Monday, June 15, 2009

Get to know your Characters

So how do you get to know your characters?

One way is to do Bios on each character. They are a great way to start. I have them on each main character in each book, and on many of the minor characters.

Some questions you may want to include:

Full name of Character:
Reason, meaning or purpose behind the name:
Reason for nickname:
Social class:

Physical Appearance:
How old they appear:
Eye Color:
Glasses or contacts?
Hair color length and style:
Weight and height:
Type of body (build):
Skin tone and type (j.e., hairy, slimy, scaly, oily, fair, burns easily):
Shape of face:
Distinguishing marks (dimples, moles, scars, birthmarks, etc.):
Predominant feature:
Is s/he healthy?
If not, why not? Or why are they healthy? Do they look healthy? Whylwhy not?


Character's favorite color, why:
Least favorite, why? Music?
Least favorite music, why? Food:
Expletives (curse):
Mode of transport:
How do they spend a rainy day?

Are they a daredevil or cautious?
Do they act the same alone as when with someone? Habits:
How much:
Greatest Strength:
Greatest Weakness:
Soft spot:
Is their soft spot ohvious, why/why not:
If not, how do they hide it:
Biggest Vulnerahility:

Type of childhood:
First Memory:
Most important child hood event that still effects himlher:
Why? Education:
Relationship with her:
Relationship with him:
Sihlings, How many, relationship with each:
Children of siblings:
Other extended family:
Close? Why or why not:

These are just a few of the things to fill out I have on my Character Profile Sheet. (if you want me to email you a complete copy, email me at

So what else? How else can you learn your characters?

Well, I write scenes from more than one POV oftentimes. For instance, I have a scene of conflict between two characters, so I write it from my main character's POV, then so that I know what's going on in my other MC's mind, I write the same scene from their POV.

Why? Because if I'm in both characters heads, then I understand them.

I believe that you need to know way more about your characters than just their names and likes, more than what ever makes it into your novel. You need to know them as well as you know yourself. (My head does get a little crowded sometimes, but when I write, I'm able to do a little purging.) :)

Let me know what you do to get to know your characters. I'm all ears!


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