Creating a Character Bio Sheet

Character bio sheets are not only a simple way to create characters, they are a great way to keep track of the characters you develop. When you write a longer work, such as a novel or screenplay, it is easy to forget minor character details. If you aren’t careful, the blue eyes you described on page five can turn to brown eyes by the end of page eighty. Using a character bio sheet, you can record all of the essential details for your characters and keep them in a single place so that you can check those details whenever necessary. … Continue reading Creating a Character Bio Sheet

Are Your Characters Well Spoken, or is it Just You?

How Articulate Are Your Characters? Most writers are articulate. Because they work with the written word on a daily or near daily basis, and because they have a love of language, most writers express themselves well. Just because a writer is articulate, however, doesn’t mean that a character should be articulate. Adjusting your language to suit a character, especially in dialog, is vital to creating a realistic depiction of that character and vital for differentiating that character from others in the story. Words Reflect Background When most people think about writing realistic dialog, they think about things such as regional … Continue reading Are Your Characters Well Spoken, or is it Just You?

Mapping out your Novel’s Characters

See Also: Creating a Character Bio Sheet In much the same way that you need to outline the action points in your plot, you should map out the relationships of your characters. Creating the backgrounds for your individual characters is important, and I covered that with this series of articles about building characters. Here, I am talking about mapping out the relationships between your characters. The goal of this process is to give structure to the relationships in your story. Knowing the individual traits or attitudes of your characters is important, but knowing the history and events in the relationships … Continue reading Mapping out your Novel’s Characters

Six Quick Tips on Character Names

I’m going to be very busy with NaNoWriMo this month, so my postings are going to be short and to the point. Some people will probably prefer this. By the way, my current word count is 529. Thats low, but I worked an eleven hour day yesterday so I was just glad to get started before I fell asleep. Character names should be easy to tell apart from one another. Character names should never be distracting or annoying . Try to avoid stereotypes in your character names. Pick names that reflect the time, region and culture that your character is … Continue reading Six Quick Tips on Character Names

10 Days of Character Building: Basing Characters on Real People

See Also: Defining Characters By Their Roles Basing characters on actual people is a fairly common literary practice. The people around you can be a great source of inspiration. I don’t, however, recommend basing a character on a single person. It can be problematic for the following reasons: If that person finds out, they may not like it. It can hurt a friendship or even get you sued. You may be tempted to recreate moments from their life too closely and not let the plot take its natural course because you know how everything took place. In other words, it … Continue reading 10 Days of Character Building: Basing Characters on Real People

10 Days of Character Building: 12 Questions

This is Day 8 of 10 Days of Character Building How would I describe this character in a single sentence? What type of personality does this character have? What is this character’s purpose in the story? How is this character different from any other character in the story? What makes this character interesting to readers? What does this character care most about? What are this character’s key physical traits? What is the most important thing that has ever happened to this character? What are the things this character cares the most about? How does this character deal with problems? What … Continue reading 10 Days of Character Building: 12 Questions

10 Days of Character Building: Building a Character Using Multiple Perspectives

See Also: Basing Characters on Real People This character building idea turns the concept of the interview around. Instead of interviewing a character about themselves, you interview the other characters in your story about one particular character. This gives you a profile of the character as seen by other people. It can also help you set up potential conflicts and plot points by revealing hidden bonds and tensions between characters. A character might consider herself to be insightful, brave and authoritative, while that character’s sister might view her as bossy, opinionated and unreliable. A husband may think his wife is … Continue reading 10 Days of Character Building: Building a Character Using Multiple Perspectives