Today I am going to give everyone some tips on how to create a background for beginners. Backgrounds are important for every character in roleplay, it gives the setting your character grew up in and it highlights their major experiences in the past and present.Background Questions and Tips
Here are questions and ideas to ask yourself while developing a background for the first time, or for anyone who simply has difficulty making a background to match their favorite new character. First let us start with simple questions to ask yourself while developing ideas for the background.
Does your character have any mental disturbances? If so how did he/she get them in the first place?
Does your character live in a specific place? A forest, by the ocean, in the mountains, in a suburb or city? How populated is the place where they live? Are there problems where they live?
Are there any criminals or abusive people in the character's past? Has the character been abused or did they have happy perfect childhood? Are the parents alive? Any family at all?Always keep in mind the setting of your character.
It is important to realize that not every character lives in a small suburb on the outskirts of a major metropolis, or that every character has a happy childhood and past.
In this case let us look at some specific ideas for backgrounds starting piece by piece.Create a setting:
Create a setting you would like to have your character be in in the past, this can be from their birthplace, or simply important places they have been that helped mold them to who they are. This could include mountain hide-aways, the hospital they were born at, their early home/apartment, and any cool places you want to have your character be in in the past. Place your character in the setting:
Once you have your setting in mind place your character in that setting, with their appropriate age in mind. Were they a toddler in this setting? A teenager? Grown adult? And with their age in mind begin to weave your character into the setting, how would they react at that age? Are they in a house, alone, as a child? Would they not be scared if it started storming violently and they became afraid of thunderstorms because of it?Have your character react and take action in the setting:
This is extremely important for a good background, the character has to react and take action in a background. As I said above about a character being afraid of a thunderstorm, what would they do if they were scared? Hide? Try to find help? Or have a panic attack? What would THEY do? Try to keep your actions apart from your character's. And do not be afraid to expand the history by talking about their family or friends too, especially if they cause reactions in your characters. This could include abusive parents, friends who saved your character from trouble, and so on.Always keep in mind your character's current personality and mentality:
Keep in mind the present condition of your character! If they have problems, like everyone does, how did they begin to have those problems? If they are depressed and see the world as a horrible place then explain why they think so and how that came to be! If they are always depressed, were they abused? Were they attacked? Did they witness a murder? Are the genuinely a depressed person? Be sure to keep in mind these small details to make a background jump out above others. This also includes their appearance and fighting style as those have heavy impact on how a character is! If your character is a bloody screaming lunatic in battle why is he/she like that in a fight? How did they become like that? This also includes how they dress, though to a lesser degree. Certain characters dress in bulky clothing because they lack confidence or they are hiding painful scars they don't want anyone to see.Tips to help Develop a Background
Here are some tips and tricks for those who have difficulty creating a background, whether it is a lack of drive, or just confusion because you have too many good ideas then here are ways to help stay focused and on target.Break the background into sections:
If you need help developing your background into manageable chunks and settings, then break down your background into sections, each setting being a different time in your character's life, or different events that are important to your character. Creating the background into sections also helps keep things flowing and focused.Only write a paragraph/section a day or for a set time period:
If you are simply having trouble writing then try only writing a small amount per day or per hour. This will help mitigate the daunting feeling some people feel when making an application. No one said a background had to be finished in one day, let alone in an hour. Take your time, your application will still be on the forum the next day.Be sure to complete anything that is important first:
Complete important real-life things before sitting down and typing a background, it takes stress off of yourself as you do not have to worry about anything that needs to be done. This could includes homework, chores, work, and so on.Keep in mind that the background does not have to be large:
Some people become daunted after seeing other people's background being several paragraphs or a short story of its own. Do not feel like you have to match such length! A lot of people have been doing roleplaying for a long time, some doing it for several years, and they are experienced and/or love writing about their character. Do not be afraid to make something more manageable like two or three decent paragraphs of five or seven sentences each.Ask for help from other members and staff:
Need extra help? Not sure how to word something? Ask staff and helpful members, many people are kinder than you might give them credit for and having help from a more experienced application maker could be beneficial in the long run!Read other character backgrounds:
A great way to have an idea of how to make a background is to look at other people's backgrounds they have made. Look at their layout in particular and how they describe their character in settings. Look for how a character reacts. If you have trouble creating a background by yourself it is fine to steal a template from someone, just so long as the ideas in your background are your own.Turn on instrumental music:
This may sound crazy, but instrumental music, rather than music with vocals, has shown relaxation in people who listen to it in many studies, and also helps improve focus and memory on things being looked at. Without vocals it is easier to focus on the task at hand and not get caught up in what the person is singing, and simply having background music to have something to listen to if you can't stand the quietness.