Character Chart for Writers

This character chart is a little over the top, however, if you fill most of it out and keep it, you will know your character so well, his or her story should just flow from your keyboard.

Character’s Full Name:   _________________________________________

Date book takes place:     _________________________________________

GENERAL INFO:

Name origin:

Nickname, if any (if so, explain its origin – e.g. who created it?):

Does s/he like the nickname?

Birth date:

Place of birth:

Ethnic background:

Religion:

Degree of religious practice (e.g. orthodox, casual, lapsed):

Current address:

Does s/he rent or own?

Brief description of home (apartment, house, trailer, etc.):

Does s/he live with anyone?

Describe the area in which s/he lives (big city, town, rural, other):

Is this his/her ideal home and location? If not, what would s/he prefer?

Home decor (check all that apply):   ___ Expensive ___ Inexpensive

___ Carefully planned ___ Comfortable ___ Neat ___ Cluttered

When someone walks in, what’s his/her first impression?

Pets?     ___ No (why?) ___ Yes If yes, what kind and how many? Name(s)?  How important are they? How well are they treated?

Current occupation (include length of time, location, job title):

Job satisfaction (happy, discontent, ambitious…):

Income level:

Education:

Does s/he drive? What kind of car does s/he own, if any? (Make, model, color, age, etc.):

Sexuality? (e.g. straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, unsure…):

Marital status:

If married or currently romantically involved, with whom, and for how long?

List any significant previous romantic partners:

For current spouse/partner, what does the character call him/her (pet names, nicknames, etc.)?

How did they meet?

Any children (include names, ages, other parent if different from current partner)?

Describe relationship with each child (if any):

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE:

Height:

Weight:

What is his/her body type (skinny, slim, athletic, curvy, overweight, muscular, etc.)?

Eye color?

Does s/he use glasses? Contacts? Hearing aid?

Skin tone (pale, ivory, ruddy, tan, olive,  brown, black, etc.):

Any prominent features, freckles/moles/scars/tattoos/ other distinguishing marks?

Face shape (round, oval, chubby, thin, long, square, heart­shaped, etc.)?

Whom does s/he most look like (e.g. famous person or relative)?

General health (good, excellent, poor…)?

Any chronic conditions?

Any current health problems?

How does s/he dress (mark as many as PRICE: appropriate):

__ Expensive     __ Average     __ Inexpensive   __  Cheap

STYLE: __  Haute Couture  __  Conservative  __  Trendy    __  Eclectic   __  Business

__ Sexy    __  Gaudy    __  Casual  __ Sloppy

Does s/he dress to be noticed? Why?

Any special jewelry? If so, why is it special?

Other accessories:

Grooming:          ___ Every hair in place, very neat (Why?) ___ Average grooming

___ Clean but sloppy ___ Unkempt (Why?)

Hairstyle

(long, short, crewcut, locs, bangs, side­part etc.):

Natural hair texture (thick, thin, wiry, smooth, wavy, curly, nappy, etc.):

Current hair texture (if different from above):

Natural hair color:

Current hair color (if different from above):

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION:

Pace (does s/he talk fast, average, slow?):

Accent or dialect, if any:

Voice tone  (shrill, high, average, deep, squeaky, hoarse, harsh, authoritative, cultured, etc.):

Any favorite/habitual words/phrases or curse words?

Describe general vocabulary or speech pattern (e.g. educated, precise, pretentious, average, childish, uneducated, vulgar…):

Mannerisms/demeanor? ___ Cool/confident

___ Volatile/moody ___ Nervous/fidgety/shy ___ Other?

Typical posture: ___ Stiff and rigid___ Stands straight but not stiffly

___ Average, varies with mood ___ Slumped and defeated ___ Slouchy, careless

___ Relaxed ___ Other

Gestures:   ___ Doesn’t gesture much ___ Deliberate and controled ___ Only when excited/upset ___ Most of the time ___ Wildly/weirdly

Common gestures (e.g. nail­biting, hair patting, drumming fingers, clenched fists, hands in pockets, etc.):

EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR / HABITS:

Finances: (prudent/cautious, average w/some debt, lives paycheck to paycheck, deep in debt, criminal activity, etc.):

Describe any personal habits, e.g. smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, etc. Are any of these addictions?

