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Characterization Outline - Printable Version

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Characterization Outline - Vatman - 09-24-2007 10:31 AM

I have noticed a sharp increase in aspiring writers on this forum, and felt it my duty to help out all those who wish to be helped. Character creation is in my opinion the most important part of a story. Anyone can use imagery and write well, but if you can make your reader fall in love with your character then... that's something to be proud of. But how do you do it, how do you make a character jump out of the story and become relate-able to a reader? Well I believe that the only way to do it, is to believe that character is alive. No, I am not telling you to have an imaginary friend. But instead I want you to know everything about this character...from head to toe, how he thinks, how he walks, what he thinks first when a word is said to him...For example, have you ever had someone you know tell you about an old friend and make them sound really interesting because of some silly thing that happened and he said while it was happening.

Below is a written guide simply to help understand your character....enjoy =p


Date this chart was completed:
Character's Full Name:
Reason or meaning of name:
Nickname: Reason for nickname:
Astrological Sign:


Age: How old does s/he appear?
Eye Color: Glasses or contacts:
Weight: Height:
Type of body/build:
Skin tone: Skin type:
Shape of face: Distinguishing Marks:
Predominant feature:Hair color:
Distinguishable hair feature (bald, receding hairline, etc.):
Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?)
Character's typical hairstyle:
Looks like:
Is s/he healthy?
If not, why not:
Physical disabilities:


Character's favorite color:
Character's least favorite color:
Favorite Music:
Least favorite Music:
Mode of transportation:
Daredevil or cautious?
Same when alone?HABITS:

Smokes: What?
When and how much?
Drinks: What?
When and how much?
How does character spend a rainy day?


Type of childhood:
First memory:
Most important childhood event that still affects him/her:


Relationship with her:
Relationship with him:
How many? Birth order:
Relationship with each:
Children of siblings:
Extended family?
Close? Why or why not?


Where does Character work? For how long?
How does s/he feel about co-workers? Get along with co-workers?
Like his/her job? Why or why not?

Character's dream job:


Character's greatest fear:
What is the worst thing that could happen to him/her?
What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil?
Character is most at ease when:
Most ill at ease when:
Depressive or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?
How s/he feels about self:
Past failure s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about:
If granted one wish, what would it be?


Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as
such or not):
Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as
such or not:
Character's soft spot:
Is this soft spot obvious to others?
If not, how does character hide it?
Biggest vulnerability:Which of the 7 deadly sins does your character fight (or give into, willingly or not)? (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride)
Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?
(chastity, abstinence, leberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility)TRAITS:

Optimist or pessimist: Why?
Introvert or extrovert: Why?
Drives and motivations:
Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:
Good characteristics:
Character flaws:
Biggest regret:
Minor regrets:
Biggest accomplishment:
Minor accomplishments:
Character's darkest secret:
Does anyone else know?
If yes, did character tell them?
If no, how did they find out?


One word CHARACTER would use to describe self:
One paragraph description of how CHARACTER would describe self:
What does CHARACTER consider best physical characteristic?
What does CHARACTER consider worst physical characteristic?
Are these realistic assessments?
If not, why not?
How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her:
What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? (#1 most
important, #2 second most important, etc.)
If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks?
If not, why not?


Is character divorced?
Has character ever cheated on signficant other?
How does character relate to others?
How is s/he perceived by...
How does character view hero/heroine?
First impression: Why?
What happens to change this perception?
What do family/friends like most about character?
What do family/friends like least about character?


Immediate goals:
Long range goals:
How does character plan to accomplish these goals?
How will other characters be affected?


How character reacts in a crisis:
How character faces problems:
Kinds of problems character usually runs into:
How character reacts to NEW problems:
How character reacts to change:


Favorite clothing: Why?
Least favorite clothing: Why?
Other accessories:
Where does character live?
Where does character want to live?
Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc): Why?
What does s/he do too much of?
Too little of?
Most prized possession: Why?
Play musical instrument? Which?
How did s/he learn?


Person character secretly admires:
Person character was most influenced by:
Most important person in character's life before story starts:
How does character spend the week before the story starts?

- WildFire - 09-24-2007 12:09 PM

Kick ass. I shall make this a sticky.

