Do you want to create captivating characters that your readers are instantly addicted to? As writers, you know how important it is to make your readers fall in love with your characters, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.
Can AI in creative writing help you in brewing unforgettable, multidimensional characters for your literary works? Absolutely! In this article, we’ll explore how AI for character creation can extend you a hand, or a digital appendage, in crafting a fictional character with AI.
Why Bother with A.I. for Character Creation?
Let’s be honest: sometimes, even the most creative minds can experience a drought. Using AI for character creation can swoop in like a superhero, using AI-powered text generators to generate ideas faster than a speeding bullet and more efficiently than you can utter “once upon a time.” A.I. can provide fresh perspectives and unusual character traits, making your characters as varied and intricate as a box of assorted chocolates. Furthermore, using AI for writing can automate some parts of the writing process, leaving you free to focus on intricately weaving your plot.
The AI Arsenal for Character Creation with AI
As you commence your character-crafting journey, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the AI tools for writers at your disposal. Let’s plunge into the world of A.I. to uncover how these technological wonders can aid you in creating memorable characters.
AI Powered Text Generators
These digital genies, such as the renowned GPT-4 for character development, are designed to generate human-like text based on given prompts. A few keywords or phrases can stir these generators into producing character descriptions, backstories, and dialogues, as if by magic.
AI Character Development Platforms
Certain platforms are customized specifically to support writers in molding their characters using A.I. These handy tools provide advanced customization options, allowing you to outline your character’s traits, motivations, and backstory before generating a comprehensive profile.
For a starting point in your character’s creation, you could leverage a platform like D&D Beyond for character inspiration to generate personality traits or motive inspirations. Explore archetypes and interesting backstories with the convenience of an AI character generator free of charge, enhancing your creative process. When creating a new character, simply bypass the stats until you reach the “background” screen, where you can explore different classes and backstories for inspiration.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a Fictional Character with A.I.
Embarking on a character-creation adventure with A.I. by your side can be both thrilling and efficient. To ensure a successful collaboration with your artificial muse, follow this step-by-step guide to bring your characters to life.
1. Start with the Basics
Open up a program like ChatGPT, Jasper AI, or your platform of choice. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to use ChatGPT-4 to build up one of my characters for my comedy horror book series.
Start with a basic idea, more than likely you have an existing TV, book, or movie character in mind or a mashup of two.
Go to Google and look up the enneagram of your character of choice to start with a basic skeleton of personality traits to plug into your A.I. platform. For example, I chose the character MegaMind as a starting point for my character. He’s one of my favorite characters and he’s very well developed. He’s an unhealthy enneagram 7 with a wing 6. So, start by putting into chatGPT something like this:
“I want to develop the main character for my horror comedy book series called _________. Her/his name is ________ and she/he’s an unhealthy enneagram 7 wing 6 personality type. She/he has a lot of the stress side of a 7. Let’s start with basic personality and develop her/him from there.”
And it came back with an amazing starting point for this character and exactly what I had in mind. This helps me articulate her character.
And it keeps going, describing more details about her character. Feel free to add more detail about your overall story if you feel it would churn out a better output.
2. Add in the Deets
Once you have the basics of a personality, start asking about specific aspects, careers or job, whether or not the like their job, their fears and desires or their goals. Pick one to develop and once you have it plugged into chatGPT, end with “help me expand on this idea,” or “let’s brainstorm this more to add detail.”
Something I like to do at this point is take my favorite character profile sheet (for example, the one Abbie Emmon created), plug it in ChatGPT, and ask it to fill it out. Remember that this doesn’t HAVE to be your character set in stone. Take the ideas you like, use the inspiration to add your own creativity to it, and discard what doesn’t work with your story.
You can also ask for examples for how this could potentially play out in a scene. Even if you don’t use the scene, it’s a good visual for your creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask the A.I. to come up with personal philosophies and motto’s. These types of elements can really bring the character to life.
3. Don’t Forget the Quirks
Without some interesting quirks, characters can be a little flat. My story is a horror comedy and I wanted to make sure my character had a deadpan and sarcastic sense of humor. I also wanted her to be short because I can relate to that. I wanted to emphasize how immature my character can be by having her ride around on a scooter instead of driving a car despite the fact that she’s an adult woman in her 30s.
These little details really make her a more interesting character instead of just slapping on a personality and calling it a day. By adding in quirks or distinctive skills, you can make your story more vibrant by seeing how these skills can be used to drive the story forward.
