Writing Prompt: Character Sketch

Written by Emily Harstone | August 15, 2013

Today our prompt is a little different. When writing one often gets stuck with figuring out what a character will do next. The better one knows a character, the easier it is to write what happens next.

One of the ways I get a better handle on my characters is to create a cheat sheet. I make a one page list of very basic questions, print out a couple copies, and then fill out a questionnaire for each of my major characters.

Then, when I am writing I refer back to the sheet if I forget any of the details about them, or if I feel stuck for where to go next. All the information on the sheet does not make into the book, that is not the point, but it always informs my understanding of the character.

A very basic example of the questionnaire is included below if you want to start with a template.

Feel free to alter it as you wish, or to start from scratch.

Enjoy the exercise!

Character Sketch Questionnaire

  • Full Name:
  • Height:
  • Weight:
  • Age:
  • Hair Color:
  • Distinguishing Features:
  • Tattoos/Scars:
  • Hometown:
  • Current City:
  • Education:
  • Relationship Status:
  • Siblings:
  • Favorite Food:
  • Favorite Book:
  • Favorite Word:
  • Favorite Movie:
  • Favorite Childhood Memory:
  • Pet Peeves:
  • Hobbies:
  • Medical Issues: