19 August, 2018

Creating Character Profiles

Years ago, I learned the useful benefits of creating character profiles. From what I've learned about character development, how important it is to flesh out characters and make them appear real. I learned the more fleshed out and real they seem, the more believable the characters and the story is, and they wouldn't be cardboard cutouts.

I studied about character development, in which it is universal for screenwriting, manga, books and games. Years ago, I created an elaborate character profile for each character in my projects. I viewed other character profile templates, and created my own custom one that fits my writing the most. I know I have read how you can just write a simple summary of the characters, but I feel you have to do whatever is best for you, and for me, writing profiles and writing details about my characters is how I best flesh out characters.

On the profile, I compiled the most important things about a character from research. The profile covers the full name of course, nicknames, gender, race/nationality, appearance, likes, dislikes, personality, hobbies, education, goals and desires, religion and many other things. Getting training on psychology has helped me better develop realistic characters, that does include child psychology studies, which is useful if writers have children POVs or any child character in their story. The profile is like a little outline and map to a character for me, and when I write, I always look back on my notes to make sure I am consistent with the character.

Character profiles have also helped me create scenes. It can be good ideas if you look at your notes on a character. I have found ideas based upon things about them, and it does give me a chance to add in details about characters or either add stuff you'll learn about the character as the story continues.

I found this helpful so each character can stay in character. For instance, I have read how some writers can find their characters doing stuff completely abnormal for that character, being out of character. I know I don't have to follow the profile and notes exactly, but I usually do follow it to stay consistent with the character. Also, it helps me keep what I liked about how I developed each character. In addition, the character profiles help me develop characters differently than each other.

I have seen how difficult it can be to develop not just likable characters, but iconic and original characters. I am continuing my education on character development, for I strive to develop not copies, but originals, something fresh and new.  

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