Morning Routine:

Describe the character’s morning rituals.

Who else is sleeping in the same bed? What time does he/she wake up? Is he/she cheerful in the morning? What wakes

him/her up ­­ alarm, spouse/lover, kids, pet? What does he/she do during breakfast­ read, watch tv, feed kids, etc.

Afternoon/Workday:

Now describe the character’s workday or afternoon behavior. Does s/he work outside the home? How does he/she get there?

Does he/she anticipate, dread, resent the work ahead? Does s/he give the job genuine attention and effort? Does s/he enjoy this work? Is s/he good at this job? What would he/she rather be doing? How long and hard is the work day?

Does s/he stop for lunch? Where?

Dinner:

Does s/he eat at home or go out a lot? If the latter, what is/are his or her favorite restaurant(s)? At home, who prepares the meal? Who does he/she eat it with? What does it typically consist of? What goes on during dinner ­­ tv, conversation, fighting, reading, etc? Who cleans up?

Evening:

What does your character do on a typical evening? Where? With whom? How much does he/she enjoy it? What is the ideal evening for him or her?

Bedtime:

Does he/she go to bed at a consistent time?

Alone or with someone else? Does s/he usually fall asleep right way, or is s/he an insomniac? Does he/she dream ­­ a lot, a little, never? Are most of his/her dreams scary, pleasant, sexual, imaginative? Are there any recurring dreams? Does s/he sleep well or poorly (e.g. tossing & turning)?

Skills/Talents:

What is s/he particularly unskilled at?

Any hobbies (sports, arts, collecting, gaming, etc.):

THE PAST:

Home town (if different from current home):

Was his/her childhood happy? Troubled? Dull? (And does the character remember it accurately?)

Earliest memory:

Saddest memory:

Happiest memory:

How much school did s/he attend, if any? Did/does s/he like school? Why or why not?

Most significant childhood event:

Other significant childhood events, if any?

Significant past jobs:

Any police record? If so, what was the arrest for? When/where? Convictions? Sentence(s) served?

First crush or romantic love?

What was his/her first sexual experience? Is it a positive/negative memory?

Major accidents or traumas?  How is s/he still affected, if at all?

FAMILY OF ORIGIN:

Mother’s name (include maiden name if known/applicable):

Mother’s current status: ___ living ___ deceased (If living, her age: ____)

Mother’s occupation, if any:

Describe the mother’s relationship with character:

Father’s name:

Father’s current status: ___ living ___ deceased (If living, his age: ____)

Father’s occupation, if any:

Describe the father’s relationship with character:

Any step­parents, foster parents, or birth parents (if not same as above):

If s/he is adopted, does s/he know?

Any siblings (include age and birth order, i.e. relative to main character):

Relationship with each:

Nieces/Nephews, if any:

In­Laws, if any:

Other than the above, who else in the story is part of his/her extended family (e.g.

cousins, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.)?

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS:

Who, if anyone, is his/her best or closest friend? Other close friends:

How in general does s/he react to or is perceived by… Friends? Strangers?

Spouse/Lover? Past spouse/lovers?

Own children, if any?

Other family members

Children in general?

Others who are more successful?

Others who are less successful?

Boss (if any)?

Underlings at work?

Competitors?

Authority (police, IRS, politicians, attorneys, doctors, etc.)?

Anyone who challenges him or her?

Anyone who angers him or her?

Anyone who asks for help?

What do most people consider likeable about him/her?

What do most people consider his/her biggest flaw?

Any secret attractions? If so, does the other person know it? Has there been any actual romantic/sexual activity?

