Uh... You... You're new." At that ze dropped the child in disgust. "Moron, new doesn't equate to rich." Annoyed ze turned, leaving behind the careless thief who was now breathing in relief. "Dumb brat." Grumbling Xan moved on, the pleasant mood completely lost.

    Steadily growing irked by the insults ze was getting sick or the arrogant stranger who had decided that ze was easy pickings. Even worse, the stranger along with his friends had decided that following Xan and continue the insults would be fun. Ze was ignoring them, had tried to ignore them, but being followed and insulted. That's over the line. Stopping by the vending machine ze bought two of the sweetest sodas there was. They were catching up, but not too close yet. Discreetly shaking the cans, tipping them over and over again ze waited until ze was close enough to the newly decided target location. Hearing a weak buzzing overhead ze sat down the shaken cans and quickly escaped, leaving behind a group of confused men. Noticing the cans they picked them up. Perfect. They weren't opening them. Damn. Pulling out hir pellet gun ze aimed and shot, placing three shots in each can. Perfect. Exploding the sugary, sticky sweet soda their reaction was priceless. Next bullet hit the hornet's nest above the men. Angry hornets. Sugared men. The screams were wonderful, so a cheerful Xan left the carnage behind. They really should've left hir alone.

    Stay calm, play nice, suffer through the jerk's idiocy. That mantra went through Xan's head as hir tried to play nice with the leader of a far more dangerous group. They were negotiating... Something. Ze had forgotten what exactly as the jerk was lacing his greeting to hir with more than a few insults towards hir identity and skill. Jerk. Unlike common rabble ze couldn't antagonize this guy. Too risky. For now.

    Looking at the one who had asked hir out Xan paused. Should ze crack a joke? No, this kid was a sincere kid, rare in their world. The silence hung awkwardly between them as the kid shifted, blushing brightly, under Xan's gaze. Closing hir eyes for a moment ze tried to think of a way to not hurt this kid. There was none. "... I'm sorry," rarely did words of apology escape hir lips and this time they were let out, "you're okay and all, but I'm not... The dating kinda person." A twinge of guilt struck hir heart as tears were welling up in the eyes of the confessor. Damn. The kid left, leaving Xan alone. Sitting down on the chair ze sighed softly to hirself, feeling regretful of the choice, but there really was no other way.

    Grinning happily at the plate of warm food Xan took a bite of the food hir friend had made, almost spitting out the horrible taste that followed. "Shit, man, your cooking is awful!" Bursting out with the honest words ze poked at the delicious-looking food. "Seriously, gimme a warning next time." Glaring at hir friend it was soon replaced by a shrug. "Well, food's food, I guess," and just like that ze finished the plate, occasionally noting how something was overcooked, now much more prepared for the food tasting horrible. Hir friend was looking at the omnivore in part shock, part awe, part disgust and a little touched. Xan was weird, vindictive and blunt, still, the brunette was a little nice.

    Shit, shit, shit. Was the guy a monster? Xan hadn't expected the guy to be this strong, or fast, the guy was plenty dumb. Was he some kinda zombie? Had he given up brains for brawn and speed? "Damn." Breathing heavily ze wasn't so sure of victory anymore, hir shoulder was hurting so bad it was insane. Using a brief pause to look around ze finally found a way out, a breaker switch, great. Barely dodging the punch that came at hir ze ran for the switch. Stumbling, tripping and falling ze had barely managed to grab onto it and cut the power. With the lights out ze scrambled up and quickly went out an open window. Hir prife wasn't worth hir life, not by a long shot.

    (This one was inspiring, truly inspiring ^^)