The Fast Draft Part Two: Characters

3:00 PM

Finally! Part two of The Fast Draft Series is done. In part one I showed you how to outline your story in one day. If you haven't written your outline check out the article then take an hour or two to get your outline done. When that's finished come on back here. I'll wait...

The next step in crafting your story is to give birth to your characters. If you completed part one's homework then you already have your main character mapped out. Now we create the supporting cast.

Your main character is going to be your protagonist a.k.a. the hero. To support your protagonist as she moves through your story's plot, you're going to need a few other characters to make that happen:

  • Villian/Antagonist: This is who your protagonist is fighting against. This person makes her journey harder every step of the way. This is who your main character must "defeat" in order to  end your story full circle.
  • Sidekick/Bestie: We all have a homegirl we can call when it's time to ride. Your main character will need one too. Keep in mind, this doesn't have to be a person. It could be a pet. Be open minded.
  • Mentor/Oracle: This is a person or even that will teach your protagonist what she needs to know and/or be in order to win against the antagonist. 
  • Randoms: These are minor characters that make small appearances throughout the story. You may not have any of these characters in mind at this point but they will come up as you write. Just be sure to make a note of them.

After you have your cast of characters in mind you have to buckle down and get specific about them. Describe them to with as much detail as possible by writing a character sketch for each. Here are the important things to include in a basic character sketch:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Physical appearance
  • Occupation
  • Role in the story
  • A brief summary on the character's background. A short life story if you will. 
I like to write this out on paper using a clean sheet for each character and I suggest you do the same. You can keep this organized in a notebook or using notebook paper in a three ring binder.

The time it takes to complete each character sketch is up to you. In order to keep it fast I suggest spending about two hours per character to complete this. In two to three days you should have complete character sketches of all of your characters.

Join me in The Powder Room For Writers on Facebook for a little moral support while you get through this.

Stay tuned for part three. It's all about plot and story structure. :)


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