How to Make a Character Outline for Your Story

Creating a character is a difficult process, and it can be difficult to know how to begin or how to make your character interesting. Here are some tips for outlining a well-developed character.

Steps

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    1
    Consider the character's role in your story. How do they contribute to the plot and theme of the story? What is their main flaw, and how do they overcome or mitigate it (if at all)? What skills will they have that contribute to solving the main problem?
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    Create your character's personality. What are their main strengths and weaknesses? What are their quirks? What makes them funny, interesting, or compelling? What makes them likable (or easy to hate)? What are their values, and what is most important to them?
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    Next, work on more superficial aspects such as appearance and DNA. Give them a name, age, and gender. That's their hair/eye/skin color, race, body size and shape, disability, scars (if any), et cetera.
    • Birthday
    • Likes/dislikes
    • Fears
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    Consider their current relationships. Do they know any of the other important characters? If so, how well, and how do they feel about each other? What past do they share? Are there any other important people in their lives?
    • Any family?
    • How many friends? Which social circles do they have friends in?
    • Who are the people closest to them?
    • If they're having a bad day, whom do they tell?
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    Look at their past. What sort of family did they grow up having? What was school like for them? How sheltered were they? Have they experienced hardship, such as death, divorce, discrimination, abuse, or poverty? How has their past made them into the person they are today?
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    Consider work or school. Does your character have a job, and what is it? If they don't have a job, do they want one? If they go to school, how is it going for them? Do they enjoy work/school, and if so, what parts of it? What parts are more difficult?
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    Develop some unique mannerisms for your character. What do people notice about them? What makes them special?

Tips

  • Be creative and make your characters based on your imagination. Copying just gets you down and sets up a bad reputation.
  • You may not need all these ideas, but they may make the character more real. And if your book becomes a movie/or your book cover, it will be easier to get characters that match.

Things You'll Need

  • Imagination
  • Somewhere to write all your ideas
  • A writing tool

Article Info

Categories: Better Writing | Character Creation