character making tips


The question I get the most is how I write characters that feel like real people. 

Generally when I’m designing a human being, I deconstruct them into 7 major categories:

1. Primary Drive
2. Fear: Major and Secondary
3. Physical Desires
4. Style of self expression
5. How they express affection
6. What controls them (what they are weak for)
7. What part of them will change.

1. Primary Drive: This is generally related to the plot. What are their plot related goals? How are they pulling the plot forward? how do they make decisions? What do they think they’re doing and how do they justify doing it.

2. Fear: First, what is their deep fear? Abandonment? being consumed by power? etc. Second: tiny fears. Spiders. someone licking their neck. Small things that bother them. At least 4.

3. Physical desires. How they feel about touch. What is their perceived sexual/romantic orientation. Do their physical desires match up with their psychological desires.

4. Style of self expression: How they talk. Are they shy? Do they like to joke around and if so, how? Are they anxious or confident internally and how do they express that externally. What do words mean to them? More or less than actions? Does their socioeconomic background affect the way they present themselves socially? 

5. How they express affection: Do they express affection through actions or words. Is expressing affection easy for them or not. How quickly do they open up to someone they like. Does their affection match up with their physical desires. how does the way they show their friends that they love them differ from how they show a potential love interest that they love them. is affection something they struggle with?

6. What controls them (what they are weak for): what are they almost entirely helpless against. What is something that influences them regardless of their own moral code. What– if driven to the end of the wire— would they reject sacrificing. What/who would they cut off their own finger for.  What would they kill for, if pushed. What makes them want to curl up and never go outside again from pain. What makes them sink to their knees from weakness or relief. What would make them weep tears of joy regardless where they were and who they were in front of. 

7. WHAT PART OF THEM WILL CHANGE: people develop over time. At least two of the above six categories will be altered by the storyline–either to an extreme or whittled down to nothing. When a person experiences trauma, their primary fear may change, or how they express affection may change, etc. By the time your book is over, they should have developed. And its important to decide which parts of them will be the ones that slowly get altered so you can work on monitoring it as you write. making it congruent with the plot instead of just a reaction to the plot. 

That’s it.

But most of all, you have to treat this like you’re developing a human being. Not a “character” a living breathing person. When you talk, you use their voice. If you want them to say something and it doesn’t seem like (based on the seven characteristics above) that they would say it, what would they say instead?

If they must do something that’s forced by the plot, that they wouldn’t do based on their seven options, they can still do the thing, but how would they feel internally about doing it?

How do their seven characteristics meet/ meld with someone else’s seven and how will they change each other?

Once you can come up with all the answers to all of these questions, you begin to know your character like you’d know one of your friends. When you can place them in any AU and know how they would react.

They start to breathe.

basic things you should know about your main characters
  • how is their relationship with their family
  • what are their beliefs, if they have any
  • what is their motivation (preferably something unrelated to their love interest/romantic feelings, bc people care about other things, too, kthx)
  • who were they raised to be vs. who they became/are becoming
  • what are their plans for the future, if they have any
  • how do they feel about themselves and how it affects their behaviour (i mean. you can’t tell me a character is shy then have them do things shy people wouldn’t do, like?????)
  • how do they feel about things they cannot control? 
  • and last but not least: 
Writing Strong Emotions

@chemistreat asked: “How can one control and write the pure emotion of learning you aren’t who you think you are- in ethnicity, religion, race or otherwise? Something that makes a character rethink all of their traditions?”

When it comes to writing these moments of epiphany or emotional overload, it might feel like your writing in these scenes just can’t get to that level of emotion you hope to achieve. With some of these moments, the emotion might start to feel cheesy or just not enough, or it might be such a mess of different emotions, like anger, shock, disappointment, and betrayal that you don’t really know how to show it all. 

In either case, the big emotions are not easy, however there are a few techniques you can use to become better at putting them into words. 