- Vatman - 09-24-2007 12:14 PM

*cheers* first sticky

- WildFire - 09-24-2007 12:19 PM

This will help me tons when im writing my story. And many others will agree. Biggrin

- Vatman - 09-24-2007 12:21 PM

What kind of story are you writing?

- Suicidal-kun - 09-24-2007 12:23 PM

WildFire Wrote:This will help me tons when im writing my story. And many others will agree. Biggrin
I definately agree, all three of vatman's topics will help. Thanks vatman! Biggrin

- WildFire - 09-24-2007 12:26 PM

im not really sure right now. it's jsut a jumble of ideas right now.

- Vatman - 09-24-2007 12:29 PM

I am in the process of making another guide for the romance novel..ya think I should put that up as well?

- WildFire - 09-24-2007 12:29 PM

Knock yourself out.

- Suicidal-kun - 09-24-2007 12:38 PM

Vatman Wrote:I am in the process of making another guide for the romance novel..ya think I should put that up as well?
Yeah, definately.

- Darthmat - 09-25-2007 08:11 AM


- HeartofShadows - 09-25-2007 08:28 AM

Could you write a guide on how to make good villians. All I get are crazy murderers.

- Vatman - 09-25-2007 09:02 AM

Your speaking of a complex antaganist correct?...If so, then id be happy to.

- HeartofShadows - 09-25-2007 09:06 AM

Thanks. All I get are you killed my parents now you die or you tortured me die.
I want to know how to make a complex villian.

- Suicidal-kun - 09-25-2007 10:04 AM

Heart of shadows Wrote:Could you write a guide on how to make good villians. All I get are crazy murderers.
How to make a good villian guide would be awsome. Biggrin

Re: Charactor Developement - Hanny's Old Account - 05-26-2008 11:40 PM


Re: Characterization Outline - Geeksta - 04-02-2011 11:15 AM


RE: Characterization Outline - brianadam186 - 09-13-2013 08:26 PM

I was totally ignorant about characterization before.But once I came to read the play of Shakespeare named Macbeth.In that play,the characterization of main character Macbeth has influenced me a lot.Inspired from the play I have written an essay about macbeth traits.It has received great appreciation. Smile

RE: Characterization Outline - Superkamiguru - 01-26-2017 09:57 PM

(09-25-2007 09:02 AM)Vatman Wrote:  Your speaking of a complex antagonist correct?...If so, then id be happy to.


RE: Characterization Outline - Username - 01-27-2017 02:58 AM

If you're going to correct someone's grammar from a decade ago, then at least do it right.

RE: Characterization Outline - Superkamiguru - 01-27-2017 03:48 AM

(01-27-2017 02:58 AM)Username Wrote:  If you're going to correct someone's grammar from a decade ago, then at least do it right.

I'll do it however I want.

RE: Characterization Outline - no - 01-27-2017 11:56 AM

(01-27-2017 03:48 AM)Superkamiguru Wrote:  Ill duet how-ever iWant.

Characterization Outline - Geicosuave - 01-27-2017 03:30 PM

For good complex characters, it's good to look to Bionicle. Matoro was an amazing character, they made you fall in love with him, he was so pre and then they killed him TWICE, I guarantee everyone who was involved in the Bionicle story and hadnt been spoiled cried then.
For complex villains, there is Teridax and Krika. Teridax was so amazing and complex, I can't begin to describe it, even if at the most basic his motivations were pure jealousy. But what also made him amazing is how his evil plan worked. It made the heroes think they had won, and they celebrated for like 5 minutes before the reveal that he had taken over the universe thanks to the heroes doing what they had to to save it, all without anyone but him knowing what was going on. And he ruled the niverse for several months, much better than most villians can do, before being taken down by having a FUCKING MOON SMASHED INTO THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.

As for Krika, he was more of a minion type character, he didn't follow Teridax because he thought his plan would succeed, or because he was loyal to him, he was simply resigned to his place in the universe and jst really went with the flow.

I cant do their complexity justice here, I suggest looking them up for more

RE: Characterization Outline - Superkamiguru - 01-28-2017 08:00 AM

(01-27-2017 11:56 AM)no Wrote:  
(01-27-2017 03:48 AM)Superkamiguru Wrote:  Ill duet how-ever iWant.

I am flattered. Yourock