Developing Character

I’m increasingly interested in whether other writers use some form of character sheet. Even if done haphazardly, it’s a practice that seems increasingly vital as I have so many different WIPs in various stages of completion.

I’ve seen all sorts of questionnaires and charts but still haven’t really utilized them. I mainly started doing some basic listing of character traits so that I don’t forget details. It seems like the plots develop my characters and vice versa, not like a character wakes up in my brain and demands a say.

The more likely scenario is that a scene from a dream kicks off a tale. It might even be something more esoteric like a strange phrase or unusual name popping into my head. Then, the characters grow from what I put on the page. Some days the process does feel almost like I’m taking dictation. I love when that happens.

If you write, what is your method? I’d enjoy learning how different folks create their unique voices for story.

4 Replies to “Developing Character”

  1. I only use character sheets after I've written, in order to keep track of details like age and eye color. Instead, I write scenes with my characters to make them live and breathe and become real people.

  2. I like that! I wish I'd done character sheets for my NaNoWriMo WIP. I can't remember the names I came up with for a main character's parents and can't find it anywhere. Sigh… Those were good names, too.

  3. I keep talking about doing character sheets, but I haven't done it yet. I did originally get my notebook for Knights so I could keep track of characters, timelines, that kind of thing.

    I admit, the substance of the characters is what comes to me, even before the story. I'm also someone who would use a character sheet to keep track of the details rather than the major themes for characters.

    I know you'll find those characters' names, Darla! Good luck with NaNo!

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