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Character Worksheet

MAIN CHARACTER WORKSHEET

Name:

Age:

Height/Weight:

Body type:

Scent:

Texture (i.e. of hands, skin, etc.):



Clothing style/frequently worn clothes:



Eye color (list synonyms):



Hair color and style (list synonyms):



Other distinguishing physical traits (2 or 3 unique tags, specific to only that character):



Action tags (i.e.scratching head, nail biting, etc.):



Verbal tags (i.e. “My, my,” “Huh?” etc.) (also list speaking style: talkative, soft-spoken, loud, formal, accent, fast,etc.):



Characteristic tags (i.e. timidity, drunkenness, arrogance, etc.):



Physical imperfections or something would most like to change:


Race/Ethnic group:


Religion:


Years of schooling:


Any special occupational training:


Occupation:


Past Occupations:


Skills, Abilities, and Talents:


Personality Type (Include Archetype):


Admirable personality traits (strengths):


Negative personality traits (weaknesses):


Quirks or eccentricities (off beat manner of behavior, dress, or speech that is peculiar to a person and distinguishes them from others):


Things that make angry:
Method of handling anger:


Things that embarrass:
Method of handling embarrassment:


Fears:
Method of handling fear:


Bad habits or vices:


Prejudices:


Pet peeves or gripes:


Sense of Humor:


Philosophy of Life:


Physical illness or affliction:


Hobbies/Interests:


Favorite Foods:

Favorite Books:

Favorite Color:

Favorite Place:

Item(s) special to character:


Person/friend close to character:




Description of home, home life, and economic status:







Brief family history:




Most painful experiences in character’s past (to prove why they act the way they do):








Character’s goals (What they want)(Their biggest dream):









Character’s motivation (Why they want the above goal):








Character’s conflict (What is keeping them from their goal):








Summarize character’s Fatal Flaw (the main problem to work through):







Story Premise (in one sentence write what I am trying to prove by writing this story):


39 comments:

  1. I like your in-depth questioning you do of your characters, Jody! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Wow, thank you for sharing! I'm still working on what details to use when creating a character and this helps greatly!
    I think I have a few more questions for myself, waiting to be answered, regarding my characters :)

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  3. Great list. The action and verbal tags points are great! I find myself often going into great body language and speachtic detail or fail to realize that I've left it out entirely until I revise.

    I've been thinking about my tendencies when it comes to writing characters. Filling out a good character checklist like this is a great activity because the parts that are hard to complete can tell you a lot about yourself as a writer. Where you mind is when you're writing.

    Thanks for posting this!

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  4. Thanks, girl!
    This is so helpful :D
    Love that you're willing to help those of us who are aspiring.
    Have a good day, hon.

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  5. Thanks SO MUCH for this, Jody! I've been kind of stuck in fleshing out certain characters in my MG wip and I think this is just what I need. :)

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  6. I've just browsed your pages. They are all excellent. I especially like your character worksheet that I think I'll use. Thank you!!

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  7. So generous of you to share this worksheet with us! Thank you.

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  8. Very thorough - I'm tempted to see how I would fill it in for myself instead of a character!

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  9. Jody, as I read this list, I realized I've got all this in my head and very little of it actually in my WIP! Thanks for posting it. Can't wait to get home and write now.

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  10. Hi Jody, thanks so much for sharing. I have one but its not as comprehensive - this is great! A very good tool. ;)

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  11. This is a great character-development tool. Thanks for sharing it!

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  12. Wow Jody! Thanks a billion! This is a great work up for getting to know your character. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Excellent tool. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. I've designed several character spreadsheets and posted them, but this has stuff even I hadn't thought of. Nice worksheet and beautiful blog. My worksheets are posted at: http://rebeccaryalsrussell.wordpress.com

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  15. Thanks, Jody! I added this list to my favorites and plan to use it for my WIP as soon as I send this comment. You're the BEST!!

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  16. I find that after using myself as the character initially, it becomes much easier to be more thourough with the characters of my book. Thank you.

