Character Survey Thread

Share any written short stories, novels, or poetry

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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Bluewyrm » April 6th, 2012, 9:27:18 pm

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? I notice this a lot with the so called "Keep Stories" where people call their character "my magi."
All of my characters share some characteristics with me (How could they not?) but none of my characters are specifically supposed to be me. I do have a number of Author Avatars, however, which I guess count as characters even if they only rarely appear in my stories directly (I use a bit of a different spin on the narration depending on the story, and if an author avatar makes an appearance, they share the narraration's qualities. I don't really know why.) One of my stranger settings has a character that is me (...it's the creator god. Of course.)
Actually, the character that people though represented my screen name (A dragon named Blue) had the least in common with me of them all. Luckily I realized my mistake and changed it after a while...

2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?
Male, honestly. There's nothing sexist about it, I just have better luck paying attention to what I write when there's a male character... I also like writing characters where you can't immediatly determine their gender. It's interesting to see how people react to it.
I do write (and even like to write) female characters though. I just haven't had as many in the past.

3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?
I'm extremely attached to all my characters. Some of them I love, and some of them I loath. I also like writing emotional rollercoasters so I can show off their colors. Humor/discomfort are good too. It probably helps that I tend to recycle character designs a bit, so even if I kill one off, I can always use it again elsewhere... Some people seem to get attached at the hip to their characters, which is bad, but it's a different sort of attachment than what I seem to have with most of them.

4. How attached do you get to other people's characters?
Sometimes very, sometimes not at all. It depends on whether I find them believable as a person or not.

5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?
I make a character, and then I make some story, and then I realize I need another character and ...bam. Practically writes itself. I also like banging my characters together repeatedly and recording the sounds it makes. (Take that bit metaphorically.) Story tends to be a thing that just happens when I write. Also intricate backstories that appear out of nowhere and take root in my head. And then require their own story to be written out.

6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?
I start with a personality (often a combination of bits of several other characters from one of my other universes) and then work my way out, figuring out a basic apperance right afterward and then addressing the rest as it comes up. Most of my characters never get a specific age unless they exist on a section of a universe's history I already plotted, and the vast majority of my characters never get names.
The universe and situation usually comes first, and the characters show up along the way... my latest was
Spoiler because tl;dr about my latest project, which is actually a webcomic but shoot, it's a good example of what I'm talking about...
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Sorenteen » April 8th, 2012, 2:02:15 pm

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? I notice this a lot with the so called "Keep Stories" where people call their character "my magi."
I sometimes base them off myself, and a lot of the time I'll base them off friends and family. I generally have at least one character that is based off a real person.
2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?
I like writing female characters. I relate better to them, and I can think more along the lines of what I would do in a situation they are faced with. I personally don't like writing males, because I tend to ruin the characters by making them to good or to bad, and I feminize them.
3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?
I usually become very attached to my characters, and I have to prepare myself from the beginning of the story to kill of characters. However I find it easy to have characters just up and leave. It can be rather problematic, but I think I handle it well.
4. How attached do you get to other people's characters?
I don't generally get attached to other people's characters, sometimes I do, but most of the time I don't.
5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?
I do both. Mostly I make the characters to fit the story, and in a few cases I make the story to fit the character. I find making the story to fit the character to be harder, but a slight bit more rewarding in the end. And sometimes I do a mixture of both. Like wright a little bit of the story, and then make the rest to fit the character.
6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?
I go about making characters in tons of different ways. Sometimes I dream them up, or I find inspiration in movies or books, through experience, or even music can draw out a character idea. Although I don't always act on my ideas, and sometimes I act on them months later. I think all my methods are effective. I mean they all work, so I would say they were effective.
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Karzarill » May 20th, 2012, 3:00:17 pm

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? I notice this a lot with the so called "Keep Stories" where people call their character "my magi."
No entirely, but some of them do have traits taken from myself, but I try not to make them after/like me or any other way you can think of. In the chase of my magi he not base of me in anyway.

2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?
I prefer males since I find that easier even if I do have some female characters. I've never really thought about why I like creating male characters more, but I guess is because I have never acted like a girl myself, despite the fact that I'm actually female. I guess is because I don't have much experience with girl since all but one of my friends is male.

3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?
It depends on the character but I do have favorites I end up liking more even if I do try not to make it all about that character.

4. How attached do you get to other people's characters?
It really depends on the character, but I don't think I get very atteched to character even if there are some I take a liking too.

5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?
I thing i mix and match on those two actually.

