The Character Itself

The Character Itself

A Lesson by Ardeth Lane

Creating a character for your story.


Material Needed for this lesson:



Reading glasses

and time.

Throughout my 'writing career' (as if...) I have almost always come to a halt when it is time to make a character. They either come out to this to that, and not enough in between. That 'in between' as I so recently called it, is what really pulls what people (and I) have called a 'character' in to something I like to call...real life. Don't be to afraid now, the phrase 'coming off the page' is only a metaphore. (except that one time...) I will be taking you through nice, easy steps to create a living (Not really), breathing, character that you will know better than your own back hand. (Unless you don't know your back hand. That would be a whole different course.)




Hair color, lenght, and feel: (Brown, middle back, horse tail rough.)

Eye color, size, and impact: (Blue, Large, Soothing, The eyes are the b***s of the face!)

Nose: (There is a VERY big differnce between a button nose and a deformed nose.)

Mouth: (Thin, full...)

Shape of face: (Egg, heart, ovel (Is that the same as an egg shape?))

Ears: (Elfish, round, hanging lobes, or attatched...)

Eyebrows: (Thick and manly, or formed and girly (The shape of them too!))

Forehead: (Large enough to write an essay on...)

Cheeks: (Still has baby fat cheeks, kinda chubby, nice and thin...)

Teeth: (Buck toothed, white and perfect, rotting away due to former drug habits...)

Tounge: (Snake like, Wide and round...)

Imperfections: (Acne, scars...)

Changes in the face when smiling: (Corners of eyes crinkle, gets dimples, smile covers whole face it's so fetchin' huge...)

Uniqe things about the eyes: (Eyes have that special twinkle, special splash of a cool color...)


Every part of the face matters, without a part, it isn't a complete face.



PERSONALITY (A long, hard part you NEED to really think about.)


Who he/she hangs around: (Preps, goths, nerds, crazy people who never blink...)

What he/she does in spare time: (Doodles on paper, sings random parts of a song...)

What he/she does when all alone: (Stares at a blank wall, has staring contest with self in mirror (I've done this so don't think no one does could ever be THAT bored.))

What he/she thinks about most: (That hot chick down the hall, the next big test and ways to study for it...)

What he/she thinks about least: (Dito *the one right about this one* )

The kind of things he/she loves to do: (Self explanatory)

Things he/she hates to do: (Dito)

What he/she watches on the television: (Spongebob squarepants, discovery channel, whos line is it anyways?)

What kind of music he/she listens to: (SCREAMO, country, crap I mean rap...)

Way he/she acts in an uncomfortable situation: (Runs away, faints (I saw that happen once))

Nervous habit: (Itches neck, runs hand through hair...)

How he/she got that habit: (If any.)

What happens when he/she gets excited: (scream and jump for joy, giggles...)

How he/she mind works: (Complex, simple, thousands of things running through it all at once.)

He/she's worst fear(s): (dark, germs, outside, moving cars, questions, none I'm invinsible!...)

He/she cowers away from: (Older men, yelling people, angryness, love, affection, hugs...)

Why, he/she cowers from that: (has been raped in past, always screamed at at home...)

He/she zones out when: (Teachers give lectures, is being corrected...)

Why he/she zones out during those things: (Self explanatory)

How he/she acts around other people: (More mature, less mature, suductive...hehe.)

Feels ashamed of: (His/her body, parents shouting 'I love you sweetie have a wonderful day! Don't forget your underwear! Wait, I didn't get my kiss come back!)

How he/she acts when embarrased: (Blooms red, laughs really hard (Then snorts))

Where he/she is most calm: (The beach, locked away in the old dusty attic surrounded by shakespere...)

Where he/she is LEAST calm: (Dito)

Favorite books: (Shakespere (Yes I got this from the last personality fact.) Twilight, How to kill a mockingbird...)


This is truly just grazing over ones personality. Someones personality usually forms because of someones past experiences, or conflicts. Remember that as you continue. Remember: It's okay to go back and change a few things! There is always a reason behind why someone does something, even if they deny it. There IS a reason! The personality is what shapes a person, what makes them different, uniqe. Some of these questions may come up again, I am sorry if they do, but, that just means they apply to more than one thing. So with the face and personality covered...






Okay, so, it is now time for the appearence of the BODY! Ooookie Spoookie!!!



What his build is: (Body builder build, weak and other words no build...)

Has he thickened out yet? (Yes or no)

Amount of muscle on his body: (How much you can see.)



What her body frame is: (Hourglass, stick straight...)

Her eating habits are: (Does her diet make her annorexicly thin, or elephant round?)



His/her fingers' form: (Big difference between piano fingers and sausage fingers...)

His/her height: (How tall he/she if you hadn't figured that one out right?)

