Helpful info for all authors – Character Sketch Template

Helpful info for all authors – Character Sketch Template

As we all know writing is show/not tell anymore. Besides the useful info below I’ve always found using our five senses a huge help in writing.

 

AUGUST 24, 2014

Ralph White

Best selling author, Columbia MFA, and Fiction Foundry guest, Jean Kwok was kind enough to share her character sketch with me. I modified it somewhat and set it into a MS Word Table. Here’s the result.

Name of Character

Role in story

Physical description

age, height, weight, hair, skin, physique
facial features
clothing
grooming
distinguishing features or habits, mannerisms
upon close inspection
voice
fragrance

What other people notice about her/him

first
second

Background

Ethnicity
Education
Religion
Personal experience
Occupation, work experience
Sexuality
Residence

Character traits

Strongest (or dominant) trait
Weakest (or latent) trait
Philosophy
Politics
Interests
Vital secret

Significant event that molded the character’s personality

Is the reader likely to have stereotypical expectations about this character?

How does the character defy the stereotype?
How does she conform to the stereotype?

Relationships

Best friend
Other friends
Family
Enemies

Essence of the character

Core need(s)
Ambition in life
What character does alone
Will reader like or dislike the character and why.

Character arc

Does the character change in the story? How?
Epiphany
How does the character grow?
What does the character learn?

Motivations/Ambitions

What does the character want?
abstract
concrete
Does character have intermediate goals?

Conflicts

What could prevent the character from achieving her objectives?
Internal conflicts
External conflicts

Summary

If the story were principally about this character what would that story line be?
Describe the character’s story in three acts:
beginning
middle
end

Freestyle description of the character.

In the character’s own words: something the character says which is illustrative of her/his self-perception.

 

Although I am from Africa I now reside in the U.K. with my family. I started my career as a teacher and have taught children in Primary and Secondary schools. I had a business, teaching computer skills to students of all ages. My company gave me invaluable experience in dealing with a diverse range of cultures. Our entire aim was that we taught our pupils the necessary skills and literacy but that they had fun learning!

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