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Worked on my little witch today ~ I already have a name for her in mind and really hope that I can snag it once the game is getting released (ON MARCH 3 BITCHES). I might fix her a little bit, but overall I like her. Now my trio is complete ~ 

If anyone knows why her face IS FUCKING GLOWING WHITE, please tell me. It happened on all light skin colors I tried on her x____x 

Character Development Checklist

How well do you know your character? 

Basics are a given. You know their eye color, hair color, and maybe even their height and clothing preference. You know she isn’t a morning person. You know he has a preference for dogs over cats. But how well do you really know them?

Obviously, every character is not going to need all this information, and some will not be applicable for every character. Use your better judgement. I know you have it.

Basics:

  • Character’s Name
  • Character’s Nickname(s)
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex/Gender
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Scars
  • Tattoos
  • Birthmarks
  • Piercings
  • Dress/clothing preferences
  • Right/left handed/ambidextrous
  • Glasses/contacts

Family and Relationships:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Marital Status
  • Significant Other
  • Children
  • Pets
  • Other family members
  • Friends
  • Enemies

Religion:

  • The religion they follow (if any)
  • Beliefs
  • Superstitions

Location:

  • Country of Birth
  • Place of Birth (State, city, etc)
  • First Language
  • Accents

Schooling:

  • Highest Education
  • Degrees

Work:

  • Occupation
  • Salary
  • Employment history
  • Work space
  • Mode of Transportation

Home:

  • Rent or Own
  • House, apartment, etc
  • Mode of transportation
  • Living space
  • Address

Inner Workings Of Your Character:

  • Secrets
  • Fears
  • Worries
  • Eating Habits
  • Food preferences
  • Sleep preferences
  • Work preferences
  • Book preferences
  • Music preferences
  • Introverted/extroverted
  • Optimist/pessimist
  • Hobbies
  • Pet peeves
  • Prejudices
  • Proud of
  • Biggest vulnerability
  • Embarrassed by
  • Worst memory
  • Best memory
  • Skilled at
  • Unskilled at
  • Attitude
  • Obsessions
  • Stresses
  • Addictions
  • Handicaps (physical)
  • Handicaps (emotional/psychological)
  • Allergies
  • Medical history

Habits:

  • Verbal quirks
  • Physical quirks
  • Gestures
  • Work habits
  • Sleeping habits
  • Annoying habits
  • Irrational habits
  • Eating habits
  • Healthy habits
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Mannerisms
  • Drinking habits

Objects Kept In - And Why:

  • Their closet
  • Their bedroom
  • Their purse/bag
  • Their fridge
  • Their car
  • Their desk
  • Their pockets
  • Their junk drawer
  • Their glove compartment
  • Their backpack
  • Their locker

Other:

  • Talents
  • Political preference
  • Strengths
  • Flaws
  • Prized possessions
  • Special/favorite memories
  • Time and date of birth
  • What they love
  • What they hate
  • Favorite season
  • Social class
  • Sports/clubs
Character Development Checklist 2.0

Several months ago I posted the original Character Development Checklist, because why wouldn’t you need dozens of random questions about your character?

In my humble opinion, there’s no such thing as too many questions. How can we ever know too much about our characters? The reader might not see it, but everything the author knows will mold the characters and the story. How can that be a bad thing?

Which is exactly why I added dozens of questions to the original character sheet. Check out a link to the first one above, and scroll below for an updated version

Basics:

  • Character’s Name (first, middle, last)
  • Character’s Nickname(s)
  • Name pronunciation
  • Origin of name
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex/Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Scars
  • Tattoos
  • Birthmarks
  • Piercings
  • Right/left handed/ambidextrous
  • Glasses/contacts

Apparel:

  • Clothing preferences
  • Accessories
  • Style
  • Trinkets
  • Favorite possession
  • Equipment
  • Grooming habits

Family and Relationships:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Marital Status
  • Significant Other
  • Children
  • Pets
  • Friends
  • Enemies
  • Close relatives
  • Non-close relatives
  • Ancestors

