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Character Development and You: The Quick Keys to Development
#1
*Note! This thread will include a variety of questions. I don't expect answers to be posted as replies to this thread, but you are more than welcome to! The true purpose of this thread is to serve as material to spark some thinking, possibly helping you through some preliminary development, or to develop your characters further!*

Hey there, CotH Community! It's Valicor again. As school started again, I couldn't help but do my best to keep alert and soak in every detail of the new material I was given. As I sat in my English class, we began to discuss Characterization and Character Development, and I realized that I was handed a worksheet that was perfect to transfer into a questionnaire-like thread!

As stated before, any questions I present here aren't question-and-answer questions. They're questions that you soak in mentally, applying to your character and finding the results, intended only to aid you in the vital process of character development, whether it be for new or old!

Without further ado, let me get to it.

Kephart Wrote:Characterization; the description of individuals in a work of literacy.

Characterization, the process of creating characters in a work of literature. While usually this term applies to written literature, such as short stories, there is not a better example of literacy than Roleplay! Although one cannot control the environment of the literature, Roleplay is the equivalent of hundreds, thousands of authors co-writing the same story in real-time. That being said, think about how far characterization can be applied to your own characters.

Kephart Wrote:Writers reveal the traits of their characters either directly, or indirectly.
*Direct Characterization -- the writer simply and bluntly tells the reader what the character is like.
*Indirect Characterization -- the writer subtly reveals the character's traits in five different ways-
-Appearance
-Dialogue
-Private Thoughts
-Actions
-Effects

When we begin to reference 'writer' and 'reader' in this thread, 'writer' would be you. 'Reader' would be the audience of your writing! 'Reader' can be any single individual person you Roleplay with in the World. [b]Here comes the heavier thinking.

Picture your character.
How do you apply characterization? Do you apply it directly, using keywords in emotes that directly tell the readers how your character acts? From the same token, are you indirect in your methods? Do you use those (five) different ways to pull back the veil on a much more complex picture?

Whether direct or indirect, how do you express those (five) options? Do you emphasize the appearance of your character, and what of? Of course the appearance of a character is relevant, but how important is it to you? As far as dialogue is concerned, Roleplay sees a lot of this! Roleplay is primarily dialogue! Think hard on how your character speaks. What does your choice of words/way of speaking say about the personality of your character? All of these answers can be vital.

Going along, we come upon private thoughts. These usually result from conflicting ideas or interests in Roleplay, or simply the thoughts that are formulated In-Character, but can't possibly be shared with others....because it is inside your character's head! What do the thoughts of your character say about them? Do they often think, or do they think little? When they think, is it about assumptions, or is it simply relaxed self-reflection? Knowing the answer to this question can provide an important light to be shone on your character's personality.

Actions and effects! Actions is self explanatory. Is your character subtle, weak? Maybe the opposite, being loud and extreme! Actions, aside from dialogue, are one of the most key expression of a character's personality that others can see. Does your character allow his feelings to play straight into their action, letting their mind free without hesitance? These actions leave impressions, and these impressions can change not only how others see your character, but how you see your own character!

And finally, effects. How does your character effect the audience? Does the presence of your character make people shift uncomfortably in their chairs, or does it make them get involved and get active? Effects plays directly with actions and dialogue, making it a vital thing in the bigger picture.

Kephart Wrote:Types of Characters in Literature;
*Flat Character -- a two dimensional character with one or two notable traits.
*Round Character -- a three dimensional character with qualities of real-life people, with many traits and complexities (most common in Roleplay).
*Stock Character -- a character designed to fit a set notion, such as a "mad scientist" (second most common in Roleplay).

And the questions continue to flow! What type of character is your character? (When I speak dimensions, I simply refer to the depth of the character, not of actual dimensions). Flat, with only one or two notable things? Round, with such a hierarchy of complexities and values and emotions that it's sometimes hard to sort out? Or a stock character, designed and created in an image of a sort of stereotype.

There is nothing wrong with any of these character types.
Embrace whatever type of character you lead! But it does help to understand by knowing the answer to the question. If your character is flat, can you do anything to add depth, or do you enjoy the lack of complexion? If your character is round, how does that change who your character is? If stock, what could your character do to break a boundary and become round, or do you enjoy being that stereotype "evil warlock"? The choice is yours.

Kephart Wrote:Character Interactions;
*Protagonist -- the main character, the usual focus of the story.
*Antagonist -- the character or force blocking or hindering the protagonist from reaching his or her goal.
*Subordinate Character -- a minor character with close to no purpose besides to advance the plot. (Filler characters).


Begin the application. What is your character? Development and progress comes in all different shapes and sizes. Are you a protagonist, taking complete control of your development, and grabbing your next storyline by the horns? Or are you an antagonist, acting against another force, trying to halt In-Character progression? (This term can also be used for broad groups, like guilds. Think 'conflict Roleplay'). Is your character a subordinate, a small project that isn't quite fledged yet? Not very important, not making much progression, yet being there to aid others in their development? Think of how these answers define you, and if you like being the character type that you are.

And now we near the end of the thread, one last section to discuss!
Kephart Wrote:Character Development;
*Dynamic Character -- a character that changes in a large or important way throughout the story, making important decisions or gaining new viewpoints and knowledge.
*Static Character -- a character that remains the same from the start to end of a story.

When discussing 'story', consider it in terms of a storyline that you design for your character to progress through. Guilds, transition periods, making a big choice. Is your character dynamic, taking the brunt of the change, making lots of new developments and progressions as it goes along, or is your character more static, just remaining in the same general state?
Again, there is nothing better or worse about either of these character types. Embrace it! When you come upon a new storyline or transition period for your character, think about being dynamic or static! This can possibly change the outcome of this storyline.

That's the end, CotH Community! As I said, this was only a thread intended to ask lots of questions. Hopefully thinking about, and answering, these questions has provided an opportunity for you to build your character a little deeper, or just reinforce what you already knew! If you're looking for inspiration for a new character, maybe look at these questions to help decide what they'll turn out like!
Thinking things through can be the most important part of development, and development shapes the characters that we see all around the World.

Also, I apologize for the beefiness and length of this thread.

*If there was anything you especially liked or disliked about this thread, or that you believe I should add in another section, feel free to leave a reply! If this thread somehow did help you like I wanted, providing a deeper connection between you and your character, feel free to let me know! Any type of feedback would be appreciated.*
[Image: 4ab673a110e5324a7acf57e330a6c8eb.jpg]
[-] The following 4 users Like Valicor's post:
  • QuantumLegacy, Dug, Spiralin, Holynexus
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#2
Bump. Still looking for feedback on this.
[Image: 4ab673a110e5324a7acf57e330a6c8eb.jpg]
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#3
At the risk of being a Necro, I've got to give this another bump only on the sole intention of getting even a single word of feedback. I know you CotHians are good at feedbacks, so let me borrow some. <3

(plox I enjoyed writing this and I'd like to see if it helped out others or not.)
[Image: 4ab673a110e5324a7acf57e330a6c8eb.jpg]
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