Build Memorable Characters for Genre Fiction

(Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Western, and Horror Novels.)

$16.95 USD (downloadable PDFs)

Learn how to write Heroes, Heroines, Villains, and Sidekicks with these characterization worksheets.

Included in this package:

4 templates + 2 bonus offerings

(downloadable PDFs)

  • Create a Colorful Hero (27 pages)
  • Create a Colorful Heroine (31 pages)
  • Create a Colorful Villain (25 pages)
  • Create a Colorful Sidekick (24 pages)
  • Bonus Template: Create a Colorful Cast of Extras (6 pages)
  • Bonus Article: How to Write Men who Sound Like Men, and Women who Sound Like Women (5 pages)

Peek Inside the Templates:

Section #1: First Impressions

Fiction writers are asked to imagine that the Hero, Heroine, Villain, or Sidekick has agreed to be interviewed in a personal space that is unique to that character's personality and lifestyle. This section encourages writers to develop their imaginations and practice stream-of-consciousness writing skills, which are crucial to composing fiction fluidly and rapidly. The "First Impressions" section includes detailed questions about the character's physical appearance, mannerisms, clothing, and environment.

Section #2: Core Values and Personal Habits

Next, fiction writers answer a series of questions that delve into the character's psyche, emphasizing the character's personal opinions about himself, his upbringing, and his lifestyle.

Sample questions:

Who has had the greatest influence on your life?

What must occur before you consider breaking the rules?

Section #3: Secrets and Forbidden Desires

Devoted to the character's "Shadow Self," this section was developed to expose the contradictory (and therefore, interesting) personality traits that make the character vulnerable.

Sample questions:

What secret are you hiding?

If you could relive 10 minutes of your life, what experience would you choose and why?

Section #4: Working toward a Happy Ending

Featuring questions such as, "What do you want to achieve or become by the end of the book?", this section helps the writer gain insight into the goals, motivations, and conflicts that could prevent the character from experiencing a "Happy Ending."

Section #5: Coping with Awkward Situations

The true test of a character is how he behaves under stress. Character growth is typically achieved when that character faces his fears or insecurities and decides to act selflessly (in the case of Heroes, Heroines, and Protagonists) or selfishly (in the case of Villains and Antagonists). This section poses several scenarios that will help you explore how your characters might behave "at their worst." Working through this section can be especially useful for inventing personality "quirks" or idiosyncrasies -- the type of reading material that makes your characters complex and memorable.

Sample scenarios:

The character is abandoned in a foreign city and does not speak the language.

The character must confront a trusted friend in a hurtful lie.

Section #6: Planning Chapter One

This pivotal section helps fiction writers determine what is at stake for the viewpoint character when the book opens and how that character's life will be impacted by meeting his polar opposite (either the Antagonist or the Protagonist).

Sample questions:

What were you doing five minutes before you appear "on scene" for the first time in the book?

How does meeting the Antagonist (or Protagonist) alter your scene goal?

Section #7: Important Family Relationships

The writer is guided through a detailed questionnaire about family members who are crucial to the story and/or the development of the character's personality.


$16.95 USD (downloadable PDFs)