This is a template I've developed to use when creating characters for my stories. It can be used to help bring your character ideas to life by giving them a detailed backstory. Who they are, where they're from, what they're like and what motivates them.
This template is open for use in any form, by anyone, anywhere! If you have comments or suggestions to make it better let me know and I'll update it!
Name Provide the full name of your character including aliases, nicknames and former names
Age Your character's age in years, and what stage of life they’re in
Appearance Give a general description of your character in one to two sentences. The fields below should be used to provide greater detail.
Face What is their face like? Is it long and drawn? Is it square-jawed? Is it heart shaped?
Hair What colour is their hair? How does the character wear it?
Eyes Are their eyes almond shaped? Big and round? Beady? What colour are they?
Skin What's the character's skin like? Is it taut and firm? Old and saggy? Light? Brown? Green? Red with yellow stripes?
Height Height specified in both feet/inches and centimetres – makes it easier for readers who use other systems
Weight Weight specified in both kilograms and pounds – makes it easier for readers who use other systems
Body Shape Often easier than height and weight, describe the character's body shape. Are they massive and solid? Or small and lean? Or curvy?
Facial expressions Does your character have any distinguishable facial expressions – a lazy eye, a constant grin, a nervous shifty look
Physical habits Does your character exhibit any specific habits – constantly biting their nails, always tapping their feet, chewing with their mouth open etc
Temperament The 'personality' question – is your character grumpy, sanguine, melancholy, irritable, outgoing, caring etc. Pick the top 2 or 3 descriptors of their temperament
Likes What does your character like? This can be anything
Dislikes What does your character dislike?
Speech style How does your character talk? What accent do they have? Are they eloquent? Or crude/crass?
Good qualities What do other characters define as this character's good qualities. Remember, this character may not know or understand their own good qualities
Bad habits What do other characters define as this character's bad habits?
Natural talents What natural talents or skills does your character have? Are they good at playing the piano? Are they a great public speaker?
Supernatural talents What supernatural talents does your character have? Are they a phenomenal football player? Can they fly faster than a speeding bullet?
CHARACTER BACK STORY
Home town The place your character calls home
Home country / region / land The broader place that your character originates from
Parents Your character's parents or childhood guardians
Extended family and friends Any other relevant extended family members that played a role in your character's upbringing such as siblings, cousins, grandparents, close friends
Key childhood moments Note any major character defining moments of childhood, such as the death of a parent
Key adolescence moments Note any major character defining moments of childhood, such as a first love
Key moments (other) Any other character defining moments
Hopes and dreams What are the fundamental and underlying hopes and dreams of your character
Fears What worries your character the most? What is your character concerned with, running from or wanting to avoid?
Goals What are the tangible and actionable steps that your character must achieve or wants to achieve? They may or may not be aware of these
Rivals Who is blocking the way of your character? What is the nature of their rivalry? How much does it upset or motivate your character?
Supporters Who supports your character to achieve their goals? Why?
Partner(s) Does your character have a romantic or close platonic relationship
Protectorates Who does your character protect, nurture and care for? Their family? Friends? Children? Pets? What is the nature of this relationship?
Secrets What is your character hiding? Who knows? Who doesn't know? What are the implications if this secret came out?
Reason d'etre When everything else is stripped away, what's the one thing that drives your character?
Quote What's the one line your character says or will say that sums them up best?
Anything I've missed? Let me know and I will update the template. If you have a moment please check out my other stories here on Wattpad. Thanks!
YOU ARE READING
Free Character Design TemplateNon-Fiction
A free template I put together to help you craft compelling characters! Add depth to your characters by crafting their back-story. You might find a new way to define them, build their motivations and help with your story writing. If you like this t...