A Stupid Way to come up with Original Characters and Stories (That Somehow Works)
- Find a character from a work you admire. Any media will do, but Children’s media works the best.
- Ask yourself a few questions about the character in question. I don’t have a complete list, and the questions are likely going to vary, and most of this is coming off the top of my head, but yeah, here are a few suggestions.
- Was there anything about this character that ticked you off? Maybe this character did something that you thought was ooc? Or maybe this character is too perfect and could use a few more flaws.
- Does the medium or genre prevent the character from performing certain actions? Furthermore, do certain aspects of the characters life, including sex, gender, social status, and age prevent this character from acting in a certain way?
- Is there something you want to see the character do that you know will never happen in the show?
- And finally, is there anything you want to change about this character?
- Rant to yourself or to tumblr about everything the show apparently did wrong. Constantly switch between getting mad at yourself for nitpicking a show you love and being mad at the work itself for not being 100% perfect.
- Scream into a pillow, make yourself some hot cocoa, eat a full dinner, and then take a hot shower.
- Get out a sketchpad or a word document or anything else you use to brainstorm and start drawing and or writing about the character in the show. But write the character the way you think they should be, as opposed to the way their presented in canon.
- Take into account that changing some aspects of your character will effect the story in some pretty big ways, especially if what you changed is an action the character performed. Maybe that Magical Princess ran away at a young age under the stress of becoming queen before joining a gang and ultimately becoming a crime boss? Maybe that Alien supervillain can be reformed by showing them the good things about the planet Earth. When you change an aspect of a story, justify the change by having it affect every other aspect of the story. Whatever you do, though, don’t handwave the change. Instead embrace it… those changes are where the heart of your story lies.
- Don’t be afraid to add in elements from other works of fiction other than the one you’ve chosen. Most of the plot elements of Gravity falls and Rick and Morty, for example, are just similar enough to make a meeting between Ford Pines and Rick Sanchez possible.
- Look over your work and note just how far you’ve drifted from canon. If you’ve changed the idea enough, it should feel kinda alien to the original work. If it’s too similar, then if might be a good idea to repeat the previous steps.
- Some of the things to note include tone, genre, level of obscenity, and target demographic. Considering how fanworks typically go, we almost unconsciously make dark shows light and fluffy and light and fluffy shows dark and gritty. This can be a good thing when done right.
- The humour of the work will also depends on the type of humour you feel comfortable writing. Sometimes your humour will be almost exactly like the original work, and sometimes it’ll be drastically different. Aim for the latter.
- If you added in elements from another work of fiction, then certain patterns are inevitably going to be formed. using the Rick and Morty/ Gravity Falls fandom above, one can’t help but make Ford and Rick foils of each other; two interdimensional science dorks, but one has a stronger sense of morality. The character reactions between the two of them is dripping with potential that we’ll never see in canon, because these two shows air on different networks and are aimed at different target demographics.
- If necessary, repeat the process again, but this time apply this to your version of the character. Continue until your happy with what you have.
- Finally, rename the characters, and if you’re an artist, re-draw them as well. The new names and designs should reflect the character you wrote, not the character you were inspired by.
- And bam, you just made something original.
Now obviously, this isn’t the only way to make characters or write stories… artists tend to draw from real life just as often as they reference other works of fiction. But the great thing about this process is that it depends entirely on your own personal interpretation of not only the work of fiction in question, but also of how the world around you works. I believe that we, as humans, are natural complainers and nitpickers, constantly believing ourselves to be the sole authority on how the world should work. On one hand, it might be easy to just rant about it and call it a day, but I believe these rants hold quite a lot of creative potential. Writing isn’t about coming up with something wholly new and original… story telling is pretty much limited to the human experience, and we’ll always fall back on something familiar (note the tropeless tale)… instead, its about writing about the familiar in a new way.