Friday, January 31, 2014

Useful Links for Writers - Part Two

Part Two: Character Description, Traits, & Roles

For Part Two I will be covering the topic of character development. Which means description, traits, and roles. Giving a character a good name is only part of the process. It is also very important to know how your character looks, talks, and behaves. While I don't necessarily believe you need to find the face of a specific celebrity for every character, I do believe that the more concrete your image of a character is, the better they are to write. In addition, a character's personality traits must be developed early on, otherwise the character can become bland, unpredictable, or empty. Creating a personality can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Finally, every character must have a specific role in the story. They cannot simply "exist"; they must have a purpose. The links I have provided here will hopefully help out in all of those categories.


Character Surveys -
(Great website to use if you prefer getting to know your characters by having them answer questions in the form of surveys. This form is especially useful if you are trying to get used to writing the character's voice and attitude. The list of surveys include physical traits, family and personal relationships, career, hobbies, and more.)

Character Trait Chart
(Or if you prefer getting to know your characters by filling in blanks to a trait chart. This includes some useful questions to think about when making a character, as well as a list of personality components.)

Character Description Resource
(Lots of useful adjectives and nouns listed for describing characters. It's simple stuff, but it covers a lot.)

Describing People
(Provides extensive lists of adjectives to describe many physical features; everything from cheekbones to jawline.)


638 Primary Personality Traits
(A general list of traits you can use for characters. I find it to be a good overview when I'm running short of ideas.)

Traits of Human Consciousness
(This one is especially useful because it shows the positive and negative side to many personality traits.)

123 Ideas for Character Flaws
(A good follow-up to the other two links. If you feel a character is becoming perfect or flawless, I'm sure this list can fix that.)


Screenwriting - The Script Lab
(Although this website is focused on screenwriting instead of novels/short stories, I have still found their articles and tips very insightful. Here are their articles on the topic of characters.)
- Heroes and Your hero: top ten rules
- Villains
- Rivals
- Friends

Understanding Minor Characters
(Great article that lists means of using minor characters in stories.)

TV Tropes
(Cannot stress how helpful this website has been. It is, as the website puts it, "a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction." A must for writers who are thirsty for ideas, want to see prime examples of an idea they have, or take note of how many times an idea has already been used, etc. Below I have listed links of the lists regarding character tropes.)
- Main characters
- Stock characters
- Character flaw index


  1. Thank you so much for sharing these! They're very helpful :)

    TV Tropes gives me loads and loads of ideas, too! I could spend hours browsing that website!

    1. You're welcome, I am very glad you found them helpful!

      I know, I love that website a lot. That's awesome!