Character Creation/Development

You need a character, huh? When creating characters, I’m going to suggest not picking the name first. With names come a lot of pre-existing concepts and ideas of what that person will be like. Every character should be at least mostly thought out if not completely.

So first, you should pick a gender (hopefully this will be easy for you). If age is necessary for the novel, pick that now. if not…then you should eave it until later. If you need to call them something, their temporary name can be Character.

Think about your novel, and the character.*

  • Where does Character live? Has s/he always lived there? If not, where is s/he from?
  • What is Character’s full-time job? Is s/he employed full-time, a student? Whatever it is, does Character like it? Does s/he work two jobs?
  • What activities does Character like to do for fun? Has s/he got any hobbies? Why hasn’t s/he decided that this passion isn’t what s/he wound up doing for a living?
  • Ah, romance. Does Character have a significant other? What about in their past, any heart-breaks or tragic affairs? If not, why not?
  • How about pets? Is the pet special to Characters, or does s/he hate it? Has it ever saved Character’s life?
  • Who are Character’s closest friends? Any old friends that have grown distant? Regrets? How about enemies? Who is Character’s main enemy in the story? You should think about the people that effect Character’s life, and how.
  • How about family? Who raised Character, has s/he got any siblings, cousins, or anyone they consider family?
  • Why does the enemy hate Character?
  • What are Character’s fears?
  • What are Character’s innermost desires?
  • What is the one thing in the world your character would do anything to avoid? Why? What has he already done to avoid this? What do you see him doing in the future to avoid it?
  • How about sacrifice? What is the one thing in the world your character would do anything in the world to have? Why? What has he already done to try to obtain it? What does he hope to try in the future?
  • Name at least five of Character’s biggest flaws/weaknesses.
  • Name at least five of Character’s strengths.
  • Any medical conditions? Any physical or mental disabilities?
  • If you haven’t already, what is Character’s age?
  • Describe what Character looks like. Any distinguishing features? ie: tattoos, piercings, scarring…
  • Finally, you should give Character a proper name. Does s/he even have a middle name?
  • You should now have enough to go on to write a decent biography about Character’s life so far. You should do that, and make sure you write everything you know about Character.

    *I took a lot of questions from Holly Lisle’s website, and added a lot of my own.

    I hope this was a helpful guide (:

    Happy writing!


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