How to create great characters for your story

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Characters obviously play a crucial role in every story. However, building characters so that they have an important role in your story isn't an easy task. In order to make the writing process easier, it's important you really detail your characters and their traits. This will be immensely helpful when writing their dialogue and making decisions for them as your story progresses. Building characters requires time and dedication a story is often defined by its characters, as much as by its plot.

Important Components of Character Building

In order to successfully build a character, there are many different things you need to consider. Being as detailed as possible is very helpful now, so later when you are writing, it will be easy to write about your character and write their dialogue. Here is a list of some questions to consider when designing your character:

  1. What do they look like? Be as specific as possible.
  2. How old are they? Or are they immortal?
  3. Where do they live?
  4. Who are their family members?
  5. What is their personality like? Are they shy or outgoing? Nice or mean? Hero or villain?
  6. What is their favorite hobby or pastime?
  7. Who is their best friend?
  8. Do they go to school? Do they participate in any other activities?
  9. What is their favorite food? Favorite color? Favorite sport?
  10. What is their name? Do they have a catchphrase?

An Example from Night Zookeeper

In order to understand what different characteristics a character should have, we've provided a description of Will Rivers, the main character of the Night Zookeeper book series and TV series! Here’s our description of Will Rivers:

Will Rivers is the Night Zookeeper! Will is 10 years old and lives with his family not far from his local zoo. Will always wants to do the right thing. He loves painting but sometimes lacks confidence. Will is liked by all of the animals in the Night Zoo because he is loyal and dependable. Would you like to be friends with this courageous and generous character?

Night Zookeeper Will holding flashlight

Notice how our description of Will includes several details about his age and family. We included details about his personality: how he always wants to do the right thing but sometimes lacks confidence. You’ll also notice that we included a hobby of his too!

Activity & Resource

Now that we've outlined what types of things to consider when building your character, we have a short activity to help get your child start improving their character-building skills. Creating your own character requires some creative brainstorming, which is just what this activity will help with. We can’t wait to see what character your child comes up with!

Story Characters Downloadable activity


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