How would YOU give your character personality?

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opinion

#1

I hate bland characters as much as the next person. The type where the MC is dependent on boys, dull and uninteresting.

I’m currently writing a new story and my MC is coming across as, well, fake. Most of my dialogue is mainly just relevant to the plot and you can’t really see the character’s personality. I’ve tried changing their clothes and giving them unique animations to differentiate them, but there’s not a lot of depth.

My question is, how would you give your character personality? I know there’s cliché personalities (jock, goth, spoiled princess) but everyone is unique and different. Does anyone have any tips on how to give their character personality and make sure it comes across in episode?:wink:


#2

My response doesn’t have much to do with animations or anything, but I feel like a character’s personality has a lot to do with their past. I agree that some MCs are super boring and uninteresting and I’ve noticed that in the stories these characters are in, the writer doesn’t usually show their back story. It makes me wonder, like, “why is this character so boring? Was their childhood that uneventful? Or is the writer just lazy?”. That’s why whenever I write a character, I give the reader a glimpse of their back story so they can connect and understand why their personality is like that/why they act the way they do. Idk, I just feel like it makes them more interesting and relatable.
I’m terrible at explaining things so I hope that made sense!


#3

Don’t worry I totally understood. :joy: I agree, I’ve given my character a backstory and am trying to reveal it over multiple episodes. But you’re right, I should think more about how it should influence what they do and why. Thanks!


#5

You can add personality through humor.
My main character is boy who’s bullied. It’s a pretty cliche main character so I have to get creative with breaking my character from the overused. trope.
If you’re character is insecure add self deprecating humor and a sadist mind set.
If you’re character is snobby get creative with the insults. My favorite one is, “Next time we speak it’ll be on Dr. Phil, B*tch.”
And so on.
Humor can add a lot of personality.
Use zooming too.
I like to do a really close up face zoom that takes like 10 minutes to zoom and the character says something obscure.
Use your directing tools to your advantage. Give the story and it’s characters personality.
Use narration for personality.
For example.

NARR
Josh fell on his face and Chloe just stared at him with a sadistic smile like the creepy b*tch she is.

and zoom up to chloes face while she’s doing an animation that resembles something close to creepy (Not gonna lie, episode has a lot of unintentional creepy animations.)

Stuff like that. Just get creative and don’t worry about what others will think.


#6

For my mc I actually made her a mix of all my friends personality which made it easier for me, and my story is about uk’s stabbing crimes which also helped me with her character, I don’t know why but those simple things helped me build her basically.


#7

Also, try adding random dialogue and events. You’re story doesn’t have to be point a to point b. Mix in some scenes.


#8

You can base their personality on yourself or someone you know and interact with.
My MC’s likes, dislikes, values, and reactions to certain things are based on mine, so I always think, ‘How would I react in that situation?’
The seventh graders that are my MC’s students are based on students I’ve had before, so I try to analyze them and think about what they would say in any given situation.
That makes my characters feel more real because they were inspired by people I know.


#9

A character’s personality is based on their peculiarities, usual behaviour and dialogues.

When I try to write a character (because it is something difficult for me) I imagine certain chracteristics of the character.

  • What do they do when they face obstacles? Are they fearful or cold towards danger?
  • What’s their appearence? The clothes are very important! They show a lot of the character’s personality.
  • How do they view relationships, love and attraction?
  • Are they introverted or extroverted? Are they social and/or shy?

#10

I agree with @LumTwo!
A great writing exercise that I have used is writing down a character’s traits: are they funny? Have hight moral values? Mean?
Then make up a bunch of different questions that your character might be asked in the future of the story as well as background questions: How old are they? Job? What would your character do if they got into a fight? What would they do if they were asked out on a date? ext.

Good luck with your writing!


#11

Thanks! I’m gonna redo some of my directing to try this out. :wink:


#12

Thank you!:grinning: I’ll keep these points in mind when I’m writing.


#13

If you need any funny one liners just PM me.


#14

This isn’t Episode specific, but I’ve seen sheets online to help with character development, with questions like
“What’s their favorite music?”
“What’s their religion?”
“What’s their worst character trait? WIll that character trait have changed by the end of the story?”
“How would their friends describe them?”
“What do they do when the waiter brings the wrong food”
“What do they do when they find a wallet on the ground?”
“Who are their parents? What jobs do the parents have?”
“Guilty pleasures?”
“If a fairy granted them 3 wishes, what would those be?”
“What’s their biggest secret?”

Sorry, I’m just writing these down from memory and coming up with some of my own. But when you google “character creation sheet”, you can see what I mean.

I also like answering personality quizzes from my characters’ perspective to get a better feel of them. Like Myers-Briggs or a Big Five test.

For Episode specifically, I find it easier to develop NPCs than main characters because of how much the reader can influence the MC over the course of the story. The reader is often meant to sort of imagine themselves as the MC so I find it hard to give them a unique voice. But I try.
One way I try to do that: give the MC a goal each episode. Something like “get this person to forgive me” or “get this information” or something.


