Creating Characters


character_profile_girlA recent guest post on John Guillen’s blog discussed the different writing traits of pantsing and outlining. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am predominantly a pantser, but I do use general outlines to help me get started and guide me along a bit.

Anyway, because of my pantsing, it gets me a bit ahead of myself sometimes! I came up with about 5 more characters the other day, who I need, but I had not given any previous thought to. I also discovered, that given the path I am on, I need to come up with about 3 more. So here is my question, does this happen to you?

I had my big characters thought up before I started writing of course, but I kind of avoided the details. Honestly though, even before I got into creative writing, this was basically my writing style. I come up with a general outline and then dive in head first. I’m having fun with my newbies, but its annoying when I get into a groove, and then have to stop and come up with a character profile for all the new people I have thrown into the mix! I am starting to see a real story emerge though, which I think is pretty exciting.

As I’m new to this whole creative writing thing, I guess I’m interested in how other writers go about this, do you have all your characters mapped out from the beginning, do new ones start to emerge as you get into your story more, what are the tricks you’ve  come up with?


5 thoughts on “Creating Characters

  1. Like you, I go in with a general idea, my main characters, and a couple of plot points that I want to use. Then I tend to pants the crap out of it and end up in a completely different place than I thought I would. This is where I usually get stuck. My NaNo novel is the first full-length novel that I have ever written and it is quite honestly, a mess. I have to revise, but I need to outline to do this and have no idea how!!!
    New characters are constantly popping up and I have to find a way to work them into the story as well.

    Good luck with writing. This was a great post! We could chit-chat about where our writing is and where it’s going, if you like.


    • Haha, as this is the first non academic thing I have ever written I can tell you it’s going to be a huge mess by the time I get done with it. But honestly I’m ok with that. What’s always worked the best for me is to get everything on paper and out of my system and then to go back and refine.

      And I’m always arounds for a chit-chat!


  2. I’m kinda like you and the commenter above – I’ll start with a character and then build the story around him, but I’ve also thought of a story and then had to create a body to move the story, so I’m a little of both. Generally, though, I make it up as I go, getting more detailed on the way, and it ends up pretty permanent. My characters tend to write themselves. Or I may just be insane. Aren’t we all?


  3. Jess

    i created a good character with a name to compliment her personality. my major problem is writing a story that doesn’t revolve around one persons life or is told by that person. its really hard for me to develop other events and characters that don’t relate completely to my character. i just want to write something that is not based on one person tragedy and rise to the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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