Have you ever caught yourself reading a book, manga or watching a TV show and wonder how the creator could come up with such a realistic character? Well, whether it'd be an anthro, anime or real-life character, characters take time to think through. In this tutorial, I will tell you just how to create that realistic and believable character! You can also use this tutorial to think through the characters you've already created in order to re-vamp their appearance and personality!
There are 3 important aspects to a character, they are: personality
. Characters lacking one or more of those aspects may come off flat and boring. Personality is how
the character acts and interacts with other characters. The personality is what gives your audience feelings
for your character. Design is another important aspect. Their design is how the audience will remember your character. Purpose is the final aspect of characterization. Everyone has a purpose, big or small. This is why
you decided to create your character. What are they going to offer to your story?
First step is personality. Why personality first? Why not design? Good question. Your character's design should reflect their personality. If your character is happy, bright colors should suit them better. If your character is sad and droopy, dark, neutral colors should suit their design better. Now this is the point where you just sit down and brainstorm. What comes to mind? Do you want a character that's average, overly ambitious, serious, harshly sarcastic; whatever it is that you want, just jot these ideas down. Each one of these characteristics adds to your characters personality, even if it's something along the lines of "they like ice cream". Tiny details such as that can add more depth to your character whether you know it or not.
Imagine to yourself simple scenarios such as this
What would your character do if someone accidentally stepped on their foot? Would they completely flip their lid and tell the other person off? Would they giggle, shrug it off and go on their way? What would your character order in a restaurant? Would they order a big, fat, juicy steak? Would they order pasta and a salad? What would your character do if someone gave them a book for Christmas? Would they read it? Would they toss it aside and ignore it? Imagining scenarios such as this will help you think through your character's personality.
Another aspect that can add to your character's personality is research. Say you want your character to be Vegan, but you don't know anything about Veganism. Start reading about Veganism, study it and become familiar with it. The more realistically you make your character seem Vegan, the more solid their characterization will be. BEWARE
. Don't overdo your character's personality. You want your character to be realistic and believable. This is what will make your audience like them. If you make them ridiculously powerful, invincible, overly arrogant; where's the real characterization? You've over exaggerated everything and made your character suffer at your own hands and utterly destroyed all aspects of characterization.
Second step is design. Design is going to be your character's outer appearance that will make it visibly unique from everyone else. This is the tricky part. What do they look like? What comes to mind? Do you picture your character with long or short hair? Do they have blue or brown eyes? Are they tall or short? All of this is up to you, but take into account your character's personality. Look up color meaning charts. You may find that colors such as red symbolize anger and hostility. Is your character short tempered or angry? Red may suit them, so incorporate red into their design. Are they boisterous, happy and energetic? Orange or yellow may suit them. Is your character sad, droopy and seemingly depressed or afflicted? Colors such as gray may suit them great.
What does your character wear? Do they come from somewhere that's hot or cold? Are they an ex-war veteran who loves to wear camouflage? Are they a fashonista who loves to wear top notch clothes? If so, take deep thought into their clothes and accessories. This is the part that will make them different from all the other characters. BEWARE
. Don't overdo your character's design. If you add too many colors, accessories and any other unnecessary trinkets, your character will become an eye sore. A little hint; if you as the creator can't remember every aspect of your character, down to the color of their shoe strings; you may have a problem. Your character may be too dressed up. Tone it down and remove some of their unnecessary accessories and try to keep it to a minimum of 3 or 4 colors to their color scheme.
Third and last step; what is their purpose? What do you intend your character to do? Are they a popular singer in a band that will generate a movement from their listeners? Is your character responsible for saving the world from a bad guy? Or, is your character just meant to go to school, study and hope to get an A on the next exam? Whatever their purpose, use their personality as the driving force to move them forward in their purpose. If your character is sad and droopy, it may be hard from them to find the urge to study all night to get that A on their exam. If they're a fashonista with a huge ego, they won't be studying; they're going to party all night! Though, if they are a bookworm, getting an A on that exam is a cinch.
Certain aspects of a character's personality may create problems for them. Like the fashonista that loves to party; he or she may be confronted with failing the 12th grade! Or, the bookworm that loves to study; they may get picked on by other kids. How do these characters's overcome this? How will your fashonista pass the 12th grade? Will he bully a smart kid into doing his homework for him? Will the bookworm concoct a trap that will make the bullies somehow slip in the cafeteria to completely embarrass them? Use your character's personality as a driving factor in their purpose. Also, use their weaknesses as things to drive the plot.
So, did you do it? Did you create that well-rounded character that you envied in the story you were reading? Did you fill in the gaps to the character you already had to make them even better? I sure hope you did! Creating characters can be very fun, but it can also be very hard. So, use this tutorial as a little helper.
I hope someone finds this useful.