What am I talking about? This. Are you having issues coming up with a new character? Do you feel like your characters start merging into one? Maybe you need to step outside of your own head for a bit and see what kind of character you can create with aspects that are forced on you.
You've seen the character sheets, right? Something to help shape your basic character into something more 3D by dwelling on what makes them who they are? We had our own character sheet to fill out and it included the following catagories: Name, Sex, Hair/Eye Color, Height/Weight, Physical Distinctions, Fashion Style, Allergies, Bad Habits, Family Background, Education, Home Location, Hobbies, Pets, Talents, Strengths, Attitude, Rumors/Reputations, Fears, Secrets/Desires, Past Traumatic Events. I wrote up a series of options for nearly every one of these categories. Some answers were very normal, some were very weird, some were funny. The options for each category were painstakingly cut out and put in little baggies for all the present members to blindly choose from. Once they filled out the categories, we read aloud our character sheets. It was fantastic. Everyone was crying from laughter.
When picking the options, because they were so random, the options seemed to clash so terribly with other options and we felt there was no way we could make a character out of them, but the more you looked at your sheet and the more we discussed our characters out loud, the easier it was to come up with ways the different options could fit together to create a true character. Granted the character might be crazy, but life is crazy and there are all kinds of people so why not go to the extremes. It's more fun that way. It was also interesting hearing the different directions that each person would go with their character because of their specific interests and creativity. We are incorporating our characters with the May challenge and I feel like this will be so awesome.
Here is the character I drew from the ziplock bags....
Suzanne Tiffany Laurel is an 84 year old female with olive hair and plaid eyes. She's only 4'3" and 195lbs. Suzanne suffers from Phantom Limb Syndrome of her left arm which was taken from a bear she now owns as a pet. Her bear, D, is also her home location. She rides the back of D wherever she goes. Suzanne only wears dresses. She's allergic to peanuts and she loves spending time naming storms and woodworking. She's good at the woodworking because she uses her laser eyes to cut them which is helpful since she only has one arm. My character was raised and home schooled by frogs. She's a magician by trade but has a reputation of being a thief. She fears tipped salt and is fueled by blind fury. Suzanne has a bad habit of over touching people. She also has a desire to being the opposite sex and had a traumatic past event of sleeping bad.
As I was writing down the options I picked out, I was concerned with what the hell I was going to do with this mismatch of information, but as I read it over, read it out loud, and discussed with the other members, it seemed like a perfect combo. I love the character who is developing in my head.
So if you want something fresh, try something like we did. Make a character sheet of your own or steal one online and pick some components that help develop your character. At a time that you're not trying to make a character, come up with random options for each category. Lots and lots of options and make some strange ones along with norm. Make your range wide. Don't dwell on what you would do with these options while you're creating them. Just pick your brain, pick your friends brain, pick the internet. On another day when the options aren't as fresh in your mind, dig into your categories, choosing randomly, blindly, from your options and create your character. See what crazy things you get to combine and find out what wonderful characters your mind will make.
Imagination...creativity...it's such a great thing.