Writing Focus: Character Planning

Although we might not think about it, the first and one of the most important jobs of a writer is to know our characters inside-out. To do this, all writers will plan out their characters – this could be in great detail or as simple as a name and a basis for a personality!

What Is Character Planning?

Much like other aspects of writing, character planning is self-explanatory. The idea of mapping out an entire human being can be rather daunting to think about, but that’s essentially what a character plan is. A character plan often includes the most basic information about a character. This can be as light or as in-depth as the writer deems fit.


It’s always a good idea to get a physical copy of what you want your character to be like down on paper. Even if it’s just a basic version of what they like, dislike and what they look like, it’ll help if you get stuck on how they will act in a certain situation whilst writing. Having that copy of their personality to look at will help. A simple Google search will throw up literally hundreds of different character planning sheets and forms.

A website that can come in extremely handy for character building is Charahub. Charahub is a website that allows you to group together characters and even gives you space for physical attributes, photos and asks questions that you can answer as the character. As a simple and free tool, it can be a writer’s best friend!


Looking to improve your character planning skills? Take a quick look at these prompts to help you out along the way!

  1. Write a story about a character where their elaborate backstory is a major part of their actions in the story itself. Pay close attention to their relationships, personality and views on life.
  2. Take a character from an old piece of writing and write a one-shot about their views on a political matter. Pay close attention to the character’s own beliefs.
  3. From the view of a character in a story you are currently writing, answer the following questions: what is their religious belief, their political belief and what do they think happens when they die?

Although character planning can take up a lot of time, having a well-rounded character is almost as important as keeping your grammar tidy in a story, so why not spend a little more time on your characters and make them more enjoyable for your readers to imagine?

Special thanks to silent hearts. and Norman Reedus for editing!

Latest articles