6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?
It happens at random when I think I need a new character or things need something extra my other characters can't fit. I usually most of the time first decide on the gender, then the name and then I mold the personality after the name, them I think up small things like is the character mentally ill, does he/she have any allergies and so fourth. I sounds a little weird I know, but it works for me. Other times I think up the personality and gender then the name. I think it works fine, I'm still not that good at writing but I polish my character as I get better.
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Rekkushi » May 21st, 2012, 1:26:23 pm

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? I notice this a lot with the so called "Keep Stories" where people call their character "my magi." Most of my characters are more so based off of who I want to be. The ones I RP as or write as are the ones based off of me.
2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why? Both! I normally write as a female, but I love writing male characters, it gives a new perspective on things :D
3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem? My characters are my fictional children.
4. How attached do you get to other people's characters? I love reading about other peoples characters and seeing how they react with my own.
5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story? Both. Constantly.
6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method? I make a character sheet and draw the character, then fill in the info as I go :D
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby NitrogenFixation » May 26th, 2012, 11:56:50 am

1. Are any of your characters based off of you?

Not intentionally. There was one character who turned out eerily similar to me, with some more extreme aspects of my personality, but that was not on purpose. Generally, I take inspiration from characters I've seen.

2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?

I've always felt more comfortable writing male characters. I'm not sure why, exactly. I suppose it feels more like slipping into a role than writing a female character does, in some ways. I don't know that that's THE reason, but it's a reason, at least.

3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?

I love my characters. If I didn't love them, I wouldn't want to write them. However, I also want to write well, and I'm not so attached to my characters that I can't take people critiquing them. I love them for what they are: works of fiction. I do not think of them as people until I'm writing them and need to see how they'd think as people.

Getting attached can be a problem, yes. If it gets to the point where you're unwilling to listen to criticism of the character, something is wrong.

4. How attached do you get to other people's characters?

Depends on the author. I'll get attached to a character who feels real and well-written. A good story and a good character will have the readers emotionally invested in it. It doesn't matter what the plot is -- if the readers don't care about the characters, they'll have little interest in the story. What constitutes a good character, to me, is that they're realistic. They're not perfect, and they have some personality -- a really interesting and multi-faceted personality! A well-written character would be a character who acts and reacts in a realistic way, taking both their personality and human nature into account.

A good example would be every Homestuck character ever.

5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?

If the characters are well-made, the story will form around them.

For example, say I make a cast of characters for this plot basis I've developed. The plot basis is, for example, a medieval fantasy world in which the universe is being torn apart by use of unnatural magic. I develop characters who are natural magic users. Their motivations and decisions are what will flesh out the story. Their personalities are not dependent on the plot (generally speaking) -- I do not create the characters specifically to fit the story. The characters are created separate from the plot basis, and the plot basis generally independent of the characters. The combination of the two creates the story.

So essentially, neither/both.

Again, I point to Homestuck as an excellent example -- granted, that was half formed by the seat of the author's pants.

6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?

I don't have a particular process for it, I guess? I've got a bunch of personality elements stored away in a list in my head, and I suppose I just develop a character's personality based on those traits, then look at that and determine what kind of history would be most interesting with the personality.

For example, I wanted to make a suave gentleman thief*, but he genuinely doesn't really care about people unless it's to his benefit. Sure, he helps people out for no reason sometimes, but it's not because he's a nice guy -- it's because he's got nothing better to do. He'd take the shirt off the back of the granny he just helped across the street if it was to his benefit, and he'd not feel bad or spiteful. The world is his playground and he doesn't much care one way or the other about most other people.

Then I asked myself what kind of history would be interesting for him. I wanted to make him as unsympathetic as possible yet so charismatic that you can't help but be reluctantly fond of him. So I gave him no reason to be like that at all! He was born into a rich family, he wasn't pressured or abused -- the world was his oyster. He didn't care for the lifestyle so he left it in favor of being considered common street rabble and charming and manipulating everything and everyone to his advantage, for no reason other than because he can.

So, essentially, I form the character based on how I want the reader to perceive them and feel about them.

This is a good thread. c:


* "Thief" is not a personality trait, but it's a vital aspect of the character.
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Chess » June 5th, 2012, 4:07:01 pm

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? I notice this a lot with the so called "Keep Stories" where people call their character "my magi."
Pretty much never. I write fiction stories and in fiction stories, the main characters usually have something special about them, and I feel I'm complimenting myself if I work my characteristics in there.

2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?
I write a mix of both, though I usually write female characters and rp male characters. I prefer writing a mix of both, though, since I somehow think it's "unfair" if I have like three girls and one boy. I'm also more comfortable writing females when I'm writing in first person because I am female and...I guess I know how it feels? XD As for rp'ing, I'm more comfortable with male characters for no reason I can determine yet.

