Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Character Creation: Character Worksheets

I will be using this week's Free-wheelin' Wednesday & Word Count Wednesday to talk a bit more on the subject of character creation. The post from yesterday touched more on who a character is at their core, as in, their most inner passion which would drive them to say or do things a certain way - depending on what they are passionate about. For instance, the scuba diving character would more than likely be an adventurer, daring, step to the front of the line sort who is willing to try new things. You get a feel right away for a character like that.

There are many other things to consider when creating your characters. The simplest way to do that is to create a profile for each character or look online for printable character sheets that are easy to fill out. There may be questions that seem unnecessary however; you will learn that answering most of them will help you with your writing. Some questions will be for you alone, they will help to move your character forward without sharing every bit of background information with your readers. You will be surprised how much these character sheets help. You may also need to refer back to them later in your story - they are lifesavers if you forget something as simple as what color eyes Aunt Susie had in chapter 3 or perhaps it was chapter 6 that she made her entrance. As good a memory as you may have, it could not possibly remember everything from every project you are working on. In the event that you do have that kind of memory, I would like a print out of your daily diet plan including vitamins and minerals you take, please. *smile*

Your character profile or worksheet will include basic information. It will also include an in-depth look at your character. It is entirely up to you which questions you include on your profiles.

Very basic character bits you might include in your profile.  
  • What part the character plays in the story (hero or ?)
  • Eye, hair, skin color
  • Scars, deformities
  • Height, weight and build
  • Typical daily dress
  • Family connections
  • Best friends
  • Enemies
  • Special talents
  • Quirks

Is he or she an emotional person or do they keep their emotions in check? You will want to sketch in a little background for yourself - something like; the hero's Aunt Mary suffered from mental illness. You may never state this fact in your story however; you will know and use it to show the compassion the hero is capable of sharing.

Here is a printable (PDF) character worksheet created by ©William Victor, S.L. in 2009 for the website Creative Writing Now. Several more turn up using the simple Internet search term, character worksheet.

*There are also computer programs for writers that come with worksheets for characters, plotting, scenes and all else you need to create the perfect novel board.

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