Getting To Know Your Characters

For me, I work best when I know my characters up close and personal. Real personal.

I dunno why you’re here Moana. Get out.

I’ve been trying out several different ways to get to know my characters, and I’m gonna share them with you today. So grab a cup o’ joe, pull up a chair, and take some notes. You won’t regret these fun, character-enhancing, all-around exciting tips.

A Little Bit About Me Method

I named this method “A Little Bit About Me” because its style is almost like a biography or Wikipedia listing.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 5.43.25 PM

This method explains the character’s name, age, date of birth, family life, grade, hobby, religious affiliation, strengths, and weaknesses. I used this method for my first WIP: Dancing Among the Stars. Dancing Among the Stars only has four core characters, so I felt compelled to go more in-depth with their character descriptions.

This type of method is great for stories about individual characters or stories with a character who also plays narrator. In my case, Stormie (whose full writeup is shown here) plays narrator. All the events happen to her through her eyes.

If you have a lot of characters in your novel, you might not want to use the “A Little Bit About Me” method. It can become tedious and overwhelming to work on fully characterizing 10+ characters in this method. For lots of characters, you might want to try something else. 👇🏾

Web Method

For stories with a team theme, where everyone is connected in some way, you might prefer the web method.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 6.43.09 PM.png

So many spoilers guys! This novel is gonna be freaking awesome and I can’t wait for y’all to read it!

So this novel is Book 1 in a set of 3. It’s called The Enemy Awakens. It’s an allegory with deep emotional ties and dangerous perils that will make for an overall thrilling read. Super excited to show y’all when it’s done. I’m getting a paid professional cover for this one.

This novel takes slightly after the Lord of the Rings in its team togetherness aspect. The characters in the novel all work together to achieve a common goal and for that reason, I chose to use a web to connect them all. This method works exceptionally well with stories about teams or stories with interchanging plots, and also with stories with lots of characters.

Pinterest and Personality Tests

If you’re more of a visual person, you might want to try things like Pinterest boards and Personality Tests. These are visual representations of your characters in ways that words can’t describe.

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 11.11.31 AM.png

As you can see in this photo, I have different sections for my novel. Each of the four core characters have boards in which their facial features are slightly represented by different pictures I found on the web. You can’t see some of the bottom boards, but I have ballet clothing and costumes, since Dancing Among the Stars is most certainly a dance novel. Whadya expect.

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 11.33.59 AM.png

Here you see the same pattern. Characters, accessories, hair, quotes––things that vividly inspire me to spur on as I write, things I think work in the story.

If you look at the web I made for The Enemy Awakens, you’ll see I have markings of personalities under the characters. I also have personality markings in the A Little Bit About Me writeup I did for Dancing Among the Stars. There are many different personality tests out there that you can use, and so if you have one that you’re comfortable with, use it. It can help you to visualize the mannerisms your character operates in. 🕹

For all you writers who are choked by unforgiving plots and bland characters, watch a short comedy about novel-ing. You won’t be disappointed. (Yes, it’s by Studio C. So you won’t be disappointed.)

Enjoy, and I’ll see you very soon with more writer-type-tips.

“Um…Harry has glasses.” 😂

dats signoff

**I am not in a position to socially engage on Pinterest at this time. Please do not request to follow me. Thank you.**


7 thoughts on “Getting To Know Your Characters

  1. First of all, I love that skit of Studio C you posted, it is hilarious. Secondly, great tips! I do lots of things on Pinterest for my characters. ❤ I love Pinterest, it really helps me. Each character I have is like me, someone I love, someone who I dislike, or someone that I saw at Walmart and got an idea from. XD. I have to have a connection with the characters because if the writer doesn't, I don't think the reader will. I definitely liked this post, great job with it. With my writing, the most popular is "A Little Bit About Me Method". I really like that one. Character sheets are awesome, my sister made some for her characters and they are very detailed, but they don't necessarily have to be at first, so there is a little freedom there, which I like. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ey, this is awesome! I love your methods so much (should definitely use the web + Pinterest ones, I have so many characters most of the time .-.)
    Most of the time, I use character analyses (Online, charahub +, and one really long one a friend created xP) for my characters but those do get bogged down a lot.
    And pictures. I need pictures. XD.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can I follow you on Pinterest?

    I did that just to annoy you. XD

    SPOILERS?!?!?! *Horrified gasp* I hereby refuse to read that disgusting spoiler-filled web thingy!

    Liked by 1 person

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