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What is a Character to You?

Feb 19, 2017

    1. I see that people create characters for their dolls. I'm curious to know what this means to different people. Are you recreating a book or tv character? Is the character a writing inspiration for you? Does the doll just come to life after it gets home and it's character, is the dolls personality so you knew "who" they would be once they got home?
    2. Well I've only had one doll so far so I can only speak from one experience, but I had a character in mind for the doll before it came home. Except it ended up getting an entirely different head than I planned and it felt like another character too me

      I usually have characters that I want to bring to life in a doll :0 so I can go off this inspiration and tailor them to match their personality and stories
      #2 nekkous, Feb 19, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2017
    3. I am not allowed (by personal rule) to "shell" any of my characters as dolls. This is often what people call it when they make a doll of a pre-existing character- finding a shell for the character, or "shelling" it. Anyway, as a writer, I have many characters, but I don't have unlimited money, so no shelling for me.

      Instead, I give my dolls sort of "character lite". Like they have personalities and a general idea of their history, but I don't go into depth with it, nor do I write anything with them. The personalities are just because I can't help but project onto them (they look like people, after all) and it helps inform their styles and the sorts of pictures I take with them. But I don't really flesh them out in detail.

      I guess you could say they have concepts instead of full-fledged characters?
      • x 4
    4. My dolls are original characters that I created for written role play. They symbolize the characters I write stories about with friends. Usually, the character is written before the doll is planned, but sometimes I do get tempted to get a certain doll, and so the character gets written with that doll in mind.
    5. For me, my dolls have always arrived home in a blank slate.

      Once they're home and complete, I'll spend a couple of days, up to a week, with them before I'll start to get a feel of what their personalities are like. I have a whole world written around my dolls, so I'd find a way to add them to it; perhaps by tweaking or adding some details to the world's story, or simply introducing them as a new character of that world.
    6. I write stories etc, do cosplay myself, like costumes. So when I found these dolls, I created a whole scenario for them - as I do when writing a book. Made up a little town for them to live in & the cooler (LOL) inhabitants who form a cosplay group. So each of my dolls represents one of these characters. I admit I also chose the sculpts based on whether they could cosplay a Bleach, Gintama &/or LOTR character.....LOL
    7. I write too, but instead of buying a doll for my ocs, I buy a doll to have another oc. Lol:lol:

      I only have one doll for now, but before he came I made a back story for him. I knew it would somehow change when he arrives, and I was right - his face ae softer than I expected, so now I'm thinking up on an entirely new back story for him. It's fun because it just let my creativity get flowing again. :3nodding:
    8. I only imagine a probable character. The character usually changed based on clothing. I like styling but not limited the style based on the doll itself.
    9. Character I feel has to involve more than just a sort of thumbnail sketch. they don't need masses of detail, but they need to have like.. personality and a degree of story behind them. Personally anyway. I always found it annoying when people would be all "this is my oc" and then the only thing they could tell you was "they have blonde hair and they like pie". that's not a character, that's barely even anything.

      But yeah.. i'm grumpy.

      My characters, whether for dolls or rp tend to sort of... take on a life of their own anyway. My doll ones a little less so because I don't roleplay them or write about them so much, so they're not able to grow as rapidly and get as out of control. But they still do try. I have dolls here who simply will not wear certain things because they "aren't my style" and it's uncanny because a normally sedate or smiling face can suddenly look so sour when they're in the wrong thing.
      Is that just me losing my mind?

      my current bjds are part of a D&D group I just kinda... had pop into my head. They won't be rped, I have quite enough rp characters thanks, but they might get photostories and similar. Already they're starting to develop little inter relationships and im learning more about their background and motivations as "people". this always happens, I think i'm slightly mad.

      Like a few people I have little worlds. And my dolls inhabit various of them. I tend to separate them into their little groupings. "this is this story" "this lot is this story" "this is this setting" and so on.

      Eventually I would like to shell a few of my older ocs, but I know it's a slippery slope. Once I have those four shelled i'll want to shell more of my bajillions of ocs and it could snowball badly.
      but hey, gives me a project huh?

      but yeah, for me "characters" have life, they.. I dunno, grow and breathe and live and I admit, I always find it strange if a writer or roleplayer claims their characters do whatever they say/want because in my experience, they really don't.
      it's like, once they wander into your head and start telling you stuff, even if they don't tell you a lot at first, they're already developing and growing and already you've lost control.
      • x 2
    10. When I choose a doll, I tend to have an idea of what I expect their character to be and develop scenarios based on their likes and dislikes, planning their room, wardrobe, etc. I have only received one of my dolls so far and she developed her own character pretty much as soon as I received her which is completely different from what I expected! So now I have developed a "wait and see" attitude, expecting them to develop their personalities as I get to know them.
    11. All my guys are characters from my novels. It's a personal rule of mine that nobody comes home that isn't a character. This helps a little in keeping the resin army from becoming a company (80-150 men), although I currently have more than a platoon-worth (40 dolls).