#15

Good point. I agree a character has more depth if we know their backstory. This also helps set the stage for why a character would act a certain way in the story.


#16

Definitely! I also believe that slowly revealing things about the character’s life could keep the reader reading for much longer because of the mystery!


#17

Definitely.


#18

I’ve played a couple of stories where the writers have added a bunch of free question choices which you can ‘ask’ your character when they’re introduced. Putting in questions as simple as ‘What’s your favourite book’ for your MC to answer really helps paint a picture, and add personality to your MC —

[Sorry if that makes no sense]


As other people have said, adding in a well thought out backstory that will help playout how the MC acts in certain situations, is really important when giving a MC personality —

[try and go for a backstory with emotion, and maybe give the MC a problem they had to overcome in the past, one that would really affect who they are and how they act, in the present time. Avoid overused/cliche backstories/problems]


While browsing the web some time ago, I came across some lists which help when creating a MC
things that really help make them a strong and not flat character, and really help bring out their personality —
[I put the lists onto Google Doc, as they were too long to comment, I hope you don’t mind :slightly_smiling_face: ]

14 Things to ‘Give’ your MC —
https://goo.gl/sRJGcL

6 Things to ‘Make’ your MC —
https://goo.gl/JfpQwp

13 Things to ‘Find’ for your MC —
https://goo.gl/HxBcLU

[ I understand some things on the lists won’t work with the kind of story you may be writing,
or just won’t work for Episode it’s self, but I really hope they help, even if it’s just a little bit !! ]


Something I find really helpful when trying to help find/show a character’s personality is taking personality quizzes/tests [MBTI] I searched around and found a few sites that are really good for this —
[Answering the questions the way you feel that your character would]

https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/personality/start.php

[Small example of this one here, showing my personality, I like how it gives a small paragraph explaining what I’m like, It really helps me to understand myself more, and It’s really very accurate]

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Another site here —

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

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This site gives a lot more detailed paragraphs about your personality —

Last site —
https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

All these test/Quizzes take less than 10-15 minutes to do and are really simple to take —
[ I would really recommend taking them, and answering from your MC point of view, it helps a lot !! ]


I hope this helped some, and I wish you the best of luck on your story !!
[ I would love if you could keep me updated on your story progress,
and would love even more to read it when it’s complete :sparkling_heart: ]

Starey%20



#19

In theater a character is defined by their actions rather than what they say. So for me, personality comes more from how they act and react to things, with secondary focus on dialogue. Think about what’s important to them, what they want and why, and something that really helps me is to think about how they feel about certain topics. That helps figure out what they say and do.

All of this probably sounds “extra” lol, but I hope it helps!


#20

I agree!
Theater is really helpful about development in plots and characters, and I recommend reading plays, they’re really based on personality and actions rather than descriptions (“John likes art” versus “John: I was talking to Emma that evening, but later I decided to search information about the new museum in our city” or a scene where John is reading a biography about a famous artist )


#21

For this case, my main character description

Origin

  • British father and Filipino mother
  • Long line of the mafia and gangsters (sounds a bit cliche)
  • Grew up in London during her childhood
  • An only child to the family
  • Admired by the people around her
  • her father taught her
  • she has trust issues
  • her father does not approve of arranged marriages for his daughter’s sake

Personality

  • Tomboy
  • Rich
  • Intimidating
  • Cold - she was bullied and used during high school
  • Cunning
    Bold
  • Intelligent - studies in criminal law during her time in college
  • Sarcastic and cynical
  • Sadistic - to her enemies
  • Independent
  • Does not believe in love (love cannot change one person)
  • Stubborn
  • Snarky
  • workaholic
  • Never let’s her guard down

Likes

  • She likes matcha desserts
  • Admires her father and mother so much
  • Would do anything to protect the ones she love
  • Her doberman dog felix
  • Her fondness for pudding
  • prefers to handle things on her own
  • She loves to cook
  • has a fondness for crime and thriller TV shows

Dislikes

  • Men - the sexist ones
  • People who wronged her in the past
  • Liars
  • Rival gangs
  • Quitters
  • Hopeless romantic people
  • Ones that slow her down
  • Negativity
  • When people asked if she needs any help
  • Weaklings
  • disrespectful people

Skills and abilities

  • atheletic - taken gymnastics at a young age
  • Her father trained her so that she could learn how to defend herself
  • Combat fighter
  • Gunslinger - she never missed a shot
  • Parkour
  • strategist
  • problem solver
  • multilingual - her mother taught her Spanish and Filipino

I know that this trait is a bit of a perfectionist but I tried to avoid the main character to have a love interest. I just don’t find the concept of romance that appealing but I prefer the character to be focused on her goal than just to be with a guy