Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Character Profiles

No, this isn't the story from the promt. I'm still working on that. School's been pretty crazy and teachers have been loading me down with homework, leaving no time for writing. But the semester is coming to a close (YAY!) and once finals are over, I'll hopefully have a lot more time to work on it. In the meantime, I decided to post about something that's been on my mind. Character profiles.

I've been reading a lot about the importance of writing character profiles. This is never something I've been inclined to do, and in fact, I never have done it. I always just come up with a story idea and roll with it, hoping my characters develop and become likable. But from what I understand, character profiles help with keeping a character's actions and beliefs consistent. And they're handy when you forget some information that you've previously written about a character. For instance, their age or hair color. So instead of having to scroll, or flip, through the pages of your story to find the info, character profiles make it easy to find. Now, I've been writing this modern western/love story thing and have some characters with complicated pasts and somewhat complex personalities. Also, I don't get the chance to work on it that often. The combination of these two things made me realize that I might not be giving my characters very consistent personalities. Every time I feel like working on the story again, I forget certain aspects about their pasts or appearance and have to search the chapters to find what I am looking for. I also think that I've been subtly changing the character's personalities throughout the chapters. So, for the sake of consistent writing, I decided to start some character profiles. Only, now I have a dilemma. I don't know what information, exactly, to include. I mean, appearance and age are obviously important. But how much of their personality should I include in the profile? Should I write their likes and interests? Their dislikes and phobias? I'm probably over thinking this, but I want some second or third opinions. What information do you include in your character profiles? Do you even write character profiles? And if you don't, how do you keep their actions and personalities consistent?