How to create a character profile (with a free downloadable template for writers)

How to create a character profile, with a free downloadable template for writers.

Why a character profile is so important

It’s no secret that creating richly detailed characters is a super important part of creative writing. I absolutely adore making character profiles. In fact, most of the time I create the characters first and the story follows them. If your characters have enough depth, if you know them inside out, it’ll help you progress your story because you’ll understand what they would do in any given situation. A well thought out character profile is definitely a great starting point when you’re getting to know the fictional people who appear in your head. Also, it’s ridiculously good fun to make!

Want a free character profile template to use? You’re in luck!

Over the last couple of years, and with a heap of research and a lot of use, I’ve built up a comprehensive character profile template covering a huge variety of aspects of your character’s existence, from their appearance to their family life and work history to their motivations, secrets, pet peeves and so much more. It also includes some prompts to help with representation. It’s been such a valuable tool for me and I’m really excited to share it with you.

How to use the character profile template

You don’t have to fill in the entire template in one go. It’s often easier not to. Make a start with the basics and the information that comes easily to you, then add to it as and when you can. I find it really helpful to take my characters with me as I go about my day. How would they feel about being stuck in traffic? Would they enjoy cleaning their kitchen or would they absolutely hate it? Would they get twitchy if they didn’t hit inbox zero when they checked their emails? What would they think about when they wake up at 4am?

I’ve even found that my character profiles become more fleshed out as I create my outline or start actually writing my story. You might discover something new about your character when you throw them into a situation and have to think about how they would respond. Yes, it’s great to complete as much of your character profile as you can before you start writing, but it should be a living document. If you do change it part of the way through your story though, don’t forget to check during editing that you’ve been consistent with the details!

Download the template here

You can download my template for free, right now, using the links below. You’re absolutely welcome to share it if you want to and you can edit, adjust, add to, or remove from it as much as you want to make it as useful as it can possibly be to you.

Happy writing, friends!

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