4 Odd But Effective Characterization Methods

4 Odd But Effective Characterization Methods

For the odd writer... who has a lot of characters

You've got characters. They're your darling children. How long have you spent characterizing them, exactly? A few days? Three years? Somewhere between?

However long it's been, sometimes it feels like you've never done quite enough, especially when it comes to all the minuscule details the readers won't always get to see. (I mean, unless it's central to the plot, knowing a character's favorite food isn't always useful, but it's goshdarn fun to figure out).

If you're anything like me, you've spent time accumulating random facts about your characters and storing them in a variety of unorganized ways. I have Notepad documents, actual notes in notebooks, different variations of character profiles and even one document with a running list of character birthdays. None of these help terribly much, but they've had their use now and then.

Thus, today I'm going to share some odd but effective characterization methods that may not only unify your authorial objectives, but give you a really fun way to spend your writing time apart from the actual writing.

1. Create character Facebook profiles.

Ever wanted to be a secret agent? This is sorta similar.

It's been a while since I've done this one, but it was always quite beneficial. I create the FB page with the character's name and basic information, and then go about stylizing their profiles according to how they would if they ran the account. I usually end up using my own art for the avatar/cover photo (which is usually less than satisfying, but at least it gets the job done and prevents that one awkward stock-photo model from staring at you eternally). From there, I post and interact online as that character would.

Since nobody really knows it's a fictional account, it can sometimes lead to really confusing conversations, but hey, if you're conducting the research and getting the information you need, it's highly worth it. Additionally, feel free to use any other social media accounts you wish. (I've always wanted to create a character Pinterest...)

2. Utilize organizational programs/websites.

First recommendation: Scrivener. I can't say I use this regularly, but I had a free trial and discovered its insane depth and myriad of uses. You can label, arrange and rearrange documents to your heart's desire. Plus, you can write directly into the program and have multiple windows and note-boards open simultaneously for max productivity. Characterization possibilities are nearly endless.

I've also recently started using Notebook.ai, which is one of the most visually-pleasing and writer-based online platforms I've ever discovered. Start worldbuilding from the top down by starting with Universes and working down to Locations, Civilizations, Characters, Items, etc... Better yet, you can set everything to private, and even interact on discussion boards.

3. Create a character-centric Spotify playlist.

Music is one of the single most inspiring mediums ever created. You, as a writer, should use it to your advantage.

If you use Spotify (it's free, with ads), you can create playlists with your favorite music pertaining to the "mood" of a particular character or story. Spotify will suggest similar songs for you to browse, and, once a week, will create a mixtape specifically for you. So if you're anything like me and are always on the hunt for new tunes, use Spotify.

Par exemple, here are a couple playlists I've put together:

Cyberdroid Supplements is for my science fiction novel, Blue 15 (an additional playlist to my main one).

For Wendigo is for a short story I submitted to a contest (which ended up being 15,000+ words, partially thanks to the mood I was able to cultivate with these songs).

4. Set up RP chats.

Roleplay is a jump-right-in approach to characterization. My best friend and I instant-message all the time, and we've been RP'ing with characters since we first started writing. Bringing in the "noobs" has always been a low-pressure way to flesh out preliminary details. This works especially well if you bring in already-established characters as sounding boards. Throw a quick challenge at them, see how they react and then use this information to your advantage. If you're into breaking the fourth wall in-RP, even better. Let the character interact out-of-universe for additional development.

As if that wasn't fun enough, you get to hang out with your writer friends. This isn't just a time to get help--you can give help, as well.

These are just four out of potentially hundreds of alternative ways to characterize your babies. It's okay not to always rely on freewriting or note-taking alone. Use your imagination to aid your imagination. Writers have no limits.

Cover Image Credit: Leeroy

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The 10 Most Overrated Halloween Costumes College Girls ALWAYS Choose

Stop rotating the same 5 costumes already, ladies.

We've all been there. How hard is it to come up with a creative Halloween costume? Or is it? Here are 10 of the most overrated Halloween costumes that you should NEVER do again.

