Where to Start // creating a character

6:00 AM

Welcome to week two of my Where to Start blog post series! As you're reading this, I am on a plane flying to Guatemala for a week long medical mission trip. So please pray that everything goes well with my team and me, and that we can reach out and help people while we are there. 

I will have no access to wifi until next week, so though it will look like I'm around (I've scheduled a post to go up automatically since I won't be able to do it at the time) you'll have to forgive my absence. 

Anyway. Enough about the life of mwa. Time for the post!

When getting started with something, one of the most important things to do is to ask questions. Keep asking and asking questions. Even if some of them sound stupid, ask them anyway. Don't leave any stone unturned, or any morsel of an idea forgotten.

This is especially important with character creation. Think of creating a character like you would meeting a new person that you're going to have to be with a lot, like a coworker, business partner, or roommate. You'll ask lots of questions to get to know them.

Most of us know the basics to creating a character. But there does come another step. Once you get to know your character a little, there are three questions that need to be asked and answered.

Question #1: What's this character's role in the story? 

Why are they in this book? I don't just mean are they the main character, antagonist, best friend, etc. I mean what is their purpose in this book? What are they there for? What made you choose them to be the main character, antagonist, best friend, etc.?

If a character doesn't have a clear purpose in the story, they won't last long. They'll likely either end up disappearing pretty early on, or they'll only come in as a convenient plot device. Figure out why they're in the story

Question #2: What drives them? 

Motivation is integral to getting your story moving. When you know what motivates your character, you'll be able to see where they want to take the story. It'll help your character take control of the plot, and write their own story. And if you want something real,

Question #3: What burden do they carry?

Everyone has baggage. Some have more than others. What does your character carry? What has s/he been through? Knowing the answers to these questions will give you the foundation of why your character is the way s/he is, and will give you a beginning of a backstory for them. It will help you understand everything about them.

Sorry this post was so short! I will not be posting next week due to my trip, so I'll see you again on the 24th!

Where do you start with creating characters? 


You Might Also Like


  1. I find it really important to know what drives my character, since that basically drives my plot (and informs me what I should be throwing in my character's path...)

    One of the last things I discover about my characters is their physical description... and minor characters can be waiting for names for a while... but I know what they feel like.

    I hope your trip to Guatemala is/was amazing, Hannah, and that God could shine through you all! :D (You said it was a medical mission trip - what did that look like?)
    - Jem Jones

  2. Best of luck with your trip!

  3. One of the best blog! Great job.

  4. Character marks who we are as a person.

  5. It is the one who describes who you are. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Informative post! Keep on sharing.

  7. Really like your writing. Nice blog.


Comments bring us happiness and warm fuzzies, so please share your thoughts! Stan and I want everyone to be welcome, so we ask that you be kind and courteous and use nice language.

Popular Posts