Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.
Character profiles. Do you use them? Do you like them? I do! For the obvious reason that getting to truly know the people in your story helps to round them out and truly seem human. (Or inhuman depending on the type of story. ^.^) But, character profiles help me so much more than that.
To sit down and truly have to consider each on of my characters in-depth also helps me round out the plot or even create sub-plots. This is because not only do I have to think about one particular character, but also how that character relates to the next. Sometimes I find that if I tweak the personality of one character to compliment or conflict a bit more with another character’s….voila! Added drama or romance or both! And knowing my character so deeply helps me stay true to them and the story. Meaning: I’m not going to have a character react to a situation in a way that is not in their personality to react. (unless they are displaying growth throughout the story) IE, no death-bed repentance that will leave the reader or me disappointed.
Below is the current, “Character Profile”, I use. (I add more details all of the time!) Most of it is self-explanatory, but I’ll come back to it and try to fill out how I use each part soon. If you have never used one before, I encourage you to try it. Even on a character you’re currently working with. If a detail seems hard or irrelevant, answer it anyway…you’ll feel your creative wheels start to spin!
Character Name: What is the character’s main name?
Full Name: First, middle, last. (Suffix? Title?)
Nicknames: What nicknames does the character have if any? Who uses it? Why? Does the character like it?
Gender:Male or Female
Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity: Straight? Bi? Lesbian? Gay? In the closet? Transgender?
Weight/Body Structure/Physical Faults:
Origin: Where is your character from?
Language: Primary. (Secondary? More?)