Though the ads and cartoons we see on telly can seem pretty effortless, this is deceiving to how much art – and brain – work has gone into making them.After you have decided on your target audience, one way to bring the particularly important characters to life is to get lost in the world of your imagination and cook up a suitable backstory for each of them.
The more complex the backstories are, the more time they will take you, but the more thorough you are, the easier it will be to identify the personalities you want to portray.
This process of character design is the one of the few instances where daydreaming might be deemed a good thing!So have a good think. Create a timeline of past events that your central character would likely look back on and remember as they ‘grew older’. It could be something big or something trivial, like making daisy chains as a kid. Then follow that up by mapping out the logical paths they might take, staying consistent with their past – perhaps they now give away daisy chains to people when they’re sad? Without explicitly stating where this little quirk comes from, you’ve managed to add a sense of depth.
If at a later stage you decide to explain any idiosyncrasies, your audience will draw parallels and attach meaning to the narrative. Occasionally, but consistently, looping back to the character’s history keeps the audience engaged – everyone is always looking for that layer of real, raw humanity to connect with. So, if you can become immersed in a character’s history in your head, and can explain to yourself why they behave the way they do on paper, then you can convince your audience to care about their actions and at least temporarily, suspend disbelief.