Character Journal Tips, Tricks And Ideas

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Character Journal Tips, Tricks And Ideas

Postby Engghaen on January 17th, 2014, 10:33 pm


As I can imagine that, being a starting player, starting or keeping a character journal I'll give my go at trying to explain the tips and tricks. Don't worry, I know what I'm talking about and I think character journals, plotnotes and personal touches in posts are very powerful to really get to know your PC. I have always enjoyed crawling into someone else's hide and be them for a while.

So, you want to start a journal or fix one up? You should look at your PC first. It's their journal, after all.

Questions to ask before we start

First of all, we need to get an idea of who your PC is. What do they like? What would they write about? Do they sing, for example, or draw? Take a while to sit for this. Or you could do this in class, of course.

-Does your PC have any creative hobbies, like playing an instrument, writing, etc. to put in their journal?

-Yes? What would they do with it? Would they for example write their stories in it, or gather all kinds of mechanical drawings?

-Isn't your PC much of a journal-type but you still want a journal? You could consider making it an obligation for them, or a rarity. Or maybe they would just need a place to vent.

-Is your PC a tidy person? Do they write and store things neatly?
And what about their grammar and use of Common? What language do they write in? Do their pages have been stored neatly or do they have folds?
If they are untidy, why are they? If not, why not? Try to link this back to "the threading world".

-Why do they do things this way? (as listed above) Do they have a reason why they write? What's the reason they write or draw or collect what they write (or draw, or collect)?

-What are their opinions about things? What do they think about races? Places? Have they met any? If yes, where? How was it like? What did they experience? How would they put that in words?

-A good idea if your PC is being considered as "insane" is to write a lot in their journal. This would keep them sane, so to say. They don't need to, of course.

How does your journal look?

Personally, to me, looks are rather important. If you think they're not, please also consider reading this.

You found out what your PC likes, by now? Have you got any visual images of how things would look? Have you come up with their handwriting and maybe found a cover already? Then it's time for how things look. I take this very seriously, mainly because I'm a secret Photoshop noob and love things like designing a journal. I put some ways to do things below, feel free to think of your own. There'll be added more soon.

-Creating picture based pages
Okay. If you are a bit of a Photoshop geeky like me you could do this.
Create a file, height as high as you'd like a page to be and width double the size plus approximately 20px. Ex.: 505 high and 670 wide, so that's a gap of 20px.
Find a nice (or preferably two slightly different) old paper templates. You could look on Photobucket, for example.
Crop the pictures into two, the height of the file you created (505) and the width :2 minus the size of the gap (670:2-20=175). Be careful to leave the gap.
Now you have the bare base. You could make round edges (I forgot how, sorry) for example.
Then add text. Make sure to save it in .PNG first or you won't have a sheet you can work on.
My own example.
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