What Is Character?

(I extracted this post from an upcoming free ebook Character Fiction 101: How to Write Fictional Characters and Character Stories.) When I first started writing stories, I read numerous online articles and guides about developing characters. You’ve probably seen them yourself. Even many established authors have posted similar character profile worksheets. Most of them focus […]

9 More Sources for Character Ideas

Ideas are a dime a dozen, which is no consolation when you just can’t seem to come up with that perfect idea that will pull you past your writer’s block and bring the story you’re trying to write into focus. And the more you wrack your brain, the harder it is to come up with […]

How to Turn Character Ideas into Characters

They say ideas are a dime a dozen, even character ideas. Many experienced authors don’t even think about it anymore; they don’t remember when they were just starting out, facing a blank page, without any idea how to make their characters full and interesting. Because when it comes right down to it, if you want […]

PersonalityPage, Character Traits for Writers

I frequently use PersonalityPage.com to assemble personality traits for characterization. The site is not organized for writers. In fact, the site navigation is poorly designed and pretty difficult to figure out. I had to poke around the site a bit to find the best pages there for characterization and how to use them. But having […]

Discovering Character Secrets from Your Relatives!

Much of the time, we treat relatives as obligations: “Yeah, but what can you do? He’s family.” This year, during the holiday break between December 25 and January 1, the kids and I and Grandma and Grampa piled into a rented minivan and trekked 7 hours to southern New Jersey… where the aunts and uncles […]

100 Free Fictional Character Ideas

… a tiny sample from 1001 Character Quirks for Writing Fiction. Literally, the full list is more than 10 times as big. Of course, the list of quirks is the easy part, because they’re just character ideas, and ideas are a dime a dozen. -TimK

When to Use Character Quirks

I’ve read plenty of writing advice to improve your fictional characters using quirks, or hooks, or tags. That is, make the character more interesting by having her play with her hair, jiggle her keys, overuse a catch-phrase, or the like. These quirks are usually just lumped together with other character traits, but I think there’s […]

Character Ideas Through Substitution

Here’s another way to generate character ideas. Substitute one reaction for another. We all tend to make our characters behave like ourselves or like people we know. So let’s say I’m a computer geek who tends to be shy and reserved, except when I’m talking about computers. Then I’m talkative and outgoing. They say, write […]

Better Character Ideas: Throw Two Away

Here’s a simple way to generate better character ideas, or story ideas of any sort. This isn’t so much a source of story ideas as a way to improve existing ideas. You can do the same thing with setting, plot, or whatever story idea you need. It’s exceptionally simple. Just throw the first two ideas […]

Where to Get Character Ideas

I’ve discovered a new source of character ideas, at least for me. Anyone can get ideas in the same way, even if not from the same source.