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  • The Ultimate Character Form!

    The following is an awesome Character Profile Form that the creator of Pompfiction created and had on his public website. As usual, here is the reference link:

    [Pomp Fiction Character Profile Form] (link inactive)

    Character Form

    This form was created for artists and writers to get a better idea of their character's details. By filling out this form, you will better understand your character physically and psychologically. It can either be used to create a new character, or to fill out information and develop a previously created character, the latter of which I find to be more effective. You are free to post your completed form anywhere you like, but PLEASE link back to the original template so others can have the same privilege of filling one out for themselves! Share the love, guys, that's all I ask!

    Notes on creating effective characters

    Motivation: When considering a character, always ask yourself 'why'? Question your character's motive for everything they do, think, or say. Delve into the psychology of your character. Don't just make them 'insane' for no reason, or 'just always happy,' or anything that can't have backup. Every thing has a reason, and this should be relatively obvious to your readers, unless you mean to keep it a secret; but a good, solid character has depth. One creates depth through a deep understanding of their character's past, psychology, and motives. For instance, it doesn't make sense for a female character in a sexist society, to "just suddenly have the will to rebel." No, rebellion comes from a catalyst, an instigator, something has to happen for this character to want to rebel; after all, if you've built that society to generally accept sexist ideals, what would make this female character different from the others? What happened in her childhood to make her think otherwise? How did her father treat her that may have inspired this desire to break the norm? How about her mother? Was there a role model, TV show, event, etc, that inspired this character to break the mold? People never do anything without reason, be it conscious or subconscious, and as a writer, it is your job to write their history and motivations.

    Stick to what you know: It's hard to have a deep understanding for your character, if they have no basis in reality. It doesn't mean you can't have superheroes or fantasy elements, but their traits and personality must still realistic and believable within that realm of reality. Even in an alternate universe, there is a state of consistency. Lack of consistency creates an unbalance and a poor foundation for your character, and they will be loose and shallow to the reader. A reader connects with a character when they can sympathize, or feel an emotion from them. Keep at least that much realistic in anything you do. In order to understand your character, you have to understand, or research them. Do you know enough about the period in which they were born, or their habitat? Do you know anything about their demographic, their race, their age? All of these things you must familiarize yourself with in reality before you attempt to recreate it in your story. It is the same with an artist; an artist can not learn to exaggerate reality before they learn to replicate it, at least to some extent. Therefore, you must truly know your characters inside and out, and practically live them. These above mentioned traits only come from putting yourself in your character's shoes. "If I were him/her, how WOULD I wake up in the morning? What would be my daily rituals? What would I order if I were them, at a restaurant?" Think about your characters all the time, even when you're waiting on a bus, or standing in line, constantly ask yourself "what would my character do in this situation?" This is how you can come up with truly unique character traits, that are both believable AND relatable. Draw from people you know, situations you've been in, or even yourself (but don't be one of those writers who just writes their fantasy self into everything they do).

