Friday, July 20, 2012

Character Profiles

For writers and aspiring authors, characters are what makes a story come to life. If your book is full of flat, unrelatable characters, your book will be just that...flat and unrelatable. No one wants to read a book where the characters don't seem real or like someone you know or would like to know. That's why it is important, I think even before you begin writing, to create a character profile for at least the main and supporting characters.
 
I've heard some authors like to write a page summary on each character. Some also use worksheets. I've done both. According to my readers and myself (though I'm biased), my characters are dynamic. Which ever way you choose is ultimately up to you, but here is an example worksheet to get you started.
 
 
Character Profile Worksheet


Basic Statistics

Name:
Age:
Nationality:
Socioeconomic Level as a child:
Socioeconomic Level as an adult:
Hometown:
Current Residence:
Occupation:
Income:
Talents/Skills:
Birth order:
Siblings (describe relationship):
Spouse (describe relationship):
Children (describe relationship):
Grandparents (describe relationship):
Grandchildren (describe relationship):
Significant Others (describe relationship):
Relationship skills:


Physical Characteristics:

Height:
Weight:
Race:
Eye Color:
Hair Color:
Glasses or contact lenses?
Skin color:
Shape of Face:
Distinguishing features:
How does he/she dress?
Mannerisms:
Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.)
Health:
Hobbies:
Favorite Sayings:
Speech patterns:
Disabilities:
Style (Elegant, shabby etc.):
Greatest flaw:
Best quality:


Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Educational Background:
Intelligence Level:
Any Mental Illnesses?
Learning Experiences:
Character's short-term goals in life:
Character's long-term goals in life:
How does Character see himself/herself?
How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others?
How self-confident is the character?
Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?
What would most embarrass this character?


Emotional Characteristics


Strengths/Weaknesses:
Introvert or Extrovert?
How does the character deal with anger?
With sadness?
With conflict?
With change?
With loss?
What does the character want out of life?
What would the character like to change in his/her life?
What motivates this character?
What frightens this character?
What makes this character happy?
Is the character judgmental of others?
Is the character generous or stingy?
Is the character generally polite or rude?


Spiritual Characteristics

Does the character believe in God?
What are the character's spiritual beliefs?
Is religion or spirituality a part of this character's life?
If so, what role does it play?


How the Character is Involved in the Story

Character's role in the novel (main character? hero? heroine? Romantic interest? etc.):
Scene where character first appears:
Relationships with other characters:

1. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).
2. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).
3. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).
4. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).

How character is different at the end of the novel from when the novel began:

Additional Notes on This Character:

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