Updated: Jul 27, 2022
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.
At Dot and Dash, we’ve created a free Character Profile template for you. You can download it here. (While you’re there, check out the rest of the cool, free stuff in our resource library.)
Erin Servais is a book editor and author coach for Dot and Dash, LLC. To learn how she and her team can help you with your next project, email her at Erin@dotanddashllc.com.
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