Character Profile Sheets

Characterization is the most important aspect of writing a book. Whether it’s a short story or a long one, you need characters, and that too strong ones. They are the building blocks of your story as they provide substance and an extra dimension to it.

Many people believe that in certain genres, such as mystery-thriller, romance and horror, the story is the main hero and not the characters, and therefore it’s okay to have even half-decent characters to play along when it comes to writing in these genres. But being a thriller writer myself, I think that it is totally wrong.
Whether it’s thriller, mystery, horror or even romance, you need strong characters to add depth to your story. And if you want to write a memorable book then characters are indeed as important to your story as the plot itself, irrespective of the genre.

I’d like to state a few examples here to clear this myth:

Agatha Christie’s characters – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, are the two  most memorable and strongest characters in the world of mystery books. If you’ve read even 2 books of each then you know what I mean.

In the same way Nicholas Sparks, the king of romance books, creates such memorable characters that the readers fall in love with them and remembers them forever, such as Noah from The Notebook and John from Dear John.

And the biggest example is that of the most epic characters of all, Harry Potter from Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

 

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

 

So the bottom line is a writer should try their best to put in 100% in terms of handwork and research when it comes to characterisation. And in doing so, one amazing tool that helps tremendously is Character Profile Sheet.

Character Profile Sheets are exactly what the name suggests. They are simple worksheets which help you to create detailed and distinct personalities for your characters. They can be as short as a single page or as long as 50 pages. The basic idea is to help you create your characters and give them a solid form.

Here are the character sheets that I’m using for my second book, Sinister Town:

20151204_124414

These sheets are from Creative Writing Now (link below)

Character Profile Sheets (CPS) dramatically helps in organising the important facts about your characters at a later stage in your project. When I was working on Deceived, I had 3-4 timelines to maintain and 5 complex characters to remember. The CPS I prepared for all the characters and timelines proved to be a lifesaver. If it wouldn’t have been for these sheets I would have been still writing the first draft for it.

Being a hardcore planner, maintaining CPS is like a second nature. I can’t even think of starting a book without having them with me. But if you are a pantster and hate having to write them in advance, I’d still suggest you to create at least a basic or just a fact-based CPS for the 2 main characters (again, at least.) It won’t hurt to have all the facts about your character in one place to make sure that there are no consistency issues in your book.

CPS are a must but having said that I’d also like to say that a character’s complete personality is not formulated. So allow some time for your characters to grow. It’s not necessary to stick only to the CPS, improvisation is necessary as well as beneficial because you can’t know fully about a character unless you start writing the book. So, BE FLEXIBLE.

You can create your own CPS or download from the ones listed below. If you want more you can get thousands (and maybe more) from the net, but if you’d ask me, 2 are more than enough.

These are the ones that I hand picked:

Some really helpful CPS Resources:

Other stuff related to Character Development:


What are your experiences with CPS? You love them like me or it’s something that you don’t like? Feel free to share your views in the comments below.

Have a great day!

Ciao ❤


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Note: All views and opinions shared in this post are my own.

Advertisements

19 Comments on “Character Profile Sheets

  1. That looks like a good list of resources. I’ll look at them in more detail later when I have some time. I’ve been using character sheets since I started writing a few years ago. They’re very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot, Phoenix! I hope you’ll find something new to add to your CPS.
      And same here! I’ve also been using them since the start. To be honest, CPS are the first thing that I write (or fill in) when it comes to books. And indeed they are the most helpful tools in establishing character basics.
      Thanks for reading 🙂
      Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Character Profile Sheets | wwwpalfitness

    • You’re welcome, Marje and thanks for reading this post 🙂
      I simply cannot stress enough on the fact that Character Profile Sheets are the most important aspect of characterization. They’ll help you tremendously, trust me. While starting use the basic ones (with less points.) Then as you start getting used to them, gradually move to the lengthier ones.
      I hope these resources prove helpful to you in some or the other way.
      Have a great weekend, dear! 🙂

      Like

  3. Great share, dear Heena… I am sure many writers will find this post very helpful..
    Also I think that you are very eloquent when you say that for thriller writers such as you, the characters are the main heroes and then comes the plot…..
    Sending all my best wishes. Aquileana 💫

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Adios 2015! | Heena Rathore P.

  5. Pingback: All About First Drafts – Heena Rathore P.

  6. Pingback: Point Of Views (POVs) | Heena Rathore P.

  7. Pingback: 10 Questions To Help You Determine The POV(s) For Your Story | Heena Rathore P.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: