As you already know, characters can either make or break your story. No matter how good your storyline may be, if the reader does not feel any connection, concern or interest in what happens to your characters, then the story will fail.
Remember, one of our top responsibilities as writers' is to make sure that we draw our readers' interest into the world that we have created.
I encourage you to invest in file folders--it doesn't have to be anything fancy, but make sure to assign a separate folder per character.
Some character profiles may be longer than others--I've had some character profiles take up several pages and others only take up a page or so. Just make sure to leave room to expand your character's profile. You would be surprised at how fast a character's profile can grow, as you spend time developing the character's personality and the role that he/she will have in your storyline.
The below is a sample of a character profile list that I have compiled, and found effective while developing my characters' personalities. However, please feel free to change anything or add anything to the profile data sheet that may help you in the developing of your characters.
Remember the goal is to find a character profile that works best for you.
Happy Writing! And remember to have fun getting to know your characters. You would be surprised, once you start creating a character's profile sometimes they can take directions you never even imagined!
1. Character's Name:
2. Were they named after anybody? (example, was the character given their name after their late grandmother, someone famous, etc.)
3. Has character ever been told that they resemble somebody else? If so, who do they resemble?
5. Birthdate: (optional)
6. Astrological sign: (optional)
8. Height and build: (example, 5"2', petite slender build)
10. Religion or other beliefs:
11. Ethnic group:
12. Hair color:
13. Eye Color:
14. Does the character wear glasses or contacts?
15. Any health problems? (If so, explain)
16. Skin type:
17. Shape of face:
18. Any distinguishing marks,scars:
19. Is your character considered an optimist (a glass half full person) or a pessimist (a glass half empty person)?
20. Type of personality:
21. Marital status:
22. Any children (If they do have children, list their names & ages)
24. Degrees and/or certificates:
26. Is the character experiencing any internal conflict as a result of their job?
27. Mother's Name:
28. Father's Name:
29. Who raised the character as a child?
30. What was their childhood like? (Happy, tragic, lonely, etc.)
31. Any siblings? (If yes, list their names and ages):
33.Where are they living now?
34.What is the town like they are living in now? (Big city, small town?)
35.Are they satisfied living there?
38.Any bad habits? If so, what?
39.Character drives what type of vehicle?
40.Has character received any driving tickets or had any other problems with the law?
42.Favorite clothing: (ex. jeans and a t-shirt, dresses, etc.)
44.Favorite book and/or poem:
47.Favorite type of music:(ex.country, rock, alternative,etc.)
52.Favorite t.v. show:
54.Character's Best Friend/s:
55.Any enemies: Why?
56.Idea of a perfect date:
57.Character's idea of a perfect soulmate:
58.Does character have a love interest currently in their life?
59.If so, what is that person's name & how long have they been together?
60.How did they meet?
61.Your character's immediate goals in life:
62.Your character's goals for the future: 63. Character's Reason for being in the story? (example, is the character the hero or heroine, or are they a secondary character that has been written into the scene in order to teach or give important information and/or insight to the hero/heroine?)
64. When is this character first introduced into the story?
65. What scenes will character be involved in? (List the scene the character will be present in, and the purpose of them being in the scene)
**I encourage you to add on to this checklist if you would like. Please remember, this list is not set in stone!** MONTHLY WRITING TIP: KEEP YOUR CHARACTER PROFILES ON HAND WHILE YOU ARE WRITING. IT WILL MAKE FOR EASY REFERENCE. ALSO, REMEMBER NO CHARACTER PROFILE IS SET IN STONE. YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK AND CHANGE SOMETHING ON YOUR PROFILE SHEET.