In-Between Times + Character Sketches

Today is the last day of the May – July term at SNHU in the MFA / Creative Writing program. I’ve got 7 days and then it’s on to the next – my courses will be Speculative Fiction Writing II and The Business of Writing. So far, I have received a grade for the final in one of my classes this past term, but I’m still waiting on the grade for the final on the other class. Waiting on pins and needles, even though I feel pretty good about the final. Just playing the waiting game for that number and letter right now.

The rest of the week has been uneventful. I’m registered for a workshop I’ll be a part of in October, and I’m deciding on what I will send to be critiqued for the workshop. I have until August 31 for decide or write something. I will meet with someone from our local community college next week about hosting a week-long writing workshop event for the students there. I’ve been thinking about what I would talk about / teach about, and activities that I can do. I also need to come up with a presentation for the open-to-the-public portion on the last day of the event. I’m a bit nervous about this one – I’ve never hosted anything quite so large. I’m also working on advancing my thesis novel (The Loneborn) and thinking about a piece that I want to publish under the new Kindle Vella platform. It’s a serialized publishing platform; I can take a long-form work or a series of short stories and post them week-to-week. I think it’s an excellent platform for new AND established writers, and a great way to offer up promotional materials. The first three chapters of any published piece is free to read, so it gives the reader a good chance to “sample the goods,” which I think is an important part of establishing a reputation with the reading public.

Aaaaaanyway…let’s talk about character sketches. Have you ever done one? For me, they’re a lot of fun. I love to explore my characters in-depth, so that I understand who they are, why they do what they do, and how they relate to other characters and the world they inhabit. If you can create a detailed character sketch, your readers will become more involved with your narrative and will become invested in your characters and care about what happens to them.

The question now becomes…how do you create an effective character sketch? Well, there are many, many good examples of character sketch forms available on the web. Choose one and get to work – believe me, it’s worth it in the end! I’ve got a few that I can recommend, and I’ve linked them below:

Columbia Fiction Foundry Character Sketch Template

Character Sketch Template from Well-Storied

Your Guide to Creating a Character Sketch (With A Free Template!) from Tonya Thompson at ServiceScape

How to Create a Character Profile: the Ultimate Guide (with Template) from Reedsy

These are just a few examples of effective character sketch templates that can be used across genres. If the question doesn’t apply to your genre, just skip it – it’s really that easy! I highly recommend completing a character template at least once in your writing experience, just to see if it’s for you. If it’s not, at least you can say that you gave it a shot. If you do like the results, well…you’ve added a new tool to your writer’s toolbox that I’m sure will get a lot of use from!

Happy creating, everyone! I hope you have a fantastic Sunday, and as always, post your questions, comments, or if you have additional resources, post ’em below! I’d love to hear from you! For a question, what is the favorite character that you have created? What is the favorite character that you have read? Let’s talk about it!

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