1. Describe the setting after… This is one exercise that helps you write with emotion in a way that goes beyond what the protagonist may be able to directly express. Examples of this might include, describe a living room after an argument. Or describe a bride’s bedroom the morning before her wedding. These exercises force you to think of how emotion can shape the world of your novel beyond just the protagonist’s experiences. 

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jacie-cruzer77  asked:

Hello! Do you by chance know how to write jerk/rude characters in a way that makes them likeable? In my case, my jerk character is a jerk for selfish reasons most of the time, though usually it is out of habit. Anything is appreciated!


The surest way to make a jerk likeable is to have Hell rain down on him from the very start of the story. Have misfortune befall him time and time again, and always have it come as a surprise – it can be a consequence of one of his actions, but have that consequence be out of proportion to his action, or simply have him be hurt or completely taken off-guard by the consequence.

For example, I recently was writing a story in which my protagonist (Alex) is a womanizer. In his first scene, he’s just broken up with his most recent girlfriend (Melody), and he ducks into a classroom with one of his other exes (Cassie) for a makeout scene. However, a group of girls (friends of Melody’s) walks in on them and catches them on video. Although Alex obviously has horrible morals and treats others badly (he baldly states in his thoughts that he’s using Cassie and doesn’t actually care for her), his shock and bewilderment makes him more likeable (but only because the audience hasn’t had a chance to dislike him yet – if he had displayed more of his personality before these events, the audience would think he was getting what he deserved, so timing is important!).
Then Melody goes overboard to get revenge on him – she tells Cassie’s ex to beat Alex up (and in fact he almost breaks Alex’s ankle), and tells Cassie to steal and vandalize Alex’s car. This is completely out-of-proportion as a consequence to Alex’s action, which earns him sympathy from the audience, and sympathy = endearment (I don’t know about you, but I hardly ever feel sorry for someone I don’t like, so if your audience pities your character, the audience probably likes your character).

Also, you could simply pit your jerk against a bigger jerk. For example, Alex is obviously not a great person, but Melody is worse, because she is deceptive and goes too far while showing absolutely no remorse for her actions. She leads Cassie to steal and vandalize Alex’s car, then calls the police on her as revenge, even though she had told Cassie there were no hard feelings. She also leads Alex directly to where Cassie’s ex is waiting – outside, where there are no witnesses to put a stop to the fight – and wears a smile as she does it. Melody is purposely cruel and manipulative, whereas Alex is merely selfish, often without even realizing it as wrong – that makes Alex the lesser of two evils, and out of the two, the audience will most likely side with him.

Lastly, you could also have your jerk genuinely decide to change, only to have others continue to treat him based off his previous actions, which could cause him to backslide, and which would create a constant, worsening cycle that could possibly lead to self-destruction. For example, Alex figures out that he genuinely is sorry and wants Melody’s forgiveness, and she continues to deny him and bring up his past, which leads him to wild nights drinking/drugging/partying. One night he’s wasted and crashes his car, and that’s that – our jerk is done for.

(I would also advise you to write in your jerk’s POV, at least to start your story – each person sees themself as their own protagonist, so if you write in your jerk’s POV, your story will automatically lean in his favor, which will affect your audience’s opinion.)

I hope this helps! (Sorry I used my story so much – I was finding it hard to explain without using examples.) If anything is unclear or you need more help, please don’t hesitate to ask! - @authors-haven

Writing Clever Characters

Anonymous asked: Any tips for writing a character that is smarter or more clever than you are?

One inevitable truth is that your characters cannot truly be smarter than you, the writer.  However, they can be smarter than you within the world of your story, and, more importantly, they also can seem smarter. It helps if this incredibly smart character is not the protagonist. They can be, but it’s easier to carry this illusion in smaller doses. 

One thing to know early on: in what way is this character smarter than you are? 

If this character is quick-witted, you just need wit to be able to write it, even if you could not be that sharp and in-the-moment as they are. If your character is an astrophysicist, read up on the basics and write what you know. You likely should consult an expert for some of the more detailed in-depth information. If your character is solving an Agatha Christie mystery, that takes some plotting skills that has nothing to do (well, less strictly to do) with smarts. 

