Character charts: how to create a character profile for books, Wattpad and Episode stories
Updated: Aug 17, 2017
You probably have a rough idea of a plot for your awesome story and maybe even thought about some of your characters before moving forwards... wait!
The key to believable characters that everyone will love to know is creating 360° characters.
But how to do it?
Characters charts are the best way to build your characters in a professional way.
What is even more exciting about them is that while you are filling the chart lots of new ideas and plot twists will come to your mind.
Let's start with the general information
General information is very important; creating a fictional character can be difficult and even imagining them in our mind can be tricky. Starting with this chart can be very useful.
Why and who did you give them this name?
Nickname and reason for it
Cultural and racial origins
The physical appearance of the character is what will help you the most to imagine them because let's be honest if you can't imagine them how can you spend time with your characters in order to know them even better?
Once you filled out this list I suggest you try to draw your character and if you can't draw look on the internet for drawings, models and actors that look like your character.
Having a clear image of what they look like will help you a lot.
Age (is it the same as their look?)
Distinguish marks (scars, freckles etc.)
Likes' and hates'
Have you ever read a story and thought 'I love this character just like I would do with a real person'. Well, that is because the writer created them as though they were real. Knowing what your characters like and hate will not only improve your plot but also your dialogues.
What is the best quality a person can have in your characters eyes
What does the character hate the most doing
What music they hate
Worst food to eat
Scared of what animal
What is the worst quality a person can have in your character eyes
Worst type of girlfriend/boyfriend
We aren't perfect and neither do your characters have to be.
It doesn’t matter if you hate smoking or drinking. Your character’s life isn’t yours. Try not to mix your personal point of view of life with the one of the character you are creating.
If you know your character well you will understand that for them in that particular moment of their life drugs, for example, was the solution to their problems.
In order to make believable characters they have to act differently from each other. If you are just starting writing, you can find difficult to understand how someone who has not your personality behave in social life. Remember that a good writer is above all a good observer; go outside and observe people around you. You can do the same with your family and friends.
Write down how your shy cousin acts;
Same for your impulsive Father.
And what about your womanizer fitness teacher?
Can they make friends easily?
Are they shy? Why?
When is the character most at ease?
When is the character less comfortable?
Pessimist or optimist?
Want to do a test? Go read the last message you received from four different people. You will notice that we don’t talk the same way.
When you read a book, you have to be able to understand who is talking before reading the name of the character. This is how good dialogues are made.
Most used cursed word (if used)
Does the character have an accent?
Tone of the voice
Researched words, normal register or slang?
The unique personality of your character is what makes them remarkable. When you create a personality always remember that we tend to have two different sides; the one we show to the majority of people and the one we show to very few or to no one.
What they hate about themselves?
What they love about themselves?
Motivation in life
How do they dress?
Religion is fundamental for your characters personality. How will they react to an event that will change their life? Someone who believes in something superior will maybe think it’s destiny while someone else will just think it’s bad luck.
Does the character believe in God? Why?
What role religion plays in their life?
This is the part I love the most. Secrets is what adds drama and tension to a story. In my stories all the characters have one big secret. Just imagine how this can complicate a story by making it even more dramatic. And what if some of these secrets are known by other than themselves? This could lead to so many plot twists.
Who is involved in it?
Does the character know someone who knows this secret?
Is this secret known by someone? Does the character know about this?
How did they find out about this secret?
Friends and enemies
Establishing the list of friends and enemies will make it easy to plot future events.
Don't forget to create true friendship in which someone was hurt at least once. Regrets and hidden pain can explode during a low moment of the plot making the solitude of the hero/heroine more realistic.
List of the character's true friends
How many best friends?
Name of the best friends
How they met and why they are friends
What is their best memory?
Did the character's friend(s) ever let them down? If yes, did the character forgive them?
Does the character hate someone? If yes, why?
Is the character hated by someone? If so, why?
What does the character do (or have) that could make them some enemies?
You cannot know where your character is going if you don’t know where they come from.
Current location in which they live?
Type of childhood
Wealthy, average or poor childhood?
Childhood closest friend
Childhood closest relative
How does the character feel about their hometown?
What shapes us the most if not our childhood? Spend all the time you need in this section because as you can confirm with your own selves the good and bad childhood memories and life events are what we bring in our hearts forever and the majorities of our fears and behaviors come from them.
Relationship with her (them)
Relationship with him (them)
Relationship with them:
Relative the character feels more distant of
Have you tried to fill this chart for one of your characters?
Does it help you in creating your characters or do you use another method?
Don't hesitates to share your opinions and comments. ❁
Interested in reading my book?
You can find it -> HERE