In romantic relationships, is s/he generally monogamous or uncommitted? (If the latter, is s/he honest w/ partners?)

Is his/her sexual behavior inhibited, average, experimental, or reckless? Has this changed (and if so, why)?

Whom does s/he dislikes most, and why?

Whom does s/he like most, and why?

Who’s the most important person in his/her life right now, and why?

Whom does s/he admire (nonromantic), and why?

Biggest influence, and why (famous or not)?

Whom (if anyone) does s/he consider an enemy, and why?

Person s/he most misunderstands or misjudges:

Person who most misunderstands or misjudges him or her:

Has s/he’s lost touch with anyone who was once significant in his/her life? If so, why?

Worst end of a relationship (could be friend, romantic, colleague…)

Whom does s/he most rely on for practical advice?

Whom does s/he most rely on for emotional support?

Whom, if anyone, does s/he support (e.g. advice or emotional support)?

MENTAL ATTITUDE/PERSONAL BELIEFS:

Any psychological issues (e.g. phobias,  depression, paranoia, narcissism, etc.)?

Is s/he an optimist or pessimist?

Meyers Briggs Personality Type:  (Don’t know? Take a sample test for your character.)

Most comfortable when …  (alone, hanging w/friends, drinking, etc.):

Most uncomfortable when …  (in a crowd, alone, speaking in public, etc.:

Is s/he cautious, brave, or reckless  in his/her approach to life?

What does s/he most value/prioritize? (family, money, success, religion, etc.)

Whom does he/she really love best?

What would he/she be willing to die for?

Is s/he generally compassionate, sensitive to others? Or self­involved/selfish/oblivious?

Personal philosophy:

What is his/her biggest embarrassment?

What is his/her greatest wish?

Any prejudices (race, culture, sexuality, religion, etc.)?

Political party or beliefs, if any:

Does s/he believe in fate or destiny? Is s/he superstitious?

Character’s greatest strength:

Character’s greatest flaw:

Other good characteristics:

Other character flaws:

What are his/her own favorite attributes  (physical and personality)?

What about least favorite?

Are these feelings accurate?

How does s/he think others perceive him or her? (And is this accurate?)

Biggest regret:

Proudest accomplishment:

Biggest secret(s):   Does anyone else know these secrets? If yes, how were the secrets revealed?

How does s/he react to a crisis?

What usually causes the problems in his/her life (romance, finances, friends, colleagues, personality flaws, health, etc.)?

How does s/he react to change?

Quirks:

What would s/he most like to change about her­/himself, and why?

Short term goals:

Long term goals:

Does s/he plan to achieve these goals, or does s/he think they’re unrealistic?

Will others be affected? If yes, does it matter to the character?

What, if anything, is stopping him/her from achieving these goals?

What does he/she actively work to gain, keep or protect?

What event or occurrence does s/he most dread or fear?

Which person in his/her life would s/he most want to emulate?

Which person in his/her life would s/he least want to emulate?

LIKES/FAVORITES:

Food:

Drink:

Color:

Book:

Film:

Music/Song:

TV:

Sport:

Motto/Quote:

Hangout(s):

Possession:

Copyright 2004 ­ 2015 by EPIGUIDE.COM, the Guide to Web Entertainment

This chart may be reprinted as long as above credit is included

Author: Janet Post

I’m the daughter of a Marine Corps colonel. I lived the military life until I got out of high school. At that point I was a wild child. I got married and moved to Canada where I lived up the Sechelt Inlet, the scene for Spellcast Waters. I lived in a log cabin, with wood heat and a wood cook stove fifteen miles by boat from the nearest town. I’ve moved a lot. Between the military upbringing and just rambling around the country, I’ve moved 40 times. I lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then I moved to Florida where I became a reporter. For ten years I covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed me, and it awed me. How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens now days have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated. I love kids, horses and I paint, and I write. Now I live in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and my fifteen-year old granddaughter. Life is beautiful. Live in the moment.

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