Character Modeling Activity - Let's make that Flat Character 3-Dimensional!

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Xeviance

Senior Member

10-09-2012

Whenever my friends ask me to critique their writing, I always find that their characters lack that certain relatable luster that we all look for in stories. You know, those John's with financial problems, or that Kate who got pregnant and is worried to tell her parents. People with REAL problems, with REAL emotions, and with shoes we find perfect to our fitting.

This thread will be about shaping your character into one that is 3-dimensional, unique, and with a personality we can identify in a sea of "blahs" and cliches. Hopefully after participating in this ongoing activity, you will be able to see your character in a whole new light, and see them as the person that you created them to be, and not some writing on a piece of paper with dialogue.

After this activity, you should be able to sit down in a room, close your eyes, and imagine your character before you. You should be able to have a mental conversation with them. They should be THAT real to you, because if they are, they will be real to the rest of your readers.

Ready to get started?

Here's how you participate...

First, choose one character that you want to focus on. For a lot of stories on the LoL forums, that would be a champion of your choosing, but Original Characters are fine too.

Second, I want you to answer the question listed in the latest post. There will be a new question every day for you to answer, so you can continue polishing your character.

I want your posts to have the name of your character, and the answer to the question. Your post should be as detailed and as illustrative as you can make it. BUT make sure you stick to the question, and don't get side tracked. Your answers could be in a narrative form (as if you're continuing a story), or direct form (he will do this, she will do that).

Are you jumping in the middle of the activity?

Don't worry! Just answer the latest question.

What is my role?

I will simply read and critique your answers, and perhaps even ask you a follow up question for clarification or if I find your character interesting.


Hopefully you guys find this activity fun and exciting, and very helpful for your writing. Good luck, and I'll be looking forward to your answers!


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Xeviance

Senior Member

10-09-2012

Question #1:

Your character finds himself lost in the woods. The sun is about to set, and they smell wetness in the air. It's going to be a rough, stormy night, it seems.

Suddenly, from the corner of their eye, they see an injured wolf. It's young; older than a newborn wolf, but definitely not a full adult. The wolf stares at your character cautiously, breathing heavily while the huge gash glistens with blood. It looks like it was injured not too long ago.

Then, from the corner of their eye, they see a bear. It's huge - eight feet tall at the least, with huge paws and a maw dripping with fresh blood. It sees your character, and charges after them, grunting viciously.

What does your character do next?


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nyarlaBROtep

Senior Member

10-11-2012

I read this and I just don't get it. I mean, I get what you want people to do and to help flush out a character and making them all 3-D, but I think this question is just too much. It is adding too much for them to be able to handle at once, there are so many character emotions and feelings that run through in a scene like this, and to start off like this is difficult.

Now, I do agree that it is difficult to make a character look and feel like someone you could actually and not just a robot with 2 emotions. I think you could of done a simpler question, or just cut out the part with the bear. Although it is what you asked, so here is my little writing exercise for the day.

(Sat down for 5 minutes trying to write it)

I can't do it, maybe I didn't try hard enough. I got to the part to describe the scene with the bear and wolf, but it just doesn't seem like something realistic. I know things can go from bad to worse, but I just can't write it. A scene like this just wouldn't happen and so I, me as a person, I don't even know what I would do. And I AM 3-D. I would try asking a smaller request, something simple yet people can easily expand on it, your question now is mainly one on morality, and so there is really only 2 possibilities.

1. The character tries to save the wolf by putting themselves in harms way.
2. The character just runs from the bear, forgetting about the wolf.

Maybe I am just looking into it a bit much, and I don't want to sound like an ass or anything by attacking your idea like this. I love you idea, I know there are a lot of Mary Sue stories or 2-D champions/OC's and you have a good way to help people with that. I just think you need to start a bit simpler

Example: Write a scene where your character is interacting with someone that they are friends with. Then write what happens when a third character joins their little talk. This third character is friends with your characters friend but your character doesn't like them.

It let's the person write in a more open and comfortable environment Whereas your question had railroaded them so far that it seems off for most characters to be wandering in the woods that far into night. Characters can lose track of time and possibly get lost, but if you apply this to champions and how they are it can cause issues. Then again, I am probably thinking too much into it.

I don't want to come off as being picky or an ass, so sorry if it seems like I am. I do appologize.


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Xeviance

Senior Member

10-16-2012

I had left this forum section thinking that most League of Legends writers weren't interested in my activity, but finally, a post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyarlaBROtep View Post
I read this and I just don't get it. I mean, I get what you want people to do and to help flush out a character and making them all 3-D, but I think this question is just too much. It is adding too much for them to be able to handle at once, there are so many character emotions and feelings that run through in a scene like this, and to start off like this is difficult.

