Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
• Is creating a bio necessary? Many people might ask themselves this. They see all kinds of wonderful character art, reference sheets, and bios around and want the same thing for their own characters. But creating a bio isn’t ACTUALLY necessary.
• I always encourage people to make bios, but don’t feel bad that you don’t have a bio and certainly do not feel pressured to make and post one that you aren’t going to finish. If you’re going to make a bio, then go for it! I think you should. But finish what you start! Make sure the idea is complete. You can always add to it later as you develop your character more.
• If you are going to keep altering your bio, make sure that the way you redistribute and redefine the information does not contradict itself. I’ve seen lots of people “revamp” their characters, but change so much about them that they aren’t even the same character anymore. If you’ve made a better character, that’s completely fine, but it makes no sense to have us think of them as the same character when they’ve changed to a point that’s beyond recognition.
• To my knowledge, there aren’t any pros to not having a bio, but there are lots of cons. These cons include having nothing to reference when friends ask you questions about your character, the likelihood of your character changing or becoming inconsistent. You may forget information about the character that you know you wanted to use later. Your characters may never be as fleshed out as they could be. Without a bio to be the “guide-book” of your characters, you may tangle yourself up in contradictions as you write your story, roleplay, draw your characters, or however you use them. I’m not saying you WILL, but you MAY. Having a bio to look back on helps keep your characters as constant as possible.
• Some of the many benefits to having a bio include personal reference to assist you in keeping your character consistent, references for collabs and cowrites, basis for roleplays, adding depth to who they are, getting into their head to know how they feel, showing how they grow as a person over time, and adding the realism of hobbies and flaws and backstory that usually can’t be shown in a picture or a basic roleplay. You may have a character with an amazing personality, but never gave much thought to their appearance other than giving them dark hair. But a bio can help with that. Now you can ponder which skin color, eye color, hairstyle, height, weight, clothing style, and markings they have. Instantly your character will feel more real without even a picture.
• Reference sheets in place of bios can be helpful as well, but it’s important to understand that reference sheets and bios are two completely separate things. Jamming an entire bio wall of text onto a reference sheet has been done before, but it’s very limiting because there is only so much readable text you can fit onto one page, even if it’s a big page. That’s the main reason you shouldn’t try to combine the two. A reference sheet is created with the intent of showing the basics of your character, not wasting any space, but not going to much into detail either. A reference sheet can go hand in hand with a bio, showing the visual of your character that your bio couldn’t quite capture. They can definitely assist in your character development.
• In conclusion, I believe making a bio can only serve to benefit you in an open project. If your book is already completed, and you don’t intend to use the characters again, producing a bio may serve no purpose. But they are still fun to make. I hope I have explained to you why bios can benefit you and have encouraged you to make them in a positive way!
I could have gone more into detail. But a lot of my guides probably longer than is ideal, so I made an effort to keep this one a bit more summed up. In this guide I explained that a bio isn't necessary but why it can still help you as well as what might happen if you write your character without it. I hope its enough!

If you need further help, please check out my gallery folder. If you have a specific question which can't be answered in my guides, or that wasn't clear, please ask me and I'll do my best to assist. But I'm not going to create your bio for you, or anything of the like. In the end, its up to you to make the final adjustments to your character and/or story. If this guide wasn't what you were looking for, that's fine; just hit the back button. I don't need to know about it. Any argument-instigating comments will be hidden. I created this guide to help those who were looking for this kind of information, not to argue with composers who have different ways of addressing the subjects presented in this guide. 

.:Be Original:.WE ALL HAVE A VOICE.
• It’s been done before: Lots of people will tell you that no matter what you write, it’s been done before. But while this is true to some extent, it isn’t what you think. So much creativity gets hindered and discouraged when people basically tell you that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never come up with anything original. And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether or not it’s a struggle for you, it’s always worth it to come up with your own unique and original idea not based off anything else. I’m going to show you an example of just why originality is not dead. The following paragraph can be interpreted in a variety of different ways.
• In-story example: The world was wide open but KD often felt trapped. KD was a tall brunette with long hair, and sun-tanned skin save a few silvery skin scars from events in the not too distant past. Echoes of voices could be heard about, but they never got
  .:Traits Missing From Today's Characters:.~Something’s Missing~
• NOTE: This is a generally speaking list, again, directed at the major characters of stories/books/movies/television of the modern times. I know there exist characters with these traits; I just think they are rare and should be brought more to attention if you're looking to expand your character diversity and add realism.
• Humility: This is the big one that I think a lot of characters are missing. Lots of the mains I see today don't even have a shred of this or if they do it’s forced into them. How about writing a person who’s naturally humble? These people are amazing. They don’t seek to exalt themselves. They give credit to others.
• Pushover: Unfortunately most main characters I see will push back if the world tries to push them down. But this is SO unimaginably unrealistic. I feel like a lot of people wouldn’t, or they’d try and fail. Some people, if pushed around or pushed down to the ground, will stay d
  .:Character Stereotypes To Avoid And Fix:.~Character stereotypes and how to avoid em~
• WHY: Why are stereotypes bad? They are predictable, boring, annoying, cliché, flat, one-dimensional, need I go on? There’s no advantage to a character stereotype. They water down amazing plots and hinder a mediocre story that could become a great one. I’m not saying at all to avoid predictability so much that your character is all over the place, but, avoid complete stereotyping.
• START: For the sake of simplicity in describing your character to someone else, you may want to use some stereotype wording to paint a quick idea. BUT be careful, and show that your character is more than just that. For example my character Cecelia Hazel is a dumb pretty popular cheerleader with powers. But she’s a kind person who doesn't really get mad. She has powers but she is never a good fighter. She tries martial arts but fails at it. From the assumption of the stereotype “cheerleader” you could assume Cecelia


