Writing Tip #5 – Get To Know Your Characters

How do you know who your character is?

Writing is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. Before I sit down to write a story, I make it my mission to learn the basics of my characters. Writing a story is really just recording a character’s reaction to certain situations, and knowing what makes a character tick is essential to determining these reactions.

Over the years, I have taken a few writing classes that have helped me determine important information about a character. Some of these are ideas from class, some of these are ideas I’ve gotten from other writers, and some of these ideas are my own. Just copy and paste to learn more about your characters!

Character:

  • Name Meaning:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Marital Status:
  • Ethnicity:
  • Sexuality:
  • Faith Background:
  • Past relationships:
  • Current relationships:
  • Schooling & Education:
  • Past Jobs:
  • Past homes:
  • Current Job:
  • Other:

Personality:

  • Mental Illness:
    • How has this affected them?
  • Physical Illness:
    • How has this affected them?
  • Myers Briggs Personality Type:
  • Enneagram:
  • Priorities:
  • Caring or Oblivious:
  • Self-Conscious or Confident:
  • 3 Wishes:
  • Strengths:
  • Weakness:
  • Regrets:
  • Goals:
  • Fears:
  • Greatest Accomplishment:
  • Hogwarts House:
  • Favorite Food:
  • Favorite Book:
  • Favorite Class:
  • Song Describing Them:
  • Other:

Family & Friends:

  • Mother:
    • Date of birth –
    • Marital Status –
    • Alive or Dead –
    • Ethnicity –
    • Parents –
  • Father:
    • Date of Birth –
    • Marital Status –
    • Alive or Dead –
    • Ethnicity –
    • Parents –
  • Other Notable Family Members:
  • Closest Friends:
  • What Makes Them Likeable:
  • Enemies:
  • What Makes Them Dislikeable:

Appearance: 

  • Height:
  • Weight:
  • Eye Color:
  • Skin Color & Face Shape:
  • Nose Type:
  • Style:
  • Hair color:
    • Natural hair color (if it differs from current hair color):
  • Other:
  • Accent:
    • Voice Tone:
    • Common Gestures:
    • Other:

Behavior:

  • Personal Habits:
  • Daily Routine:
    • Morning –
    • Afternoon
    • Evening –
  • Hobbies:
  • Hand dominance:
  • Other:

Past:

  •  Place of Birth:
  • Relationship with Parents:
  • School Attendance:
  • Important Childhood Memories:
  • First Job:
  • First Love:
  • Other:

Do you have anything else to add to the list? What questions do you ask to learn more information about your characters? Comment them below!

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