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[Discussion] Character creation process


Silence is Purple
Everyone creates their own original characters in different ways. What's your character creation process look like?

For me, it varies for the character. But, usually, it goes like this: Region they're from (in the case for Genshin) > picrew for an idea on a character design > what type of chimera they are > character's name (and surname if one comes to me immediately) > vision or whether they have one or not > what weapon type they are > personality and information about them.

But, sometimes, the name comes to me before I have anything thought up for them. Or, the name comes to me last. There are a few ocs where I had the type of chimera they were come before anything else, as well.

For the novel I wrote in 2014, I just created characters when necessary/needed, but it wasn't a long process. For my genshin ocs, I have to consider many factors. When I think up how I would like them to act, a lot of it is preliminary sometimes, too. But, I don't create characters "on the fly" like I did with my novel. Many of them were created before I even wrote them this time around. Some, even months before I finally actually wrote them.

Also, for rpers: faceclaims for your characters or unique character designs?


Empress of Randomness
I usually start with one generic character archetype and then go from there. I'm not the best with writing characters, so I think this is a safe way to get started. My OCs aren't in any specific kind of universe so I don't have to worry about universe-specific characteristics like powers, etc.


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Characters come to me in little bursts of inspiration I get from art or music, or a certain place in time - I feel the essence of the character without yet knowing what they look like, and everything follows from there. Sometimes I follow on with a Picrew, or I use a template that fits. Or it's entirely from my imagination. If I don't get that initial spark, then coming up with characters is very contrived and frustrating and I nearly always discard them, or find out too late how boring they are to write and end up scrapping my story in the process.
  • Age 29
  • Seen Feb 23, 2024
I tend to start with the archetype/personality first and fill it out from there. I figure out what kind of person they are, how they interact with people (important for RPs especially) and react to circumstances, then their goals and dreams relevant to the story/RP they will be in.

After that I would start to explore their backstory - usually rather briefly in the character creation process. I used to go crazy here but found that starting with a very rich backstory doesn't necessarily help me write, especially if I prioritize this over personality/characterization and if it is not relevant to how I am writing their present. And it wastes time when I am writing an SU because I will try to fit this elaborate backstory in it when I just needed a character pitch. But over time I will flesh this out as needed, as I get a better idea of the kind of person they are and what in their past may have shaped them like that.

The last things I will flesh out are appearance and name, usually in that order. Unless their appearance is relevant to their character development in some way, then I will have some minor notes before this point, but often I have no idea what my characters are going to look like when I start writing them because it's not that important to me.

I like Picrews as well! It gives me some amount of control over how they look and makes them feel like original characters without me having to be a good artist.


Don't let me disappear
More often than not I take a gander through my character art folder or other inlets. If it's not something that deals with combat oriented stuff, I'll typically scroll through instagram or pixiv until I see something I vibe with aesthetically. Then I'll ask 'what do they do tho' and then compare appearances to setting and start putting some stuff down. I rarely ever start out with an idea and look for art afterwards, and typically will only really settle on a concept if I have something I can easily visualize through references. Even when doing novel or short story things I typically have a few references I'm basing the idea for the character off of simply because it's easier to manage that way. And as for names... I dunno, they just kind of come to me. I don't put much thought into naming schemes and if it needs justification for in character stuff later then I'll try and figure out why my brain picked that one out of the sea but other than that... eh. Although, I will admit for deities I do think a little more in depth. Sometimes it's just 'what string of letters sounds weird/nice in my head' and other times its 'how many times can i google translate this world until it gets to something that sounds "powerful" enough?'