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    What is a well balanced character?

A well balanced charater is one you would believe is really existing. Creating a character like this may seem not easy at all and sometimes even impossible but it is all about relating information about your character, a bit knowledge of human nature and psychology with each other.
If you manage to master this combination, you will be able to create characters that can come to life on their own.
Sounds good  but pretty complex, right? Let me show you.

First of all: A character should always be the result of many factors being combined as I mentioned above.
    -> Never say the creation progress is done when you miss out e.g. on important events in their backstory or did not mention their family/parents!


You can start out with different aspects and then build up the remaining parts very often but to keep some structure let's start with your characters backstory.


What happens to you in your life forms your personality and character.
Ever seen one of those documentaries on war? Soldiers often say that the war changed them and their countries. And they are right!

Big events change you a lot. By big events I am speaking of something like death or birth of a family member and even getting a pet or witnessing a crime counts to that.

Having a younger sibling often causes you to grow responsiable or/and become more independent than your younger sibling. A pet can cause the same if you spend time with it and maybe even take part in raising it.

Did you notice „often" and „can" here?
It's because it can cause a different change too.
Let's say your family tends to be short-tempered and you „caught that gene" too. You are more likely to hate your sibling/pet, grow to be a loner or even become violent or a criminal then.
This can happen when you are in need of attention too.

Want an example?

    Let's try to imagine a girl whose parents tend to become impatient and she recently got a little sister.
    She has been an only child for 10 years before and her parents spend a lot of their free time with her. But now that her baby sister is born they spend less time with her.
    It makes her sad and finaly become angry and hate her sister because she has to share her parents attention and her old toys etc. with her.
    In her anger she starts to throw her toys at her parents as they try to give those to her baby sister.
    All in one she becomes aggressive.
    And she even reflects that on other children she meets. Growing up she then turns her back at her family and become a trouble maker with friends feeling the same way because something similar happend to them.
    But what if her family tended to be more patient and caring? Well, you get the idea, right?


Remember that your personality can still change due to big events no matter your age!


The example displayed above shows how your environment forms you as well.
Habbits or charcter traits that are normal in one country are viewed as pretty weird in an other.

This starts with the people raising you because they contribute their own understanding of your environment into education. After that it's your teachers and then your friends or complete strangers depending on how strong their impact is.

Also take into concern if your character is put under pressure or not and if s/he can manage, will break due to it, takes pride in it etc.

How much your environment influents you when you are no child anymore depends on what I wrote about tendencies at the beginning.


I guess you ache for finaly coming up with a personality?

Remembering everything I mentioned above you also have to think about balancing your character.

Your character is a puzzle made off small pieces that have to fit together to work out as an image.

    Imagine two pieces of a puzzle that fit together. One has a small addition to fit into the others hole.
    The additions of your characters are strenghts, the holes are weaknesses.
    To get your character to gain his composure (or imagine like in the example) you have to balance strenghts and weaknesses 1:1!


Maybe your character is a smart-ass but total weakling? Or loved by everyone but doubts him/herself?

If you are having trouble figuring out which strenghts and weaknesses fit to your character (even regarding everything else) you should start analysing and questioning yourself or people you know very well.

A sample of my fan OC Amaya:

    She is smart and a good fighter but terrified even thinking about losing or having some dear to her. Due to this she would start doubting herself over and over again too.


It is important to stay in a logical state when you create characters. Do not let your personal preferences decide! If you are unsure maybe ask someone to judge your character.


When you have environment, backstory and personality all thought up, you can continue with forming your characters everyday life.

Maybe they are shy and spend their time reading books or searching the internet?
An extroverted person would more likely hang out with his/her friends.

Try to imagine hobbies they may like and take everything in concern including if they have enough money and time for this and if there is even the possiblity to do this hobby where they live.
E.g. a poor child wouldn't be very likely to do snowboarding in a desert!

There are also different reasons to do a hobby; not only personality but strenghts and weaknesses too.
Some do a hobby because they display their strenghts, others may do it because someone they like does it too or they want to fight their weaknesses.

Furthermore, you have to think about your characters age. Would s/he go to school or work or just sit at home?

Think about the most-likely possiblities for a person at her/his age then start taking other things like family and money into concern.

Everything is related but you can still play around a bit as long as you stay logical and keep the balance~
A while ago, ThroughMyThoughts requested this tutorial. :aww:

I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes I may have done. I'm no native speaker. :P


    Tool box

    :bulletgreen: More about "the necessity of flaws in characterization": fav.me/d5gzyyf by Faraleigh
    :bulletgreen: About Mary-Sue types: fav.me/d771irq by Animedemon001

    :bulletred: More tutorials written by me:

      Character design: Clothing | What your character would wear only (no pictures!)
      How to create a fan OC
      | How to fit characters to a fandom



Pointing out mistakes, any questions or comments are very welcomed! :heart:

I hope you think it's helpfull. :)

2013-05-15 | Thanks for over 200 :+fav: and 3,000 views! :la:


AllFelizias
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Rowdy, tomboyish and impatient sounds like a reasonable combination but it might be interesting to know how she became like this. Maybe she has spent a lot of time around guys when she was a little girl and wund up adopting their behaviour? :?

