When you come up with a new idea for a fiction book, it’s tempting to jump right in and start writing. I’ll figure out my characters later, you think. Right now, I just want to write!










I definitely applaud the attitude of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard as soon as possible.

I used to be that way myself. I’d come up with character names, their jobs, where they lived, and boom! I was ready to begin. But then I would start writing and quickly lose control of the book. Turns out knowing next-to-nothing about my characters made plotting kind of difficult. And then I would get frustrated. I’d step away from the computer. I’d give up.

So now I always create character profiles and they have helped my writing tremendously. If you’ve never created a character profile before and aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. The best thing about character profiles is that there are no hard or fast rules. You can write ten pages of your character’s backstory (although I wouldn’t recommend it). You can write one page (if the character is secondary and not all that important to the story, I would recommend it). But what to include or exclude in your character profile is entirely up to you. The following are things I almost always include:

-Full name

-Date of birth

-Place of birth

-Parents’ names

-Current age

-Childhood (again, this can be extremely descriptive or a few lines)

-Teen years

-Schools attended

-Friends growing up

-First kiss

-First time





-Political Party

-Pet peeves

-Guilty pleasures

-Bad habits



I could list so many more categories but then this would turn into a too-long post. Did I miss anything? What do you like to include in your character profiles?