June 9, 2016 by Valerie Ullmer
Characterization and Character Images
One of my favorite parts of writing is working on the character worksheets for my hero and heroine. This is where I flesh out their personalities, their background, and quirks. I believe that a story should be character driven, and if you don’t understand your characters, you will never understand what makes them act the way they do.
I usually start with an image of the ideal character and I build them from that point with a detailed character worksheet. Pinterest is great for selecting the right look for your characters, both hero and heroine, and you can use the character worksheet below to complete the picture. The worksheet is from years of trial and error, and I still don’t use all the categories, but I know that if I delve into who my characters are, and how they tick, I am one step closer in bringing my characters to life.
Example Character Worksheet
Does he like his name?
Place of birth:
What was important to the people who raised him?
Current address and phone number:
Spends time with:
Wishes to spend time with:
How do other people view him?
Overall outlook on life:
What, if anything, would he like to change about his life?
What personal demons haunt him? Is he lying to himself about something?
*Voice (Deep, Growly, etc?):
*How Do They Speak:
*Smell (What Products Does He Use, Natural Smells):
*Hands (Rough,Smooth, Fingers Long?):
*How does he hold his hands, arms (Gestures?):
*What Attracts Him to a Woman (Physical, Intelligence, Sense of Humor, Kindness, Listening, Sexual Prowess, Eye Contact):
*What Body Type Does He Prefer (Curvy, Skinny, Large Breasts and Skinny Waist, Etc.):
*Presence (Focus, Touch. Possessive, Protective, etc.):
What people notice first:
Strongest/weakest character traits:
How can the flip side of his strong point be a weakness?
How much self-control and self-discipline does he have?
What makes him angry?
What people, places, situations does he avoid?
Talents (Skills, Physical/Mental):
What people like best about him:
Ways to annoy this person:
Worst thing he’s ever done to someone:
Cares about most:
What do you love most about him?
Why will the reader sympathize with him right away?