Sunday, April 20, 2008

Character Trait Chart - Getting Your Fictional Character Started

"Character Trait Chart
and Personality Components

Another resource from Wow! Women on Writing: I posted about another a little over a week ago (" 'WOW! Women on Writing Blog:' Women Writing About Women Writing About ..." (April 12, 2008)).

This one's description starts: "It can sometimes be helpful to make a Trait Chart for each character. This is especially helpful during the early stages of character development, before the character becomes as real to you as your mother. There are several charts of this sort available, some extremely detailed and some containing only facts and figures. I've tried to make one that includes the most important traits to help you visualize your character, both physically and emotionally."

"There are several ... available" may be something of an understatement. There was a time when a significant part of the RPG (Role Playing Game) industry seemed to be enganged in producing character charts like this. I've used several, and created one or two myself.

This Trait Chart looks like a pretty good one, particularly from a writer's point of view.

A few observations about this chart, and resources like it:
  • Heed the writer's advice, and use this in the early stages of character development - emphasis on early
  • Don't get overwhelmed, or buried in trivia about the character - pick a small cluster of traits that are the core of your character
I'm impressed by the 'how-2' advice in some of the explanations.

All in all, a pretty good resource.

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