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Cassie's Creative Catalyst
Cassie's Creative Catalyst

Season 1, Episode 1 · 1 year ago

Character Creation - Personality First

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this podcast, I explain how to create a character by creating their personality first. A few examples are given along with why each step is important.

Note: Creative Writing Podcast

Hey guys, I'm cassie the host ofCassy's creative catalyst on this podcast, I'm going to be talking aboutwriting and chemical engineering. I know this is a bit of an odd mix, butI'm a senior in college. An academic burnet is real to start off, I'm goingto do a mini series on character creation, character. Creation has always been oneof my favorite things to do. I feel like there's inspiration for iteverywhere. The people you meet in class those random encounters. You haveon the street, I feel like everywhere, you look, you can pull some sort ofpersonality, treat that you want to use as a character base, there's no right or wrong way to createa character, but in this episode I am going to be talking about why creatinga character's personality first is beneficial and what to look out for asyou billed. I use this method more often than not, because I find nameycharacters to be one of the hardest parts about writing. When I'm creatinga character, I hate spending a ton of...

...time on a name just to find that thecharacter doesn't fit well into. My story, I tend to use filler names orinitials. If I run into this or I'm just point, blank lazy and I put abunch of dashes so that ill eventually come back to name them. You can usefiller names for a character if you want to get down to writing like rightaway and then just switch it for the name that you decide on later. As astory is being written. However, I would advise you to be very carefulabout the filler names you use. I saw a tumbler eigteas ago where someone usedwill as a filler name, and I can only imagine how much of a nightmare thatwas to fix when creating the character's personality. I like to lookfor elements in my story that are missing and start. There is a story tooserious. Do I need a character, who's, a gift, a joke teller. Do I need astrong leader to take charge? Do I need...

...someone who is ain't capable of sayingno do irtneet an Extrobert or an introvert? These are just a few of thequestions I asked myself while I'm getting started. So, for example, I had a mercenary that I really wanted todrop into this story, but I realized that a mercenary didn't fit, so Itweaked it so that she was a private investigator and she was that good mixof following the law to a Ta and knowing how to break every single oneof them and not get caught, and this blundded really well, because sheserved as a bond between two other characters: One Who followd the Wal tothe tea and the other, who just really didn't care and was just doing what hefelt was morally right, and so that mix really helped bring the story and thecharacters together. If you're, just starting a story- and you don't haveany gaps to fill, I would recommend that you take an aspect of yourpersonality or the personality of a...

...friend and blow it up. Your friendlikes reading the horoscope make a character who plans their life aroundtheir hororscope. You like to bake, make a character who is always makingnew recipes and constantly ask people to try their latest recipe. You admirehow your mentors always willing to explain things to you, make a characterthat uses the same approach and mentors to other characters. Once you have this,you can sprinkle in some other personality, characterisis such astalkative softspoken, blunt down to Earth hyper the list could go on. Thisis like super important because I feel like every person has, that onedefining trait about them, that you hear their name and you immediatelythink: Oh Hey! They do this thing and giving that same reaction to acharacter makes them really rememberable, especially for peoplethat have a hard time, maybe remembering names. You can mention thisone quirk about them and it makes it...

...easy wance. You have that it's time tomove on to the traits that make the characters feel real. What are theirflaws? Do they hold grudges? Are they overly petty? Do they have depression,anxiety, SCIZIFRANIA OR PTSD? How do these things intertrine with the mainstory? Do they run from this part of themselves or do they try to face athead on? How does this affect? How other people see them? This part isabsolutely crucial to character, creating because if you only have acharacter that does everything right that has no flaws, no underlying thingsthat motivate them in life are that guide how they act. You lose something.For example, I have a character who was heavily abused and she was absolutelyperfect. When I first wrote her, she did everything right. She didn't needany help and I realized this was unrealistic and one day I went throughand really looked at my character and...

...wondered why I had other charactersaround in the first place, because she could do it all, and so I slowly wentthrough and tweaked things. So she was no longer this perfect person that gotout of a horrible situation. UNSCATHE she had scars and she had PTSD when herPTSD added up she needed help grounding herself. She needed help getting out ofthose situations. She was constantly tired. She couldn't sleep very well,and it really turned her into an entirely different character becauseshe still had the same personality, but she had a very real aspect to her thatshowed you what she had experienced in life and how it had its told on her,and so I think that that really shows how important it is to really balanceyour characters out. This goes into another thing of making sure yourcharacters have room to grow. The character I just mentioned did not haveroom to grow. She was always going to...

...be that perfect princess that was aheadof the game and to be fair, she still is, but she's at least a realistic,perfect princess. It's really easy to make these perfect characters that cando no wrong and these characters are fun to play with, especially whenyou're first starting outwriting, and you just want to go for it, but when this happens or usually isn'ta need for other characters, so you plan their best friend, but do theyreally need their best friend you plan for them to have this boss or thismentor wbut? Are they ahead of the game to the point where they don't even needa boss Oramentor? This is something that I feel like is really easy to fallinto, where you have all of these like filler characters that aren't reallyneeded, but it feels really strange to just have your main character bythemselves. Think of your parents, your friends, mentors and everyone inbetween, we all have flaws and they've shaped us into the people we are today.We've had experiences, some of which we...

...love and some of which we try to ignorethese things shape us into the person we are today whether we hide from them.We face them head on or we're still searching to find out what they are.Next, you can go on and give your character a series of dreams start outby giving them one long term dream two medium term dreams and three short termdreams. They can be dreamed similar to your own and they can be dreams of pusha story further, give them a reason to be in the story and in a twine thesedreams with the dreams of other characters. I feel like it is highlyunrealistic to shove a group of characters together that don't share atleast one common dream, or at least a related dream. Why are they there? Then?So, if you have a character who really wants to help people, their goal is tocreate a better system? What are their...

...supporting characters goals? Maybe oneof the characters was hurt by the system, and so they don't really wantto make it better. They want to destroy it. The two of those can go hand inhand, maybe one character really like singing, and so their goal is to writea song. It doesn't have to be a big hit that doesn't have to be published, butthey want to write it. They want to feel like it's good, and these are alllike realistic goals that not only shape the character themselves, but thehelp push the story forward and give them a reason to be there, and so oncea character has a reason to be there. They are far easier to use because youcan always come back to them and this isn't to say that the characterspersonality won't change as you write them and that the characters dreamswon't change, because I personally am guided more by my characters than myown thoughts. If that makes any sense- and you will find a time where yourcharacter is going to be entirely...

...different from the character you haveplanned and that is okay, creating their personality. First is really justgiving you a really good background on how to start, and you will see themstart to grow as you use them. And if you don't see growth, then I wouldreally recommend sitting back and looking at the situation. YOUV put themin the people theyre around, and I would really look to see if they're allinteracting, really well and question why this growth isn't happening. Maybethe main topic isn't enough to cause that growth. Maybe theyr people therearound are sunting their growth. Maybe the characters are just in the wrongstory, and you should try to put them in a different story which isheartbreaking, but trust me writing. A force character is the worst possiblething you can do, because not only do you know that it's a force character,your readers will know that it's a...

...force character and it will affect howthey view your story. That being said, the main purpose of character creation,especially with personality first, is to just have fun and explore exploreyourself explore your relationship with your friends, your neighbors, anyoneyou can see, because you are going to find things that you have never noticed,and maybe you're going to realize that one thing that you have admired aboutyour friend that you couldn't put your finger on or that one thing that you'vegotten better at that you are so proud of, and so I would say, treat thesecharacters as you would yourself and, as you would your friends and allowthem to grow, allow them to change and allow them to become better versions ofthemselves. Thank you all for listening. If you've enjoyed this podcast and haveany comments, questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you, you cancontact me by email at cassie's, creative catalyst at dmailcom.

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