postheadericon How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

Two Methods:Sample Character DescriptionsCreating Personalities for Your Own CharactersCommunity Q&A

You’re on a plane to a distant country to visit some weird old relatives you are somehow related to. In your hands, you hold a book that your friend recommended. But wait…as you begin to read you realize that the characters are really boring! This is a typical scenario, probably familiar to a lot of readers out there. You, a writer, can help those readers by creating a story with likable, realistic characters! This step-by-step guide will give you pointers on developing great personalities for your characters.

Sample Character Descriptions

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

Sample Fictional Character Description

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

Sample Non Fiction Character Description

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

Sample Male Anime Character Description

Creating Personalities for Your Own Characters

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

1 Start with a simple profile including these categories: Name, Age, Gender, and Occupation. All of these categories will affect your character’s choices. Fill it out, starting with the protagonist of your story. As an example, we’ll use: Jack, 15 years, male, gang member. Jack’s age, gender, and occupation all affect his personality. Notice how you quickly assume that he’s a troublemaker who drinks and deals drugs and such.

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

2 Choose a good name. Names can affect a character’s personality, and Jack will probably have a nickname. Let’s try Tweezer. How do you think Tweezer the gang-member compares with Jack the gang-member? For example, a fantasy story will sometimes have characters with names from Greek mythology, ‘Demetrius’ for example. Sci-Fi stories will have characters with techno names, such as the word ‘Techno’ itself. However, be creative and don’t merely mimic the custom for the genre in which you’re writing.

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

3 Create a longer profile. Create a background for Tweezer, how long has he been in a gang? Why did he join the gang? What are his desires? What are his fears? What are his goals? Environment and events shape our personalities, using these tools will help shape a personality.

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

4 Make a more developed personality. How has his background affected his personality? Has he lost a loved one, resulting in him joining the gang? Possibly he joined so that he could get tougher, and protect those he loves. Think up some major flaws that possibly came out because of his backstory. Use those flaws as you write. Memorable, unique, and relatable. Those are the key characteristics of a good character. This can be developed alongside the history/backstory.

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

5 Add Tweezer into a plot. Think of a beginning, and an end. Think of an antagonist to go with Tweezer, and make him as similar as possible, with key differences. They could even be so similar as to have been friends, were they in the same gang. Develop more characters as you go. Make them as human as possible. The name of the game here is relatability.

How to Create Good Personalities for Your Characters

6 Continue developing characters until your story is finished. Keep going through this process until you’ve created, for example, Tweezers leader, best friend, a possible love interest, and other important members of the gang. Do so for any rival gangs, and other big characters such as Tweezer’s parents. (Be less specific, the less important a character is). Remember that character balance is important. Creating specific types of characters will show how Tweezer would interact with them and thus, change the overall tone of the story itself. Character balance also means not having specific characters in specific places or situations. And it also means taking one type of character and putting him in multiple scenarios. For example, a happy perky girl coming from a rich family, as opposed to a girl with the same personality coming from a poor family. Things like that help to contribute to the characters and thus, the story. Feel free to experiment with character balance and see what you can come up with.

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