Updated: Feb 13, 2020
Why is character development so important to your book? Your characters are tied with plot as being the most important parts of a story. You need to have fully realized, interesting, and entertaining characters. Without them, your book is a car without a driver, and readers won’t keep reading.
So how do you make vivid characters? One way is by creating a character profile. This is a document that prompts you to invent many facets for your characters.
Your character profile should include sections for:
Physical characteristics: age, height, weight, build, eye color, hair color
Inner characteristics: strengths, weaknesses, inner conflicts, outer conflicts
Life details: job, hobbies, political affiliation
Social details: family members, friends, enemies
You can go as in depth with your character profile as you want. Some writers even like to figure out what a character’s favorite movie or favorite color is.
One reason your character profile is important for storytelling because a character will react to a plot point differently based on their background. For instance, if two characters showed up at a gun rights rally, they may be on different sides of the protest line depending on what political party they belong to. It could even be that a character whose favorite movie is Rambo would react differently to this scene than one whose favorite film is Bambi.
Get your free Character Profile worksheet.
We also have boards on our Pinterest page that will help you figure out what you want your character to look like. Since we mostly edit romance and women’s fiction books, we have inspiration boards for main characters and love interests, along with queer MCs and love interests, but no matter which genre you call yours, you can find some ideas there.
Also check out this article about using artificial intelligence to create your characters.
Erin Servais is a book editor and author coach for Dot and Dash, LLC. To learn how she can help you with your next project, email her at Erin@dotanddashllc.com.
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