With that said, here’s a few strategies: 

Keep reading

I havent actually properly finished her outfit and props yet but I wanted to introduce everyone to my new baby

Me: *draws a male character*
Me: he looks like i girl i C AN T DRAW G UYS
My brain: thats!! Because!! You gave him!! Female body language!! And keys!!
Me: well how do i fix th-
My brain: S P R E A D T H E L E G S

lilyflower2730  asked:

yo, I need help writing romance/fluffy things. also if ya can, how to make my writing more expressive, I feel like my writing is REALLY monotone. thanks!

Hello :)

1) Writing romance/fluff-

None of it will work if there is no chemistry between characters. There needs to be that spark that makes people root for them.

Ex. An emotionally hardened character opens up abit to the other.
Ex. Character A offers to help B with something when they notice B is stressed.
Ex. B is concerned when A falls off their bike.
Ex. In shows/movies, it’s as small as that look that lasts a little too long.
• I’m currently obsessed with a show called The 100, and I ship two of the characters: Bellamy and Clarke. I first saw the spark of potential romance in the episode where Bellamy was teaching Clarke how to shoot a gun. He had a hand on her shoulder blade as he taught her the right stance. He left that hand there a little too long, noticed, shook his head as if shaking put the feelings, and removed it. Those 10 seconds of that scene were enough to make me think that there’s something there.

Some articles on chemistry:

Also, and I learned this from personal experience, chemistry between characters is hard to develop if the characters aren’t developed themselves with well rounded personalities. Can’t make a spark if the sticks aren’t suited for the job.

Okay, so you’ve got the spark. What now? Here’s some ways to initiate romantic/ fluffy moments:
• A sacrifces something for the well being of B
• A does B a favor
• A is concerned for B’s safety
• A comes back after not seeing B for a long time/ after doing something dangerous
• A and B fight but at the core it’s because they want the best for each other
• A catches B planning a secret scheme to do something nice for them
• A and B talk about something with each other that’s emotional or they don’t typically tell other people

You build on the spark you’ve created to tend a fire through scenes that grow the relationship like the ideas listed above. The key is making the characters do/say things that show they care about one another. Even if an action ended up hurting the other character, it ties back to wanting to be with and protect them.

2) Writing expressively-

● Utilize adjectives and strong word choice.

•A post of mine that may help you:

● Develop your voice by writing, writing, and writing some more. Write in different ways. Try new methods.

• I wrote a personal narrative for my creative writing class, and it seriously helped my writing. I have a tendency to exceed word limits (which was 3000), so I really had to cut back this time. I was attempting to fulfill the “vivid imagery” portion of the rubric, and I was becoming increasingly frustrated that I would go over the max. It made me think about every sentence I wrote, how it contributed to the story’s overall mood, and if it flowed well.

● More help:

anonymous asked:

The girl in love w/murderer. I meant that she notice few things that make her suspicious but not 100% sure and she loves him so doesn't want to tell anyone otherwise the man would go to jail etc. So can you suggest what would make her suspicious?

I have a post with general things to arouse suspicion in another post. Specifically for murder…

  • He keeps mentioning how he was totally at the bar with “Ken” at the time of the murder. Really. He had two beers with his fries and wings and his bartender was Justin. Just ask Ken, seriously, go ahead. 
  • Or, he tells the girl that he was stuck in traffic that night and that if the cops ask to say that they were together. Just in case.
  • He throws out a suspicious amount of clothing.
  • His mood changes drastically after the murder. He becomes more hotheaded, paranoid, maybe upset (depends on if he has a guilty conscious or not) and accuses her of not trusting him. 
  • Does he have accomplices or anyone who knows what he did? Maybe he gets random calls that he just has to take in the other room and he always come back looking sour. 

