How to Outline: Characters

You have outlined, but now you need to figure out your characters. Most likely they are a bit stiff, and you don't know them as well as you want to. Today we are going to talk about how to make character profiles, and other ways to get to know your characters better.

Pinterest Boards 

One thing you are going to need to do is find out exactly how your character looks. By this I mean: find a model or actor on Pinterest who looks like your character! This is just so you can describe them better. (freckles, face type, etc) 

You don't want to keep them on the board for too long. Every so often, you should change the person "acting" for your character. If the vision of your character is SO engrained and associated with one image, it can be hard to make changes to your character as needed.

You can also make boards for your settings and anything else that comes to mind for your book. 

Looking at these boards can make you feel more inspired when you have writer's block. My board for my current project is a locked/personal board, but you get the essence of what it is like. 

Character Profiles

In order to get to know your character, there are a lot of different character profile templates out there. They have deep questions, and basic question. Read this article from Reedsy to see what I am talking about Character Profiles. 

If you don't want to go read that lengthy article, I will explain. Character profiles help you make a deep and complex character. You will describe what they look like and their traits, but move onto things you will have to think about. If your character was thrown into XZY situation, how would they respond? 


I hope this short article helps you develop your characters, so you feel ready to conquer the task of writing your book. Post any of your outlining questions in the comments, and I will answer them in the outlining discussion post next week. 

Comments

  1. This is very interesting. I think this idea is also useful in my own non-fiction writings in economics—although some argue that Econ is fantasy, but that’s another matter. For example, when I write a game-theoretic model to analyze the relationship between two (fictional) firms, it always helps to have two real firms in mind. Very good advice!

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  2. Reading your post, I reached the conclusion that writting a novel in which characters radically transform throughout the story might be much more challenging than writting a novel with stable and static characters. In this context, the novel "Animal Farm" by George Orwell is an extraordinary example. One of the characters of this novel, by the name of Napoleon, statrs as a pig at the beginning of the story and completely transforms to a human-like dictator at the end of the story. On the other hand, there is a character, named Boxer, who starts as a hard-working horse and remains the same throughout the story untill the end. There are several other characters in between Boxer and Napoleon, who change to some extent as the story develps. Altogether, it is a fantastic novel in terms of outlining as well as character development. With the mastery that you have in technical issues of storytelling, I am sure you will write a novel on par with Animal Farm in the future.

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