Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Character Worksheets

Whether you're a pantser or a plotter, one thing I recommend either before you draft or when you revise, is working with a character worksheet.

It's not only important to know all the superficial basics (hair color, favorite song, house they live in, etc), it's absolutely VITAL that you know your character's heart and soul. You need to know what drives them, what inspires them, what haunts them. And this is where character worksheets can come in.

This is the basic one I start off with:

What misconception does your protagonist have about himself or the world?

What is he lacking mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, as a result? 

How is the interior Lie reflected in the character’s exterior world?Is the Lie making his life miserable when the story opens?

If not, will the Inciting Event and/or the First Plot Point begin to make him uncomfortable as a result of his Lie?

What are the symptoms of your character’s Lie?

I then go on to explore the character's WOUND and their WANT.  This is to establish what has wounded them in the past that motivates them to fight for what they want in the future.

Character worksheets can go on to cover a whole host of others, and it's up to you how much you want to do, but the more you work at it, the stronger your character becomes.  So, get at it and get to know your characters - mind, body and soul!


  1. Great questions! I've used some of this in the past, but I need to formalize them in my writing process.

    1. I love these questions as they help me work deep into my character's inner thoughts. Next post on the 10th of Oct, I'm going to be delving into this a bit deeper, so I hope you stop by! :-)