You could try to break the traits of her current personality down in positive, negative and more neutral traits using this meme *click me*. :P (You can just update this with your own ideas.)
Tomboyish is pretty neutral but rowdiness and impatience are both negative so I'd recommend adding 2 positive traits to balance her.
I recommend filling out this meme and maybe you will get some ideas on your way. :)
Just remember to add reasonable traits you can explain regarding your OC. :P E.g. making her charming does not sound realy reasonable so you'd have to find a very good explaination if you want to use it. :aww: (Piwi could be strong, dominant, confident, ...)
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:iconpiyoh99:
piyoh99 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Memes huh. I had quite a few memes I got. I might just do that to get a little adjusted to Piwi to give her a fresh personality. And those final 3 traits were actually very clear to her personality. Piwi's not entirely charming. In fact she can't really stand mushy romance.
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think some of those realy help a lot. :P

Being charming and being one of the more romantic kind are too different things... :?
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:iconpiyoh99:
piyoh99 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was actually really looking at that same perspective. Like I once said it was a draft and is still a wip. But thanks for the tips.
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can always alter an OCs personality.
Huge events can change you completly and your personality would change every 7 years anyway. :shrug:
I simply recommend to create a personality on reasons to make them more believable. :P
Reply
:iconpiyoh99:
piyoh99 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I always alter my OCs for the better. In fact.
(I always seem to say "In fact" a lot)
My OC was very underdeveloped at first when I first came here. But after a while it changed a lot during the years. If the personality I picked for Piwi doesn't feel right I'll just pick another that will suit her origin right.
Thanks for the tips! ^^
Reply
:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for your comment. :D

Learning to relate things (like it's neccessary for psychohogy) realy seems to be a great issue a lot of people have, yeah... ^^;
I can not teach them about all relations in just one tutorial (or a few hundreds) though due to the complexity as you stated. :P

You are right about this example. Her impatience just adds to this and causes the issue to become even worse.
I thought I should put an extreme situation to make it easier to understand though. :P

I tried to cover flaws with the talking about my puzzle sample. :XD: The "negative" spots can be e.g. personality traits as well as missing skills. :P

About Ama-chan I have to say that I went a bit...nearly overboard with her personality. :XD: She became very complex as time went and her past, family situation and a trauma all caused her to get a low self-confidence. :P
This has started to change recently though as she is around her boyfriend a lot and he admires her just the way she is.
She also found other support so she has started to become more self-confident. :)

It's a "pain in the ass", yeah. :XD:

Well, about the flaws again... :P I know you wrote a tutorial on the "Nessarity of flaws" so maybe I can mention your tutorial in the description if anyone wants to get more into this theme? :?
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:iconfaraleigh:
Faraleigh Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Writer
dA keeps eating my line-breaks! :shakefist: So, many apologies for the giant doomful blocks of text...

I think anyone serious about writing should study logic and psychology. Understanding even the basics will improve writing by multiples. I've seen a drastic improvement in my own work. :) But alas, it is all so complex it probably couldn't be properly portrayed in guides on here...

Even if the subject of balance and the inclusion of flaws didn't get as much time as psychology, I'm still glad you brought it up! If nothing else, it plants a seed in your readers. :) And I don't mind at all if you want to link to my flaws guide (assuming you feel it's worthy enough for such treatment). :hug:

It sounds like you've gone on quite the journey with Ama-chan. I hope you've enjoyed it and I'm happy things are looking up for her. Self-confidence is a hard thing to recover (I know too well).

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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. :XD:

It's a bit like drawing. You can not expect to be a genious after reading one tutorial on it. :P

This is all I can hope for. :aww:
I added it. :)

I am still on that journey with her. :P
It is indeed very hard, yeah... ^^; And I'd even say impossible without any support. :P

But as I am currently working on a comic so there is a new journey awaiting me. :) I'm realy looking forward to this. :meow:
Reply
:iconfaraleigh:
Faraleigh Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Writer
Fantastic! I hope the comic turns out well and continues to be enjoyable. :)
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. :D I hope so too. :XD:
Reply
:iconajinu-okami:
AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Really thought out and helpful :)
Thanks to this, I'm rewriting my OCs' profiles ^^
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you~ :D
I'm glad it's helpfull. :aww:
Reply
:iconajinu-okami:
AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Yw :)
Indeed it is.
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:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great reference material
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks~ :D
Reply
:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
no problem
I gotta a lot of characters/monsters, I'm just want to really bring out their personalities.
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So you have their designs only? :?
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:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I guess so.
If you did look at some of them, it is basically just a picture and list of their abilities then a small bulleted section for their personality and their back story.

