6 Steps to Creating a Great Character

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Creating a compelling character doesn’t have to take a lot of time.

For some writers, characters pop into being fully formed like Athena from Zeus’s forehead. For others, creating a character is a bit more laborious, filled with uncertainty about where to start or what’s needed before they can start writing. Maybe the novel idea is more plot focused, or more about exploring an idea than a deep character journey, and those writers want to dive in and get started without hours of character development.

I've always been a pantsers when it came to characters, and I don't do a lot of work on them before I throw them into my novels (I figure out who they are as a I write them). So I'm always trying to come up with tricks to help me take a shortcut for that first draft.

And this is one of my favorites, because it's so easy, and also fun.

No matter where you fall on the depth-of-character-creation scale, here's a fun little game that's also quite useful to create a character's personality.