Without characters, there is no story.
Without characters, there are only boring and repeated descriptions of setting and unidentified problems. Without characters… you’re going to have a pretty boring time writing.
In short, characters are important.
What most authors don’t realize whilst they’re assembling their cast is that cranking out character profiles isn’t just a droning, dreary step in planning a novel. On the contrary, what’s more important than coming up with the diverse people and personalities that your readers will grow to love or hate, root for or bet against? Creating characters is one of the most exciting and interesting processes to writing! Just think about it: God created US to want to create- and we can do that by writing and imagining a whole host of characters to interact, cause and solve problems, and fight evil!
That said, it’s time to get down to business.
You can assemble a good charrie by following three general steps:
1. Assemble a personality
2. Assemble an appearance
Let’s begin with Step 1.
The easiest way to figure out your character and figure out what makes them tick is to draw up a profile for them. Personally, I like to sketch my characters and then write their profile around the drawing but you can do a strait fill-in-the-blank profile with equally awesome results. Try to think creatively about how the different elements of the character might relate to the story, especially the main conflict.
Here’s a basic profile:
(for sci or fantasy) Species: (e.g. elf, goblin, raxacorikfalipatorian):
Back story summary:
Parents: (Divorced? Together? Suspected evil scientists?)
Siblings: (Older or younger? Do they get along?)
Quirks: (Do they bite their lip when nervous? Or never take off their custom purple Converse?)
Hobbies: (Reading? Chemistry? Quidditch? Civil War reenactiment?)
Pet Peeves: (People chewing?)
Beliefs: (Whether religious or concerning strange conspiracy theories about evil math teachers)
What makes this charrie a good guy/bad guy?:
What are their strengths?:
What are their weaknesses?:
Nickname: (if any)
Are they a main character or side character?:
If they’re a side character, stop at this section.
Favorite foods: (and why? Did their grandma used to make it? Did a Wendy’s worker save their life?)
Favorite books: (The Great Gatsby? Les Mis?)
Favorite sports team: (if any)
Favorite time of day: (Midnight? Morning? 3:29?)
Do they have a love interest? Who is it? Why?:
Does their personality change when in a relationship?:
Why do they want to be a relationship in the first place?:
(for older charries) Are they married? How long have they been married?:
What are their political views?:
Style in dressing:
Steps two and three coming soon. 🙂