Ultimate Guide to Creating and Designing Characters step-by-step

It's not as easy as it sounds to create a character from scratch and

Have you ever thought about being a comic book or book author. Maybe creating games, designing comics, or anything like that you want to do, starting your own adventure needs something very important: Characters!

How many characters are we bombarded with every year, whether in movies, games, series or soap operas? And how many do you remember? Not to mention franchises like Star Wars or Halo, which have several movies and games that revolve around the same characters, let's talk about new movies or games. How many characters did you meet this year or last year do you remember?

Creating a character is relatively easy! Making it memorable is something else. You need personality, an interesting story and a cool look. Whether you're developing a character for your novel, screenplay, video game, or comic book, this guide will walk you through every step of bringing them to life. If in doubt, just leave it in the comments.

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How to create a character and draw
Write, illustrate, plan, everything you need to create your characters

How to create an interesting and memorable character!

One of the most important parts of any story, book, anime, game or anything you want to do, whether professionally or hobbyistly, is creating relatable and vivid characters. Character profiling is a popular technique for developing interesting personas for your story.

Depending on the project or person, some stories are born out of a character, while others start with a plot that in turn shapes the characters. A detailed character profile will help shape a narrative, as well as provide a useful reference point for your personality traits, backstory, goals, flaws, and challenges.

Start with a character archetype

A character might start out as a set of random ideas, traits, and plot points from a story outline, so it's important to gather everything in one place. A character archetype can help narrow your focus. There are twelve common archetypes, or personas, that we recognize in literature, mythology, and human experience: The Innocent, the Everyman, the Hero, the Outlaw, the Explorer, the Creator, the Ruler, the Mage, the Lover, the Caregiver, the Jester and the Sage.

Archetypes provide guidelines for behaviors, emotions, and actions. For example, the Explorer is naturally curious, restless and driven to push boundaries, like detective Sherlock Holmes or Indiana Jones. Experiment with your archetype – layer it or even transform them from one to another as the story progresses.

Add specific features

Once you've defined an initial archetype, you can start shaping the character and making it unique. Consider the emotional connection between your audience and your character and work towards your desired outcome. You may find that changing a character's age and gender can lead to very different responses from your reader.

Think of it as if you were assembling your character in a game. First you chose his base class. Now, it's time to distribute the attribute points. Will he be good in strength? Wisdom? Do you use one-handed or two-handed weapons? Here you start to think about it.

Build the backstory

Your character's backstory describes the journey they have taken to this point. It allows you to explore your fears, weaknesses and motivations and define your purpose. You can explain the character's methods and assessments – why they act the way they do, the choices they make, and how that moves the individual forward. Are they making progress towards your goal or making things worse?

We all have a backstory, and your fictional characters need one too. Immerse yourself in the lives of your characters and delve into their stories. Even if most of it doesn't make it to the page, a character's backstory will help you discover what motivates you and inform your decisions in the story to truly complete the character! Give him a personality that goes beyond the story itself, even if some aspects of his personality don't make it into the story (at least at first), but will help explain the reason for the decisions they make.

Give them quirks and flaws

superman in fortnite
Superman Seems Infallible, But He Also Has His Problems

Your character likely has some contradictions that make him a little out of the ordinary or some character flaws that might make him more human. If a character is too simplistic, it can seem cliché. Character flaws such as overconfidence, impatience, or recklessness can add new dimensions to a hero and make them feel more relatable.

To create believable characters, create a personality for your main and secondary characters based on characteristics of real people – this will help you create a round, multidimensional character with recognizable personality traits and quirks.

Even those characters we think are “perfect” have their flaws. For example? We can cite the kryptonite vulnerability of “Scout” Superman, but we can also say that he has some flaws regarding his emotions that leave him wondering what his place in the world is and how he should use his powers (I mean, that at least in movies, because in the comics he's been around for so many years that you can't even know if he still has these doubts).

Give your character a bow

Not. I'm not talking about a ranged weapon. A believable character grows and changes as their story evolves. Just like real people, they adapt and respond to life's events.

Consider where your character starts and how they change over the course of the story. How do they overcome their initial obstacles? For example, do they learn new skills, gain a new perspective, or form new relationships that lead to success? Where does he come from and where does he go and how is he getting there! That is the question.

Create the rest of your characters

It's important not to fall into the trap of giving just one character too much responsibility for the drama of their story. Work on additional characters that complement and contrast your main character's traits. You can repeat the process above to develop an entire cast of characters that help bring your novel to life.

Establish a character's motivations and goals. Think of Harry Potter's quest to defeat Lord Voldemort, fueled by the murders of his parents (not to mention that Voldemort wanted to kill him! So it wasn't just revenge, but survival too). Great characters are driven by deep motivation and have a goal they are trying to achieve.

Create different types of characters that contrast with each other. A sidekick (think Watson for Sherlock Holmes) or a rival (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter books) can help reinforce the main character's traits, strengths, or flaws. If you create a static character – a flat character arc that doesn't evolve much – contrast it with a dynamic character, one that morphs over the course of the story.

