When I look at a character, most of times I want to know every bit of info that there is to know, and, some times, when you get to the end, you see that something dont really fit. Maybe he was a “non-killing” guy, but then you discover that he killed dozens of people, or the other way around! Sometimes you really like a character, but you think that his universe is out of place. Well, thats what redesign is for.
See, when you redesign someone(or even something!) you can do almost everything, as long as you dont change things too much. If you were to redesign Jack, the ripper, why would you make him a pacifist? Or, pick Alice(from Alice in the Wonderland) and make her an agoraphobic, and she can't go after the White Rabbit?*
When doing a redesign, you just have to do two things, actually. They are: studying the character, and studying the universe. You have to get every bit of data about the person you’re trying to remake, so, when you finally come to it, you’ll not write about someone completely different! I know, studying is boring, but you’ll see how surprisingly fun is studying those two subjects.
So, cutting to the chase, whats really a redesign? It is a rethinking about a character, without loosing its main characteristcs. You could make a steampunk Wolverine, as long as he have his claws and such. You could even make a female Wolverine, as long as she doesnt loose her main characteristcs.
For instance, I had to make a redesign for a college project. I chose Jack, the ripper, studied about him(or her, no one knows for sure), his modus operant, and things like this. When I really came to making it, I made a female Jack, that still kills prostitutes, but only because of her husband, and, since Jack was famous for butchering his victims, my version cuts pieces, so she can cook for her husband(yeah, shes that crazy). You see? All the main stuff is there, but the details changed.
When first doing it, dont try to change the universe or something like this. Take it easy. Pick a character, study him, study his universe, and then change him in that universe. Later on you try to change the universe, or rewrite his story. In no time, you’ll be making great redesigns, or even your characters!
Oh, and dont forget to write his/her story, and try to draw it, so people will have some visual feedback, it helps a lot!
This post ends here, folks!
*obs: you can change those things, but it will be hard, and you’ll have to carefully write about it later, so, if it is your first redesign, dont try to fly to high, or the Sun will melt your wings.