    Clichés, Stereotypes, and Archetypes: Clichés are not the same as archetypes or stereotypes, mind you, and to some extent these things are necessary for a story, however a cliché should never be used as an important story element. That being said, this does not mean that all clichés are bad. You can have a cliché storyline, but a diverse range of characters with depth and personality interesting enough to keep your reader into what you're writing. Cliché characters may run the risk of becoming flat and undeveloped if they are not subject to change. If you do not move beyond it, they will remain stagnant, and thus hinder the potential of your story. Avoid them when you can, and work around them when you have them. What is the difference, you ask? In my personal opinion, archetypes are 'genres' of stories or characters, a very basic and general 'theme.' These are hard to avoid. Archetypes of stories could include: love triangles, the classic Romeo and Juliet fate, jealousy, etc. Archetypes of character may include: the stubborn king, the blinded-by-love youth, the whore or even beast/monster with a heart of gold, the corrupt official, etc. These are things in which you base your story on, but build off of. Stereotypes are only acceptable in moderation. You have to make a character believable. Certain fashions, dialects, and generally accepted truths about a stereotyped character might be necessary to get your point across. This is especially helpful for minor characters. Let's say you have a bartender, who is in only one or two scenes. He needs no real development, as he only acts as a prop for your main characters to interact with. It's okay to go with a stereotype or cliché. If you start going to the extreme opposite, and try to create the 'super unique, most original awesome character ever,' or as I like to call it, the 'anti-stereotype,' you run the risk of 'obviously trying too hard,' which will come off to your reader as amateur. If he's only a minor character, or someone in passing, don't make the bartender "a midget, old woman with a beard, who's lesbian for no reason, has wings, and speaks backwards in French." It doesn't make sense, and is completely unnecessary for a minor character. It is, therefore, unbelievable and leaves the reader questioning "why did they even bother?" Don't try too hard to create something no one has ever seen, because you'll inevitably fail. It doesn't mean that you can't create something original. Originality comes from making the particular character just unique enough from the others to stand out, however many aspects of this character probably have their inspirations from other sources. Don't be afraid of that, but at the same time, don't let your inspirations be all you draw from.

    Conclusion: Most of all, keep practicing. Writing is like an art, no one is perfect the first time they start. No one creates masterpieces with their first works. Don't bank all your money on one story, or one character. Continue to create, because you never know which one might be the big hit. Even when you have created something people like, don't stop there. A true artist or writer is never pleased with their work. Continue to aspire to create more, create something new, and most of all, let your love of the hobby inspire you to never stop.

    Basic Statistics

    Name:
    Nickname:
    Meaning of name:
    Origin of name:
    Age:
    Gender:
    Blood type:
    Astrological sign:
    Chinese zodiac:
    Element:
    Nationality:
    Ethnicity:
    Race/Species:
    Sexual Orientation:
    Current status (marital/dating): (?)
    Political Party:
    Police/Criminal/Legal record:
    Social class as a child:
    Social class as an adult:
    Birth date:
    Birth place:
    Current residence:
    Occupation:
    Title/Rank:
    Hobbies/Pastimes:
    Talents/Skills/Powers:

    Past History

    Hometown:
    First Memory:
    Most important childhood event that still affects him/her; how/why:
    Other memories/events that still affects him/her; why/how:
    Past failures s/he would be embarrassed to have people know about and why:
    Biggest role model and why:
    Biggest disillusions from childhood:
    Back story:

    Physical Characteristics

    Height:
    Weight:
    Posture:
    Build:
    Skin:
    Hair:
    Widow's peak: __Yes __No
    Ears:
    Eyes:
    Nose:
    Mouth/Lips/Teeth:
    Face shape:
    Expressions:
    Describe their smile:
    Hands:
    Feet:
    Glasses/Contacts:
    Tattoos/Scars:
    Ambidextrous, left or right handed?:
    Distinguishing features:
    Who does s/he take after; mother or father?:
    Style (Elegant, shabby, etc):
    How does s/he dress or what do they typically wear?:
    Other outfits one might find in their wardrobe:
    Jewelry and/or other accessories:
    Weapons:
    Health:
    Hygiene:
    Physical Flaws:
    Physical Qualities:

    Other Characteristics

    Is s/he generally balanced or clumsy?:
    Describe their mannerisms/poses/movement:
    Describe their walk:
    Habits/OCDs/Obsessions:
    Speech patterns:
    Unique phrases:
    Do they curse, and if so, to what extent:
    Write a piece of dialogue that this character might say (can be between someone else):
    Describe their voice:
    Describe their sleep patterns (light/heavy sleeper, no sleep, sleeps too often, etc):
    Describe their eating patterns/diet (What do they eat, how do they eat, how often, are they picky, high, low, or average metabolism):
    Describe their house/dwelling:
    Describe their bedroom:
    Describe their daily rituals:

