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character building?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by writeshiek33, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    just wandering is there more one way to develop characters besides creating profiles ? what your methods
     
  2. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    I don't use profiles really. I write my story and take notes of the facts in the book as I go along. I refer back to these notes if I get stuck on a detail or past event but if it hasn't been mentioned in the story then it isn't a fact in the story.

    Sent from my Blade using Forum Runner
     
  3. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    I write profiles, but only after the story is written. I have character sheets for each of the major characters and recurring minor characters. Mostly because I can't remember anything I've decided about them once I've decided. But they are written after the story is written, based on what's written in the story. The characters develop within the story.
     
  4. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

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    ^ what he said. I tend to figure out the characters as I'm writing, taking what sounds good and running with it. It doesn't always work, but it hits enough of the time. And to be honest, I've always found most of the questions in character profiles somewhat banal and superficial.
     
  5. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    interesting i thinki am same just discovering that developing characters as story evolves
     
  6. JamesTFHS

    JamesTFHS Scribe

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    I dont use profile sheets but that is only because i have a great memory. I usually start with a name for the character and an image of who they are. I then just spend weeks and weeks deciding the entire characters back story regardless if i ever mention it in the book. I like to know where they came from it helps you understand how they behave cause everyones past shows the choices they have made and can give you clues on the choices they will make in the future. Plus it is just fun inventing characters. I also like to think of how they are going to interact with other characters and who they have the strongest connections with.
     
  7. Giant

    Giant Minstrel

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    I use a homemade excel template for a profile sheet. It contains any information I have about the character such as height & weight, eye color, clothing, parents, goals, religious views, race, guilds, weapons, etc.
    If I don't do this I have a tendency to mix up significant details as the chapters move along. It also makes it easier for me to reintroduce a character if he has been gone for several chapters. Otherwise I have to search back through what I wrote in the previous chapters to see what color my character's robe was, or what side of the face their scar was on.
     
  8. DameiThiessen

    DameiThiessen Minstrel

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    Notes, not profiles. I try to make the personalities as clear and different as possible, because if I don't I have a hard time keeping them all from washing together. I write a paragraph on each character, but no more. Most of what I have to say needs the context of the story to explain it. :p
     
  9. Taytortots

    Taytortots Minstrel

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    I've only ever done character profile once, which is for my latest novel. Before that I'd only really have their name and look in mind, and develop as I went, but it didn't end up being the best option for me. In my latest, I already knew the basic outline of what I wanted to do which just happened to involve quite a few characters, and since there was going to be so many characters, I decided to make a profile. I had already written part of it though. I wrote names, and basic information such as looks, weapons/magic and if they had a horse, what it looked like and it's name. As I developed them more I wrote down quirks and general personality information. So, I suppose it's a little bit of both for me.
     
  10. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    One of the things that annoys me with the character profiles and such is they can, especially as far as appearances go, can ruin, or undermine the imagination of the reader. Sometimes I think that we spend too much time on the mundane things that our readers can imagine for themselves.

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  11. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

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    I've always had an interview session with my characters. They tend to find me and want to chat, but they don't reveal everything as I am writing. If I feel something niggling at me, I will stop and ask some questions. I jot my notes in a book, on a card somewhere, a post-it... Something that will allow me to keep going without interrupting the flow too much.

    I hope that helps, I know we all have different ways to explore our characters. Most people tend to forget the characters are like actors. They need to be asked about their lives (and have their ego trips and threaten to walk off stage too... Although that could just be me talking).
     
  12. OrionDarkwood

    OrionDarkwood Scribe

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    I prefer profiles and outlines however I view them as a starting point and not a end product. Much as a potter starts with clay and a idea, while creating the clay vase the potter realizes that one can improve and shape the vase in ways different than he first thought of. The potter's wheel and the fire impart their own chances to the final product.
     
  13. Lepton

    Lepton Dreamer

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    I don't create profiles, and I rarely do unless the book has a large amount of characters. I usually create my characters as I go along in a book, I find it easier for myself when I can begin shaping a personality, design, and so on as I continue throughout the book. It works quite well for me, and I enjoy it, I've never liked having a sheet of paper to follow.
     
  14. Motley

    Motley Minstrel

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    I've never filled out a character sheet except back in high school when I played Dungeons & Dragons. I do take notes, like many others here, so I can remember the important or interesting tidbits about the people whose stories I tell. My characters tend to appear in my head and reveal things about themselves. So far, I don't have too much problem learning enough about them to make them realistic in their story.
     
  15. writingcontest

    writingcontest Acolyte

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    I tend to go against character profiles as I think they limit the character, or at do so for me. I like to let the characters develop on their own.
     
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