This makes for interesting characters and also creates the main character's driving force, which should be one of the first story elements you discover, as subsequent action will be driven by that motivation. Avoid revealing too much the first time you introduce a character. Reveal information bit by bit as you tell the story – not unlike the way people meet in real life.

Definitive Guide to Creating and Drawing Characters Step-by-Step | 160ea2bd harry potter photo | anime, character creation, course, drawings, hotmart, manga | draw tips/guides
Without the supporting actors, the story is a little bland.

choose a voice

Not. It's not to think about who will voice your character! Calm down there! The question is: Who will tell the story? The first-person point of view allows one character, usually the main character, to narrate the story using the pronouns “I” and “mine”.

The third-person point of view is a voice that is outside the action, allowing the reader to know more than the character about things to come. The narrator's perspective will determine how a character's information is revealed throughout the story.

create conflict

Conflict is a literary device that pits opposing forces against each other, most often involving the main character. There are different types of conflicts that will affect your character's decisions.

For example, if you have strong characters, test their resolve by pitting them against something that reveals their weaknesses. A conflict can be external – create a bad guy to face a good character. A character can also have an internal struggle when he has to act against his morals or deal with opposing beliefs. Conflict creates tension and is used to drive the story forward, forcing characters to make decisions.

Organize and refine

Once you have everything you need, it's time to organize your content into logical topics. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The goal is to make your character profile easy to view and reference as you write the story.

Add visual references

Describe your character's physical appearance: hair color, eyes, height. What are your mannerisms? How is their body language? Describe them to help readers visualize a more realistic picture of your character.

Even if you're writing a novel, visual references and inspiration can help bring your character to life. There are many fantastic sites where you can find great visual inspiration for free, such as Pinterest or Google Images. So you can start thinking about scribbling your character and putting it on paper. But, think a little outside the box and try to avoid references that are too obvious or beat.

We don't need another guy in a trench coat and sunglasses, we already have Neo in The Matrix, and every year they try to get some Batman clone. A Batman is just fine (although DC itself doesn't seem to realize this and makes a lot of Batgirls, Batwing, Azrael, Batman from the Future, Batman from the past...)

And that's where our most important tip for today comes in: Do you know how to create and illustrate your character? After all, it's no use having it all planned and well built in your mind, if you can't get it down on paper. Creating a character for a game, mainly, depends a lot on the visual part.

Also, when you want to take your project, be it a game, book or comic, you need to have this visual part so that your potential investors can “see” the potential of your project. The look of the characters will be the first thing the audience, and their potential partners, will see before getting to know all those nuances and personality that you've given them.

So why not really learn about illustrations and character creation? You can illustrate your ideas or offer your illustration services to others. Maybe one of your friends has an awesome idea for a book or game and doesn't know how? So let's talk to you about the course How to Create Your Own Characters and Coloring Fan Art 3.0.

A method that will teach you, from scratch, to create your characters, illustrate and color them, even if you don't have “the gift” to illustrate. The course taught by Professor Mayara already has +100 thousand students in Brazil and in the world and +1 million enrolled in the Youtube, who realized that traditional teaching methods caused frustration and giving up and so developed a really innovative method to help you fulfill the dream of learning to do your jobs, even if you weren't born with the “gift”.

Definitive Guide to Creating and Drawing Characters Step-by-Step | 2f662aa1 coursedraw | anime, character creation, course, drawings, hotmart, manga | draw tips/guides


The course is available for you to view 24 hours a day, with the freedom to follow your own pace and watch the course as many times as you want, without restrictions. They are practical, objective classes with exercises in 24 videos, distributed among 9 modules and two bonus modules to watch anytime and anywhere, whether on PC, tablet or cell phone.

In addition, the course still gives you a full 7-day guarantee. If for whatever reason you don't like something, or think it's not for you, or if the techniques don't work… NO PROBLEM! Simply request a refund and your money will be returned to your credit card balance or your preferred bank account. You only get this course if it actually works. Access today Hotmart and find out how you can start learning to create your characters, illustrate them and turn your idea into something that can be your next source of income.

Quick FAQ

Do I need to spend money to make good illustrations?

Initially all you need to start illustrating is a surface, be it a paper, notebook sheet, wall (babies love it) and something to scribble on, be it a mug or pencil. Anyone can do it wherever they want, having the most basic things at hand.

Do I need to invest in materials such as colored pencil sets and special paper?

Having good material won't make you draw better. The best thing to do is to start training with what you have at hand and, if the need arises, start investing in materials.

Is drawing a gift?

Not. Drawing is not a gift! Anyone with training and effort can draw as well or better than those who claim to have a “gift”. In addition, even those who have “a gift” if they don't train or practice, will be limited to their initial trait and will never evolve in their techniques.

Is it possible to live as a designer?

It is now much easier to make a living from art than it was a few years ago. You can make your work and post it on the internet so that other people can order characters or illustrations, you can create an art channel on Youtube or Twitch and other options.

Now, leave it in the comments if you enjoyed learning how to create your characters and if you have any questions. Enjoy and read more about anime and manga on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.