Character Bio Sheets
A bio sheet is a way of keeping track of a character’s physical description, traits, and attributes. This method is familiar to anyone who enjoys role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Using a Bio Sheet gives you an excellent reference point to go back to when you need to remember key information about your character.
Defining Characters By Their Roles
There are specific roles that characters fall into when you are writing a story. These include Hero, Mentor, Threshold Guardian, Herald, Shapeshifter, Shadow, Trickster. Christopher Vogler’s book, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers explores these roles in depth.
Building a Character Using Multiple Perspectives
This technique helps you to build relationships. You write about your character based on other people’s (characters in the story) views and opinions about that person.
This is a simple list of questions that provide insight into your character and how your character fits into your story.
Basing Characters on Real People
We often draw inspiration for fictional characters from people we know in real life. This article gives you advice on how to avoid some of the problems that can crop up when you translate a real person into a fictional one.
A Day in the Life
Once the events of a story kick into motion, the main characters are pushed outside of their boundaries and comfort zones. Following your character through a typical day helps you figure out who that character is under normal circumstances.
This is a classic method of creating a character. You set up a situation in which that character is being interviewed (for a magazine, by the police, for a job, etc.). This not only allows you to delve into your character’s personality, it helps you to develop your character’s voice.
A biography is an in-depth exploration of the events in your character’s life that lead to who your character is at the beginning of the story.
Defining what your character owns (and doesn’t own) provides insight into the character’s personality and circumstances.
This is a stream-of-consciousness method that allows you to think fluidly about a character without editing yourself. You write quickly and delete nothing until you are done.