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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Monday, February 10, 2014

#Writing a novel, part 8

 Using a character sheet

What is a character sheet and what does it look like? Well, a character sheet is a list of the characters appearing in a story. It contains the names and other information of all or a few of the players. When I start with a new story, I may not have a character sheet, but once I have my protagonist and I begin to know him/her a little bit better, I will start my sheet.

I’ll write down the name, his/her appearance, and any information I think is important to know. I may even write a bit of a background. The list may contain names of family members, relatives, and friends. In the beginning the list may be short, but as I get to know the person behind the name, the list becomes longer and longer.

How long a list is, depends on the importance of the character. A minor player may only have a name and a brief description of his/her appearance. Possibly a short history; and that isn’t even for certain.

Here is a list of things a character sheet may contain:

Title: Economic status (rich/poor):
Birthplace (Date of birth):
Name of company if self-employed:
Name of employer (company):
Former job:  
Color of Skin:
Eye color:
Hair color:
Length and style of hair:
Glasses/contact lenses:
Beard or moustache:
Other outstanding features:
Languages spoken:
Sexual orientation:
Marital Status:
Name, age, occupation of husband/wife (if dead how and when?)
Names and age of children: (alive and/or dead):
Name of father (alive or dead?):
Name of mother (alive or dead?):
Maiden name of mother:
Grandparents from father’s side: (alive or dead?):
Grandparents from mother’s side: (alive or dead?)
Special people in his/her life:
Zodiac sign:
Manner of dress: (e.g. hat, coat, shoes/boots, jeans)
Manner of speaking and acting:
Special abilities and skills:
Problems: (e.g. alcohol, drugs, smoking, sexual):
Special memories:

This list is not written in stone. You can add anything else that may seem important. Or you can leave things out if they are not needed.

Next time: What a brief history of a character may look like.

More next time

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