Checklist for character development.
Created by myself, compiled from questions gleaned from several sources, and some of my own additions.
It should be noted, that not every character will check every one of these things off. It is not REQUIRED to have all this information, but this checklist is, rather, a guideline for helping you think of your character as an entire, three dimentional being with thoughts, feelings, possessions, contradictions and background.
A character is 20% revealed to the reader, 80% writer/author/Mun knowledge. What the Reader sees is just the tip of the iceburg, but without the other 80% the character can’t help but come off feeling shallow. There’s nothing beneath the surface - KNOWING as much bout your character as possible, instrinsicly, in detail, intimately, can do nothing but help build believability and dimension to your character.
Use only the things on this list that you feel are important, but I would like to remind you that the reader learns a lot about a character NOT through exposition (that’s kind of a cheat, and always feels , to me, like a rather clunky way of conveying knowlege), but through their actions, quirks, thoughts, and even through the things they own and carry with them. What kind of food they eat and how they eat it. What they wear. What they carry in their wallets. I encourage you, as writers, to consider these things when creating a character, and encourage you MORE to leave the exposition out and tell us about your character through these other means!
If nothing else, this will give you a LOT to work with when writing with your character. Maybe it’ll spur you to write about the character’s parents. Or the relationship between them and their family. Maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to write something about how they lost everything in a fire - and the importance each remembered lost item held.
There is certainly no rule that says you HAVE to do it this way, but invariably, the most memorable characters are the ones that we as readers can relate with. It’s hard to relate with just words - but people - with beliefs and dreams and fears - that’s something we can get behind.
I certainly hope you find this useful, and since so many have been inclined to reblog and like this, I shall endeavor to add more character creation and writing tips, lists and excercises up on this blog!
“The character design of Flynn came from the process which was called the “hot man meeting” by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, during which they set up a meeting with all of the female employees of the studio in one room and asked them for their opinions of what made a man good looking in order to create Flynn’s character design with features such as eye color, hair color and style and body type. Video footage showed concept art and photos of various male celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Gene Kelly on the walls of the room. Director Byron Howard said they wanted to make Flynn “the most handsome, most attractive male lead Disney has ever had.”
"The hot man meeting" is now my second favorite animation design story, after the one about how Pixar animators working on the Dug team for Up had “fat dog day” where they basically went to a shelter and were like “please bring out your fattest dogs,” and then they hung out with the fattest jolliest available dogs, all day.
man would i love to be a pixar animator
His name was H. H. Holmes and he is also thought to be THE Jack the Ripper because he was in London at the exact same time and was a medical professional. He went to medical school to learn how to kill people. He is fucking scary.
And Supernatural did an episode on him. I first saw it when I was like 10 and it still creeps me out to this day.
I read a book about him. He had multiple wives at the same time, almost all of whom he killed after separating them from and or killing their children. He was said to be incredibly charming and charismatic, and killed almost all the women he seduced.
Fun Fact: His documentary is on Netflix.
Multiple people involved in convicting H.H and sentencing him to death died bizzare deaths shortly afterward including members of the jury, the doctor who pronounced him dead, and even a priest that visited him before he died.
There is now a post office where the murder castle used to stand (it was burned down after Holmes was executed, thought they never determined the cause of the fire) and it is extremely haunted. Other people have claimed seeing him in the Museum of Science and Industry because it’s one of the only building in Chicago left from that time.
The Museum of Science and Industry is in one of the buildings originally built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. H.H. Holmes exploited the large numbers of young single women coming to town for the fair and preyed upon them. His killing spree largely coincided with the fair, which was a hugely influential event in urban planning and modern trends of architecture.
There is a fantastic book about this, “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larsen. It’s about both the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and about H.H. Holmes, two interconnected events. I originally read the book because I was so relieved that someone had finally written about Holmes (who’s strangely unknown in general knowledge) but I wound up fascinated by all the World’s Fair stuff.
Tried to work on cosplay but this trouble maker got in the way.
I dont think ive ever felt more of a personal connection to a cartoon character than I do to Squidward