How To Create A Background For Your Characters

Our realities are shaped by where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go.  That being said, the one with the most influence on our lives is where we’ve been – our past.

The same is very true for your character. Based on what their life was like prior to the start of your novel, they’ll have different interests, quirks, fears, and more.

Your job is to fill out what their life has looked like up until the beginning of your book.  Even if you don’t use this information in your novel, it’s important to have a well-rounded idea of who your characters are.


Fill out a character development sheet so you can understand your characters as full-fleshed people instead of just two-dimensional beings you created. Cover these main ideas when crafting your character’s background:

– Their childhood (good, bad, poverty-stricken, spoiled, etc.)
– Their parents (divorced, never married, one missing, both missing)
– Their friendships
– Their hobbies and interests as a kid versus now
– Their motivations for feeling the way they do about any given situation
– Their personality type and how it affects their actions
– These are some basic elements you should understand about your character in order to shape their personality, opinions, and actions that appropriately fit their background.

How ToWriting Craft

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