It’s important for a writer to know everything about their characters. We’re not elephants, though, and we can’t remember everything no matter how much we love them. It helps to have a go-to list of everything we could possibly need to know about our characters from their looks to their personality to, most importantly, their backstory.

The file below is a complete character outline for you to use as many times as you like. It has everything you could possibly need to know, plus an ‘Everything Else’ section, just in case. I’ve used it for a couple of my projects and it’s definitely a handy reference piece.

I like to print it off and keep it in a notebook or folder, that way it’s to hand and I don’t need to search through files and folders on my laptop to find it. It saves having too many files open, and as I created it in iWorks not Microsoft Office, it’s far easier to write on when printed off (Word affects the layout). It’s a PDF as it doesn’t convert into Microsoft Word particularly well–it gets rid of my small caps and gives you less room to write things in as the borders are bigger.

I sometimes print it off as two sheets per page so that it uses less paper.

So, as a Christmas present from me to you, here’s my handy character outlines sheet to help you to get to know your characters!

get to know your characters - free character outlines download