One of the most important elements of a story is the detailed creation of all your characters, since the reader will be seeing them all the time and will get to know them through the progress of the plot. When the character is (or is inspired by) a person that exists/existed, things are easier as you already have something to stand on, but when your character is someone you need to create entirely from scratch, the only thing you have is maybe an undefined picture of their appearance in your head, a specific moment where they interact with another character, a certain characteristic, or just their name.

To sort things out and make your character, you need to start from one point and explore many clues -quite possibly, there will be many things you won't cover or that won't be needed, but that's okay. I find that making a plan of questions is a great way to create a character without missing the essentials. I'll have a plan below, but you can make your own or use this with any additions needed (if, for example, your story has some tribes in it, you'll need to mention what tribe that character belongs to).

A character plan should look something like this:

 

Character Name (full)

1. General

  • Any nicknames given? Do people call them otherwise?
  • Age? When were they born? (full date)
  • Gender & Sexuality?
  • Where were they born? Where do they live now?
  • Any relatives/relationships mentioned in the story?

2. External characteristics

  • Hair color? (Natural + dyed)
  • Eye color? Do they wear glasses?
  • Height and weight?
  • Skin color/race?
  • Any scars/birth marks/tattoos/freckles etc?
  • How do they dress? Anything specific they always wear?
  • What is their most noticeable feature? Why?

3. Internal characteristics

  • What is their behavior towards others (tough acting, kind etc)?
  • Do they have any goals? What are they?
  • Are they an enemy or an ally to the protagonist?
  • What is their past? (Bad experiences that could influence the story, events that could help teach the protagonist etc)
  • Here you can mention some things they like, and some they hate. Is there a specific reason they do so?

4. Important Clues

Inlude first appearance, why they should be in the story (role), interaction with the protagonist and other characters, what they do throughout the story in a few words, and if there are any specific scenes you are picturing, describe them here in a few words. You can also add something important they say in the story, and everything else you believe is important add it here.

 

Again, this is just an example and you may need to add some things for your characters! Plans like this help me to sort out my thoughts and create the image of my character more clearly.

Another great tip I saw the other day was this: write 20 things that the reader will never know about your character. The idea is to make them "bleed" discreetly in your story, in a way that your reader will know it is true, without you ever saying it directly.

And remember, you only create them. What they do, how they turn out to be, their actions, decisions, isn't something you do. They do it; you only write it.

Happy writing!

~Ky

Published by Kyrania Layen