Some Good Sources On Writing Full-Fledged Characters For Your Fiction

Write characters that could walk off the page by giving them histories, psychologies, and doing the leg work to bring them to life with the help of these links.

I got wind of these links from an online writing course I’m taking 100% free through my public library, which is by Gale Courses Online. I highly recommend these type of classes and this class in particular ‘Advanced Fiction Writing‘ with Professor Steve Alcorn. I earlier completed his course ‘Writing Fiction Like a Pro‘ and got a lot out of that as far as how to structure a novel.

Now, here’s some links on CHARACTER CREATION:

How Well Do You Know Your Character?

from Writing Academy Blog –

Posted on  by steve

Fiction writers generally come in two kinds: those who are strong on plot, and those who are strong on characterization. Rarely is a writer brilliant at both. Thus, even if you excel at great story premises, foreshadowing, plot twists, and careful pacing, you may still receive rejections with critiques pointing to ‘two dimensional’ or stereotyped characters; or perhaps it is your main characters’ motivations that are unclear or illogical, which ultimately sabotages the story.

So, you may turn to the instructional books on writing, which often provide ‘character profiles’ or checklists with questions pertaining to your character’s sex, age, race, religion, general appearance and so on. These checklists will help you develop a rough sketch of your character; however, ‘typical’ questions can lead you to develop typical, i.e. boring characters. It’s good to know that your character is a middle-aged white man—this is part of the rough sketch. But to make this man seem real, we need details: Does he horde things or throw them away?; Does he like powdered coffee or espresso?; Does he call his grandmother Nanna or by her first name? What does he sound like when he cries? Filling in with details such as these will turn your rough sketch into a finely drawn portrait.


How to Create a Character Profile – From

One of the most important elements in a novel or short story is characterization: making the characters seem vivid, real, alive. One technique that many writers use with success is to create a character profile for the main characters in the novel. The purpose of a character profile is twofold: to assist the writer in creating a character that is as lifelike as possible and to help with continuity issues in the story.

In our author interviews many bestselling authors have stated that they came up with the basics of a character’s personality and then they found that the character just “came alive” for them and ended up driving the story all on his own. These are writers with years of experience developing characters and it now comes more naturally to them. But for the beginning writer, sometimes a more concrete approach is helpful.


Character Name Generator

Writers! Are you naming a fictional character? Choose a name with our character name generator!


Developing Memorable Characters

Posted on  by steve

45 Questions to Create Backstories

How much about your characters do you really know? Small details might seem superfluous even irrelevant to the story you intend to write, but the smallest detail informs the bigger picture. The more you know about your characters, the better you’ll create believable characters who live and breathe on the page and in their own fictional world.

Take time to answer each of these questions candidly and deeply. Expand your responses to include other questions that may arise.

  1. What do you know about this character now that s/he doesn’t yet know?
  2. What is this character’s greatest flaw?
  3. What do you know about this character that s/he would never admit?
  4. What is this character’s greatest asset?
  5. If this character could choose a different identity, who would s/he be?
  6. What music does this character sing to when no one else is around?
  7. In what or whom does this character have the greatest faith?
  8. What is this character’s favorite movie?
  9. Does this character have a favorite article of clothing? Favorite shoes?
  10. Does this character have a vice? Name it.


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