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Character Perceptions



Perceptions: The glasses we all wear, whether we even realize it or not, distort our vision of the world around us and are filtered through our senses that give each and every one of us a unique perspective.

Perceptions alone can add an entire 4th dimension to your character. A common flaw when creating a character is to have everyone treat them in the same way - friends, lovers, enemies... People are distinctive from each other, and so, even when viewing the same object, are very likely to have completely different things to say about it.

For example, say you overhear a conversation among two people, one who happily proclaims someone as trustworthy, steadfast, and never lets them down. While at the same time, the other complains of someone who is foolish, gullible, and never learns from their mistakes.

Certainly sound quite different, aren't they? Just hearing these people's impressions of the people could change the way you feel even before you meet them. And yet, they could very well be describing the same person.

That's the interesting thing about perceptions. It forces you to look at them at many different angles, and see them in different ways. And probably neither of the opinions in the above example are true in entirety, and were both exaggerated, but both make valid points.

It is important to remember that not all characters will think of each other in the same way, and seeing them clashing in different ways is half the fun of them. One person may see your serial killer as a heartless monster, while others may see him as a hero. Don't presume that your readers will automatically like a character, and heaven forbid, don't force them to! Let the world you built tell about your character, and let them figure it out for themselves.

That is the purpose of this character sheet, to open up several new dimensions to your character that you may have never even thought of before.

And by no means, feel limited by this character sheet. Fill it out for every character they encounter, their whole family, or their 16 different lovers. You can have these perceptions be hypothetical, or find a character in the story that can fit each and every category. Maybe they can fill more than one! And don't feel like you have to answer every question or any of them at all! Those are just suggestions to get the creative juices flowing. Just try seeing them from a different perspective. Their opinion may surprise you.
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A great ready reference. Thanks so much!