Character Creation

by fergie14233

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A character needs a matter of certain things:
-Name
-Description
-Background
-Personality

What I find helpful is to create a simple profile on the character first. Like this, for example:
A male, resides in the USA, around fifteen years old.
Another good thing to do is to think of the time period. Because that can turn a male of fifteen years old from an average, 21st century teenager to, say, a burly medieval time period young male.

A description is another great thing to create. It reinforces the profile and can give you a better look into your character’s life. Look at the new profile:
A young, fifteen year old Caucasian male. Five feet three inches in height. Bright orange hair and neon green eyes. Unusually small feet, a shoe size about 7. Lives in the USA.
The description can also change the personality of the character. For example, someone who dresses in bright, happy, neon colors wouldn’t usually be depressed.

The background is another item in the creation of characters that is essential. It can create a stronger bond between the character and the reader that makes the storyline more real. It also helps you when creating the personality and relationships with other characters. Background example:
The male lives in New York City in the USA. He grew up in a ‘bad’ neighborhood where he was influenced of several ‘bad’ things. He soon moved to a better neighborhood when his parents finally realized how bad it was for him to be living there. He now resides in a much better neighborhood on the west side of New York. He works at Barnes and Noble.
See? A good background can add memories and more personality to your character, and allowing you to know their reactions to certain situations (for example, if he was asked about the bad neighborhood he would probably become sad or angry at his past).

Personality . . . who doesn’t have it? So of course your character needs it! It’s a way that the character acts and reacts to different situations. Personality example:
The male is a very perky person who has multiple friends that he hangs out with at his high school and after school. He loves his job because he reads constantly. He is in the process of writing a book he hopes to get published. While he’s perky, he recently was depressed, but he has been taking strong anti-depressants that he’s glad he takes.
A few things in there you really wouldn’t expect to be personality-wise, but the personality also has to include a little background knowledge that wasn’t specified in the background. It just helps you understand your character better.

Finally, the name. I find the name the hardest part in creating a character, so that’s why I create it last. However, if it comes easily to you, then it can be made in earlier stages. A good thing to do when creating a name is to come up with multiple examples:
Kevin, Connor, Alex, Martin, Mark.
There, that’s a good amount. Four or five names are a great way to choose because you can really think each name over. Another reason I like to create the name last is because I can fit the name to the personality. I imagine an Alex as a perky person. I imagine a Mark as someone who grew up in a bad neighborhood. Kevin to me just sounds WAY too tough. Martin reminds me of a small, timid boy. And Connor reminds me of a perky boy as well. So now, we have this list:
Connor, Alex, Mark.
Now we need to look to see if the character names remind us of TWO traits, not just one. Mark doesn’t seem like a really perky person. Alex reminds me of a childish person, so not someone who grew up in a bad neighborhood. And Connor I can see as both of them. Here’s our winner name:
CONNOR!
Now, you may be thinking something different. You may think that Martin would have been perfect and that it shouldn’t have been out immediately. That’s the fun of it—your character can have the name YOU want! And the last name can be figured out as well, though I don’t think you need to think up several. For example, Connor’s last will be . . . Monroe. If you’re thinking up the name you may also want to incorporate the description with the name, you can do that as well.

Now, with those four steps, we transformed this profile:
A male, resides in the USA, around fifteen years old.
To this profile:
Connor Monroe. A young, fifteen year old Caucasian male. Five feet three inches in height. Bright orange hair and neon green eyes. Unusually small feet, a shoe size about 7. Lives in New York,USA. He grew up in a ‘bad’ neighborhood where he was influenced of several ‘bad’ things. He soon moved to a better neighborhood when his parents finally realized how bad it was for him to be living there. He now resides in a much better neighborhood on the west side of New York. He works at Barnes and Noble. He is a very perky person who has multiple friends that he hangs out with at his high school and after school. He loves his job because he reads constantly. He is in the process of writing a book he hopes to get published. While he’s perky, he recently was depressed, but he has been taking strong anti-depressants that he’s glad he takes.
A big step from the original, right? You don’t have to put your profile into the story, it just helps you understand your character better and help with your story.

I hope this helped you! Good luck with creating characters, and making fantastic stories.