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Character Development Guidelines by Janalyn Voigt for Live Write Breathe

Character Development Worksheet (Free Printable)

The hero of your story gazes at the heroine from…now what color did you make his eyes?  A minor character crops up again, and you rack your memory for words to search so you can find out what you named him. And you catch two of your characters making the same defining gesture.

Does any of these scenarios sound familiar? Trying to carry too many character details in your head can tax a writer..

To stop losing track of the large cast of characters in my epic stories, I put together a character development cheat sheet. I used this to create the Live Write Breathe Character Development Worksheet, which you are welcome to print for your own personal use (only*).

Character Development Worksheet

The worksheet is eight pages long. The categories I’ve selected are name, physical description,  defining characteristics, friends and family, personal history, love interests, favorites, and character arc. There’s even a blank page, in case you want to add more categories or extend one of the pages to another sheet. Here’s a look at the first page:Live Write Breathe Character Development Worksheet Sample

Access the Character Development Worksheet

Using this worksheet has helped me gain a better understanding of my characters before I write, and this provides the following benefits:

  • Save time while writing the first draft. With this free printable worksheet, you’ll have character details at your fingertips.
  • Avoid scene relocation or rewrites. Prevent many of the story shifts that create the need to adjust the story.
  • Spare yourself unnecessary editing caused by unfamiliarity with your characters.
  • Create realistic dialogue by creating more context for each character. You’ll have a better chance of knowing what each person would naturally talk about in a particular setting.
  • Find important story elements. Working through your characters’ backgrounds, desires, fears and preferences, among other factors, helps you discover keys that can unlock a better story.
  • Develop character arcs. Identify your characters’ deepest desires, greatest fears, and motivations.
  • Write a richer story peopled by characters you know well.

This character development worksheet can save you time and frustration while helping you write a deeper story. And, it’s free!

Access the Character Development Worksheet.

*Since this is my intellectual property, I ask that you direct writer friends who would like to use the worksheet to this page

Character Development (Free Worksheet) via @JanalynVoigt for Live Write Breathe


Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

4 thoughts on “Character Development Worksheet (Free Printable)”

  1. Great work-sheet! Thanks Janalyn, will print out and use. Working on a Sci-Fi/Fantasy story set in future Hungary, having a bit of trouble with keeping the plot from being cliché. Please help me?

    1. Hi, Adie. Thanks for the comment and the question. The best way to add plot twists is to turn cliche developments on their heads. Ask yourself what else can happen. Often the opposite outcome provides a surprising twist. Maybe Cinderella doesn’t settle down to marry Prince Charming but travels the world. A hero fails to win the heroine but gains his self-respect. A villain succeeds, but then finds himself hoist with his own petard. I hope this helps. For more information on plotting, check the plotting section in the menu. Best wishes.

  2. I have tried several times to claim a copy of How to Edit, but doing that only leads me to this page and if I try to claim it here and join the subscription list I am told I have already joined and round and round I go. Please help.

    1. Hi, Max. You can access the editing guide and the other bonuses on the subscriber thank-you page. I re-sent the link to your email address. Thanks for letting me know your difficulty. If you have any problem downloading the editing guide or have any other questions, just let me know. Janalyn

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