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Basic Character Planning

Hellooo! (3)Perhaps some of you have just recoiled in fear, but this stuff is the bare bones of creating a coherent and three-dimensional character. At the very least, you should have memorised a rough idea about them, from which you can figure out the details.

But not all of us have a brilliant memory, and there are plenty of authors who slip up when writing because they haven’t kept track of the details. Here, I’ve set up a quick list that can help you keep track with the best of them.

Full name:

Gender:

Age:

Physical appearance:

Role:

Role among characters:

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

Backstory:

For obvious reasons a character’s name is important.

Their gender is as well. In this section you should also suggest how masculine or feminine they are.

A character’s age should be known so you can really grasp the attitudes they might hold to different generations and to remind yourself of how detailed your backstory needs to be. If your story begins when the character is a baby there isn’t really a backstory for them, but if they’re 30 years old in Chapter 1 you’re going to need to mention it.

Physical appearance is vital, and the one authors most often forget. Body type suggests how much exercise they do and how they look after themselves. Have they got any flack about how they look? Maybe they also have a limp or prominent birthmark, scars. And God forbid your character’s scar changes places half-way through the book. In this section, you should also highlight the feature you want to make most prominent.

The role of your character comes in two forms, what they serve to the plot, and what is their role among others? The second section should show what they mean to other characters: are they controlling, do they lead a group, do they seem a waste of space or are they the comic relief?

Additionally, think about your character’s strengths and weaknesses. Yes, even the bad guys. Every prominent character should have an equal number of each. After all, the most evil character you’ve got won’t be a threat to the protagonist unless they’ve got something going for them.

And then, there’s the backstory. Usually tragic, your character’s experiences must shape them. What has happened in their life to make them act the way they do, to respond the way they do? You could also mention factors like a character’s religion. From here you’ll find out your character’s motivation, how well they connect emotionally to others, and what can knock them off their feet, sending them to rock bottom.

Want more detail? Gabby will be uploading the intense guide to planning your characters soon, with resources you can save to your computer. Good luck, Blogoleptics, hope you find these helpful!

One thought on “Basic Character Planning

  1. Pingback: What Does “Three Dimensional” Even MEAN? | Blogolepsy

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