11 Steps to Crafting Characters

Posted May 16, 2014 by Briana in characterization, characters, write, writers, Writing / 2 Comments

Woman Writing on Laptop

I hate character profiles.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand their value, I just don’t feel like I have the time to fill out every single detail laid out on the page. Is everything relevant to what I’m working on? I don’t think so.

If you’re anything like me, you wish there were some way to create realistic characters without going overboard. If you’d rather not wax poetic about your protagonist’s shoe size or most embarrassing nightmares, all is not lost.

Want to make your characters stand out from the page? All you have to do is follow these eleven simple steps.

  1. What role will this character play? Protagonist, antagonist, love interest, what?
  2. What is their name? Nickname?
  3. Where are they from?
  4. Gender?
  5. Age?
  6. What’s their background? Family history, wealth, significant life events?
  7. Race/ethnicity?
  8. Sexuality?
  9. Personality? Good and bad qualities?
  10. Likes and dislikes?
  11. Goals/hopes and fears?

You don’t need a complicated spreadsheet to make a three-dimensional character. Ask yourself these questions, answer them, and you should be good to go.

What tips and advice do you have for creating believable characters? What do you think of these tips?

P.S. 4 “A”s of Characterization, How to Develop Stronger Characters, and Where to Find Character Names.

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2 responses to “11 Steps to Crafting Characters

  1. I always write brief bios about my characters and my list is similar to yours. But by the end of the novel they are completely different people. I love watching them evolve with the story.

  2. I find that my characters always change as well. I think that’s one of the most fun parts of writing something; seeing how your characters evolve with the story.