This character personality chart was written by me for a workshop I taught last year. It's different from any others I have seen in that it has more in-depth questions. For sure, it has the usual question re age etc, but it has much more as you'll see.
You can print out this page, and fill it out yourself.
You need to know that if you allocate traits to your character, and in the course of writing discover that a different trait would suit your story better, it's perfectly okay to change what your character is like! This process is supposed to serve you, not the other way around.
Fill out as much of this character personality chart as you feel is appropriate.
Obviously minor characters will require much less fleshing out. It's still a good idea, however, to know your minor characters well. Somehow if you know details about your character - even if those details never make it into the book - the readers perceive that character as being more rounded and fully formed. It's inexplicable, and somehow mystical, but it works.
Character Personality Chart
Nickname, if any:
Age at time of story:
Build (thin, medium, heavy?):
Describe face. (e.g. Angular? Round?):
Hair description (e.g. high forehead? Bald?):
Who does she resemble?:
Any health problems?:
Eyesight (Glasses? Contacts?)
Style of clothing?:
Neat and organised, or scatty?
Any specific mannerisms?
Does she like it?
Level of education:
Her three best traits?
Her three worst traits?
Her biggest fear?
Her biggest dream?
What’s your character’s position on controversial topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage, religion and politics? Maybe play around with her having the opposite opinion to yourself.
What is your character’s family dynamic? Does she come from a healthy family situation, or a dysfunctional one? What is her relationship with siblings, if any? What were her parents’ weaknesses, and how have they impacted upon her?
What one experience in her life would she rather have avoided?
What was the biggest lesson she learned in life? Was it a hard lesson or an easy one?
What’s the biggest lesson she has remaining to learn? Does she realise it?
Is she optimistic, or pessimistic?
What one thing would she change about herself if she could?
What does she like best about herself?
Self-esteem on a scale of 1-10?
What one thing about her would she like to tell you that’d surprise you?
Nobody knows this about her, but ...
What does she want more than anything in the world? This could well be something intangible, e.g. acceptance, love, fame. This desire will add to your story, because the outside goal is intrinsically mixed up with the internal one.
What scares her most? Abandonment? Mice? Needless to say, whatever it is, it’ll happen to her in the story! (A good model for stories is that the character will overcome what she most fears in order to attain what she most wants.)
Writer's Digest offers over 1300 tutorial videos. You can buy individual lessons, or access them all on subscription. Here are some of the videos they have on character creation: