Lesson Three: History & PersonalityA Lesson by
A character's past often has a lot to do with who they've become, so a proper history can help to support a current personality.
-Lesson Three: History & Personality
As with most people, past events and influences make the person. Oftentimes, an abusive person was the victim of a parental or authorative figure’s own wrath, and a snob was taught to think they’re better than certain types or all people.There are good a bad effects to consider for each event, such as the death of a loved one can cause depression, or on the good side can cause appreciation for life and the life that loved one led. In the fiction world, you may well have one character kill another, and that can cause some mental trauma.
People: Whatever a parent/authority figure does to or for a person will be viewed by said person as ‘correct behavior’ if they experience it enough. Abuse creates anger and more abuse, while gentleness and love are often repeated. Procrastination and even methods of performing tasks can be copied. Even so, how NOT to do something, or what NOT to do can be taught as well if a person watches a mentor, and is told that that is not the correct way to do said task.
Events: Traumatic events can cause mental disorders, sort of like wars and battles cause soldiers post-traumatic stress disorder. Near-death experiences can make for a complete change of fears or of heart, be it for better or worse (perhaps near-drowning makes someone hydrophobic, or makes them appreciate life much more than before, or both).
Looking at a personality: If one is a happy-go-lucky type, they could have had a wonderful childhood and never experienced much hardship, or they could’ve realized that there’s nothing to be gained from stress and worry so they live one day at a time. If one is solemn and peaceful or wise, they could be from a religious background or even have found their own comfortable place in the world (this often does cause a feeling of ease).
Also, a personality could be reflected in one’s looks. A person who loves to fight could have scars, muscle, and such, while a peace-lover may well be not so muscled and mostly unscarred (but take into account what they do, as looks can be deceiving. A black belt in Tae Kwon Do can be a tiny little old lady, and she could kick a huge mugger’s butt like there’s no tomorrow). Take everything into account when making a personality and history, and if you’re just starting with these (as you can build a character in any order, really) be sure to address them when making everything else.
Added on February 5, 2011
Last Updated on February 5, 2011