Getting to know your fictional characters, inside and out, is crucial

I’ve decided to change up the Writing Prompt process. I’m a goal-oriented person. Writing prompts are meant to get the creative juices flowing, however, they can also become a means to an end.

When I first started writing, I used prompts to spark ideas. Before long I had a single character I tended to write about. Then she had a family. And a town. And on and on and on…

So what we’re going to do is to create a character first. Then from there, you’ll use this character in each prompt posted.

You can do things your own way

Now, of course you do not have to do it this way. You can change the character you write about. It’s your writing. You can do whatever you want!

The purpose of this approach, though, is to help you create actual scenes using your character. 

Before long, you’ll have scenes you can insert into the story or book you’re writing. 

Let’s start with the protagonist

With that in mind, create a protagonist. Use the information below to help guide you:


What is the:

Character’s Name




Birth place




Other Interests

Describe his/her:



Is she/he married?

Are their children?

What about pets?


What’s his or her (add whatever other information you’d like!):

✳️ eye color?

✳️ hair color?

✳️ hair style?

✳️ body shape?

✳️ body size?

✳️ complexion?

What makes them unique (birthmarks, freckles, scars, tattoos, piercings, glasses, contact lenses…)?

How do they dress?

What habits– good or bad–do they have (smoking, nail biting, smiling all the time, never smiling, carrying a cane…)?

How they present themselves to the world (use the examples to spark your creativity)?

✳️ Tidy

✳️ Disheveled

✳️ Well-dressed

✳️ Sloppily dressed

✳️ Dirty

✳️ Sophisticated clothing

✳️ Professor-like blazers

✳️ Granola-like (hippy, free-flowing…)


How do they communicate? What is their speech like (accented, slow speech, stuttering…)?

General demeanor (joyful, always happy, angry at the world, grumbles constantly…)?

How do they walk (stride, slow, lazy, brisk pace…)?

How does their level of education impact how they communicate or carry themselves? 

Do they talk with their hands?

Do they make specific gestures?

Do they make eye contact? If not, what do they do?

Describe their smile.

Describe their laugh.

Describe what they’re like when they’re angry.

Check out more writing prompts!


Struggling with character development? Hire me as your developmental editor and partner. Together, we will take your writing to the next level!

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Melissa Bourbon is the national bestselling author of more than twenty-eight novels. She is a teacher, coach, podcaster, and writer. She has applied her love of teaching to the creation of WriterSpark Academy, an online school for aspiring and new writers seeking to hone their craft. Learn more about Melissa at her website,