Religion:

  • The religion they follow (if any)
  • Beliefs
  • Superstitions
  • Virtues

Location:

  • Country of Birth
  • Place of Birth (State, city, etc)
  • First Language
  • Cultures
  • Traditions

Schooling:

  • Highest Education
  • Degrees
  • Home-schooled/public school/private school
  • Favorite subject
  • Favorite teacher
  • Least favorite subject
  • Least favorite teacher
  • Average grade
  • Study habits
  • Special education
  • Graduating year

Work:

  • Occupation
  • Salary
  • Employment history
  • Work space
  • Mode of Transportation
  • Total income
  • Boss
  • Hours
  • Experience
  • Co-worker relationships
  • Rank
  • Work ethic

Home:

  • Rent or Own
  • House, apartment, etc
  • Mode of transportation
  • Living space
  • Address
  • Hometown

Inner Workings Of Your Character:

  • Secrets
  • Fears
  • Worries
  • Eating Habits
  • Food preferences
  • Sleep preferences
  • Work preferences
  • Book preferences
  • Music preferences
  • Introverted/extroverted
  • Optimist/pessimist
  • Hobbies
  • Pet peeves
  • Prejudices
  • Proud of
  • Biggest vulnerability
  • Embarrassed by
  • Worst memory
  • Best memory
  • Earliest memory
  • Fondest memory
  • Skilled at
  • Unskilled at
  • Attitude
  • Obsessions
  • Stresses
  • Addictions
  • Handicaps (physical)
  • Handicaps (emotional/psychological)
  • Allergies
  • Medical history
  • IQ
  • Temperament
  • Attitude
  • Perception and outlook on life
  • Desires
  • Regrets
  • Soft spots

Habits:

  • Verbal quirks
  • Physical quirks
  • Gestures
  • Work habits
  • Sleeping habits
  • Annoying habits
  • Irrational habits
  • Eating habits
  • Healthy habits
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Mannerisms
  • Drinking habits
  • Vices

Objects Kept In - And Why:

  • Their closet
  • Their bedroom
  • Their purse/bag
  • Their fridge
  • Their car
  • Their desk
  • Their pockets
  • Their junk drawer
  • Their glove compartment
  • Their backpack
  • Their locker
  • Their car trunk
  • Their wallet
  • Their suitcase

Favorites:

  • Favorite book
  • Favorite movie
  • Favorite hobby
  • Favorite animal
  • Favorite color
  • Favorite season
  • Favorite food
  • Favorite drink
  • Favorite time of day
  • Favorite song
  • Favorite music genre
  • Favorite memory
  • Favorite band
  • Favorite words
  • Favorite subject
  • Favorite number
  • Favorite TV-show
  • Favorite place

Least Favorite:

  • Least favorite book
  • Least favorite movie
  • Least favorite hobby
  • Least favorite animal
  • Least favorite color
  • Least favorite season
  • Least favorite food
  • Least favorite drink
  • Least favorite time of day
  • Least favorite song
  • Least favorite music genre
  • Least favorite memory
  • Least favorite band
  • Least favorite words
  • Least favorite subject
  • Least favorite number
  • Least favorite TV-show
  • Least favorite place

Other:

  • Talents
  • Political preference
  • Strengths
  • Flaws
  • Prized possessions
  • Special/favorite memories
  • Time and date of birth
  • What they love
  • What they hate
  • Social class
  • Sports/clubs
  • Blood type
  • Posture
  • Speech impediments
  • Spending habits
Character Creation/Development Fill-Out Sheet

I created a huge character creation/development form that will help you in writing your characters! I’ll be using it for my own characters as I write my own original story this year. You can add anything else you feel should be added to your character’s fill-out sheet. 

Below the cut!

