July 12, 2011

Character Assembling

I don't do this with every character. In fact, I don't do it with many characters... because most of my characters come to life pretty easily, I feel I know them well enough without creating a physical "list" for them... but in a novel-length story, sometimes it's good to have major attributes of your characters written down in one easy-to-find spot... so that, you know, your main character's hair color doesn't change mid-way through the story because you forgot what it was supposed to be and didn't want to re-read your entire first 50,000 words to figure out what color you had made it, so you guessed... not that that's ever happened to me.


This is a fairly extensive list, and most of the time I don't fill it all the way up, or I change some of the questions to make it more applicable to the genre of story I'm writing. But it's a handy little tool for creating three-dimensional characters. It can also be a good way to come up with ideas for a story if a character without one knocks on your brain and wants to come in.

  1. Name:
  2. Age:
  3. Height:
  4. Weight:
  5. Birthdate:
  6. Birthplace:
  7. Hair Color:
  8. Eye Color:
  9. Scars or handicaps (physical, mental, and/or emotional):
  10. Best Friend:
  11. Enemies and why:
  12. Parents:
  13. Present problems:
  14. Strongest and weakest character traits:
  15. Hobbies:
  16. Kinds of music, art, reading material preferred:
  17. How do they dress:
  18. Description of home (physical, mental, emotional atmosphere):
  19. Most important thing to know about this character:
  20. What is his/her favorite food?
  21. When was the last time this character cried? About what?
  22. What season suits this person best and why?
  23. Do you like/dislike this character and why?
  24. Describe the setting, where will the story take place?
  25. Why will this character be remembered?
  26. Why is this character worth writing about?
  27. Write the first line of the story.

1 comment:

NanJ said...

I like this! I think you are such a SMART author!!!