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May 17, 2011
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Character Creation – History and Personality
So, you have the body of your character, but it's only the body. It has no life or personality yet. This will hopefully help to give it one.

History
Creating a history is not often fun or easy, but what has happened in your character's past will affect their personality. Of course, like with everything else, there are traps that you can fall into. Some things are horribly overused, it's not illegal to use them, but just keep in mind that they are really common. Whatever you do, don't have an overly sad past, and I don't mean that they can't be orphans, or be abused by a parent or partner, because it does happen in real life (sadly). Just don't have every single thing happen to them.

Example: "Growing up, Amy was never happy. She had been orphaned at the age of 5 in a car crash. She was soon adopted by a family who seemed nice at first but then they started to abuse her. She would cry herself to sleep every night because of this. When she started school, she was always bullied and had no friends. When she was thirteen, she started cutting herself and then one day her parents crossed the line and she stabbed them to death..."

(I think writing that just killed a part of my soul.) There was too much happening to her, and none of it was happy. I don't think that it's realistic to have a past like this. Not that everyone has a life filled with sunshine and rainbows. Don't do this:

Example: "Lisa's life has always been great. She was loved by both of her parents and got everything she ever wanted. Everyone wanted to be her friend at school and she always got top marks..."

(I don't even want to finish writing that one.) Something bad is bound to happen to them at some time in their pasts, they'll have no personality otherwise. They have more of a past if something has happened to them.

Example: "Anne has had a relatively happy life. She was born in South Australia but moved to New South Wales when she was six because her father got a transfer. She had a small but good group of friends that she always played with at lunch and recess times. Sadly, her father was posted back to South Australia, so at the end of year 3, she moved to a small country town with her family. Her family had to stop in Sydney because her grandfather died of cancer and they had to go to the funeral and memorial services. Year 4 was nothing special; she had a good group of friends and joined the local girl guides group in town with her younger sister. In year 5 she started having a bit of trouble, she started getting bullied, it got worse in year 6. Because of this, she started writing stories. Ever since then, writing has become a hobby for her and she does it in any spare time..."

(That was basically my past.) See, not everything is good, but not everything is bad either. To practice, you could write up your own past. When you make up a past for your character, make sure it is realistic.

Personality
This is not the easiest thing to come up with but your character needs a personality. Some parts are natural; other parts are influenced by what has happened to them throughout their lives. Like their past, personality should not be perfect.

Example: "Lisa is an extremely kind person. She is generous and bubbly. She would never hurt another living thing especially animals, she loves them too much. She is extremely loyal and trustworthy. She never raises her voice and she feels moved when somebody cries. She is happy with her life and doesn't wish it to be any different..."

That was hard to write because absolutely no one is like that. She has no flaws at all, and everybody in the whole wide world has character flaws. Perfection doesn't exist. There should be a balance of good and bad.

Example: "Anne is a very shy person; she doesn't often speak to others unless she knows them well. She isn't a very confident person, she prefers to blend in rather than stand out. She is also sensitive, making it easier for others to pick on her. She is a bit of a perfectionist, if she has to do something, she will do it well. She is polite and never swears. She can be a bit bossy, especially when working in a group. She can be impatient at times and stubborn, she also has a fairly short temper. When she is in a bad mood, she can be extremely sarcastic. She is intelligent and a bit of a spelling and grammar Nazi..."

(That was basically my personality.) That is a fairly good example of a personality. It's neither completely good nor completely horrible. Practice writing up personalities by trying to (truthfully) write down your own, the personality of someone from your family or the personality of a good friend.

Conclusion
So, now your character has a body, a personality and a life. Now they need clothing, don't worry, I haven't forgotten about that. There is a method to my madness.
The 2nd of a series of writing tips.

Personality and history are probably my least favourite parts when it comes to creating a character. I personally just use a list for personality and create the history as I go along, but it is probably better to write them as paragraphs.

I hope this helps. :)
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:iconslytherinsdaughter:
slytherinsdaughter Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013
Lisa could be a robot, she sounds like one.
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:iconshade-arts:
Shade-Arts Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That would be something to put an interesting twist on her character, but she would still need development and rounding out. :)
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:iconcharanty:
Charanty Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011
"Lisa is an extremely kind person. She is generous and bubbly. She would never hurt another living thing especially animals, she loves them too much. She is extremely loyal and trustworthy. She never raises her voice and she feels moved when somebody cries. She is happy with her life and doesn't wish it to be any different..."
-----------> I like taking something like this and then giving character a weird twist. Dark and troubled past isn't necessary but something surprising is what doctor said to do)))
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:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
Congratulations! Your tutorial has been featured in #Divine-Tutorials monthly news feature ^_^ You can view the news article here: [link]
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