How To Create Fictional Characters, Part 2

This is the second in a series on creating fictional characters.  Part 1 covered an overview. You can download the full template as a Word doc or a PDF.

Personal Life

General History

Family & Upbringing

This includes place of birth, parents and siblings, quality of home life, general family status (wealth, position of power, reputation), and family jobs (is there a family business?).  More is below under “Relationships”.

Schooling

How far did they get and what did they study?  What kind of student (honor roll, flunking stuff, misfit, class clown, skipping classes, a drop out)?  Did they continue beyond mandatory schooling (like college) and why?  Did they know what they wanted or stumble into it?  Are they in debt from school?

Languages

What does he speak, read, write, and understand?  At what skill level does he have his native language and others?  What does he think of it when someone speaks another language around him (irritated?)?

Skills & Abilities

General

Is he good at anything and does that skill have value, or is it useless?  How long has he been good at it?  How did he learn (natural or taught)?  Does he know he’s good at it?  Is he glad or wish he wasn’t?  Did it make people jealous?  If so, how did he deal with that?

Profession

What does he do or hope to do?  Is he doing something other than what he wants?  How did he end up doing this?  Is he happy, indifferent, or upset about it?  How well does he do it?  Is there a difference between how well he thinks he does and others think?

Special

List anything special, unique, or unusual here, including things like disabilities or rare talents and abilities.

Limitations

Does he know his limits?  How did/will he find out?  What are they?

Relationships

Friends

Does he have friends?  How many?  For how long?  Do they truly know him or is he a loner despite the appearance of having friends?  Is there anything they don’t know?  Anything he wishes they knew or didn’t know?  Can he count on them?  Has he ever turned to them in despair and if so, how did they react?  Is he too damaged/hurt to trust anyone?

Enemies

Does he create enemies?  Why?  Do some people hate him and it’s not his fault (jealousy, for example)?  Has he defeated any enemies?  Does he fear them?  Do they fear him?  Will he ultimately destroy them or they him?  What is his fate on this?

Lovers

Is he married?  Divorced?  Living with someone?  At what age did he lose his virginity?  Has he experienced sexual trauma (rape, molestation) as victim or perpetrator, and how has this affected him?  Is he promiscuous?  Has he ever used a prostitute (would he?)?  What is his reputation?  Is he a great/bad/selfish lover?  Does he break hearts or get his broken?  Does he typically end it or get dumped?

Children

Does he have any children?  Does he know that?  How old?  Gender?  Problems with them?  Does he get along with them and their other parent and family?

Family

What impact have they had on him?  How many parents and siblings?  Alive or dead?

Relations with the Species

If there are other species, how does he get along with them?

Humans
Elves
Dwarves
Dragons
Ogres
Hobbits

Relations with Armed Forces

Do you knights, local guards, or other armed forces?  If so, does admire them or dislike them?  Has he had run-ins with any?  Has he been in jail?  A wanted man?

Local Guards
Knights

Coda

Part 3 focuses more on building a fantasy character, though it may apply to anyone who goes on “adventures”.

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4 thoughts on “How To Create Fictional Characters, Part 2

  1. Pingback: How to Create Fictional Characters, Part 1 | Randy Ellefson's Blog

  2. Pingback: How To Create Fictional Characters, Part 3 | Randy Ellefson's Blog

  3. Pingback: Should Men Value Jealousy As an Emotion – R.I.P. Doe B Part 2 « chocolatecoveredlies.com

  4. Pingback: How to Create Fictional Characters, Part 1 »

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