5 Truly Unusual Ways To Round Out Your Characters


Are you sure you know your characters well enough? You have probably filled in character questionnaires. You have most likely developed their story goals and the characters who oppose them.

Even if you think you are intimately acquainted with your creations, here are five unusual ways to see a different side of them.

You may find out something they’ve been hiding from you. At the very least, you’ll have fleshed them out a little bit more.

5 Ways To Round Out Your Characters

1. Take A Personality Test.

For major characters, I recommend the Myers-Briggs test. This takes a bit of time, but you will end up with an interesting result for an interesting character. This is also a great exercise for novelists who tend to create characters who are too similar to themselves. If your protagonist ends up with your personality type, you may want to think about it.

You will find a list of personality tests here. They include the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, the EQSQ Test, and True Colors.

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective questionnaire that shows how people perceive the world around them and make decisions. You can take a free online version here: 16 Personalities

By Jake Beech – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0. Download a copy here

2. Create An Astrological Profile

If you have a date, time, and place of birth, fill it in, create a birth chart and read the report.

If you have the time and resources, consult an astrologer. Visit him or her and discuss your character.

Astrology is a study of the correlation between the astronomical positions of the planets in the sky and specific events on earth. For thousands of years, astrologers have studied this and they believe that they can create a profile of a person (and a map of their life) based on these details.

3. Create An Online Dating Profile

Filling out a dating profile may help you to discover what your character is happy to show the world and what he or she really wants to hide. It will also force you to think about them from a different angle – not as their creator, but as their potential romantic partner. You will also find out what people think about your creation in the responses you get.

Some Dating Profile Sites

  1. O K Cupid
  2. EHarmony
  3. Match.com

4. Design A Home

Create a floor plan of your character’s home. Think about everything, including:

  • The City
  • The Suburb
  • Type of Home
  • Rooms
  • Outbuildings

Useful tools:

  1. Room Sketcher
  2. Home By Me

5. Furnish The Home

Now that you have your floor plan, furnish it, and fill the cupboards. Your characters’ possessions tell you more about them than almost anything else.

  1. Furniture:
  2. Fill the fridge:
  3. Fill the medicine cabinet:
  4. Fill the wardrobes:

If you are on Pinterest, create boards for each character.

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I hope these five help you to find out something you never knew about your creations. Happy writing!

If you want to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

 by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. First Novel Jitters: 6 Things To Do When You Finish Your Book
  2. The Most Important Quality Modern Authors Need To Cultivate
  3. 8 Types Of Opening Scenes That Could Work For Your Book

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This article has 1 comment

  1. Renea Guenther

    I like to use personality tests as they allow for a greater understanding of our characters as well as ourselves.

    I never thought of the way our homes and its furnishings define who we are. I’ll definitely be considering this more when I build my characters. Thank you!

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