CHARACTERS POTW: The Many Layers of Characterization

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by Diana, Mar 17, 2012.


What do YOU do when it comes to writing characters?

  1. I write a very detailed bio right from the beginning and then alter it if/when the character changes

  2. I prefer going without bios - AT FIRST - and see how the character develops. Then I write stuff down

  3. I never write bios and I never really think about the details of my character. I just play.

  4. When I love a character, I get obsessed and my bios become huge expanded histories of every little d

  5. I write bios but I never go deeper than the basics. All of my characters are treated pretty much the


  7. Sometimes I think Jack Shade watches me while I shower.

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. The first thing you do when joining a roleplay is creating a character!

    Sometimes all we have is a Name and an Idea, then let the character develop as we play.

    Sometimes we plan out an entire bio before starting, and tweak the information as the character changes.

    Either way, no one can argue that our favorite characters are the ones that feel like they could be real people. You know their habits, their quirks. Who they were in the past and who they are in the present. You become attached to them and want to see how they'll grow and develop in the future. See how they react to other characters or strange situations.

    No matter how you start out with your character, at SOME point you begin to expand on all the details about them. This poll asks How deep do YOU go when developing your character information?

    We have a couple great workshops, like the A - Z Questionnaire and the Ultimate Character Questionnaire. XD I love going through and answering random questions about my favorite characters to fluff out their bios. Since I save ALL my characters, it's been awesome going back to revisit them or even reuse them or continue their lives in other roleplays. >>

    Vote in the poll and POST! 8D Tell me, how detailed do you get with characters? Do you start out with all the details before you play, or do you like to let the character develop? Does it depend on the idea? For your FAVORITE characters, do you get crazy obsessed with the little things or do you treat all your characters the same?
  2. I very much prefer never writing a bio ever.
    Obviously this doesn't fly, most roleplays require one.
    But I'm usually pretty good at memorizing my character's background and whatever.
    I detest bios.
  3. I second Modestmonster.

    I also add, that sometimes I can't know about my character's past, ambitions, emotions and psyche until I get ''into'' their skins, to call it somehow.
    Amazing the stuff I discover about my character- and Myself!- once I get into a roleplay.
  4. Details, details, and details. However, not too many, because I wish for my character to have secrets that no one knows until my character tells about them. : )
  5. I usually only write super descriptive profiles for characters I've been thinking of for a very long time, or ABSOLUTELY love haha ^^
  6. how detailed do you get with characters?
    It depends on, in one x one I don't write bios if my rp partner don't want me to. When I write a character bio I usually takes the most important that has happened to them but I don't like deciding their personality and such beforehand because I like putting that in to the story later on impulse. Suddenly I feel like "this" should have happened in her life and that she should act like "this" in such a situation which aren't in the bio. the only thing I usually keep from my bio is the history and appearance, the rest usually change after three or four posts because I don't like their personality once we get in to the rp. If I were to write a bio of my characters after I had started the rp then it would get really long because then I "know" my character better. Even though I have created the character as fast as I put him or her in to a post he or she gets their own life and I can't control their emotions so a bio before the rp has started is pretty bad for me xD Because I don't know them yet and they are often not as I imagined them to be.

    Do you start out with all the details before you play, or do you like to let the character develop?
    I like to let my character develop because I don't think I am in control of my character even though it's me who writes the character xD The most of my characters change from what I created them to be to become a real individual that I can't control. Like a child that first listen to their mom and then suddenly they are teenagers and does whatever they wanna do xD hahah So I don't decide any details about how my character will develop or be in the future, I can only say how she/he is in the moment the rp starts, then it can take one post for her/him to change or twenty posts. But he/she always develops in the end and becomes something completely different from what I first imagined.

    Does it depend on the idea?
    It can depend on what kind of idea it is, if it is an apocalyptic rp without romance then I think I would stick to the original idea of my character because there aren't anything in the environment that can change her/his thoughts. (if zombies has taken over the planet for example and all humans purpose is to survive then I don't think my character would be able to develop as much. Not if the zombie thingy has been going on for years when the rp starts at least.) But if it is a romance rp then my characters change all the time.