SEE ALSO: 11 Feminist Halloween Costumes You Don't Need Cleavage To Feel Sexy In

1. A cat

It's time to stop.

2. Risky Business

3. Harley Quinn

I get it, Margot Robbie is hot as f***, but you're not so...

4. An athlete

Do you even watch sports? Plus, don't you wear this theme enough at frat parties?

5. Superheroes

One word. basic.

6. Police

Is this so you can blend in when you get arrested?

7. Anything With A tutu

Didn't we wear these enough as babies??

8. aliens?

We get it, you like glitter. Save it for bid day ladies...

9. The Purge

Anything to show some skin while managing to hide your face. Let's face it, Hillary Duff did it best in "Cinderella Story."

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Cover Image Credit: Abbey Coleman / Pinterest

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18 Types Of Mini-Golfers You Come Across On An 18-Hole Course

Which type of mini-golfer are YOU?


Mini-golf: A fun activity that has been around since 1916. We have all played mini-golf before and have probably played a variety of courses over the year. The one thing you might not always realize is the players around you. Next time you go mini-golfing take a look at those playing around you and see if you can find these 18 types of players. Even see which of these mini-golfers you fit!

The professional golfer.

This is the golfer who always has to look at the hole, line up his shot every time, and takes the rules seriously such as adding a stroke when the ball goes out of bounds. I mean it's mini-golf, you don't need to line up ALL your shots.

The driver.

This is the golfer who drives the ball as if he was on an actual golf course. It's one thing if you have a power swing, but this person typically drives the ball purposefully.

The obnoxious one.

This is the golfer who is just wild and all over the place. They make such a big deal out of every play, might make irrelevant comments, etc. It's just unnecessary.

The cheerleader.

This is the person who is constantly cheering others on. Even if it's a bad play they'll say "awe, it's o.k! You still got this!"

The family with the annoying kids.

This is the family where the parents don't know how to control their kids. This is where the kids will go to the next hole before their parents, destroy some of the property, or even interfere with other people golfing.

The family that tries to act like a family.

This is the family that you can clearly see is just acting like a family. It could be as simple as a family that seems tense and is just playing together to a family where the dad and kids are playing while the mom just walks around with them filing her nails.

The group of 8+.

This is the group that holds EVERYONE up. They don't care if there are 8+ balls on one hole at a time. If you are this group, please let people behind you go ahead.

The inseparable couple.

This is the couple that is all over each other. They're constantly kissing if they aren't playing or they are taking pictures of each other.

The teenage girls.

These are the girls acting all innocent and taking selfies while playing while their parents sit near the entrance for them. It's the only thing they can do without parent supervision.

The oldie.

This is literally a grandma or grandpa who is naturally just slow. They are so adorable, but it'll take a good 2 hours to play a full 18 holes with them because of how slow they move.

The smokers.

These are the people smoking cigs or cigars while playing. Let's just hope they aren't smoking around kids and put their butts in the little buckets at each hole.

The slow pokes.

These are the golfers that just take forever. If you are a slow poke please be considerate of those behind you and let them go ahead of you.

The competitive one.

This is the one who is constantly up in your face about how they're going to win. They are the ones who can't just enjoy a game of mini-golf.

The out of bounder.

This is the golfer who constantly hits the ball out of bounds. At that rate you don't even give them a penalty stroke because they'd be up to 10+ on one hole.

The goofball.

This is the person who just acts silly. They could be the ones using a child's size putter or balancing on different rocks or stumps on the course.

The clueless one.

This is the one who never realizes what hole their on, when it's their turn, or what they are even doing.

The scorekeeper.

This is the golfer who takes keeping score seriously. Or this could just be the person who naturally always keeps score when you go mini-golfing.

The normal couple (or group).

These are the people we all love. It's the people who like some friendly competition, but don't goof around. They move from hole to hole at a good pace and keep to themselves. They also are cognizant of those around them. These are the mini-golfers we all love and should strive to be.

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