Writing about a Character Profile Sheet

While writing on my group blog, I realized that I have not yet published here the Character Profile Sheet that I find very useful while creating new characters or better understanding the ones I already have.

The sheet is rather detailed, but it works like a charm if you want to get “in character” and it helps advance the plot. The post will be very long, and my apologies for that. This is a post not to be browsed through, but to use if you are in the process of fleshing out your characters.

Also, the sheet refers to the character/s as “they” because it would be too tedious to say he/she all the time.

CHARACTER PROFILE SHEET

Date this form was created:

Full name of Character/s:
Reason, meaning or purpose behind the name:
Nickname:
Reason for nickname:
Gender:
Race:
Occupation/class:
Social class:

Physical Appearance:
Age:
How old they appear:
Eye Color:
Glasses or contacts?
Hair color length and style:
Weight and height:
Type of body (build):
Skin tone and type (j.e., hairy, slimy, scaly, oily, fair, burns easily):
Shape of face:
Distinguishing marks (dimples, moles, scars, birthmarks, etc.):
Predominant feature:
Are they healthy?
If not, why not? Or why are they healthy? Do they look healthy? Why/why not?

Favorites:
Character’s favorite color, why:
Least favorite, why? Music?
Least favorite music, why?
Food:
Literature:
Expressions:
Expletives (curse):
Mode of transport:
Hobbies:
How do they spend a rainy day?

Personality:
Are they daredevil or cautious?
Do they act the same alone as when with someone? Habits:
Drinks:
How much:
Greatest Strength:
Greatest Weakness:
Soft spot:
Is their soft spot obvious, why/why not:
If not, how do they hide it:
Biggest Vulnerability:

Background:
Hometown:
Type of childhood:
First Memory:
Most important child hood event that still effects him/her:
Why? Education:
Religion:
Finances:
Family:
Mother:
Relationship with her:
Father:
Relationship with him:
Siblings, How many, relationship with each:
Children of siblings:
Other extended family:
Close? Why or why not:

Attitude:
Most at ease when:
Most ill at ease when:
Priorities:
Philosophies:
How they feel about themselves:
Past failure they would be embarrassed to admit:
Why?
If granted one wish what would it be, why?

Traits:
Optimist or pessimist? Why? Introvert or extrovert? Why?
Drives and motives:
Talents:
Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:
Good characteristics:
Character flaws:
Mannerisms:
Peculiarities:
Biggest regret:
Minor regrets:
Biggest accomplishment:
Minor accomplishments:
Darkest secret:
Does anyone know? How did they find out:

Self-perception:
One word they would use to describe themselves:
One paragraph of how they would describe themselves:
What do they consider their best physical characteristic and why:
The worst one? Why?
Are they realistic assessments? If not, why not?
How they think others preserve them:
What four things would they most like to change about themselves:
Why?
If they were changed would they be the same person, why/why not:
Would changing of number I make them more happy? Why/why not:
Interaction with other people:
How do they relate to others:
How are they perceived by strangers:
Friends:
“Wife/husband/lover:

The Hero/Heroine:
How do they view the Hero/Heroine:
First impression of the char: why?
What happens to change perception:
What do people like most about this char:
What do they dislike most about them:

Goals:
Immediate:
Long term:
How do they plan to accomplish them:
How will others be effected by this:

Problems/Crisis:
How do they react in a crisis:
How do they face problems:
Kind of problems they usually run into:
How they react to new problems:
How they react to change:
General:
Favorite clothing, why:
Least favorite, why:
Jewelry:
Other accessories:
Drives:
Where do they live:
Where do they want to live:
People they secretly admire, why:
Person they are most influenced by, why:
Does the character have enemies? Are they aware of the enemies?
What is the most important thing your character has forgotten?
Most important person in their life before story starts, why:
How do they spend the week just before the story starts:
What dream do they have just before the story starts?

Spending habits, why:
If they had 1 million dollars how would they spend it?
What do they do too much of, why:
Most prized possession, why:

This gives a full picture of the character. If you do not answer a few of the questions that is okay too, but the more you fill in, the more detailed the character will be in your head.

You do not need to put in everything from this sheet into your short story or novel, but knowing all this about your character would help you make the character life-like, and not just a stick figure advancing the plot.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

9 comments

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  1. Damyanti

    no worries, aahang. It is compiled from different sources, and yes, it comes in handy when you’re stuck on how to bring a character to life.

    You don’t need to answer all the questions, only the ones that are relevant and will help bring your character to life.

  2. aahang

    Your character profile sheet is so detailed that one would really have to think and be brave enough to answer each question honestly.
    Have saved it and will see how many of them I can take.
    Thanks for posting.Quite creative !

  3. Damyanti

    Thanks for the return visit, Erika.

    Thanks also for your kind words about my blog. Coming from you it means a lot. I will check back on you too.

    Once again, I wish you all success with your recently published novel.

  4. Erika Robuck

    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. I just checked in to see what you write, and I’m so glad I did–what wonderful, thought provoking posts! I especially like the character profile sheet. Great resource.

    Thanks! I’ll be checking in often.

  5. Damyanti

    Aneeta

    I do think authors need to know as much about their characters as they know about themselves. Maybe more.

    Characters are who the story is about. As authors, we are their creators. We need to know how they live and breathe in order to know how they will act in any given situation…and even how they will act out of character.

  6. aneeta

    eh! this is a lot of information about one character. i wonder, do i know that much about myself let alone about any characters i create!

    still, thank you. very informative.