There are other potential hints that would depend on the motive of the murder. For example if it was for money he could suddenly have an interest in buying a Rolex, or if it was because his boss was being an asshole maybe he’s just gotten a promotion to fill the void. My advice would be to put yourself in his shoes (as much as you can) and figure out how and why he could have committed the murder to figure out where he could leave behind some clues. 

Different types of Pain

When writing about your character sustaining an injury it’s good to know what kind of pain they’d be dealing with it and how to describe it.

Acute Pain

Acute Pain is described as sudden and short term pain. It usually occurs when hit by a blunt object,or twisting a joint, but does not usually suggest terrible damage. Is treated using the R.I.C.E method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Good adjectives to use: Sharp, Dull, Darting, Shooting, Smart.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain is like Acute pain in that it occurs suddenly but endures for much longer. This type of pain usually suggests something more serious, such as a fracture or dislocation. A chronic injury requires treatment by a qualified agent (As in you would need a character with some medical experience to treat it) and usually requires strong painkillers and the R.I.C.E treatment after the bone has been fixed in the correct place. Adjectives to use for this would be: Incessant, Persistent, Constant, Gnawing, Raging.

Neuropathic Pain

Also known as ‘nerve’ pain this type comes and goes, and is usually associated with inflammation (i.e. tissue injury) and infection. Its also the pain some sufferers of IBS feel (though it can also be chronic pain). It is usually treated using anti-inflammatory medication, or muscle relaxation therapy, such as massages and physical therapy. Some adjectives which describe Neuropathic pain include: Burning, Ebbing, Wavy (As in “The pain struck in waves, causing Charles to fall to floor grasping desperately at his stomach’), Achy, Inflamed.

Visceral Pain

Visceral is considered the worst kind of pain and occurs when serious damage is dealt to your bodily organs, such as stabbing or a gun shot. If dealt in a vital region such as your stomach or heart this injury usually incapacitates people (Although steeled fighters can brace themselves and break through this trance). This pain usually require emergency surgery and anaesthetic. Appropriate adjectives to use would be: Crippling, Raging, Torturous, Violent, Excruciating. 




THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (you don’t have to do it right now, but preferably within the next 1 or 2 days… if you’re too busy then that’s okay, just let me know) :)

  • My mood: Batman when random people up and kiss him and he's just frozen like why must this happen constantly

The Superlatively Superfluous Adventures of Legolas (and Tauriel)

Dateline: Gundabad (24/25)

nashewninesix  asked:

Heyo Smash-chu. Got an art-related question for you: How in the world do you make your lineart so smooth? I'm not sure if you've seen much of my art (I've drawn you fan art in the past), but whenever I try to do lineart, it comes out all squiggly, so I usually end up just drawing lineless! D: Any idea what my problem might be and got any tips for that? Thanks in advance~

Ah, the key to making your squiggly lineart neat and smooth is “cleaning” it up, i myself have very shaky hands and resort to making the lineart squiggly and messy instead of trying to hold my hand steady all the time.

Like here’s what we have when i start off, looks quite messy and scribbly, right? Well, if we use the handy dandy eraser tool and “clean” up the parts that look really messy -

Viola! The key to making scribbly lineart smooth is “cleaning” it up with a eraser and then building on it til it looks good, of course if you enhance the lines further by drawing on them again and fix the parts that maybe got too thin -

You can make it look real good! Though, using quick and light strokes instead of trying to hold your hand steady is much easier if you wanna do lineart, for example -

The quick stokes look much smoother, yes? Most who do really good and impressive lineart use quick strokes instead of trying to hold their hand steady the whole way round. Cleaning up the parts that look messy and using “Undo” constantly til they get the perfect stroke - i personally don’t do this, but it’s an option. Though i tend to use smaller quick strokes instead of wobbling my hand all the time, to make it look a bit neater.

So basically, if you wanna make your squiggly lineart neat and tidy, you gotta clean it up and fix the bits that needs to be fixed ~