Learning to write lore for your characters can be an impactful way to build up your writing ability. Writing out a backstory for your character is a great way to give them depth and bring their world to life. Lore is almost like the story that a character would be able to tell about themselves within the overall world you have created. Thinking about world-building and character development like this will help you achieve further fulfillment through your stories and inspire deeper connections with your audience.
Develop Your Character's Backstory
Think about your character, who they are, and what they have been through. If this is your first time creating an OC this neat resource guide will help you get started.
What you want to say with your OC is entirely up to you. It can be helpful to experiment with your characters until you find what you like the most. Try filling out a basic list of traits, thoughts, and other things that would make up your character and their experience– almost as if you are filling out a detailed character sheet. You can include things like:
- their name, pronouns, nicknames and other aspects of how your OC identifies
- their habits, hobbies, and favorite activities
- likes and dislikes, and any obsessions or other interests
- any relationships they have in their life and what your OC thinks about those relationships
- major character strengths and weaknesses
- their favorite memories
Explore your Character's World
The world your OC lives in is another part of their lore and building that world out will allow you to further develop your character. Think about the world, the people that live in it, and how these things have effected your character throughout their life. Maybe your OC lives on an empty planet but only arrived there much later in life thus causing them to have nostalgic memories of another time. Perhaps your OC doesn't know where they come from at all and that is a major part of their story! Here are some helpful things to picture when developing the world around your character:
- Where is my OC from and what story do I want to tell with them now?
- Who lives in this world? Who does your OC know already, and who do they meet along the way?
- Are there any landmarks or important monuments in the world of my story?
- What societies have formed in the world of my story? Are there any countries, societies, governments, schools, or other social groups that exist within these societies?
- Think about the natural biomes that may make up the area your OC is from, or that their story takes place in. The biomes you choose can lead to interesting weather patterns, unusual animals, and the development of different types of cultures around natural resources.
- What is my OC doing in this world? Do they have an occupation? Are they going on a journey and, if so, why?
Practice Writing Lore
Write out a short bit of lore for your OC! You can try to write a paragraph from their perspective, or tell a story about something in their life. Use the the work you've done world-building and developing your character as tools while you continue adding detail to the story. The lore you build will help you improve your writing skills and also make it easier for you to connect with your OC in the future. This lore can center around whatever you want, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Discuss a conflict your character faces in their life due to their own character flaws
- Discuss a conflict your character must face due to the world around them
- Tell a story from a specific time in their life, for example when they were growing up
- Describe the culture of the society your character lives in and how the two interact (or don't)
- Tell the story of a regular day in the life of your character, or follow their point of view as they carry out a specific routine
- Show the character and their actions through the perspective of someone else in the story
- Write a short summary about your OCs overall lore to share with your friends. Consider creating a PowerPoint or other graphics to help share your story!
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