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Notes, tutorials, exercises, thoughts, workshops and resources about writing or storytelling art

How to Write Character Sketches (Part 3)

As I told you in the part 1 of this series, character bibles are used to define the story’s main characters during the pre-writing stage. These sketches must be as detailed as possible. In this way, you’ll be clear about your characters’ appearance, peculiarities, virtues, shortcomings, customs, relationships, etc. Think about actors and actresses who must be very familiar with the characters they play in order to make a good performance. A writer who gathers information about a character faces a similar job.

Feel free to create the type of character sketch that best suits you. If you don’t know where to start, you can use the character sketch outline that I use for my stories. In my opinion, this document covers the most important points of a sketch. Let’s take a closer look at them:

How to Write Character Sketches (Part 2)

As I stated in the first part of this series, the short character sketches can be used as writing prompts or as a prewriting strategy. Don’t be too exhaustive; it’s enough to just jot down a few general notes on your characters in order to know at a glance what is unique about each of them.

How to write a character sketch

To illustrate this, let me show you how I have designed my own character sketches:

1. Sketch Number

To start with, I like to organize my sketches by number and add their creation date. I also like to make note of what story they belong (or could belong) to.

2. Character’s Name or Nickname

If you want to delve deeper into this topic, take a look at the post titled, How to Name your Characters.

How to Write Character Sketches (Part 1)

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.

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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:

How to Name Your Characters

In many cultures, it is believed that a person’s name contains his/her essence. From a practical viewpoint, this may sound like an exaggeration, but it makes sense when we are talking about fictional names. For example, how different would it have turned out if Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes had been called Sherrinford Holmes as the author had originally planned?

How to pick names for fictional characters

Every name has different connotations for each of us because they remind us of different people; thus, it’s impossible to foresee the effect names will have on your readers. Nevertheless, here are some steps you can take to find names that best suit your characters:

12 Places to Find Inspiration for Your Writing

As Picasso once said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” However, sometimes we get stuck and working harder is not enough. This may be because we can’t think of what to write, or it may happen because we don’t find the best way to proceed once we’ve started writing. When that happens, where do you look for inspiration?

How to Get Inspired

Every writer is different, and what inspires me might not inspire you. Some people need a lot of fuss around them in order to get inspired, while other people work better in silence. The truth is the muse appears more frequently in certain places. These are my favorite locations for inspiration:

Overcome Procrastination Finding Your Best Time to Write

I’d like to share a tool with you that has helped me end procrastination forever. It is a writing log where you take notes about each writing session, and in this way, you can discover which time of day and circumstances are best for your productivity as a writer.

How to avoid procrastination

You may already have an idea (or think you have one like I did) of your best time to write, but I recommend you try this tool anyway. The results might just surprise you.

Before I started keeping a record of my writing sessions, I was convinced that I was most productive between 11 am and 12 pm. I also believed my pace slowed down after two hours of straight writing. Well, I’ve discovered that’s not so! Thanks to the writing log, I realized that I’m just as productive in the morning as I am in the evening. Not only that, but my pace seems to improve after two hours of non-stop writing! If you want to keep track of your writing, you’ll find a useful template in pdf format later in this guide. However, let me first offer you some advice on how to make the most of this exercise.

How to Get the Most Out of your Reading to Improve your Writing

Of all the tips authors offer to new writers, the one that is most often repeated is, “If you want to learn to write, you must write. But more importantly, you must read.” I agree, but let me point out there are many ways of reading.

How to Make a Book Journal

As writers, we shouldn’t simply do the surface reading most readers do – at least not all the time. We should go a little further and try to unravel the literary techniques behind the story. But how are we supposed to do this?

Seven Tips to Writing Every Day

Time is one of our major shortcomings. We always seem to be running from one place to the other as if we were the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, “I’m late! I’m late!” This constant hurry also affects us when it comes to writing. Typically, our daily chores, work, family, social relationships, studies, etc. leave us with very little spare time to write; in addition, we have a tendency to postpone our writing sessions and leave them for the end of the day.

How to writer every day

The problem is we’re usually very tired by the end of the day. As a result, we don’t offer any resistance to the excuses our brains come up with for not writing. Writers are very good at rescheduling our writing sessions. There’s often something very important that needs to be done at the very moment of writing, or perhaps we feel very tired and think we’ll produce nothing of value ... nonsense! All we achieve is another day without writing anything.

Don’t fool yourself. If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day – no excuses. Here are some tips for how can do it, no matter how many obligations you have.