    Psychological/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

    Intelligence level:
    Known languages:
    Long-term goals/desires in life:
    Short-term goals/desires in life:
    How does s/he dress or what do they typically wear?:
    Secret desires:
    How self-confident is s/he?:
    How do they see him/herself?:
    How do they believe s/he is perceived by others?:
    What is the character most proud of?:
    What does s/he like least about his/herself?:
    How do they express themselves?:
    Is this character generally dominant or submissive?:
    Describe their level of patience:
    Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?:
    Most at ease when:
    Ill at ease when:
    Describe his/her sense of humor:
    If granted one wish, what would it be and why?:
    Character/Personality/Mental/Social Strengths:
    Character/Personality/Mental/Social Flaws:
    If they could be described with one of the seven virtues, which would it be?:
    If they could be described with one of the seven sins, which would it be?:
    Biggest Vulnerability (non physical):
    Optimist or pessimist:
    Greatest fear:
    Other fears/phobias:
    Emotional/psychological/social peculiarities:
    Biggest regret:
    Other regrets:
    Biggest accomplishment:
    Minor accomplishment:
    Musical talents/instruments:
    Character's darkest/deepest secret:
    Does this character have a deep/dark secret?: __Yes __No
    What is the secret?:
    Does anyone know about it?: __Yes __No
    Who knew about the secret?:
    How did they find out?:
    What was the result of the secret?:
    Other/minor secrets:

    Likes/Dislikes

    Likes:
    Dislikes:
    Favorite...:
    ~~ Color:
    ~~ Clothing:
    ~~ Place and why:
    ~~ Room in the house and why:
    ~~ Food/drink:
    ~~ Music genre:
    ~~ Song and Singer/Band:
    ~~ Movie/TV Show/Performance:
    ~~ Actor/Performer:
    ~~ Book:
    ~~ Historical figure:
    ~~ Subject in school:
    ~~ Animal:
    Least favorite...:
    ~~ Clothing:
    ~~ Place:
    ~~ Food/drink:
    ~~ Music genre:
    ~~ Subject in school:
    Simple pleasures:
    Greater pleasures:
    Where does this character hang out?:
    Where is this character's dream place to live?:
    Motto/Personal quote:
    Mode of transportation:
    Most prized possession and why:

    Emotional Characteristics

    Describe character's sense of morals:
    What do they consider taboo (something they personally would never do):
    Describe character's etiquette:
    Describe character's sense of self-control:
    Spontaneous or structured?:
    Instinctual or logical?:
    How does this character act in public?:
    How does this character act in privacy?:
    How does this character act around strangers vs. how they act around friends?:
    How does this character act around family?:
    How has this character most changed from youth?:
    How have they remained the same?:
    Has this character dealt with the loss of someone they knew?: __Yes __No
    Whom?:
    How has it affected them?:
    How does this character deal with or react to...:
    ~~ Conflict/Danger:
    ~~ Rejection:
    ~~ Fright:
    ~~ Change:
    ~~ Loss:
    ~~ Sex/Flirting:
    ~~ Pain:
    ~~ Stress:
    ~~ Peer pressure:
    ~~ Guilt:
    ~~ Being wrong:
    ~~ Being criticized:
    ~~ Being insulted (superficially: name calling, etc):
    ~~ Offending others:
    ~~ Praise:
    ~~ Being loved:
    ~~ Being hated:
    ~~ Humiliation:
    How does this character express...:
    ~~ Anger:
    ~~ Sadness:
    ~~ Fear:
    ~~ Happiness/Excitement:
    ~~ Love (Consider the 'Five Languages of Love'):
    ~~ Lust:
    ~~ Stress:
    ~~ Dislike (of a person, thing, or idea):
    ~~ Approval (of a person, thing, or idea):
    How does this character generally express themselves?:
    What does this character think/feel about...:
    ~~ Marriage:
    ~~ Children:
    ~~ Family/Family Values:
    ~~ Children/Youth:
    ~~ Old age:
    ~~ Sex:
    ~~ Love:
    ~~ Friendship/Other relationships:
    ~~ Homosexuality:
    ~~ The opposite sex:
    ~~ The same sex:
    ~~ Money/Material things:
    ~~ Politics:
    ~~ Religion:
    ~~ Destiny/Duty:
    ~~ Magic/Myth:
    ~~ Racism/Races in general:
    ~~ Science/Technology:
    ~~ Nature/Animals:
    ~~ Modernity:
    ~~ Antiquity:
    ~~ Their past:
    ~~ Their future:
    ~~ Their role in society/job/etc:
    ~~ Drugs and alcohol:
    ~~ Killing/Murder:
    ~~ Education:
    ~~ The foreign/unknown:
    How does the character view life?:
    How does the character view death?:
    How does the character view society?:
    How does the character imagine his/her own death?:
    What does the character want out of life?:
    What does this character consider 'success' to be?:
    What would the character like to change in his/her life?:
    What motivates this character and why?:
    What discourages this character and why?:
    What makes this character happy and why?:
    What makes this character sad and why?:
    What makes this character angry and why?:
    What humiliates this character?:
    What most describes this character's personality?:
    Psychoanalysis (Describe why they act the way they do):
    Does it stem from childhood or an event, or chemical?:

    Relationships with Others

    Relationship skills:
    Loves:
    Lusts:
    Crushes:
    Girlfriend/Boyfriend(s):
    Other lover(s):
    First crush...:
    ~~ Who was it?:
    ~~ How did it start?:
    ~~ Did it last?: __Yes __No
    ~~ What was the result of the crush?:
    Best friends:
    Friends:
    Confident/Mentor:
    Hates:
    Dislikes:
    Rivals:
    Pets:
    What kind of person would s/he consider to be the perfect partner?:
    How is s/he perceived by...:
    ~~ Strangers:
    ~~ Friends:
    ~~ Coworkers/Colleagues:
    ~~ Lover(s)/Partner(s):
    ~~ Family:
    What happens to change this perception if at all?:
    Is s/he judgmental of others?: __Yes __No
    To what extent?:
    Describe their sense of trust:
    What type of individuals does s/he like or associate with?:
    How do they treat members of the opposite sex?:
    How do they treat members of the same sex?:
    What do family/friends like most about character?:
    What do family/friends like least about character?:

    Sex/Romantic Life

    What do they consider to be a romantic setting/activity/date?:
    What did they do on their first date?:
    How does a typical date go for this character?:
    How would they like to propose or be proposed to?:
    Has this character lost their virginity?: __Yes __No
    When did h/she lose it?:
    Was it consensual?: __Yes __No
    How has this affected him/her?:
    How did s/he feel afterwards?:
    How sexual is s/he?:
    How does s/he feel emotionally after sex? :
    Does this character have self control around individuals of their sexual desire?:
    Does sex play an important role in their relationships and to what extent?:
    Turn-ons:
    Turn-offs:
    Fetishes/Fantasies/Kinks:
    Sexual peculiarities/flaws:
    Sexual perks:
    Sexual flaws:
    Usually on the top or bottom?:
    Dominant or submissive?:
    Have they ever impregnated someone, or been impregnated?: __Yes __No
    Whom?:
    Was it planned?:
    Was it a successful birth?:
    Did they keep, abort, or put the baby up for adoption; why or why not?:
    Did s/he stay with the family/partner; why or why not?:
    How has the pregnancy changed him/her?:
    Has s/he ever had intercourse or a sexual experience with someone of the same sex?: __Yes __No
    With whom?:
    Was it planned?: __Yes __No
    Was it consensual?: __Yes __No
    How did they feel afterward?:
    What ultimately happened as a result?:
    Possible psychological reasons for their sexual fantasies/behavior:

