Plantser progress: Some Basics of Character Profiles

So, for the record, so far the plantser method is working. Details I never would have explored before are surfacing and intervening into the plot…

Time will tell if it makes writing easier or not. I gave myself a planning limit. No words written, only planning this month. I was worried about losing the excitement, getting stuck on an idea and not moving forward. And that’s true, but not so bad I get stuck.

Character sheet are developing. Even if these things aren’t divulged in the story itself, it will help make choices as I go. Is their hair cut short because of zero-G? Do they think a flightsuit is boring or convenient?

Really, how do we describe ourselves to other people? A dating profile! And this goes so beyond what ethicity, hair color, tattoos, job, zodiac sign. Here are a few things that are on my character sheet:

  • Favorite foods
  • Pet peeves
  • Actor/actress photo (in case it becomes a movie)
  • Dream job (because not usually what they are currently doing…)
  • Relationship with sibling/s
  • What do they do when no one is watching? In their free time, leisure time, when you aren’t writing about them.
  • What would they splurge on or save up for?

I’ve started using photos for my character profiles, and the visuals help. Instead of writing that “she likes basketball” and “wears a puffy jacket”, I’ve added the pictures. It starts to come alive a little more with color, and using real objects has also given my new MC more substance.

Here’s a preview of what I’ve created in Miro, and you can read my previous post about mind mapping.

It’s better than this. Characters aren’t linear. Your story is, but the character isn’t. So try exploring outside of the character sheet and doing something a little more creative and spontaneous! Add color, pictures, real things, as descriptors.

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