the character lab
The main ingredients
in your story
Click on the resources below & let the experimenting begin...
CHARACTER WORKSHEET #1
Before you start writing, spend some time thinking...about your main characters. What makes them tick? What makes them unique and interesting? And will the reader care about them and want them to succeed?
Click on Character Worksheet #1 to begin drawing your characters–literally and figuratively.
CHARACTER WORKSHEET #2
Are you ready to delve even deeper into your characters? Your reader will be so happy that you did! The more real your character feels, the more the reader will care about what happens to him or her. That doesn't mean we need to know EVERY LITTLE THING about your character–like what size shoe they wear or what kind of bagel they like.
Here's what your reader really wants to know: HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE STORY? If your character is perfectly happy at the start of the story and continues to be peachy keen until the end, that's nice for the character, but not so fun for the reader. What if Harry Potter had a perfectly happy childhood with his parents? Then, his rise to overcome Voldemort wouldn't have been nearly as exciting.
How does your character grow and change throughout your story? Start planning the journey in Character Worksheet #2. Fill out a worksheet for all the main characters, including the Big Baddie/Antagonist.
BACKSTORY: NEEDS & FLAWS
Your story probably (HOPEFULLY!) doesn't start with the birth of your character and tell us about everything that has happened to him since then. But, the best characters read like they are REAL people with REAL memories. Sometimes, you might learn about their past in a flashback or a story within the story. Other times, you might only feel the effect of the past in the way your character acts now. Like how that time he felt like he was drowning in the ocean when he was a wee lad made him deathly afraid of the water. Or how when she became a big sister of her twin baby brothers, she felt like no one cared about her anymore.
Think about THE EVENT that created the biggest problem for your character. If your story is about overcoming a fear, think about when that fear developed? Was she attacked by a dog? Did he get lost at a huge fair? Did she lose a family member to a disease? The more real this memory feels, the better!
Click on the Backstory Worksheet, to begin uncovering your character's past.