June 8, 2020 at 12:13 pm #114493
I like to know everything about my characters–even if it’s their favorite ice cream flavor. 🙂 So, if there are any of you out there who are like me, I was thinking you could share some of the things you do to develop your characters. I’ll go first (btw, y’all are free to use any of my ideas if you haven’t thought of them before):
Step 1: figure out who they are and the basics of their character. (I like to listen to music to get my gears turning. Here is my playlist on Spotify that I like to use–it’s only 7 songs, but it helps, if you’re writing action of any kind: ) If you want, you can give your MC a “theme song”.
Step 2: take the Myers-Briggs personality test for your MC. Personally, I use 16personalities.com, which has all the same answers as MB, and, in my opinion, is easier to use. They also have the strengths and weaknesses, plus additional info, of any personality type, which helps to develop your MC even more.
Step 3: list off all the things you want to have in your MC. You can use Pinterest, a computer, or a plain old notebook (which I prefer). Carve out a chunk of time during the day, bring sustenance, and hunker down for a long period of time. 😉 Include fears, quirks, personality traits, fav things, etc.–anything that comes to mind.
Step 4: sketch your character. Or, if you’re like me, find a similar one on Pinterest. 🙂 I think it’s helpful to have an idea of what your MC looks like.
Step 5: fill out a character questionnaire. (I like to use Story Embers’ free questionnaire in their resources.) This takes me multiple days to finish, and even still, I go back and tweak it often. Note: make sure you save it! It’s super frustrating to finish the whole thing then lose it all…
Step 6: create a sticky note/window list of the things that you want your readers to know about your about your MC. When writing my first draft, I find it super helpful to keep a list of important info.
Anyway, y’all are probably already familiar with doing that. That’s just my method (not necessarily in that order, of course).
I’d love it if y’all shared what you do to familiarize yourselves with your MC! 🙂
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.June 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm #114494
oops! I didn’t send the link to my playlist, ha!
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.June 8, 2020 at 12:44 pm #114497Arindown (Gracie)@arindown
Wow, I didn’t know anyone else did some of those things.😝
I’m not as extensive as you on character development…I usually just take my time. But, I do have theme songs for some of my characters (Get Back Up Again by TobyMac, Shine by Mandisa, etc.) and I do use 16 personalities (I find it easy to work with…and very fun). I also sometimes find someone with the same personality, and sorta base it off of them (my older brother has the same personality as my MC).
I should probably go deeper with my characters, I just have so many of them.😊
Thanks for sharing!
Not all those who wander are lost.June 8, 2020 at 1:10 pm #114498
Haha! Yeah, I probably go overboard… 😐 Like I said, though, I want to know them like they’re my bff! 😉
I love Mandisa!!
My current MC is an ISTJ, while I’m an ENFP, so we’ll see how that works out! I’ll be posting my first chapter soon, so please tell me if I did ok!
For all you ISTJs, I will use all the tips you can give me!! 🙂
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.June 8, 2020 at 9:54 pm #114544Naiya Dyani@naiya-dyani
@writergirl101 Oooh. . . MBTI is fun for characters. Some of mine are hard to place (and 16personalities can be hit or miss when it comes to accuracy XD), but others are definitively one type. My MC Grace in my current WIP is an INTJ, and I love shipping her with my INFP boi Kiet.
I do a lot of mental in-their-shoes placement. . . gosh, that sounds convoluted. I’m sure there’s a psychological term for it, but basically I put myself in their mind and their circumstances, think through a whole scene or flashback that way, and write from there.
Songs are awesome for that too. They can really put me in the mood for a character, scene, or character interaction. They’re mostly Japanese songs, though. 😛
Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.June 9, 2020 at 9:50 am #114552claire@claire-h
This is a fun thread! My character development is a lot like yours. 😂
I do find it helpful to describe a character’s living space. (Bedroom, house, apartment, etc.) That way, I can envision their personality more clearly, just by fleshing out the surroundings that they’re most comfortable in.
And backstory is an important thing that I tend to spend a lot of time on. It always ends up playing a big role in my character’s goals, motivations, and even personality. 🙂
a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.
it just blooms.June 9, 2020 at 12:16 pm #114555
I agree. I usually just pick and choose–I actually take the quiz multiple times to see if I’m writing the personality correctly!😂
Another way I like to use music is finding a playlist, and for each song, create a character based on the words. (you could use music without words, but it’s probably more challenging)
I agree! I also figure out my MC’s fav things to carry around and stuff like that.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
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