Sunday, August 8, 2010

Character's childhood

Here’s a thought on character background: what was their childhood like? A childhood is often what an adult is based on. It’s when most of us learned right from wrong, how to share, why the sun comes up each day, and how lovable we are. Though your character may “overcome their childhood,” it will still affect them. If their mother wished they were like a cousin or older sister, they may now know they are worthy of love (how’d that happen?) but they may need to remind themselves of that often. A guy that got picked on as a scrawny kid may work out daily as an adult or have a dislike for those that look strong and perfect. He may even hesitate to go for a girl he loves but feels he can’t compare with “her league” so he watches from afar and settles for another. If they were well loved they may be very loving, if they were neglected, it could be the opposite. However, if you want a girl who grew up on the streets (literally) of Brooklyn all her life, it may not be a good idea to have her sweet and naive. If you have a large secret or shame in your character’s background, that can affect how honest, proud, or suspicious they are. Events or secrets can often bond people or drive them apart. An engaged couple that accidentally killed someone they knew may find it easier (eventually) to break up rather than see each other and be reminded. Accidental sex partners (drinking or just bad in bed) may never want to see each other again. Then again, some people cling to secrets others long to forget causing rifts. People leave towns for big cities hoping to be forgotten if there was a big scandal surrounding them or their family. An aborted child or one given up for adoption can cause problems in the future…The ways childhoods or secrets can effect a character are endless, as well as what they learned from each scenario. While one character may become introverted from being molested, another may become a prostitute or slut in order to feel in control of who hurts her. The possibilities are endless so have fun meeting your characters and making them as close to real as you can.

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