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  17. Great questionnaire. Asking myself these questions saves time later!

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  18. I think my daughter will find this helpful in her writing/character development. A few months ago when she was stuck in the story she was writing and having some trouble with her characters being too similar to each other, I had her pretend she was an interviewer and write out a bunch of questions she wanted to know about her characters and "interview" them, writing out the answers to the questions as each character would answer them. She found this very helpful!

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  19. I've been needing an in-depth character worksheet, and this is PERFECT! Thank you so, so, so much! :)

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  20. Thank you for sharing your list, Jody. Mine looks similar, the only difference is that I always interview my characters. Like: "What's your age?" "Who are your friends?"...

    I was wondering if you also put up lists connecting story dots? If yes, could you please tell how these lists look like?

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  21. Andrea,

    Thanks for stopping by! Sounds like you have a great method for character development.

    I don't have a list for story development. I do have a post in my sidebar 4 Steps for Organizing Plot ideas. On my writers tab at the top of my blog, I also have a list of other writing-related articles. Hope that helps!

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  22. Thanks, muchly. I on the other hand am very character driven. I know all this stuff about my characters, but I do appreciate the reminder that I need to put more about them in the fiction. I've had some contest judges say they don't like my hero and heroine very much and their complaints weren't explained until later in the story. I just need to bring it forward, huh? Thanks.

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  23. Awesome! As an aspiring writer (I'm a pantser), I do make a mock-up of each character, but it's not quite this detailed. Thanks for sharing this!

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  24. You're so welcome, Allison! Hope you can find it useful!

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  25. this is excellent, I will use this often.

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  26. The Doctor's Lady was a very good book. I really enjoyed reading it!

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  27. Thank you so much, Jody. What a big heart you have to share this with us. I, too, have one but talk about really fleshing out your characters. This one is quite insightful and helps me fill out the voids that were there before. What a kindness to other writers like me. Thank you so much. Lee J Tyler

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  28. Thanks for the character sheet! I started using it, and it's really helping. But I was wondering, do you use them for all of your characters or only the main ones?

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    Replies
    1. Bethany, I use this for my main characters, primarily my hero and heroine. I also have developed a minor character worksheet that I use for the lesser characters. And it's not quite as long, but tackles issues like motivations, unique tags, etc.

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  29. This is great! Thanks so much for sharing. I am going to use it for the screenplay I am currently working on. :)

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  30. Great list, Jody. I didn't consider including action and verbal tags in a character sheet, but I recognize the frequency in which I use them throughout my writing and how important they are to specific characters. I will definitely include these in my character sheets from this point forward. Thanks!

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  31. Wow, thank you SOO much for sharing this!! I didn't have anywhere near that much information. Some of these are really hard! But it forces you to write your characters better :)

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  32. I dont know what options there is for the scent of a character? :/ Mine is a young boy and i dont know what to write there

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    1. Also I dont know what to write with the texture of hand and skin??
      Might be a dumb question but i dont really know what to answer there too.. If you wrote skin color example then i would understand it better.. but textures of skin ? what options are there?

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  33. I think my little girl will discover this accommodating in her writing/character advancement. A couple of months prior when she was stuck in the story she was composing and having some issue with her characters being so comparable there is no option one another, I had her imagine she was a questioner and work out a group of inquiries she needed to think about her characters and "meeting" them, composition out the replies to the inquiries as each one character might address them. She discovered this exceptionally accommodating!

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    Replies
    1. Interviewing characters is a great way to get to know more about them! I hope your daughter will find this worksheet helpful too! :-)

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  34. Thank you for sharing! I have a quick question, though. Is it best to fill out one of these for all your characters, major or minor? Or do you just fill this out for the main characters? Thank you!

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    1. I just read the rest of the comments and found you answered the same question above. I'm sorry about the duplicate question. Thank you again for your willingness to share!

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  35. Hi Melissa, So glad you found some advice in the comments. I only fill out this questionnaire for my main characters. I actually have a shorter worksheet that I use for my minor ones! Hope that helps! :-)

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