There are many ways to write a story, and as a writer, you must find the system that best suits you. You may be a plotter who likes to create an outline before you sit down to write your novel, or you might prefer to leave more room for imagination. Nevertheless, in both cases, it is convenient to know your characters in depth. In this section, you’ll discover how to do this with a character sketch.
Character sketches are, so to speak, the characters’ biography or CV. They can take many forms, but they are usually divided into two groups according to their purpose:
These contain the most basic information about the character. They are perfect for describing minor characters and can also be used as writing prompts.
You can store them in a folder and resort to them when you are in need of inspiration. Georges Simenon use to choose two characters (a man and a woman, for example) and ask himself what would take them to the limit. The answer to that question was the beginning of a story.
This document contains a lot of information about each of the protagonists and their relationships with other characters. It’s used during the prewriting stage.
Thanks to these sketches, your characters will have no secrets. You’ll be clear about their appearance, behavior, past, and above all, about the way they must react under different circumstances.
If your want to keep reading about character sketches, please visit How to Write Character Sketches Part 2.