Writers' Treasure Creative Writing Tips,Fiction Writing How to create character profiles for creative writing

How to create character profiles for creative writing

This is a guest article by K.T. Mehra. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.

Character profiles let you craft your character’s personality, history, and everything about them without needing to write a line of your actual story. Character profiles are a list of facts, questions and answers, and other details about your character that you write before-hand just for yourself. These details let you subtly allude to characteristics while not blatantly stating them in your writing. They let you have a firm identity of your character that you can unconscious reference for each and every line your character speaks.

How to create a character profile

If you want a character that your readers identify with, you should create a character profile. Creating a character profile is simple and can be done on a piece of paper or a blank word document. Begin describing what you already know about your character, imagining they’re a real person you have a relationship with..

The basics

What is the gender of your character?

Figure out whether they are male or female and how their gender plays into the life they live. This will also help you when coming up with the other traits. If they identify in any other way, be sure to include that too.

What’s your character’s race and cultural background?

It is important to have a backstory for your character. What practices they uphold as a culture and what they believe in. This will help you create an identity and also guide their physical appearance.

How old is your character?

Their age will help you have a better understanding of their life experiences. You’ll be better equipped to gauge their level of reasoning and have a sense of their personality.

What is their basic physical appearance?

Determine your character’s height, body type, facial structure, and any physical limitations. This will help you gauge how their physical appearance affects them.

You should however note that your character’s physical appearance does not have to dictate their personality. Learn to disassociate someone’s appearance with their personality.

Relationships

Where is your character from and what’s their lifestyle?

Be very specific about where your character is from. Which country or state is their hometown? This is a good way to get a feel for their childhood and lifestyle. Are they rich, poor, or struggling? You can base a whole story starting from this!

Does your character have a family and how do they relate?

Family relationships are a huge determining factor for people, and, of course, characters. They can make or break a person. Knowing more about your character’s family history will let you gauge whether they have anger issues, parental issues or they have a love for family. This will reveal many of your character’s insecurities and how they affect their personal life.

Who does your character consider as a friend?

Knowing your character’s friends will help you understand who they are. This is because the people we hang around with speak volumes to what we believe in and who we are.

Figure out how these friendships evolve in the story. Does your character outgrow them or do they leave in times of trouble?

Are they introverted or extroverted?

While most of us are a little of both, it is good to determine whether your character is extroverted and more out-going and comfortable in social situations, or introverted and reserved or closed off. This can change a character’s experience in life a lot and their relationship to society.

Personality and character

What skills does your character have?

Figure out that one thing that your character is gifted in to help shape their career choice and schooling. Determine whether they developed the skills by themselves or they went to school to nurture it. What do they love? And what do they do for a living?

What are your character’s interests and hobbies? Do they love nice pens and writing? Are they secretly in love with drama? Whatever it is, develop this out as much as you can to create a character with personality.

What are your character’s goals and aspirations?

Goals and aspirations are what drive us to go after what we want despite the circumstances handed to us. Knowing what drives your character will help you determine the challenges they’ll be put through to come out stronger. Decide whether these goals change as the character evolves in the story.

Conclusion

The main thing when creating a character profile is to ask yourself questions that will better equip you to understand your character and their relation to the world. Your goal should be to get to know your character so well that they feel like a real person. Take your time and create an extensive character profile that will complement your story and excite your readers!

About the author: KT is a hard-working owner of a store in New Jersey called Goldspot Pens.  She has a passion for writing and classic literature.

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