Okay, so we’ve been slacking this last week. A lot’s been going on over here, and the blog…well, the blog was not exactly in the top three of last week’s to-do list. So, while I’m putting together the article about writing character descriptions, here’s an outline/worksheet that lists many (but not all) of the characteristics you should have developed for your characters in order to make them believable, well-rounded, and memorable. Again, this is a starter list, and should be no means be the end to the depths in which you can describe your character.
To expedite things, I’m writing as if all the characters are males. Sorry girls – it’s just a pain in the ass to have to jump back and forth from him/her, he/she, etc. Get over it.
Character Description Worksheet
Full name (including middle if he has one)
Date of birth
Address/or at least location where he lives (ie, California, Nebraska, Mars…)
If short, does he have a height complex?
Skin color (also natural, or tanned)
Hair (color, texture, cut)
Eyes (size, color, placement)
Size/shape of hands and feet
Wear nails long or short (cut or chewed)
Teeth (shape, color, size)
Distinguishing marks (birthmarks, scars, tatoos)
Smell (yes yes, ALL of us have our own smell)
Voice (pitch, tone)
Favorite type of clothes/shoes/accessories
What he actually wears (ie, what he can afford compared to what he likes)
Does he like his occupation?
Is he happy where he stands?
Views on money
Actual spending habits
Religious y/n, how does religion play in life
Outlook on life/disposition
Describe in three (3) sentences his average daily routine.
What kind of self-image does he have?
Length of time on an average day it takes him to wake up and clean up
In a relationship? Serious?
List people/characters he spends most his time with
**write a 2-5 sentence description of each family member he’s in contact with
If no father/mother, does he strive to fill that hole?
How does he view his friends?
How do his friends view him?
How does he view family?
How does family view him?
Name his hero
OTHER ODD PERSONALITY TRAITS
(These apply only to fantasy/horror/sci fi novels)
Race (as in alien or humanoid…)
Types of training received
Is he comfortable around humans
Comfortable around large groups of people
Dead or undead
Is he similar to others like him, or does he stand out?
Can he use a gun/weapon
Any familiars? (if so, describe)
Views towards his people/fellow creatures/race
Has he traveled much from his town/city before current plot journey?
Is he aware of “the bigger picture” or what “doom” is befalling his tiny village?
Is he comfortable dealing with alien species?
Has he killed before?
Has he killed another human (or another of his race) before?
Was it in cold blood or self defense
Will he break down, or will he do it again (and will he enjoy it)