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We live in an age where we think we know someone if we can remember his or her name. This leaves us with an unacceptably low standard from which to describe the actions of our characters.

  • Know Your Characters

Identify your a characters’ goals, motivation, and obstacles. Understand their personalities, or you won’t visualize the conflict and emotion that is necessary to bring your story to life. Dig deep into different aspects of their character. They can’t be interesting in your story until after they’ve become interesting in your mind.

Here are some important information categories that will help you know your character.
Your most important characters need the fullest development of information.

For a five-page Microsoft Word document containing the labels below, Click Here.


Character Development Chart


Name

One-paragraph Description

Nickname
Reason:

History
Birthplace:
Birth Date:
Story Age:
Childhood Memories:
Residences:
Life-changing Events:
Accomplishments:
Failures:
Embarrassments:
Secrets:
Emotional Scars:
Jobs Held:

Physical Appearance
Hair Color:
Hair Style:
Height & Weight:
Body Shape:
Posture:
Skin:
Face:
Dress:
Scars:
Dominant Feature:
First Impression:

Activities
Occupation:
Hobbies:
Pleasures:
Habits:

Relationships
Spouse:
Mother:
Father:
Siblings:
Relatives:
Friends:
Enemies:
Business Associates:
Pets:

Belief System
Religious Practices:
Political Persuasion:
Treasures:
Prejudices:
Secrets: (what he or she would never do)
 

Goals
External Ambitions:
Why?
Internal Ambitions:
Why?
Dreams:
Fears:
 

Skills & Status
Education:
Learning Style:
Talents:
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Social Status:
Financial Position:
Possessions:
Home Life:
 

Mannerisms
Appearance & Action When…
 – Angry:
 – Happy:
 – Hurt:
 – Lying:
 – Nervous:
 – Stressed:
 – Thinking:
 – Truthful:
Dexterity:
Diet:
Quirks: (what make the character unique)
Handicaps:
 

Speech
Normal Speaking Tone:
Speaking Style: (boisterous, spontaneous)
Favorite Phrases: (I can do that. The sun don’t always shine.)
Sample Dialogue:
 

Personality
Self-description:
Other’s View:
Reaction to Change: (confrontational or accepting)
Optimism: (optimistic or pessimistic, confident or worrier)
Extrovert: (extrovert or introvert, talkative or quiet)
Hang-ups
Response: (impulsive or thoughtful, reactionary or calculating)
Temperament: (sanguine, choleric, melancholy, or phlegmatic)
Judgment Basis: (thinking or feeling)
Sense of Humor:
 

Obstacles
Present Problems:
Why Conditions Will Worsen: