Planning characters is probably one of my favourite parts of starting a WIP. There’s so much you can do and you get to be as specific or vague as you like! Characters are the drivers of your story and need to be believable to keep your reader interested. Part of making sure that happens is really fleshing out your characters to become more three dimensional so I thought I’d share how I do that.
*disclaimer: as always with these posts, by no means am I the be all and end all of writing advice. I’ve never had anything published but I have had some good feedback about what I have shared so this is all just for fun!
Here are some basics that I always try to get down when coming up with my characters. Getting this down is really helpful when it comes to writing important scenes as you get to know your characters better.
Name: full name if possible – it should portray the vibe of your character without being cringey! Do they have a nickname? Who calls them what?
Age: be as specific as you want – include a DOB and a astrological sign if you fancy!
Face Claim: a celebrity that they look like – this gives a vibe and means you could make a mood board of their pictures if you want more inspiration (you can find my Pinterest tips for this here!)
Physical Attributes: anything that physically stands out about them, something striking that others notice about them. Are there any family traits they’ve inherited?
Personality: list 5 or so words that spring to mind when you think of them – good and bad! Could you list some experiences that prove these?
Relationships: decide if there’s anyone in the story that they connect with/are related to – what bonds will they form? Do any of these change?
Notes: anything that seems important or gives a glimpse into their life outside of the story – character development, thoughts/feelings, their background, their beliefs, their passions.
If you’re after something to just get you started, here’s a (very brief) template that might be useful for getting started:
What do you think? How do you plan your characters? I’d love to know!