    Family

    Immediate family members and their ages:
    Ethnicity and/or species of the mother:
    Ethnicity and/or species of the father:
    Birth order:
    Extended family:
    Any important/infamous/famous ancestors?: __Yes __No
    Whom?:
    How have they affected this character, or their life?:
    Describe their ancestral history, if anything of particular note:
    Birth parents:
    ~~ Did this character know their birth parents?: __Yes __No
    ~~ Are the parents still alive?: __Yes __No
    ~~ Have the parents been separated either by choice or otherwise?: __Yes __No
    ~~ What happened to separate the parents and why?:
    ~~ How old was this character when this happened?:
    ~~ What effect did it have on him/her?:
    ~~ Was this character raised by someone other than their parents?: __Yes __No
    ~~ What happened to the birth parents?:
    ~~ By whom were they raised and why?:
    ~~ What was the caretaker(s)'s relationship to the birth parents?:
    ~~ At what age did the caretakers begin to raise this character?:
    ~~ What effect has this relationship had on the character?:
    ~~ Are the caretaker(s) still alive?: __Yes __No
    ~~ How did the parent(s)/caretaker(s) treat him/her growing up versus now:
    ~~ How did this character treat his/her parent(s)/caretaker(s) growing up versus now?:
    Siblings:
    ~~ Did/does s/he have any siblings?: __Yes __No
    ~~ Name the siblings and their age difference to this character:
    ~~ Have any of the siblings died?: __Yes __No
    ~~ Who, why, and when?:
    ~~ How has this affected the character?:
    ~~ Describe his/her relationship with the sibling(s) growing up and now:
    Describe the family dynamic growing up:
    Describe the family dynamic now:
    Family history (the family they were born and/or raised with):
    Has this character ever been married?: __Yes __No
    To whom?:
    When and how did they meet?:
    When and/or how did they get married?:
    Was it a legitimate marriage?: __Yes __No
    How did they propose or were proposed to?:
    Describe their married relationship:
    Did their marriage end in a divorce?: __Yes __No
    Which partner officially applied for the divorce?:
    How did s/he feel about the whole divorce?:
    How did the divorce affect/change this character?:
    If s/he got remarried after the divorce describe when, how, to whom, and how this affected the character:
    Did their marriage end with a death of one partner?: __Yes __No
    How did it happen?:
    How did this character react?:
    How did they fare afterward?:
    How did this change him/her?:
    If s/he got remarried after the death describe when, how, to whom, and how this affected the character:
    Did s/he have any mistresses/lovers/partners outside of marriage?: __Yes __No
    Who was it?:
    Who initiated the relationship?:
    Was the affair in the open?: __Yes __No
    Did the original spouse find out?: __Yes __No
    What ultimately happened because of the outside lover and how did it affect this character?:
    Were there kids involved either as a result or otherwise?: __Yes __No
    How were they involved?:
    Did anyone find out?: __Yes __No
    What ultimately happened?:
    Does s/he have a family of their own now?: __Yes __No

    Spiritual Characteristics

    Religion:
    Does s/he believe in a god/goddess?: __Yes __No
    Who?:
    What are his/her spiritual beliefs?:
    Is religion or spirituality an important part of this character's life?: __Yes __No
    What role does it play and how does it affect him/her?:
    Superstitions:

    Misc

    What if...:
    ~~ ...s/he was an animal? What would they be and why?:
    ~~ ...s/he were the opposite sex? What would they do?:
    ~~ ...s/he could be characterized by an object; what would they be and why?:
    ~~ ...s/he were confronted with someone with an identical personality as themselves? What would they do?:
    ~~ ...s/he became physically handicapped? What would they do?:
    ~~ ...s/he were placed in a new and unfamiliar environment/country/planet/etc? What would they do?:
    ~~ ...s/he was proposed to (if they haven't been already)? What would they do?:
    ~~ ...s/he had a child (if they don't already)? What would they do and how would it affect them?:
    ~~ Create your own unique situations:
    What song best fits this character?:
    If you could compare this character to an existing character (physically or personality-wise), who would it be and why?:
    If you could choose an actor/voice actor for this character, who would it be?:
    Who/what inspired this character and in what ways?:

    As you can see, the creator apparently had a LOT of time to think about this.

    Thanks to Fyuvix @ Pompfiction for creating this Character Profile Form.
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