Shoe size: (Self explanitory.)

Clothing size: (Dito)

Color of skin: (, white, bronze...)


This is not exactly my stong point in creating a character so feel free to add anything else you may wish, but please remember, if you add too much more, I can and will hunt you down. Now, you may be thinking, 'She can't do that, I live 1000 miles away!' But here's the thing...I have a knife and it's 1001 miles long. :) JK.



His/her hometown: (Where did he/she come from)

His/her first true best friend:

His/her first boy/girlfriend: (Oooooh! Relationships!!!)

His/her first lie:

Hospital where he/she was born:

If he/she was abused in any way:

How the abuse affected him/her: (Remember, how abuse may affect his/her PERSONALITY!)

Who his/her favorite teacher was: (Heck, even throw in some humor to the teachers' name! Like, 'She always let me nap, so her name is Mrs. Napper! *Real person. True story.*)

His/her LEASE favorite teacher(s):

The name of the town: (Made up or real...)

If he/she ever kicked out of a school:

His/her average grade in school:

Age he/she learned to ride a bike:

Age he/she learned to blow a bubble gum bubble:

Heck, where did he/she learn to ride that bike, or blow that first bubble:

What was his/her favorite think to be for Halloween from age 0-5:

Age 6-10:

Age 11-12:

Was he/she too cool to dress up again:

If not, list off what he/she was for every year afterwards: (It has to match their personality. Think, 'Would _________ wear that? If not, then it's not the right costume.)

Where he/she spends each holiday:

What he/she likes about the holidays:

What he/she dislikes about the holidays:

Why he/she might dislike them:

Favorite Christmas memory:


Favorite Christmas Present: (Of all time!)

Most hated one: (Say, a package of underwear. Opened. With one missing...*Real gift. True story*)

Favorite little memories that may be remembered later on:


Okay, so aside from all of that, your character should be feeling pretty real. But think about this, your character had to come from somewhere right? Like, his/her parents...So, let's take a quick swirve away from the character, and to the people who made him/her possible!


THE PARENTAL UNITS. AND ALL ABOUT THEM! (Which isn't that much...)

His/her mom's name:

His/her dad's name:

The mom's parents:

The dad's parents:

If any of the parent's parent's are deceased: (That means dead...)

Where each parent was born:

Where they met: (Pompei anyone?)

How long they were together before deciding to get married: (10 years? No problem! Sometimes it really happens! *True story*)

How old each of them were when your character was born:

Did they want that gender of a child or not:

Where they bought there first house, and the kind:


See? That wasn't too bad. Just a little bit of knowlegde to store inside of your head in case you suddenly need it!







This is the last, but one of the MOST important things about your character!






Furure spouse:

Future children:

Their names and ages:

Social security number:

Insurance? (Yes or no)

Wedding date:


On another note...


His/Her deepest, most vitally hidden secret:

How others view him/her:

Where he/she stands in school/work:

Who they are when they are angry:

How they contain his/her anger:

Is he/she abusive:

Do they bottle up their emotions, or share them with every spec of dirt?

Does he/she do drugs?

If so, what kind?

How does that affect his/her home life?

Affect his/her childen?


What does he/she do about the addiction? (Even if it's just smoking.) 

What does the 'darker' side of this person look like?

What is this persons views on religion?

Does he/she have any views on it?

If not, why? (This may have something to do with how he/she was treated as a child. It happens.)


Does this person like candles?

What scents?



Does this person smoke?

How did he/she start?



What are some natural born talents this person has?

What does he/sho do with them? (Make money by being an artist who paints amazing pictures, or becomes a tattoo artist? Both artists, but both did different things with their abilitys.)

Why has he.she chosen this?


What are some talents that he/she has aquired by work work work?

Why did they want it?

What do they doo with it now that it's theirs? (Assuming they have it...)



That's it. That's all I have for you. I don't doubt that there are some really basic things I missed, but, well...if you noticed they weren't there, then just add it in on your own. I hope you enjoyed this how-to, because it took a FREAKIN' LONG TIME TO TYPE!!! Again, if I missed something easy, I am deeply sorry, but I was going for really in-depth, to the core, the things looked over, the in-between. Thank you all for reading this, but I am going to bed because my back hurts, my eyes hurt, and the joints in my fingers hurt. Oh well!





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Posted 10 Years Ago

I found this to be really helpful! I feel like a few of the parts, such as the social security number, are a little unnecessary. Other than that, though, I felt that it was really good and useful. Thanks! :D

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Posted 11 Years Ago

That can be found under his/her identity.

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Posted 12 Years Ago

uhh... you forgot the most important ones: name, age, and a few others :)
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Ardeth Lane
Ardeth Lane