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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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

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30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.


17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:

Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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