It is really important in fiction to create believable, well-rounded characters. The reader needs to be able to understand them, their likes, dislikes, the way they see the world, their personalities, how they relate to others and their environment etc.

Before you start a story it helps to have a clear picture of your main characters in your head. To create a picture it helps to make character sketches with details that help you bring your characters to life in your imagination. You might not use all this information in your story, but it will help them to become fully-formed people in your mind which will make them believable on the page. Think of it like the base of an iceberg which you can’t see as it is underwater, but without that base you wouldn’t be able to see the top of the iceberg dazzling your eyes in the light!

Here are some prompts that can help you create character sketches. You don’t have to answer all of them – but we suggest that the ones with a star are ones you do need to answer.

Name and age:*
Family life (where does he/she live, who with etc)
What is the neighbourhood in which your character lives?
Possession(s) valued most by character:
Person the character loves the most:*
How does this character handle conflict?
What are the main problems this character is facing? (internally and/or externally)*
What are your character’s philosophy on life/religious beliefs?
What does your character feel about love?
What does your character feel about social media?
What prejudices does your character have?
Best memory of your character:
Worst memory of your character:
Adjectives to describe your character*:

Now use some or all answers to write a short description of your character (not more than 200 words)