      For me, the characters are highly detailed and have extensive backstories. Most of the dolls I own have their stories written with some of the stories epic in size (the largest is 360K words, which is about a 1,200 page book). A few have their stories planned out but haven't been written yet due to time constraints (writing is not my day job).
    12. I won't take a doll home unless they have a fleshed out character that I feel I can include either in the little bit or RP I do with my girlfriend or in my own novels. Admittedly, I'm just started on the novels, so I've really only got probably 240k written about two universes if you only include the stuff that I think is of good enough quality that it doesn't need complete rewriting.

      My feel for what makes a character is both my ability to write them like they're one of my mains and understand their motives and them being major enough in one of my books that I see them as relevant (this is why my grim reaper series is a bunch of trilogies and novellas and different arcs of different characters until the apocalypse storyline, where they're all thrown together in a way.
    13. For me I create a character and write a story about them, its fun for me to explore their interests and their world. I incorporate the clothing I own for them and other dolls I have in their story, it helps bring them to life for me.
    14. At Halloween my Elfdoll Soah dresses up as ALICE: Madness Returns. Love that Character.
    15. For me it's usually one of two things.

      First, I'm an aspiring writer. I have some novel ideas I plan to develop more once I have finished my degree and have some time to devote to it. One in particular has spawned several original characters that I have chosen to give a resin existence. A majority of my bjd crew is comprised of these OCs. One other bjd is based on a character from a different story from the rest.

      Second: existing characters that don't really have a lot of merch/figures that I happen to love. I've got a plethora of these in non-resin form, but I've mainly focused on Legend Of Korra for my resins (although I've been tempted to do a couple characters from other series).

      A third (minority, which rarely ever happens) is characters based off something/someone, or created to fit a specific mold. I'm shelling my cat into a cat-girl doll form, and will become her own character, and Lumedoll Atik had Keone created on the fly after he was won at a local meet. These cases are fairly rare because I tend to mainly have bjds based off either existing characters or ones from a potential novel idea, but they do happen.

      And that's my interpretation of characters when it comes to BJDs:kitty2.
    16. I'm a character designer, and honestly I feel like developing a doll's character around the sculpt is like a character design exercise.

      A character's personality will inform how they dress, and vice versa. So when I get a new doll, every aspect of their appearance should work towards giving the viewer an idea of what type of person they are.

      So my dolls don't have a "background" or "story", necessarily, but I would like to think that every one of them sort of visually gives the viewer an idea of how they might act.
      • x 1
    17. It's funny as I tend to have the opposite happening. Cute pink-loving characters tend to be snobby pesky little things and dark gloomy characters tend to secretly like cute things. I should try and actually have their clothing represent their character, it would be a good exercise.

      As for characters, I've written out my fair share of amateur stories for personal reading in the past so I do have original characters galore but I can't make them work for a doll. I plan and think and prepare for a certain sculpt to be that certain character but then they arrive and announce they won't be having any of it.

      I've all but given up on 'shelling' any of my original characters. A new addition will arrive and tell me who they are once I got to spend some time with them. For some characters it can be as fast as a week and for others it may take years. Or it may never happen and they pass on to other owners and adventures. I don't keep any resin around just to look pretty on a shelf, there needs to be 'content'. If that makes sense...
    18. Pretty much.

      Once I have a doll home with faceup and find the eyes and wig and look that works best for them, I start to get to know their character. Some come quick (Jane refused to be the fashionista secret agent I had hoped for and was a Hippie right out of the box) some of them take a while. Some arrive and cause others slot into place (when Hannah, the tomboy, joined the family, it cemented Nesta as the "snarky older sister" and Cressida as the sweet peacemaker between them).

      I have jut two dolls based on characters from books, and that's only because the first of them turned out to be one of the sisters and then I was stuck with having to find the right sculpt and body to be her sister (that is a nightmare, by the way - trying to shell an existing character - I'd much rather do it my usual way and find out who they are once they arrive).

      Once their characters are established, it sometimes stops there. Sometimes it is expanded upon by "interaction" between the characters and with other dolls at meets and owned by friends. Sometime's it leads to more detailed backstories, sometimes not. Sometimes just a tableau, sometimes a short story or a sample/section from what could be a longer story. Mostly in my head, rarely actually written.

    19. My dolls usually tell me who they are after I get them. First I must find the proper name then the story begins. All my different size dolls have they're own world & they become characters within it. These are not from stories I write or even characters that I already have in mind. No, each doll will inspire it's own being & sometimes they surprise me.
      • x 1
    20. When I bought my first doll, I really wanted to shell a certain character from a short story I had written but I ended up changing a lot of details except the name and the general aesthetic. From that moment, I tend to plan a character for a specific doll sculpt in most cases.
      A character usually involves having a name and surname, a personality, detailed style of clothing and a bit of a story (what the character does for living or if there are important relatives...) but I do not usually continue to develop much from that and when the doll arrives the thing I had thought for it doesn't usually sticks so I may change things later.