Thursday, November 18, 2010

Character Profiles

I thought it might be fun to add the information that I collect on each character in my books. A few of these may sound a little funny, but keep in mind that I write Paranormal Romance.

When new characters pop into my head, whether or not they are in the book I'm currently writing, I fill in as much of these details as I can. Not only does this help when you need to remember details in future work, but it also helps expand on the character as needed.

Name: (obvious)

Type: (this is in here because I love Paranormal Romance. If they are "other" then what are they exactly?)

Mate: (Yep, who do they end up with and when?)

Good or bad: In every story there is an element of good and an element of evil (whether intentional or not), so I try to make a note of if they are on the good side of things or the bad. Even if they change somewhere, you'll want to know when they toppled on the other side of that fence).

Hair length and color: (Obviously these things can change, but if you do change them throughout your books, its good to keep a log so that you remember what happened. If you ever have a flashback in a future book, don't you want to have this info at your fingertips?)

Height: (This helps. Especially with the type of books I write. Most of my boys are ginormous).

Build: (Ah yes, the build. Is he scrum-didilly? Is he just average right now - but in a future book he is yummy (if ever)? Does he have broad shoulders? Does he have that oh-so-hot V-shape? Put WHATEVER you want in this field).

Eyes: (This can be as descriptive as you want. Color, size, are they nice eyes? Evil Eyes? Do they do anything cool? If you read my book you'll know why I say that).

Physical Markings: (This can be anything from tattoo to scars to demonic markings - and everything in between. This helps because you never want to screw up the placement of something throughout your books).

Attitude: (This one can be totally fun to play with. Especially if you already know their history. You just write up how they act. And then, in a future book, if their attitude begins to change, you'll make notations here so that you're up to date on everything).

Age: (obvious. Even if you don't ever say specifically how old someone is, you never know when it will be brought up.)

Born (year): (Trust me, this helps. Especially if you're planning on writing a series. You don't want someone getting younger-- unless they are "other.")

Born (location): (Yes, this can help, but its not a must. I've found that this can help with their history, such as: if they don't live there anymore, why? [more info could be filled in in the History field below}).

Speech/accent: (This one helps if you're planning on them being bi-lingual).

Family/heritage: (This one can be helpful, not only because of names, but sometimes a little bit of their history comes out in this field).

Abilities: (Again, here is one that is probably most used when your characters are "other." But it could be used if you have a plain old human, too.

History: (This is a BIG one. Sometimes you develop your characters' attitudes based on what they've told--or showed-- you they've been through - I know it sounds funny to say that, but really, most of the time your characters will tell you instead of you telling them).

Other: (Whatever floats your boat. Anything important that will help you.)

Anywhoo, that's pretty much what I fill in on my characters. Really, if you know the information that is in these fields then you are pretty much good to go.

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