Character Worksheet

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The following sheet was provided by Mielikki.

Not all of the questions should be answered about your character, but I find it worthwhile to consider each of them. -Torog

I believe the most intricate plot won't matter much to readers if they don't care about the characters, especially in a series. So I try to focus hard on making each character, whether villain or hero, have an interesting flaw that readers can relate to. -Jeff Abbott


  • Character's Full Name:
  • Reason or meaning of name:
  • Nickname:
  • Reason for nickname:
  • Birthdate:


PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

  • Age:
  • How old does s/he appear?:
  • Eye Color:
  • Glasses?
  • Hair color:
  • Distinguishable hair feature (bald, receding hairline, etc.):
  • Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?)
  • Typical hairstyle:
  • Height:
  • Weight:
  • Type of body/build:
  • Nationality:
  • Skin tone:
  • Skin type:
  • Shape of face:
  • Distinguishing Marks?
  • Scars?
  • Most predominant feature:
  • Resembles (famous or not):
  • Accent?
  • Is s/he healthy? If not, why not:
  • Physical disabilities:
  • Physical abilities (what is character good at? sports, etc.):


FAVORITES

  • Color:
  • Music:
  • Food:
  • Expressions:
  • Book:
  • Quote:
  • Expletive(s) (swears):
  • Mode of transportation:


HABITS

  • Smokes:
  • What?
  • How often?
  • Drinks:
  • What?
  • How often?
  • Worst bad habit?
  • Quirks:


BACKGROUND

  • Hometown:
  • Type of childhood:
  • First memory:
  • Most important childhood event that still affects him/her:
  • Why?
  • Lower education:
  • Higher education:
  • Booksmart or streetsmart?
  • Religion and/or religious views and/or tendencies?
  • Firsts:
  • Job?
  • Kiss?
  • Sexual experience?


FAMILY

  • Married? (Yes/No):
  • Spouse (name):
  • Relationship with him/her:
  • Mother (name):
  • Relationship with her:
  • Father (name):
  • Relationship with him:
  • Siblings:
  • Birth order:
  • Relationship with each:
  • Children of Siblings:
  • Extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.):
  • Close to family? Yes/No


CHILDREN

  • Does character have child(ren)?
  • How many?
  • Are all children with the same partner?
  • If no, why not? If no, what is the custody arrangement?
  • How does character relate to his/her child(ren)?
  • Which child is character's favorite? Why?
  • Character's most favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?
  • Character's least favorite memory of his/her child(ren)?
  • Is relationship with children good?
  • Is relatioinship with children important to character?


OCCUPATION

  • Where does character work when not adventuring?
  • How many years?
  • Relationship with co-workers?
  • Like his/her job? Why or why not?
  • Dream job:


ATTITUDE

  • Greatest fear:
  • Worst thing that could happen to him/her?
  • What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil?
  • Character is most at ease when:
  • Most ill at ease when:
  • Priorities:
  • Philosophy:
  • How s/he feels about self:
  • Past failure s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about:
  • If granted one wish, what would it be? Why?
  • Daredevil or cautious?
  • Same when alone? Or does their attitude change when with others?
  • Biggest regret?
  • Biggest accomplishment:
  • Minor accomplishments:
  • Character's darkest secret:
    • Does anyone else know?
    • If yes, did character tell them?
    • If no, how did they find out?


PERSONALITY

  • Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not):
  • Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not):
  • Character's soft spot:
    • Is this soft spot obvious to others?
    • If not, how does character hide it?
  • Biggest vulnerability:
  • Which of the 7 deadly sins does character fight (or give into, willingly or not)?
    • (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)
  • Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?
    • (chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility)


TRAITS

  • Optimist or pessimist?
  • Introvert or extrovert?
  • Drives and motivations?
  • Talents (hidden or not)?
  • Extremely skilled at:
  • Extremely unskilled at:
  • Good characteristics:
  • Character flaws:
  • Mannerisms:
  • Peculiarities:


SELF-PERCEPTION

  • One word character would use to describe self:
  • One paragraph description of how character would describe self:
  • What does character consider best physical characteristic?
  • What does character consider worst physical characteristic?
    • Are these realistic assessments?
    • If not, why not?
  • How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her?
  • What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? (#1 most important, #2 second most important, etc.)
    • 1.
    • 2.
    • 3.
  • If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?
    • If not, why not?


INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

  • Is character divorced? Why?
    • If yes, how many times?
  • Has character ever cheated on any signficant other?
  • How does character relate to others?
  • How is s/he perceived by...
    • Strangers?
    • Friends?
    • Wife/Husband/Lover?
    • Children|Co-workers?
    • Protagonist?
    • Antagonist?
  • First impression character makes is:
    • What happens to change this perception?
  • What do family/friends like most about character?
  • What do family/friends like least about character?


GOALS

  • Immediate goal(s):
  • Long range goal(s):
  • How does character plan to accomplish goal(s)?
  • How will other people around character be affected?


PROBLEMS/CRISIS

  • How character react in a crisis (calm/panic/etc.)?
  • How does character face problems?
  • Kinds of problems character usually runs into:
  • How does character react to NEW problems?
  • How does character react to change?


GEAR

  • Jewelry?
  • Other accessories?
  • Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc)?
  • What does s/he do too much of?
  • Too little of?
  • Most prized possession: Why?
  • Play musical instrument?
    • Which one(s)?
    • How did s/he learn?
  • Does character like animals?
  • Any pets?
  • Likes music?
    • What kind?
  • How technically proficient is the character? Could they fix machines? Build them?
  • Does the character own any particular equipment?
  • How well does the character care for their gear?
  • What does the style and condition of the character's gear say about them?


PERSONAL HISTORY

  • Person character secretly admires:
  • Person character was most influenced by:
  • Most important person in character's life before story starts:
    • Why?