pile of color pencils
pile of color pencils

The below chart is copyrighted by me. For your own personal use in building your characters though, you may copy and paste it into a writing program or print it out. That way you can add in needed info, new sections, or delete some of them.

If you wish to share the chart in a group meeting, class or newsletter, please include my name and home page link with it.   www.charlottedillon.com.  Thanks.

I hope this chart helps you turn those new characters from cardboard to flesh and bone.

Best of luck and happy writing!

Some of the Basics First:

Full Name --
Meaning of Name --
Nickname --
Birth Date --
Astrological Sign and Details --
Birth Place --
Age --
Nationality --
Race --
Hair Color --
Hair Style --
Shape and Features of Face --
Glasses or Contacts --
Eye Color --
Skin Tone --
Scars or Distinguishing Marks --
Disabilities --
Build or Body Type --
Height --
Weight --
Speech Patterns --
Tag Words --
Gestures --
Weakness --
Special Abilities or Powers --

Family and Childhood:

Mother --
Father --
Mother's Occupation --
Father's Occupation --
Family Finances --
Birth Order --
Brothers --
Sisters --
Other Close Family --
Best Friend --
Other Friends --
Enemies --
Pets --
Home Life During Childhood --
Town or City Name(s) --
Details of Town(s) or City(s) --
What Did His or Her Bedroom Look Like --
Any Sports or Clubs --
Favorite Toy or Game --
Schooling --
Favorite Subject --
Popular or Loner --
Important Experiences or Events --
Health Problems --
Culture --
Religion and beliefs --

Your Character's Character:

Bad Habits --
Good Habits --
Best Characteristic --
Worst Characteristic --
Worst Memory --
Best Memory --
Proud of --
Embarrassed by --
Driving Style --
Strong Points --
Temperament --
Attitude --
Weakness --
Fears --
Phobias --
Secrets --
Regrets --
Feels Vulnerable When --
Pet Peeves --
Conflicts --
Motivation --
Short Term Goals and Hopes --
Long Term Goals and Hopes --
Sexuality --
Exercise Routine --
Day or Night Person --
Introvert or Extrovert --
Optimist or Pessimist --

Likes and Styles:

Music --
Books --
Magazines --
Foods --
Drinks --
Animals --
Sports --
Social Issues --
Favorite Saying --
Color --
Clothing --
Jewelry --
Games --
Websites --
TV Shows --
Movies --
Greatest Want --
Greatest Need --

Where and How Does Your Character Live Now:

Home --
Household furnishings --
Favorite Possession --
Most Cherished Possession --
Neighborhood --
Town or City Name --
Details of Town or City --
Married Before --
Significant Other Before --
Children --
Relationship with Family --
Best Friend --
Other Friends --
Enemies --
Car --
Pets --
Career --
Salary --
Other Income --
Dream Career --
Dream Life --
Love Life --
Sexual Turn Ons --
Sexual Turn Offs --
Hobbies --
Guilty Pleasure --
Sports or Clubs --
Talents or Skills --
Intelligence Level --
Finances --
Greatest Strength --
Greatest Weakness --
Health Problems --
Culture --
Religion --

Your Character's Life Before Your Story:

Past Careers --
Past Lovers --
Biggest Mistakes --
Biggest Achievements --

Dig a little deeper by asking your main characters these questions:

a) If you could have two whole weeks for vacation and go and do anything you wanted, what and where would it be?

b) If you had a weakness for one of the seven deadly sins, which one would it be and why? (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth)

c) If you could bring one person back to life and spend a whole day with him or her, who would it be and why?

d) If you won a three-million dollar lottery, what would you do with the money? What would you do with a five-hundred dollar win?

e) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

f) What do you do to relax after a bad day?

g) Where would you go to hang out if you wanted to feel comfortable?

h) What do you do when you are angry?

i) Do you have a secret passion? What? Why is it a passion? And why is it a secret?

j) How do you feel in a crowd? How do you feel alone?

k) If you were asked to describe yourself, what would you say about the kind of person you are? How about how you look?

l) Where do you want to be in your life ten years from now?

m) A tear jerker is on. How do you react if alone? How do you react if with others?

n) Deep down, what does you really think of yourself? Are you fair, moral, honest, ect...?

o) What do you think would make a perfect first date?

p) How important is money to you? Why?

q) What do you consider romantic?

r) How "green" are you? At the store, do you ask for paper, plastic, or bring a bag? Do you take hour-long showers, quick ones, have a rain barrel in the yard to catch water for the garden? And so on. While you are figuring out how "green" you are, figure out why you are dark green or not green at all.

s) How do you deal with anger, sadness, external/internal conflict, change, loss, jealousy, hurt, ect...?

t) How do you think others see you as a person? How do you think other see you when it comes to looks and clothes?