How to develope a character | Forum

Pearlareign Aug 2 '14
Okay, first of all there are two versions of characters.

The first one is a so called "Passive" character. Which means that the character basically do not WANT anything. That character doesn't need to WANT anything because the story progresses around that character. "He/She" doesn't make any big choices to influence the story, other character might make choices for "him/Her". An example of one of the most popular passive characters is Isabella Swan from Twilight. Well yeah she makes small choicse but she also just lets everything happen to her and so on...

The other version is an "Active" Character. The "Active" characters are the most common, they themselves makes choices to push the story even further. They influence and they WANT something. "Active" characters are harder to write about than "Passive" characters. If you write about a "Passive" character it might turn out boring.
A common mistake that most do is that they write a story with a character they believe is "Active"... But then to realize that stuff only happens to that character and no real choices are made. You can change this by giving your character a critical choice of life and death. Maybe your character will choose what we least expect to make it interesting? Only your imagination set the bars.
So the first thing you need to give your character before writing is a WANT and a NEED

The WANT is when you want something, you wish you can have it, but you can live without it. 
The NEED is when you need something, you have to have it, it's essential. And you can't live without it.

Once these are set it will be much easier for you to develope a story around the character according to his/Hers WANTS and NEEDS. 
But what is really important is also: Motivation. Without motivation your character could just, I don't know, sit in the room staring at the wall. Your character MUST have motivation! That is what drives him/her forward. That is what makes him choose wisely or not when he is expected to make a choice.

Another thing you have to give your character is a Goal. That goal that he does everything to reach! This goal will mean something through out the story, either he reaches his goal in the end. Or he does not, your choice!

Here are two sorts of characters:

Protagonist: Maincharacter, the hero.

Antagonist: The villain. The one that is against the Protagonist and tries to block him from reaching his goal, but the Antagonist does not need to be a PERSON. It can for example be a disease the Protagonist has to fight against.

We all love a hero right? Everyone sheers for the hero! But nobody likes a character that has nothing to loose and that always wins! Basic rule: Give your character at least one weakness! Make him/her loose to that weakness at one time, make the Antagonist think that he has won!

A tip for you is to not lay down all your power to only just develope the Protagonist. Because the whole concept will likely fail if the Antagonist is "weakly made". We don't want an Antagonist just to hate him and spit on his grave! No! We want an Antagonist with a past. Maybe this character wasn't like this before, and something happened... Something that made him change into who he is and to make those bad choices. Give your Antagonist emotions, what if every choice he makes is for the one he loves? We want a Protagonist that we hate that we love! A lovable protagonist is the best kind! For example Loki in Thor/Avengers. Most people hate that we love him! He is the Antagonist but he is almost more loved than the Protagonist. And one more really important part to keep in mind when you create your Antagonist: They always believe they are doing the right things! The right choices! They are the heroes in their own story!

What if an Antagonist's wife is in a coma and she needs organ-transplantats to survive? He has no money for surgery and he wouldn't go rob a bank. So he has to kidnap women and cut out their organs for his wife. Maybe the Protagonist is a Detective that tries to solve this case? 

Another tip to base your character off of is: Starsigns. Pick one and develope your character from there or you mix from other starsigns to get the characteristics that you want!

And last but not least (VERY IMPORTANT): The silent monologue! The silent monologue is what we don't hear, it's what the character thinks and feels. So have this into consideration when you write DIALOGUE. The dialogue doesn't have to be evenly thrown like a ball between the characters, instead you sometimes put in the silent monologue! Your character does not need to answer the other character. You don't need unnessesary lines!

I don't know if I have forgotten anything but I hope this was very helpful for your Machinimas! 

Happy simming//Pearlareign

The Forum post is edited by Pearlareign Aug 30 '14
Lonelyeco Aug 2 '14
Awesome tutorial!
Pearlareign Aug 3 '14
Thank you! :)
Thanks for this tutorial, it's helped me alot with my characters. :D