Creating your roleplay character with the whys and hows.
I have a certain thought process when creating a character that I follow to the bitter end, and it seems to work well in all situations. So I decided I shall share this with you, the reader, on how I go about making a character. I have told this to people in the past, and they all find it beneficial. This thought process is simple and can make things so much easier. I have my friend to thank in the US Warcraft for saying "Always ask why".
The keywords to creating a character are "Why", "Who", "When", "Where". Four of the five W, as well as "How". With logics included.
If you use these words to everything you think up, and to every answer you create, you can eventually have a flawless background, a flawless character with no unanswered questions, nothing unknown, and it will be lore friendly. But only if you ask "why?", firstly, as the main word, then bring in the rest.
The first step, of course, is to decide race, gender, and class. With these three key points this narrows down what your character's background will entail, what your character believes, and what your character can actually do. For instance: Troll. Male. With just that selection it narrows it down to what class your character will be. Priest, for instance. And with the class selection you will then be directed to what a Troll priest, male, believes in. They wouldn't share the same views as a Human warlock.
This is where you research on the Troll race. Researching the race you are playing is essential. You will find out what their beliefs are, how they speak, how they act, their styles of clothing and all those important things. But most importantly, you will discover where your character will be at certain points in the lore's history.
Generally you will have thought up a basic age group from child to grandparent age, and looking up the race history you will discover where your character will have lived, where they never will have seen, and where, if in the lore, they will have moved to. For example, an adult human from Lordaeron. They will not be living there now, surely! But they did. So we bring in "why". They lived in Lordaeron. The simple why is "Why were they birthed there". You can go into their parents history to be flawless. So then we move onto "Why did they move to *town* when Lordaeron fell?" Why that choice? Say, Stormwind. They moved to Stormwind because they want to live in a large city. We bring in "why" again. Why did they want to move to a capital. "Because they prefer the bustling city". Why? "It is their nature". You could go on forever, but getting basics down helps to develop a character, get their personality thorough, as well as creating a great background.
With being a certain class we need to enforce the "why" question again. A paladin. "Why did they become a Paladin?" Because they are a strong believer in the Light. "Why?". They were brought up that way. "Why?". Their parents were overly religious. With that you can think on their upbringing, what being overly religious in WoW would do, such as they would not have played with knifes, kissed the opposite gender until an adult etc.
After picking a class, and going through how and why they are that class comes "How". You have to think on how they learnt what they know. And from "Where". And again add "why" to that process. A Warlock knows how to enslave demons. "How?" They were taught by mentor ABC. "Why?" Mentor ABC saw the person fit to learn and was taught the magics. "Why?" The person proved their worth to train the arts. "How?". A rigorous test. "Why?". A test was needed to prove themself. "Why?" The mentor would not take on a subject without them being 'worthy'.
With "Why", and "How", "Who", we can bring in "Where".
"Where" is another key to roleplay. Azeroth changes, races come and go, invasions and take overs happen. As mentioned above, a human may have been from Lordaeron, but will of course have moved. For every single year of your character's life you need to ask "where" and research on the Year, find out where that race was at the time, and where they will not have been. Don't forget to also look up what events may have happened where they lived, and "How" that affected them and "Why" it affected them in that way. With finding out where comes "How did they get from point A to B?". A horse? Then "How" did they get the horse and from "where", and "Why" a horse for travel. So it is good to key down the year, "When", and "Where".
Generally, you should apply "Why?" to everything, firstly.
Character has a pet snake. Character has a gryphon mount. "Why a snake" and "why a gryphon." Not just anybody can ride a gryphon. Character learnt to ride a gryphon. "Why?" Because they saw the gryphon as the easiest race to use as a mount, as seen all through the Alliance. "Why a pet snake?" They found the snake in the forest. - This is where you go into detail and see if it is logical having a pet snake. So we go to, "Why were they in the forest?" Taking a walk. "Why?" They enjoy walking. Then, "How did they tame the snake?" A good animal handler. Aha, asking how and why now can create a good history, or deterr you from the idea. If you can't come up with a logical answer to "Why" and "How", it's best to leave it.
This process should be applied to literally everything of the character.
Powers / abilities.
Thought patterns, fears and the like.
Lived where / lives where.
Pets / mounts.
Asking "Why", "Who", "When", "Where" as well as "How" can, and will, help you create a character with a solid, reliable background. Always question everything you do with "Why?" and "How?" mainly. "Why" to everything can get you far in creation.
Always ask "Why", no matter how brief a point.
Asking gets you places.