Keep reading

Skin Tones

Here are some handy photo references I found for writers and artists looking to describe or term different skin tones! I thought simply putting the pictures here rather than linking to the original page would get it more looks, but all credit goes to the original creator, joshroby, and you can find the original page [here] with bigger and betters views of the photos. Happy writing!

More Thoughts on Character Creation

So, last night I answered a question about character creation, and on my drive home from the office, I realized I didn’t really answer the question as it was presented. I apologize for that. My initial read of the question and the answer it prompted from me was really just scratching the surface of what it takes to create characters in stories. I realized that what was really being asked was about character dynamics.

So, let’s pick up where I left off in the last post: We have discovered a need for a new character, and we know what that character needs to do plot-wise in the story…but that’s only the beginning.

Now we need to flesh out that character, breathe life into it. And the question was about character dynamics – not the what of a character but a why and how.

For this discussion, let’s talk about Lexa.

So, Lexa. She serves a very specific purpose/role in the world of “The 100″ – she’s the Grounder Commander, leader of all 12 clans, which she alone was able to forge an alliance between. That’s a lot of story. But who is she?

When the writers determined that the Grounder Commander character needed to be introduced, there were so many ways that could happen. It became clear that we needed to upend the expectations people had about what the Grounder Commander would be. On the surface it seemed logical to expect that the Commander was an older man, someone who has lived a lot of life and has used his experience to forge alliances. But we also expected that Commander to be ruthless. After all, the Commander sent 300 Grounders to attack the dropship at the end of Season One. Clearly the Commander is someone who should not be underestimated.

And yet, that’s exactly what you do when you meet her. The writers determined pretty early on that the Commander should be a woman, just to go against what most would assume was a masculine role and position. That was the easy part. The more difficult part was deciding what kind of woman she was. Early on an idea was floated that the Commander was a child; Jason had the notion that the Grounders would believe in reincarnation as a way of selecting leaders, much like the Dalai Lama, an intriguing idea that made it seem possible that these tough, warrior people would actually choose to follow someone so young. Ultimately we aged up the character, as it was unrealistic to hire a 10 year-old to be the Commander, logistically. Also, we knew this was not a ‘one-off’ character. The Commander would have a role for most of the second half of Season Two, and work rules for children being what they are, it would have been very difficult to execute that idea. 

Then, the discussion of character dynamics came up. We knew this Commander would be working with Clarke, and a lot of talk was specific to their relationship. How would they relate to each other? Would they like each other? Respect each other? We also knew that we wanted to introduce non-heterosexual relationships into the show, so the idea that Lexa was attracted to women came up. Everyone liked this idea a lot. And the idea that Lexa would be attracted to Clarke, who had just killed the boy she loved…well, that was juicy for storytelling. The big question was if we could tell a story about Clarke having interest in Lexa beyond their mutual respect for each other as leaders. There are to date very few leads of network TV shows who are bisexual or homosexual. This would be something “new” for most people, even if it wasn’t a huge deal for us as writers, it could be a huge deal for viewers. Fortunately, the studio and network were supportive of the story, so the writers were able to execute their vision.

In talking about those early interactions between Clarke and Lexa, it was clear that the two would approach each other cautiously. Lexa would even come to see Clarke as the leader to the Arkers, even though she spent time with Kane and Jaha. Clarke was, after all, the one who orchestrated the Ring of Fire and was responsible for the deaths of her warriors. Given what we had already learned about the Grounder culture, that act alone was enough to make Lexa consider Clarke a force to be reckoned with. It would only be through their conversations and actions through the season that these two leaders would bond on a deeper level. Clarke would finally have someone who could understand her burdens of leadership, as would Lexa (yes, Bellamy gets it too, but the story dictated he be active in the Mount Weather story, so someone else would need to fill that void in Clarke’s life). 

