Teach your beginning writers how to develop and present well-rounded characters in their stories.

The following collection of worksheets will teach your students the different methods authors use in presenting characters to the reader, whether first-person, third-person, or some other viewpoint. These sheets will help your students define physical and emotional traits for each character in their story, and decide the best point of view for telling it. Sheets are also available for defining conflicts and relationships between the characters, as well as listing individual motivations (likes, dislikes, quests, back story, etc.).

Author Jim Butcher repeats important character descriptions-such as a favorite piece of clothing-throughout his books as a shortcut to help the reader envision the entire character.

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Printable Character Development Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

Detailed Organizer

This organizer is so fully defined that you will be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available.

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Physical Appearance and Life

This is so detailed that in some work this will not apply at all or at least spur the inspiration for some deep thought.

Point of View

Authors develop characters four different ways. The ways that an author has available to develop character depend on, and vary slightly in execution, depending on the point of view of the story.

Decide on Your Story

Use the worksheet below to plan how you will develop the main character in your story.

Author's Approach

Practice your character development skills by writing a sentence or two using each method to describe each character trait below.

Traits of my Character

We look at points in the story or phase adjustments where the characters are timid, nosy, inconsiderate.

General Story Pieces

Tell us about the story and your character's role and mission in the story.

Inner Life

What experiences or relationships have led your character to their path?

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Charted Viewpoints

We look at all the people looking at your character's thoughts and actions.

Where My Character Stands

Using the table above for a model and guidance, complete the table below to generate ideas about how you will employ as many methods of character development as possible in your story.

My Character is Me

Practice your character development skills by writing a sentence or two using each method to describe each character trait below.

Characterization

I do not appreciate what the narrator just said about me!

Relationships

One aspect of developing a character is to clearly show the relationships that the character has with other characters in the story. Important aspects of a person’s character are revealed by how he or she treats others.

6 Ways To Me

Plan how you will develop the main character in your story. Answer each question.

Character Me

Authors develop characters by physical description, the character’s words and actions, other character’s comments about the character, and the narrator’s direct commentary about the character.

The Outside

Use the stick figure as a start for drawing a picture of your character. Think about body type, hair, eyes, height, weight, coloring, distinguishing features, scars, birthmarks, etc.

The Inside

Use the thought bubbles to really get inside your character’s head. What motivates them?

Setting and Character Development

The setting of a story and the story’s characters are very closely related. While various personality traits can occur in almost any time or place, real or imaginary, a character’s attitudes, language, dress, and appearance must be consistent with the time and place in which a story occurs.

Leverage Your Setting

The setting of a story and the story's characters are very closely related. Your protagonist's relationship with the setting can contain conflict, and where there is conflict in a story, there are character development and character-building opportunities.

Circles of a Story

Choose a main character from the story. Write the character’s name in the center of the page. Then find one instance of each method of characterization in the story.

What a Character!

Answer the questions below to get a deeper understanding of your main character’s personality.

Brain Box

Now think about the story you plan to write. Authors develop characters by physical description, the character’s words and actions, other character’s comments about the character, and the narrator’s direct commentary about the character.

How's it Look?

Birthmarks and scars can also be used symbolically to communicate additional information about a character to readers.

Ask Me Anything!

In this exercise you will work with a partner to brainstorm details about your main character.

Checklist

Have you taken advantage of all the different ways that you can develop a character in your story? Use the checklist below.