A tool for creating compelling characters

4.2K 52 24
                                    

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!

CHARACTER BASICS

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?

CHARACTER TRAITS

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

CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS

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!

Free Character Design TemplateWhere stories live. Discover now