Writing Tips- Characters

I refuse to read a book with poorly written characters. In fact, the plot of the story can be terrible but if the characters are good, I’ll still read it.

Now I’m not a professional writer; just someone who reads a lot of books and enjoys writing in my free time. Take my advice or leave it, for all I know it could be terrible. But it works for me!

When I write a story, I always start out by profiling characters. It’s a good first step to establish the mood and dialogue of the story, as well as giving you good ideas for the plot.  For me, it usually looks something like this:

  1. Full Name
  2. Known As
  3. Nicknames
  4. Any special powers (if fantasy)
  5. Age
  6. Hair color
  7. Eye color
  8. Height
  9. Other features that stand out
  10. Character Flaw(s)
  11. Background
  12. Friends
  13. Enemies
  14. Occupation /role
  15. Relationship
  16. Family Ties
  17. Interests
  18. Dislikes
  19. Fears
  20. Extra notes/comments

Doing this really helps establish characters. If you can’t fill out these things about your character, then you need to think about it some more. You need to know your character. Be able to get inside his or her’s head and know what would break them, and what would make their dreams come true. How do they develop, change, and grow over the course of your story? If you know your character as well as you know yourself, then you can’t really go wrong can you? Figure out how they talk, how they think, how they act, how they react to certain things, why the react to certain things, why they think the way they think, and why they do anything anytime. Good characters are what make a good story. So make sure you have them!

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