Fleshing Out Your Characters: Cheat Sheet

List of character traits:

  • Funny guy
  • Hopeless romantic
  • Neurotic
  • Clumsy
  • Tired
  • Genius
  • Know-it-all
  • Angry
  • Jealous
  • Sad
  • Loner
  • Hero
  • Brave
  • Sleepy
  • Fool
  • Orangiser
  • Sporty
  • Adventurer
  • Reader
  • Curious
  • Helper
  • Arrogant
  • Leader

List of character occupations:

  • Baker
  • Doctor
  • Scientist
  • Detective
  • Policeman
  • Firefighter
  • Vet
  • War hero
  • Interior Designer
  • Architect
  • Criminal
  • Entrepreneur
  • Librarian
  • Writer
  • Journalist
  • Game designer
  • Athlete
  • Fisherman
  • Farmer
  • Government
  • Gardener
  • Builder
  • Inventor
  • Pottery
  • Photographer
  • Banker
  • Receptionist
  • Blacksmith
  • Apothecary
  • Nurse
  • Electrician
  • Teacher
  • Dancer
  • Artist
  • Film Maker
  • Advocate
  • Zookeeper
  • Nutritionist
  • Healer
  • Guru

List of character skills/ interests:

  • Writing
  • Painting
  • Singing
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Knitting
  • Rapping
  • Reading
  • Acting
  • Drawing
  • Animation
  • Swimming
  • Shooting
  • Driving
  • Fishing
  • Gardening
  • Photography
  • Experiments
  • Animal care
  • Music
  • Sports

List of character/relationship/plot tropes:

  • Forbidden love
  • Love triangle
  • Estranged parents
  • Misfit
  • Self-made family
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Cloud Cuckoolander
  • Brotherhood
  • Sisterhood
  • Betrayal
  • Bad upbringing
  • Twisted fate
  • Chosen one
  • Grudges
  • Given purpose
  • Sidekick
  • Unexpected love or friendship

List of Motivations/Goals:

  • Revenge
  • Find purpose
  • Seek truth
  • Missing person
  • Find love
  • Lost love
  • Hate
  • Redemption
  • Challenge self
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Money
  • Honour
  • Fulfilment
  • Meaning
  • Save the world
  • Change the world
  • End the world
  • Rule the world
  • Knowledge
  • Excitement

List of physical appearances:

  • Tattoos
  • Glasses
  • Ethnicity and complexion
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Clothing style: fashionable, chic, basic, gothic, punk, skater, farmer, whimsical, sporty, provocative, futuristic, Victorian, Medieval…
  • Scars
  • Limp
  • Mismatched eyes (heterochromia)
  • Extremely tall
  • Extremely short
  • Chins
  • Jewellery
  • Bruises or cuts
  • Burn marks
  • Beauty spot
  • Freckles
  • Beard
  • Missing limb(s)
  • Wheelchair
  • Walking stick

List of go-to emotions/reactions (in most situations):

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Jealous
  • Bitter
  • Hateful
  • Uncomfortable
  • Nonchalant
  • Laidback
  • Brave
  • Excited
  • Scared
  • Tired or bored
  • Curious
  • Reserved

List of other considerations:

  • Language
  • Accent
  • Quirks: playing with their hair, chewing a toothpick, one trouser leg rolled up, calling everyone “mate”
  • Backstory/ history
  • How they do things: make friends, talk, study, work, act in relationships, shop, eat, walk, dance etc.

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