Visualization of characters and making them individually unique can be hard. Some people might feel overwhelmed with making character profiles. So here is a series of blogs on character profiles. The series will try and cover as much information about characters as possible. Fair warning though – there will be still something more to add when it comes to character profile.
No matter what character profile template one uses, somehow there is still more to add. But when you keep adding more information to these templates, there is also the fact that not all information you add to the template will end up in your book. The template guides you to know more about your characters, analyze them, and make them unique. So please don’t info-dump all details about your character in your book. The details you add to your book shall be spread out throughout the book carefully, and add details only if it seems reasonable and important to your book.
This article will focus on the physical aspects of character. The following are physical aspects you could cover for a character.
You can watch this video that simplifies the blog. Else continue reading.
Height– you don’t need to add measurements accurately if you don’t feel like it. You can just say tall or short. But I prefer adding height in terms of feet since it gives the idea of how tall they are.
Body shape– There are many different body shapes and types. Define a body shape for your character. Descriptions like well-built, scrawny, chubby could also work.
Hair colour and eye colour– Define existing colours or even colours that don’t naturally occur. Let your imagination run wild. A tip though- when you define a character’s hair colour and eye colour, immediately look for descriptive words for the colour, and add them to your template. This way you don’t need to look up every time you describe the colour. Examples include sea green, stormy sky.
Skin tone– there are different skin tones within a particular race. While defining these skin tones you can add descriptive words to help the readers picture your character better. Try not to be offensive while describing skin tones. Research on that front before describing skin tones, please!
Race– Even if you are writing a fantasy book, if they are still human-like you can at the least define what race they are from in the character profile template even if you’re not going to use it in your book.
Physical uniqueness/ disability -Some characters have a unique physical aspect. In sci-fi genre books, a character might have a metal hand. In a fantasy genre book, there can be a character with elven ears. If you have such characters define what unique physical aspect they have, their functionality, their purpose in the story, why they have it, and how it looks. In case of disability do your research and add proper details. You can even add notes for yourself so you know how to use and portray this unique aspect of your character in the book.
Species– if your book includes other species- mythological, magical, technological, or alien define what species they are. If it’s something you created or if it’s a customized form of available species in myths, have separate notes on that.
Physical behaviour patterns: When it comes to a character there could be specific behaviour they could have developed over the years.
You could add such details as well. You don’t have to add these details for all character and mention it throughout the story. But for some characters, you might need to add such detail to spice things up. For example- the queen always acts composed or the old one maintains a calm face.
· Walking style
· Gestures- they make while talking or in as a part of their routine
· Way they talk- talking can be like with an accent, stuttering, or something specific.
If anything else comes to your mind you can add it under others: for example your character always likes to touch his/her cross or pendant when they are nervous, they always straighten their hair, they always cracks their knuckles when focused, and more.
Face and Reactions– So some people always have a resting pouty face or looks clueless. They may always react in the same way in common scenarios like smirking and biting their lips. If there is such detail for your character you can add it here.
Face shape– you can describe your character’s face shape. You can also add other details with regards to face like they have mole or freckles.
Fashion sense– (Interesting stuff!)
· Way of dressing
· Preferred attires
· Accessories they wear every day
· Magical objects they carry around or mythical daggers they have hidden in their belt.
Favourite colour– A character may like a colour too much they usually dress up in that colour most of the time. You can also add a colour if your characters have some kind of dress code because of factions or occupations.
Makeup sense– How do they look on their usual day? Hairstyles they follow?
Other notes– there can be other physical detail that may not be covered here which can be included as notes.
I have to warn you- please don’t sit with your character profile forever. Because then you will never start your story. It is same as the world-building.
Whenever you use a character profile template- fill out the things that come to your mind immediately. If it is mostly blank that is fine. You can add details after you start writing your book as well. But if you don’t stop trying to complete all the details in the character profile template, you might never write your story.
It can be quite addictive and don’t get too involved. You can use a character profile to keep you focused on your work in progress during your dry days. But trying to prepare a perfect character profile for all your characters before starting with your book is not feasible.
The character profile templates will be ready for download as soon as all the blogs in the series are published!
Live through stories!