Before writing my character proformer, I did a bit of background research into archetypes.
From this I did a basic outline of what I wish my character to be like, which helped form ideas about their personality and background history.
Name – Shishi Ori
Story Purpose – On her own personal mission to find answers to her background history and species, as well as the disappearance of her father.
Alignment – Neutral/good
Persona – Independent, strong minded.
General Disposition – As the only one of her kind, she is lonely but is yet to realize quite how much. She is a trouble maker at home, often breaking things by accident when dancing/pretending to be a scientist/doing her art homework, but doesn't mean to cause any harm.
Special Abilities – She is one of a kind in her species. She has no 'magical powers' or 'special abilities' as such, but enjoys making friends.
Education/Intelligence – She is at a mixed species school, which covers both seal and mermaid teachings as she was unable to get into a specialist school. This means she has many friends who are very different to her, as she enjoys diversity. Her best friends are an octopus who competes in the bi-weekly roller derby competitions, a seahorse who loves knitting and 'yarn bombing' (political graffiti using wool) and a few other sea creatures who are in the school band but often are at band practice so they are rarely in their social group; but her friends diversity in culture and upbringing, along with their personal hobbies and interests help to shape her own interesting personality and intelligence.
Family – Her mother, a seal, broke all species rules and rebelled against her parents (who since disowned her) by falling in love with a merman and breaking all of her parents beliefs. Her father is on a long buisness trip, and hasn't came home for four years, and it is unclear when he may return.
Aspirations – To find someone like her, but she is quite happy messing around and trying to do well in school at the moment.
Addictions – Milkshake, trying to desperately live like a human (going to extreme levels to attain their lifestyle)
Occupation and attitude toward it (good or bad) – She doesn't have a job at the moment, but trying to search for one in a milkshake bar or cinema so she can have free milkshake. She doesn't really want a job, but her mother keeps pestering her to start searching for one.
Objective(s) – Find her voice.
What does this character want? – For her father to come home, to find another one of her species, to do well in school without trying so hard and to impress her friends.
Who or what does s/he love? – Her parents and her two closest friends.
What is s/he afraid of? – Finding someone of her kind and it not living up to her expectations.
Why does s/he involve her/himself in this situation? – She doesn't have a choice.
Other roles and identities? – Main protagonist.
Single adjective to describe this character – Playful.
Skills – Clever (doing well in her biology, especially when studying humans, and art classes), artistic, finds it easy to make friends, most characters find her trustworthy.
Reports/Answers to? – Her parents and teachers. She also seeks advice and guidance from her classmates.
Who reports to this character? – Her two close friends go to her when needing advice.
Trademark Object – Her 'lucky' hair bobble, which her father gave her as a child.
Common emotions (picking three) exhausted, confused, ecstatic, guilty, suspicious, angry, hysterical, frustrated, sad, confident, embarrassed, happy, mischievous, disgusted, frightened, enraged, ashamed, cautious, smug, depressed, overwhelmed, hopeful, lonely, love-struck, jealous, bored, surprised, anxious, shocked, shy. – mischievous, hopeful, lonely.
Signature Move or Tic – waves her hand and shakes her tail like a dog would.
Nationality – Japanese.
Ethnicity – Half Japanese half English.
Religion – None.
Favourite Food – Noodles.
How does this character dress? – Wears human clothing tailored to her shape by her mother. She occasionally wears mermaid clothing, but she feels this doesn't reflect her personality enough.
Accent – English, with a slight Japanese twang.
Dialogue Tics and Slang? – It is very colloquial, and varies with the species she is socializing with.
Locations where this character is mostly likely to “blend in” – She never feels as if she fully fits in, but feels most at home either in her bedroom or at her local milkshake bar with her two best friends.
Where was the character born? - Japan.
Where has the character been? – Japanese waters.
Where does the character live? – In the island area Oki, under the sea in a cave house.
Where will (did) s/he die? And how? – Her cause of death is unknown, as she is still alive, but it will most likely be due to her mischievous antics.
Objects the character wears on his or her body – She occasionally wears jewellery, but always wears a hair bobble in her hair given to her by her father.
Dichotomy of character (inner conflict in the character) – She fights with her knowledge of her species situation, yet wishes to know more about other species that she longs to be.
Relation to other significant characters – Daughter, pupil and best friend.
The innocent (character to be determined) – Sushi (cat), one of the humans on the mainland's pet, who helps her secretly to understand the ways of humans.
What we’d think if we saw this character on the street. – Confident, chatty and happy girl, but unsure what species of mermaid she is (may not fully realize that she is crossed with a seal).
Three days before the party started: About one of the peak moments in the character’s life. What s/he was doing before it all started? – Madly searching for answers to where her father is.
How did this character lose his or her virginity? – She hasn't.
Morality: – Tries to make the right choices for her, based on her feelings and how it would affect the people around her.
Emotional Stability – She is strong, but has deep falls in her mood due to loneliness.
What do they do to comfort themselves? – Drinks milkshake, plays with her toys, watches humans from afar, talks to her two school friends or Sushi the cat.
Phobias: heights, snakes, darkness, etc. – The jellyfish bullies at school, growing up, and watching horror films.
Vanity – She takes great pride in the clothing she wears (especially when human clothing).
Epitaph: What will go on the character’s tombstone? – “The last of her kind. Cared for by so many”
Actor Suggestions – None.
Impressionistic Age and Health – In her childhood still, around 8 years old (13 in human years). She has an expanded lifespan compared to her mother who has 40 years, as her father has 80, meaning she averages at 60 years. She is in good health, but her mother worries if ever she becomes ill the medicine won't be able to adapt to suit her needs.
Impressionistic Height – Human sized upper body, but small stumpy tail like a seal. Around 4.5 foot.
Impressionistic Weight – Rounded tail, which looks as if she may be over weight, but it is just her species characteristics.
Body Type – Curvy.
Hairline/Colour – Black/dark brown.
Eye Colour – Dark blue.
Facial Hair – None.