    For your FAVORITE characters, do you get crazy obsessed with the little things or do you treat all your characters the same?
    If I have a favorite character then I don't know that it is my favorite before we have gotten a bit in to the rp, then I get obsessed with details but I don't change my bio if it exists and I probably won't create a bio because I don't think it's necessary if it already started. Except if I have so many details in my posts about the characters that I don't remember everything and don't wanna look around in the posts after details, then I can create a bio just to make sure I remember everything. But for the most I have almost every detail I have written about my characters in my head already so bios aren't that necessary for me.
  7. My bios tend to be very brief now. When I first started roleplaying my bios used to be rather long. I will lay down the basic frame work of the character like their appearance, what they tend to wear, their general personality, any weapons/powers they may have, and if possible, I will write a couple of sentences about their history.

    I take a lot more enjoyment in developing my characters through posts instead of writing out the bios now. XD This wasn't the case when I first started. Sometimes I will go back and change things in the profile if the story has made my character change i.e. My character gains a new power through such and such events, or their personalities have gone through a drastic change.
  8. I can't help writing extensive bios for my characters. Occasionally I have trouble with the histories, but for the most part, that's my favorite part of the bio. Mind you, I started off RPing in a set world, so as I've been here, they've gotten shorter and a bit less complex, but I still love a good bio and will occasionally write a role-play or world around a char.
  9. I love characters. My greatest asset in writing is not really character-creating, but it's one of my favorite parts. They all become visible to me, even the characters with the smallest roles in the novel I'm writing; it's like I have a micro-...scope (why was that so hard to type) in my head as I write and read, and all I have to do is zoom in on a character to see what they're really like. The merchant in the market getting annoyed by the prissy girl? ... He's balding, skinny, and has a daughter at home just like the one tormenting him, and he isn't actually annoyed. Much. It's in his arsenal of merchanty tricks to act like like he's angry; makes the buyer more eager to pay a higher price in order to calm the merchant down. The quietest boy that lives in the temple... he's got long black hair and golden eyes, one of the only pure-blood natives amongst the other boys. He smiles a lot, but rarely speaks. He isn't traumatized or depressed; if he starts talking, he can't really stop. He loves talking. A lot, actually, but no one can ever keep up with his rapid-fire facts and statements and inquiries. He has an older sister back home that he loves very much, and the reason he is always smiling is because he looks up to the old smiling prophet that is either great at acting senile or has spurts of senior moments.

    I love characters.

    I think I just swallowed a dog hair... at least it wasn't a bug.
  10. When it comes to RP characters I find hard to write bios. However, when I'm truly inspired it can be lengthy. Most of the time it's bare bones, leaving room for character development. Conversely if I am inspired I don't consciously leave room for development.

    Does this make sense? obviously it's St. Paddy's day...
  11. Who's Jack Shade?
  12. Do you start out with all the details before you play, or do you like to let the character develop?
    I like to give myself room to develop on personality, but I can start with a lot of the details laid out.
    Does it depend on the idea?
    Characters who are meant to have fragile personalities tend to be easier for my to write the biography/history on why and let their character grow or break.
    Characters with stronger, normal personalities are harder to write history for, because I often make their lives "normal".
    For your FAVORITE characters, do you get crazy obsessed with the little things or do you treat all your characters the same?
    My favorite characters do have more random little details fleshed out about them, because I think of them more often.
    Take Ebrille from Katrinka's... he was such an earnest and lovable guy, he earned my affection and all my writing about him means that, unlike some of my characters, I know his favorite color, his childhood best friend, his favorite animal...
  13. I basically write a basic, just to get things started or begin with, then let the character develop on their own. They can and will surprise you with what they do sometimes, and it may not fit their bio. Just go with it. XD
  14. In my opinion, the best thing to do is try out the character, see how they act and interact with others, before making an extended bio. I remember one time I sat down and wrote several pages on my favorite character, after two years of playing him XD