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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Process of Writing: Part Five

Now that we’re done with chapter one of DRTthat was the pre-edited form by the way, we’ll talk about the editing process later – we can turn our attention completely toward character development.

The key to having believable characters is having real characters.  To quote another teacher, who told me, “Fiction is just truth that hasn’t happened yet.”  So just like you, your characters have to have a history. Just as your history has made you who you are the same is true of your characters.

Your character’s back-story is where his history is made. The Back-story is everything that has happened to your character before the story begins and that has an impact on your character or the story’s development.

The better you know your character the better you can write your character’s life and events.  To help you know your character better, I have included the worksheet I created - again based on ideas shared with me by many others who have helped me along the way - to log your character's identity. 

Character Development Worksheet:

I. Book One: _In this space write the title of your manuscript so that you can keep in mind which piece this character goes with._

Synopsis:  Create a short story summary so that you are kept aware of which story you are creating the character for, and how that character will fit into the overall storyline.

Note: Not all this information will make it into your story, but it is integral to your character’s history and will aid you in writing realistic fiction for that character. i.e. If your character had a two inch ragged scar on his cheek, that will mandate some event in his history that caused the scar, but it also gives you a launching point for how he/she might react to edge weapons.

i.e. John Doe Everest
i.e. 23 years six months



Hair Color

Eye Color

Scars or handicaps  – how obtained

Educational Background

Work Experience


Enemies and why


Present Problems

How will problem get worse

Strongest Character trait

Weakest Character Trait

How see’s self

How seen by others

Sense of humor

Basic nature



Life philosophy


Music preference

Dress style

Favorite color

Past times

Description of home

Most important thing to know
about character

One line characterization

What trait will make character
 come alive

Why is character worth writing about

What makes him different

Why I like him

Why readers will like him

Why and how is he strong


Badge Number



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