3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?
I don't get very much attached to my own characters, because to me they're just what they are--made up, imaginary, and I don't see why I have to get emotional over their struggles. I mean, I'm writing the story, so if I want to kill their loved ones off, then oh well for me I guess. :lol:

4. How attached do you get to other people's characters?
Not very attached, that's all I can say right now.

5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?
I determine a setting, the main character, and that's about it. I like letting my story write as I go along, because right in the middle of writing the story, I'll just come up with a brilliant idea and I don't like sticking to an agenda very much. After all, I don't write for a living, just for fun, so I don't see why I should be planning ahead about it. The bad thing is, I end up quitting my story because it isn't going the way I want it to be but I like it. :derp:

6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?
As I said above, I make my characters as I go along. I don't even determine the name first, actually. I just get the general plot and the gender and...that's it. Oftentimes, I have to stop and think of a name for my characters. :lol:
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Era » June 5th, 2012, 4:47:35 pm

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? I notice this a lot with the so called "Keep Stories" where people call their character "my magi."
As a matter of fact,some of my characters have some traits of my personality.I like using this as it may make the character a little more original.I always try to think of any character as a real person who would react differently in any situation.
2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?
I usually don't have any problem is any of the 2 genders but when it comes to a point where i want to sketch a character I prefer females as I find them easier to draw
3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?
Sometimes I get attached to specific characters and thats somehow bad cos you want to keep focusing on this one...Its would be better if you are equally attached to every character you create but try to keep it to a normal level.I usually kill my characters in a story because they just keep getting more and more...
4. How attached do you get to other people's characters? When it comes to non-canon or characters who do not participate in any book/anime/manga or anything no.Not at all.When it comes to canon characters sadly I may become pretty much razy about them.
5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?
Both depending on which I think of first.If I think that the character is good i make the story.If I like the plot I change the character.I think its preety much what everyone does.
6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?
First I think about the era they live,where do they live and whats happening (eg a war,peace,kingdom,democracy etc).After that I think the background of the character.It is easier to base the character on a backgroung than the back ground on a personality.After I make the traits,character,personality of the character.After that I decide on the appearence.The gender was decided on the the start even before the era.After I choose the friends and enimies he/she has.Finally i make the character more handheld by drawing him/her to decide on everything.

I hope thats good and thanks you for posting as I had much fun writing that :roll: :woo:
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Slyther » June 6th, 2012, 4:42:49 pm

1. A select few are, but mostly I try to create characters that are not at all like me or have qualities that I possess but do not show.
2. I honestly don't really have much of a preference.
3. I get somewhat attached to my characters, to the point where I care what they do, but I don't obsess over them. I mean sure, it saddens me when one I particularly like dies, but I get over it. It's not like they're real people. If someone gets VERY attached to their characters/avatars, then it could be a problem, but that doesn't happen very often from what I've seen.
4. I get about as attached to them as I do my own characters, if it's very well written then sometimes even moreso.
5. I formulate my characters around my story, but I'd make changes to the story afterwards rather than make changes to the characters afterwards.
6. I just sort of make his personality how I feel at the time I'm making him. It may not be the most effective way, but it sure gives a diverse group of characters!
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby shadowsmudge » June 29th, 2012, 1:02:37 am

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? With my main characters, usually they are not really based off of me, but I can step into their shoes easily.
2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why? Female, I can connect more.
3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem? Lol! *Very* attached. No, I don't think it's a problem, I think it helps me write.
4. How attached do you get to other people's characters? It depends. I've cried over the deaths of characters in quite a few books....
5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story? Mine usually come together, neither works without the other.
6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method? They usually just pop into my head with a story idea, it seems to work.
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Re: Character Survey Thread

Postby Sprinkles » July 9th, 2012, 12:10:42 am

This is my first time on this writers section and I thought this would be a nice start, I like this whole idea you have here. :lol:

1. Are any of your characters based off of you? ~No, I could try, but I don't think it would go well... I would change it up too much and then it wouldn't technically be me anymore. But sometimes I'll make a character and later realize it's extremely similar to someone I know in real life.
2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why? ~I don't really have a preference... I like both. But it is a tad bit easier writing female characters because I am female, but i still like writing both.
3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem? ~ I sometimes might get a little attached, or I might slightly god-mod one character to my liking :) I don't think it's much of a problem
4. How attached do you get to other people's characters? ~ I get really attached to other's characters, it's crazy. I get so sad when certain people die in books, and it always seems like my favorite characters the next one to go :(
5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story? ~ Now that i think about it, I form the story first and then make characters to fit the story. I guess it's because I can easily make characters, but I can't come up with story ideas very well...
6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method? ~ For as long as I've been trying to write, honestly, it's been a horrible method. I would kind of just write and try to remember things to include later. But usually I would forget what to remember or I would get lost and not know a way to fix my mess because I simply didn't know much about what I was writing besides the basis. But recently, after my writers block passed, I came up with this story idea I am determined write well, and I found this website that's been helping me out a lot. http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/shortstory/ Yeah it's been really handy, if someone wanted to check it out.
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