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Tweet One of the most important elements in a novel or short story is characterization: One technique that many writers use with success is to create a character profile for the main characters in the novel. The purpose of a character profile is twofold: In our author interviews many bestselling authors have stated that they came up with the basics of a character's personality and then they found that the character just "came alive" for them and ended up driving the story all on his own.
These are writers with years of experience developing characters and it now comes more naturally to them. But for the beginning writer, sometimes a more concrete approach is helpful.
That is where the character profile comes in -- it is simply a tool for organizing your thoughts about a certain character and keeping track of a particular character's idiosyncrasies and relationships. It can help flesh out a cardboard character and even make you think about facets of his or her personality that you had not considered before.
Character profiles are especially helpful for novels which involve several main characters and for stories which use multiple points of view. Character profiles are useful when writing in any genre. Depending on the genre in which you write, you will create additional sections on the Character Profile Worksheet.
For example, fantasy writers can use the character profiles to keep track of factors such as magical abilities, family lineage, spells the character is under, and limitations on the character's power to ensure continuity in the action. For literary and mainstream novels, profiles are especially useful for keeping in mind motivations of the character -- hurts and disappointments in the past which may not be alluded to directly in the dialogue, but which nevertheless color everything the character thinks and feels.
For example, someone who was abused as a child will most likely react differently in certain situations than someone who had a happy, loving childhood. A Character Profile is also of great help during the rewrite stage of your novel. You can use the profile to ensure continuity in the character's actions.
For example, if in draft 1 your heroine is just recovering from a nasty divorce and in draft 2 you've decided to make her a happily married mother of three, you will know to check every scene with dialogue about her marital status as well as scenes where the now non-existent dastardly ex-husband is mentioned.
If you change an attribute of your character, be sure to update your Character Profile Worksheet right away. Obviously, a character can develop over the course of the novel.
The Worksheet provides a place for you to note that fact so that when you read over your final draft you can see if you achieved your particular character development goal for that character. A Character Profile is just meant to be a guide where you can list facts and details to help you get to know your characters, especially if you get stuck on one character who doesn't quite seem real.
You also want to be sure you don't create a Mary Sue character. Maybe he needs a new characteristic -- a hidden trauma, a fabulous skill or a deadly secret -- something that will make the character come alive for you. If you are having trouble coming up with character details try to see how your character performs using a writing prompt or walk them through a situation known well to you.
How detailed you want your character worksheets to be just depends on what works best for you. So, next time you're stuck on characterization, pull out the Character Profile Worksheet and get to know someone new.Character Sketch Template A template that helps you outline a character sketch is the stepping stone to devising a character with an intense personality.
Such a template has been provided here. Creative Writer Worksheet – Character Sketch (PDF) You may have written a character sketch for a fictional person before, but how about for someone from your real life?
Try filling in this character sketch worksheet to gain a deeper understanding of people you love, hate, or feel indifferent towards. Questionnaires for Writing Character Profiles BACK from Writing Character Profiles to Creative Writing Ideas Home.
Feedback on Our Courses "As usual - I already love the course on Irresistible Fiction, rewriting a lot and improving greatly even after the first lesson. Thanks so much for the great courses.". When you are writing a Character Sketch, want to look for qualities of character and/or personality traits that you see in the person you want to write about.
The main goal of the assignment is to be able to tell something about the person you are researching. Creative Writer Worksheet – Character Sketch (PDF) You may have written a character sketch for a fictional person before, but how about for someone from your real life?
Try filling in this character sketch worksheet to gain a deeper understanding of people you love, hate, or feel indifferent towards. “People do not seem to realize. Now that you have your template sheets folder, you can generate character sketches by creating new files from the template sheets you have.
Fortunately, we live in a digital age and Scrivener’s digital corkboard interface gives us the power of notecards in a way that allows us to drill down from the card view into the character sketch itself.