The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks

The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks


Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, I list 12 character building blocks for authors to think about when they write books.

Everybody seems to remember Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. Which  made me wonder: ‘Why?’

Well, he was a compelling, well-constructed fictional character.

He was a well-rounded man with an established background. His attitudes, morals, and ethics were clear. His emotions, motivations, and reactions were measured by his occupation and his family. His body language, mannerisms, and manners reinforced his character. He was consistent. We cared deeply for him.

The author, Harper Lee, made sure she included all 12 character building blocks.

The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks

These are the 12 crucial things you need to consider when you create a character’s personality. Use them as a checklist for creating your characters.

The List:

  1. Background
  2. Attitudes
  3. Outlooks
  4. Feelings
  5. Reactions
  6. Ethics
  7. Morals
  8. Body language
  9. Manners
  10. Mannerisms
  11. Motivations
  12. Emotions

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our course in Johannesburg.

by Amanda Patterson
© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, read

  1. Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language
  2. Seven Essential Things to Remember about Very Important Characters
  3. Wherever I Lay My Hat – How Setting Affects Your Characters

This article has 1 comment

  1. Greg Zacharias

    I thank you.This is really good advice, and direction. Look forward to hearing and reading more from you.

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