Now, I do agree that it is difficult to make a character look and feel like someone you could actually and not just a robot with 2 emotions. I think you could of done a simpler question, or just cut out the part with the bear. Although it is what you asked, so here is my little writing exercise for the day.

(Sat down for 5 minutes trying to write it)

I can't do it, maybe I didn't try hard enough. I got to the part to describe the scene with the bear and wolf, but it just doesn't seem like something realistic. I know things can go from bad to worse, but I just can't write it. A scene like this just wouldn't happen and so I, me as a person, I don't even know what I would do. And I AM 3-D. I would try asking a smaller request, something simple yet people can easily expand on it, your question now is mainly one on morality, and so there is really only 2 possibilities.

1. The character tries to save the wolf by putting themselves in harms way.
2. The character just runs from the bear, forgetting about the wolf.

Maybe I am just looking into it a bit much, and I don't want to sound like an ass or anything by attacking your idea like this. I love you idea, I know there are a lot of Mary Sue stories or 2-D champions/OC's and you have a good way to help people with that. I just think you need to start a bit simpler

Example: Write a scene where your character is interacting with someone that they are friends with. Then write what happens when a third character joins their little talk. This third character is friends with your characters friend but your character doesn't like them.

It let's the person write in a more open and comfortable environment Whereas your question had railroaded them so far that it seems off for most characters to be wandering in the woods that far into night. Characters can lose track of time and possibly get lost, but if you apply this to champions and how they are it can cause issues. Then again, I am probably thinking too much into it.

I don't want to come off as being picky or an ass, so sorry if it seems like I am. I do appologize.
Oh, don't apologize! I perfectly understand what you're saying. I had no idea that my scenario was a bit confusing. This activity is suppose to put your characters in situations where you will not see them, be it realistic or unrealistic. What I'm trying to do is have the writer bring out a response from the character. No need to write your own story.

So, for example, in this scenario you could say..

Quote:
John would not even think about saving the baby wolf. For one thing, he values his life more than anything, and would not jeopardize his well-being just because an animal got hurt. It's all part of nature, right? If he interfered, he would only be disrupting the food chain, and that would be selfish.

He would just turn around and run for dear life. He would feel sorry for the wolf, of course, but after a week he wouldn't think about it again.
I also don't want to start off too simple with this activity. I want to take your character out of his ideal situation and out of his comfort zone. Even if your character is an Alien from Mars who knows absolutely nothing about planet earth, try to put them in this scenario. You can write ANYTHING, even:

Quote:
Urglorg does not recognize what is going on. Having been on the red rocks for all of his life, the sudden change of scenery shocked him. Where was he? Why was he here? How did he get here?
Just try it out. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does have to represent your character through-and-through.

Good luck!


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Xeviance

Senior Member

10-16-2012

Question #2

Your character suddenly realizes that there is a presence behind them. They turn around to see a masked individual. The person has a ski-styled mask on with eye holes cut out where the eye sockets should be. They have a heavy brown jacket on, and something was poking out of it. A gun? A knife? A chicken leg? Your character can't tell - it was too dark, and the moonlight was barely peaking out of the clouds.

The masked individual takes a step forward, and says in a deep voice: "I know what you did to her." It sounded like a man.

What does your character do next?


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AMimicNamedWilo

Member

10-25-2012

Hum. Interesting character exercises you have here. However, as of this moment, I can't really think of any character I've designed that I'd want to put in a situation like those. Either way, I may try to attempt this exercise at some point. I'm sad to see nobody is actually trying this - I guess those do take people a bit far out of their comfort zone. Well, we'll see what I can do later - if I can do anything interesting with those scenarios. XD


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Halcyonix

Member

10-26-2012

Devyn eyed the man carefully, getting ready to disarm the man if he drew out his weapon.
"What are you talking about?" Devyn calmly asked.
"Have you already forgotten what happened two years ago?" the man snarled out.
"Two years ago? What do you mean?" Devyn was starting to get confused, but he didn't look away from the man's hand, which were a bit too close to where the object was sticking out.
Devyn whipped into action as soon as he saw the man's hand move, grabbing the man's wrist he squeezed the pressure points on it hard, just like how his father taught him years ago, and punched the man in the face; to make sure the man would be stunned. Taking the weapon from the man's jacket he pointed it at him to realize, it was just a water gun.
"What the hell man!" the man yelled out in pain. Devyn finally recognized the man's voice and said just one word.
"Oops."