When you talk about characters, you work hard to get into their headspace, try to understand what they are thinking and feeling in every single moment of the episode. You talk about what has happened to them in their lives, how it shaped them and how current events are changing them in small, subtle ways. Lexa explains her philosophy to Clarke in episode 209 that “love is weakness,” based on what she experienced with losing the girl she loved to the villainy of the Ice Nation. But Clarke chipped away at that – and by episode 214, it was clear when Lexa kissed Clarke that she had moved away from that philosophy enough to take that chance that Clarke might too feel a connection to her. And she does…but Clarke’s experiences through the season had changed her too – she killed Finn, and she had to heal from that, and she wasn’t done healing by the time that kiss happened. But Clarke didn’t pull away. Clarke wanted connection, but realized she wasn’t quite ready for that kind of intimacy with Lexa, though she definitely was attracted to her.

All of that was discussed at length in the room. The actors bring so much to the table though in their portrayals and no matter how much writers talk about how the characters feel and act toward each other, it goes to another level when you finally can see it on screen. And those performances certainly help shape the story and characters going forward…

I hope this is helpful to writers who are trying to understand their characters better. You have to think like them, and try out different scenarios until you get to the character dynamic that feels right. And of course those dynamics change over the course of the story. Certainly how Clarke and Bellamy interact now is far different than it was in the first episode, and it will continue to change.

The fact is as writers, you are a small god, dictating the world you create. But it is also true that when you begin to know your characters, they speak to you, and before long, it feels like the story and those characters guide you.

And that is just one of the many reasons writing is something I love so much. That feeling when the story, the characters and their scenes begin to sing…nothing else compares.

D&D Character Questionnaire Generator!

Don’t pick a class or race yet. Save that for the end! Trust me on this one!

Q1. You’ve inherited something (2d6)
2. An article of clothing
3-4. An estate
5-9. A nickname
10-11. An article of jewellery
12. An enchantment
What is it, and why is it important?

Q2. You grew up (2d6 - doubles means the opposite)
2-3. Moving from place to place
4-5. Around lots of different people
6-8. Around animals
9-10. Without much sun exposure
11-12. Largely unsupervised
Elaborate! 

Q3. Your family is (2d6 - doubles means you haven’t seen them for a long time)
2-3. Extremely impoverished
4-5. Lower class
6-8. Middle class
9-10. Upper class
11-12. Extraordinarily wealthy
How did they get that way?

Q4. Your parent (or parental figure) has a quirk that bugs the hell out of you, and you are committed to NOT adopting it (1d6)
1. The way they treat certain people
2. A fashion choice
3. The way they eat or what they eat
4. Their housekeeping
5. Their philosophical beliefs
6. The way they talk
Elaborate!

Q5. Those who know you would describe your greatest asset as (2d6 - a 1 on either die means it’s your greatest flaw; a six means you wish it were your greatest asset)
1-3. Intuition
4-5. Adaptability
6-7. Strength
8-9. Charisma
10-12. Wealth
Elaborate! How has this affected how you live your life?

Q6. One more vague “tidbit!” (roll 3d6 - if the dice land in a sort of a line shape, you are ashamed of this tidbit; if they are in a triangle shape, you feel like you should be proud of it, but don’t really care either way)
3. You remind me of the babe
4-6. Strange heritage
7-8. Servitude
9. They want you
10. You should have known better
11. Someone like you
12. Child
13-14. Resurrection
15-17. Go West
18. Losing my religion

Don’t like these character traits? No problem! In that case, this is actually who your character WISHES they were! They exhibit the exact opposite of all of these traits, except for Q (1d6), which is TOTALLY true, even though they HATE to admit it.

Now. Based on all of this, I think you’re ready to pick a class and race

Did you choose your own class? Or was it chosen for you by a parent, or the government? Did you ever consider a different path? Did you try to follow in the footsteps of those who raised you? Or did you strike out, hoping to experience the things you never saw as a child?

How has your race affected you? Are your people loved and respected? Feared and mistrusted? Scorned? Ignored? Idolized? Fetishized? Do you live where you do now because of the way your people are treated here? Or do you hope to leave someday and find someplace you feel you might fit in better?

You’ve got it from here, champ ;D