.:OC Bio Creation Tips:.~Valuable Character Bio Creation Advice And Information~
• NONO: The BIGGEST nono for bios is putting something like “unknown” or “N/A” in a bio category of a character. First of all, why did you even include that category in your bio just to pass it up? It’s an eyeroll for a serious writer to see these things in bios. Even if the character or other characters don't know their name or even their age or parents, it should ALWAYS be listed in the bio. These are things that everyone has (unless they are a robot).
• CATEGORIES: I have included a blank bio form with all the categories I find to be necessary when explaining an in depth well rounded character. It’s okay to maybe get rid of some categories for simplicity’s sake but some are obviously necessary. On the other end of things, don't add too much! Bios with too many categories are just as obnoxious to fill out as they are for other people to read!! You want to have a bio form tha
  .:Character Likeability:.Likeability
• RELATIVE: People are attracted to different characters. Not necessarily as in the “Wow he’s hot” kind of way but they feel drawn to different aspects of a character for personal reasons. It’s all relative. Unfortunately there is very rarely a character that everybody, including nonconformists like me, seem to love. So in this guide I’m going to address the main aspects of a character to add likeability too.
• REALISM: Generally speaking, people like realistic things. Even in a fantasy world. To appeal to these people, make sure you have your characters acting and reacting the way that actual people would in their lives. Don't have them do anything unnatural. God forbid do not write the characters so inconsistently that they appear out of character for parts of the story as well. This is kind of a general unspoken rule of writing, but yes, people know the way people are expected to act and react and if your character doesn't follow
  .:Character Concept Design Diversity:.PERSONALITY: The absolute most important part to adding diversity to your characters is creating a deep, multifaceted personality description for them that no one else could have come up with. If you want to try and challenge yourself, avoid using tons of one word descriptors and elaborate on how that word applies instead. Show your character’s habits, tendencies, mood shifts, subjective preferences, tastes, distastes, actions, reactions, and all around sense of self. The MINIMUM for describing a decently thought out personality would be 200 words. Anything shorter than that is in danger of sounding like a mish mosh of standard traits. I challenge you to get up to 400 or even 500 words long of personality description if you want quality.
NAME: Choosing a name with a different letter to start with can be your foothold to creating a name that has a different sound than the rest of your group. Avoid making a group of characters with the same first letter or sound if not intentional.


My groups: :iconthehalfa: :iconcecelia-wenn-garth: :iconnextgenoc: :icontraditionalvocaloids:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconioxygen:
ioxygen Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the valuable info! I have a habit of not finishing an artwork :/
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
oh :O why
Reply
:iconioxygen:
ioxygen Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Get busy with other things, then lose the flare D:
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
oh i get that
Reply
:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
There's a quote I'd like to reference here, from page 81, Chapter 9 'Creating characters' in Screenwriting: a manual by J Dawson:

You must be fascinated by your own characters. Even if the plot is light on big moments, or lacking in action by mainstream standards, the strength of your creations can make everything work and seem natural.
[...]
You'll know when your creations are coming alive—they'll start to talk back to you and take off and do things on their own that you hadn't planned for them. This is a good sign, though it can be a wild ride!
[...]
Out of character? Forget it. Unless you want to create one-dimensional figures forever, then please allow your characters to behave oddly at times; it can make for wonderful and unexpected plot turns. Anyway, if you or the character have gone too far, the script editor will ruthlessly excise the offending moment.
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
I totally get this. I definitely believe the best characters are created by people who like them, but a lot of times for diversity and plot sakes, its beneficial to create characters you don't like as much. Not to say that you won't come to like them too, but may never be entirely fascinated by them. 
Reply
:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
A character need not be likeable to be fascinating. A complete monster of a being could be an endless question one seeks the answers to, like Johan Liebert of Monster fame.

That said, the point is more that, I feel, a bio can serve to restrict a character as well. Not that I contest a bio, mind you. The thought occurs that it could be more productive to let your character run their course and then jot down their bio, as opposed to writing the bio first. This could lead to inconsistencies but, then again, the character could help to lay the groundwork and you can smooth things out from there.
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Any character to me that is likeable is also fascinating XD 
Bios don't need to restrict a character, as they can be changed way more easily than the story. 
Reply
:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
Out of curiosity, would you know a likeable character that is in no way fascinating? :D

That is true, I suppose.
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Not really. To me they go hand in hand. 
Reply
:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
I figured as much, tee hee.
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Yup
Reply
:iconjoyofcrimeart:
JoyofCrimeArt Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Neat!
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
ty
Reply
:iconjoyofcrimeart:
JoyofCrimeArt Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yw
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
:)
Reply
:iconmigster99:
migster99 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
these are super helpful!
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
your icon is cute btw
Reply
:iconmigster99:
migster99 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
oh, THANK YOU!!!
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
np
Reply
:iconprenncooder:
PrennCooder Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
thanks im glad to hear :hug:
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconprenncooder: More from PrennCooder


Featured in Collections

Writing Tips N Tutorials by Leopold002

Lessons by StarFieldProductions

Chapter Stories by JHMirda


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 26, 2016
Thumb

Stats

Views
614 (1 today)
Favourites
60 (who?)
Comments
21

License

Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
×