I think for the giant monster thing, it's not always necessary to give a complex personality and story line. I just think it really would help separate them from the pack if I can execute it properly. Where I have a nice eye catching picture, and then a story to add some depth.
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hm, yeah, a real personality is only neccessary when you plan on relying on the same character more than once. :P
So if you don't plan on explaining anything or showing their thoughts etc, you don't need to think much about their personality. :P
Reply
:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ahhh... that's a really good point.
Personality is best saved for the main and recurring characters.
There's plenty of main/recurring characters I want to use, but I also want to do a lot new concepts.
I'll keep your tutorial in mind when I feel it is essential for a monster to have a complex personality.
Thank you very much for the feedback.
Reply
:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's about how I'm going with my recent project too. :D

No problem. :aww:
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:iconiamsobizarre:
iamsobizarre Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student Filmographer
This is great! Thanks :)
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you like it. :D
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:iconcrazy-aika:
crazy-aika Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice tutorial, i can say if someone have told me this when i started writing it would have better stories xDu
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks~ :D

We always know how to make it better when it's too late, huh? :XD:
Reply
:iconcrazy-aika:
crazy-aika Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, is a kind of sad story xD
Reply
:icondiddyjakal:
DiddyJakal Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
Definitely the one essential guide to writing a good character. Good work.
Reply
:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks~ :D

I'm glad you think it's helpfull. :aww:
Reply
:icondarkdevilzaria:
DarkDevilZaria Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You did a good job with this but because I took a personality class I have some tidbits of wisdom about Personality and age to throw at you XD (oh look Shimmack stuff :D :D your favourite XD)
:bulletblue: First off look at the big 5 or like the 5 personality traits considered most in Personality Psych...these would be Openness, Concientiousness, Extraversion, Neroticism and Agreeableness :p
:bulletblue: As we get older...we tend to get more concientious, less extraverted...HOWEVER, these changes are small and happen at about the same rate for everyone :p
:bulletblue: Also consider the Halo Bias...this is how much you have an ego basically...Positive bias means you see yourself much better than other's see you and negative (like mine) means you see yourself worse than others see you...that will affect your actions as well ^^;...
:bulletblue: Then look at the 7 smarts :p Kinesthetic, Self, Social, Visual Spatial, Musical, Linguistic, and Mathematical...most people are strong in 2-3 or strong in 1 and average at most of the rest or >.>...point = can't be good at all of them...no one is...
:bulletblue: Also consider culture's effect here is some additional info :p Born in Japan/collectivistic culture and you look out for the good of society and the collective whole...you shame your parents when you do something wrong etc... Individualistic culture such as USA/Canada = do stuff for yourself...what I did to win instead of what the team did together :p that affects personality, but what they did find was that personality varies much more within one country/group than it does through different societies :3 Further environment doesn't affect things that much in some cases and in others it has huge effect >.>...the effect of environment is different depending on the individual trait you are looking at so >.>...things are super tricky to analyze sometimes :S and it's even been said for situations that maybe your personality affects your decisions which affect the situations you find yourself in so even for that >.>...hard to tell things sometimes :p
:bulletblue: Also men with high testostorone levels are more likely to beat or cheat on their wives, high openess to experience = more chance a marriage will fail...excitement seeking may lead to pre-mature death though cause isn't clear on that one...people who do more spooning in high school are also more likely to die early and again cause isn't clear, personality is a fairly stable characteristic and chances are it won't change much at all throught the lifetime :p but values and life satisfaction are not as stable and those can change :3
and I don't even know what i didn't tell you anymore so I'll stop there >.>...if any of that is helpful to you :3
Nice job on the design tutorial though :D
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, it's kinda like what I wrote. Your personality keeps changing as you grow up. :P So of course you would act different than an adult when you are a child. :meow:

I did mention culture differences. :P (E.g. Japan = more
collective thinking than in Germany)

I dunno why I should put the stuff about testostorone here though. :P Since that would depend on your family too, wouldn't it? :?

"Won't change much" applies to a regular going life. I was talking about "big events" that can cause big changes here. :P
(Like my own personality changed when I left my second school. :P)

Thanks? :XD: (Lol, the design?!)
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:icondarkdevilzaria:
DarkDevilZaria Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I was just giving you a bunch of background and suggestions from my school notes in case they helped XD it's up to you if you wanted to put them/expand on things you already have or not :p

You're welcome :D (what's funny about that? :?)
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:iconfelizias:
Felizias Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alright... :P

I didn't do much?! :XD:
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:icondarkdevilzaria:
DarkDevilZaria Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student Digital Artist
^^;...okay...
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