Planning: Characters


Ah the bread to the butter of any plot: the characters. These people (or celestial beings) are the reason readers will stay with your books. And while you can and should write the characters you want to, there are some unspoken rules that you should be aware of.

Character stereotypes and how to use them

Of course no one wants to have stereotype character. But like every clique, stereotypes can be useful if you know how to use them. The buff love rival adds conflict and stakes. The red herring gives a twist to the mystery. Look at the standard stereotypes for your genres, hell for stories in general because they are the key to a good story as much as any plot.

Using template

There are so many character templates for any questions you may face about your characters and they are all free to use and download.

people but more

Why should we care about them?

Remember that your characters are more than just a pretty face. They need to have dreams and hobbies, something that a reader can attach to. The best way of doing that is giving your characters’ flaws, these are both things to overcome and also be used as a source of conflict and weakness. Flaws can be fears, prejudices or even bad experiences that they can’t let go of. Whatever it is, their flaws should tie into their arcs.

They’re not clones

Most likely, your characters are not exact copies of each other. They all have different experiences, thoughts and voices. Remember this when writing because without this, your writing will feel flat. These changes can come from a number of different places:
• Childhood
• Job
• Class


Characters are what hold the plot together and perfecting them is hard, just take your time and get to know them as closely as your best friends. Good Luck Xx.

Further Reading


My Ex-Main Character

Hi Guys!

It’s been a struggle of a week. I’ve been stuck on one of my character’s Rajiv. Rajiv and me have had a troubled history. He used to be the ONLY point of view character in my book and then became the main point of view out of four, before Jaived came along and stole that spotlight from him. And yet throughout all that, I’m trying to tell the same story with him.

He is the poster child of an underground resistance to liberate the slave people of Salmire and happily goes along with it until his path crosses with the Grand Duchess of the Empire. Pretty simple. So why have I been struggling over it for five years!?! So that’s been fun to contend with but once my antagonist Kali walked into the scene, I was storming through. Kali is a delight to write, a real piece of evil and cunning.

In the end with week, I’ve written 4857, definitely not my best, but I’m glad I got the scene finally done!!

Do you have any characters you struggle to write and how do you overcome it?

Let me know in the comments!!

End of Days

Asteroid“Well fuck.”

It probably was the best two-word phrase to sum up the situation.

Well fuck.

Ann nodded solemnly putting on her sunglasses on. It was the part of the Armageddon that the films didn’t cover. After the discovery, the initial panic, the news sites running 24-hour coverage of the meteorite and after every failed missile attempt there was the lull, when everyone was just waiting. That had been the last two months, businesses were liquidated, frantic last-minute holidays were booked. Everyone had got an ‘end of the world’ bonus and sunglasses had sold by the bucketful.

The meteorite was in sight, looking hot white with a glare of red surrounding it. It was unusually quiet, for some reason Ann had expected it all to end with a bang.

“It’s like that old question,” Ted continued, “‘if I was the last man on Earth, would you sleep with me?’”

Ann scoffed, “is it really, dearie?”

“You’re not answering the question.”

“I’ve been sleeping with you for thirty-two years dearie.”

This wasn’t exactly how she wanted to go: curled up on the sun lounger, watching their incoming doom. She wanted to say as much, but for some reason it hardly seemed like the place to do so. They were English after all and English to the bone and the apocalypse wasn’t going to change that.

But in truth she was clutching to his chest as if her husband could save her. Couldn’t he? He had from everything else in their life why not this? But she knew that he was holding her in his shaking arms from that same childish want as well. And she knew she couldn’t save him, she had failed him as a wife.

She buried herself closer.

“Do you want to?”


“Fuck that is. You know one last time underneath the sky?”

She looked up. It no longer looked like there was even a sky to fuck under. It rippled like the sea coloured in purples and oranges, set alight by the meteorite. And still all was quiet, no animals were nowhere near anymore. Tibbles had long since ran away.

When she felt tears on her cheek, she thought they were her own, until Ted’s shoulders heaved.

“Hey now,” she lifted herself up and cradled his head.

“Oh,” he sighed, a long exhale that shuddered, “I do love you, do you love me? – Stupid question- I just didn’t want to see you go.”

“Well…the feeling is mutual. But…I suppose if I am to go, I’m glad it’s with you.”

Ann closed her eyes, the hell above too bright to look at, even with her glasses.

“You didn’t answer the question.”

She scoffed, “I love you too.”

Writing Tip: 132#

Make sure before you begin your first draft that you know your main characters like your best friends.

  • What is their primary goal?
  • What are the internal conflicts that could trip them up in reaching it?
  • What’s their pet dog called?
  • What are the external forces that could get in their way and create story tension and conflict?
  • How do they sleep at night?Burglar Breaking In To Home At Night Through Back Door

Writing Tip: 116#

Monthly reminder to WRITE!!

'You're on our turf, this is poet's corner.' 'It may be your corner, friend, but it's on writers block.'


Writing Tip: 114#


Instagram is a great way of expressing yourself visually rather than in writing.




Writing Tip: 109#


A surprising amount of writing doesn’t involve much writing. You forget no one’s going to read your masterpiece if no one knows who you are.


Writing Tip: 108#

Love is the most important ingredient. Love of words. Of your characters and their flaws. Of truth.

You are playing God, but it has to be a loving God.