ChatGPT does a really good job of finding ways to make certain characteristics relevant to the story. So if you’re good with coming up with character quirks, but fall short on how to make it fit into a story, just ask ChatGPT for some ideas.
4. Deepen Your Character
After you’ve input the character’s details, and fleshed out the things that make them interesting and three-dimensional, let’s deepen our characters by generating a unique backstory and character arc.
When asking to generate a compelling backstory and character arc respectively, be sure to ask ChatGPT to avoid cliches and add details. At this point in the chat, the A.I. already know a lof about your character so the output should be pretty high quality, especially if you’re using chatGPT-4 (or Bing) instead of ChatGPT-3.5.
5. Add Physical Description
Once you have the details of you character fleshed out and your satisfied with the results, you can ask ChatGPT to describe your character’s looks, style, and distinctive physical features based on the personality. If you want the character to not look stereotypical to their personality, be sure state that.
If you’re going for a specific look like tattoos and baggy jeans, just come up with your description.
Use this description to create an A.I. generated image. My favorite is MidJourney, it’s like an AI character portrait generator, that brings your fiction to life with stunning visual representations of your characters.
This is what my character looks like from the description “short, slender woman in her 30s with wild, unkempt hair in a vibrant shade of purple. She has piercing green eyes, and her face is adorned with numerous piercings. Her preferred outfit consists of a black leather jacket, neon leggings, and combat boots, accessorized with an eclectic mix of chunky jewelry.”
Isn’t it amazing how an AI character design generator can turn our ideas into some really cool visuals? I dig it.
Feel free to add in specific details and play around with the images MidJourney generates.
Ever thought of creating your own custom anime characters instead? This anime character creator lets you do just that!
6. Create a Character Summary for Future Ideas
When you’re happy with your character, the last thing you should do is ask chatGPT to take all the information it has and write a concise but complete character description to use it in future chats where you might want to develop more of the plot, relationship with other characters, or themes.
You can even use this summary of more than one character to get inspiration for how characters can react to one another or for dialogue inspiration.
Tips for Using A.I. in Character Creation
- Use specific prompts: Give the A.I. clear, detailed prompts to ensure it generates character information that aligns with your vision. Specify the character’s role, traits, or backstory elements you want to explore.
- Experiment with multiple A.I. tools: Different A.I. tools have their strengths and weaknesses. Experiment with various text generators, character development platforms, and dialogue generators to create multi-faceted characters.
- Iterate and refine: The initial A.I.-generated character may not be perfect. Analyze the output, refine your prompts, and use the A.I. tool multiple times to generate more ideas or details. This iterative process will help you develop a deeper, more nuanced character.
- Maintain a balance between A.I. and human creativity: Use A.I. as a source of inspiration and ideas, but don’t forget to infuse your unique voice and style into your characters. Keep a human touch in your writing to ensure the character feels authentic and relatable.
- Test your characters in different scenarios: Write scenes or situations that put your A.I.-generated characters through their paces. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and give you a better understanding of how your characters react in various contexts.
- Seek feedback from others: Share your A.I.-generated characters with fellow writers, beta readers, friends, and family to gather valuable insights and opinions. This feedback can help you identify inconsistencies or areas that need further development.
- Continuously develop your characters: As you write your story, keep refining and developing your characters, making adjustments based on your evolving plot, feedback, or new ideas that emerge during the writing process.
FAQs for the Curious Writer
Some frequently asked questions about creating characters with AI.
Can AI create a character?
Absolutely. AI, such as GPT models, can generate unique fictional characters based on the user’s prompts and constraints. By altering the input details like the character’s age, profession, personality traits, or backstory, you can receive an array of diverse character descriptions. However, the uniqueness of these characters largely depends on the variety and creativity of the prompts you provide.
What AI does Character.AI use?
The AI that Character AI uses is called a neural language model. It’s a type of computer program that can process and generate natural language, like words and sentences. It can then use these patterns to create new text that matches the style and context of the input. The website was created by some former Google employees who worked on a similar project before.
Can AI create a consistent character arc over a narrative?
Creating a consistent character arc using an AI is challenging due to the nature of AI models like GPT, which don’t inherently maintain a memory of past inputs beyond a certain limit. For a single, consistent narrative arc, you may need to provide the AI with important context or recap at each step. Also, human intervention will likely be necessary to ensure the arc is compelling and logical throughout the narrative.
A.I. is poised to revolutionize character creation in fiction writing, offering unique perspectives and accelerating the creative process. By following the step-by-step guide and tips we’ve outlined, you can harness the power of A.I. to create enchanting, multidimensional characters that will beguile your readers.