If you’re creating a character for fantasy or another genre where they go adventuring, this part of the template may help you. You can download the full template as a Word doc or a PDF or read Part 1 and Part 2 online
Does he seek “adventure” or go on missions?
How many adventures has he gone on? Veteran? Newbie? What has he learned from doing it before?
Has he been trained in any special techniques? By who? Did he finish that training or skip out for some reason? Will that come back to haunt him?
As (Knight for Example)
Did he rescue anyone? Free a village? Kill an evil wizard? End/start a battle or war? Find treasure? Recover something valuable (and did he keep it or return it?)?
Trips & Missions
What missions has he done and how did they go (disaster, success, lots of friends died, welcomed as hero after)? Was he paid for them? Hired? A volunteer? Who went with him? Who didn’t return? Was that his fault?
What does he have and how did he come by them? Did he steal, buy, or find them? Were they a gift? Are they weapons, armor, or something else?
Include formal clothing. What quality and condition is his clothing? How old/new?
Does he have a horse, dragon, or another steed he has bonded with? Describe it here.
Where did he receive his training and from whom? What kind was it? What weapons or defenses? Does he employ these? Has he mastered what he was taught or does he get rusty?
What can he ride and how well? This means in battle or otherwise fighting.
Special Attacks & Defenses
Is there anything unique about his fighting?
Tournaments & Contests
Does he compete? How well does he do? Is he a champion? Perpetual loser?
Challenges & Duels
Has he ever been in a duel? To the death? What happened to the other person? What led to it?
Can he perform magic? How well? How did he learn? Was their schooling or a mentor? How well does he control this?
Relations with Magic Users
How does he get along with those who do magic? Is he jealous? Fearful? Trusting?
Does this character avoid supernatural places or become curious? Where has he visited or plan to? Why?
Public Places and Occasions
Does he join in or keep to himself? What about during a festival?
Where does he prefer to stay when traveling, and why?
Hopefully this extensive template will give you some ideas for filling out your characters.
Author’s Shouldn’t Try to Be Funny in Their Bios
There’s a lot of advice on how to write a professional author bio, and here’s mine: don’t try to be funny or clever. It seldom works. It can also make you look juvenile, narcissistic, and unprofessional. Here are some examples of bad Read More …
Evaluating Artist Feedback, Part 1
Whether a musician, author, or other artist, we’ve all received feedback on our work. Obtaining meaningful feedback is an art all its own. Sometimes we have to work at it, deciphering comments to figure out what someone means, so I’ve Read More …
Evaluating Artist Feedback, Part 2
This is part two of the blog about evaluating feedback on your writing or other artistic pursuits. Read part 1 here. Biased Feedback A person giving negative feedback can be biased in some way. We can sometimes tell from their Read More …
Getting My Book In Book Stores
When I decided to start self-publishing, people began asking me if I can get my book in stores, to which I’ve said no, not really. They almost always ask in amazement, “Don’t you want to see your novel in book Read More …
Guest Post: Unconventional Writing Tools
4 Unconventional Tools to Fix Common Creative Writing Problems by Guest Blogger Ethan Miller Once upon a time, there lived a writer who churned bestsellers after bestsellers without breaking a sweat. Words flowed out of him with such ridiculous ease Read More …
How Agents and Publishers Think About Manuscripts
Like most authors, I’ve submitted books to agents and either gotten no response or the form rejection letter. Well, let me be specific – I’ve sent a query letter, one page summary, and anywhere from 5 pages to 3 chapters Read More …
How to Create Fictional Characters, Part 1
Regardless of your genre, authors, screenwriters, and playwrights have much to think about when creating a character. One tool to help is a kind of fill-in-the-blanks template you can use for each one. I’ve developed a rather extensive one over Read More …
How To Create Fictional Characters, Part 2
This is the second in a series on creating fictional characters. Part 1 covered an overview. You can download the full template as a Word doc or a PDF. Personal Life General History Family & Upbringing This includes place of Read More …
How To Create Fictional Characters, Part 3
If you’re creating a character for fantasy or another genre where they go adventuring, this part of the template may help you. You can download the full template as a Word doc or a PDF or read Part 1 and Read More …
The Importance of Death
I watch a lot of SciFi (and when available, fantasy) on TV and in movies. All too often, death means nothing. A major character can be killed off and I just shrug, knowing they’ll be back, sometimes before the episode Read More …
Writers Block vs. Idea Block
Most authors have “writer’s block” at some point, but I suspect we’re often suffering from something I call “idea block”. The definition of writer’s block is “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to Read More …