Sculpting a Soul: Emotions That Define a Character

Here is a writing exercise to help you get to know your characters better and give them more depth:

Perhaps you know your character well. Perhaps you don’t. Either way, our emotions and our reactions to them say a lot about who we are especially when those feelings are particularly potent. Take this list of strong emotions and consider what could possibly trigger each of them in your character:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sorrow
  • Pain (Physical or emotional)
  • Desire (Sexual or otherwise. It could be greed or a strong craving.)
  • Love
  • Elation

Write a short scene for each of these emotions. What makes your character feel this way? How do they react? What happens to their body? To their thoughts? Remember that emotions tend to be complex things and are often linked together. Does a particular feeling lead to another? (Example: Does the character get angry when they feel frightened?) What do they decide to do? If it’s a negative emotion, how do they cope?

Can you think of any other emotions that might be provocative? Feel free to leave comments and, as always, make good art!

New Editor

Okay! Here’s a quick note to let y’all know that due to some health issues beyond his control, Tak won’t be able to finish the editing on my book so I’ve hired a new editor. Hi Alex! Thanks for taking on the project.

Still projecting a winter release date guys, so sit tight!

Novel Setting Template

Visualizing where things take place while we’re writing is just as important as visualizing our characters. I like to organize all the info I have on prominent locations in the story so that composing and editing are a lot less of a hassle.

Not only that, but I find that in the process of filling these templates out, I can squeeze a lot more info out of the novel concept than I knew was in there. It can be handy for dealing with writer’s block.

While I like to use Scrivener to keep all my stuff in order, you can totally do this without productivity software as well by simply keeping it in a file folder. So, just like I have my character sheets, I also have setting sheets and I’ve made this filled-out version available on Google Docs for you to make use of should you find it helpful. I like to give folks pre-filled templates so they can see how I make use of the fields and decide whether or not said fields are helpful, or if perhaps they might need additional fields.

If you’d like a blank one of this or my character template, just give me a shout and I’ll make it available.

Cheers!

Doc version of Setting Template.

Odt version of Setting Template.

Novel Character Template

I find that organizing all the data I have on my characters, locations, etc really help me when working on a book. It can be hard sometimes to keep everything straight. “What was so-and-so’s uncle’s name?” and “Errr what colour were his eyes again?” can be easily answered with a character sheet much like you might have for a roleplaying character.

Unlike a roleplaying character, though novel characters tend to need some different categories for info. For example: They don’t need hit points and they probably don’t need a list of what’s in their inventory, but they do need a good list of hobbies and a description of what their home looks like.

I browsed online to see what templates were out there for novel characters and simply couldn’t find anything that suited me. So, I made my own. I will share it here, filled out with the stats for an as-yet unused character concept I had just so you can see how I make use of the fields. Feel free to download it and use it, add to it. Whatever you like. I hope it serves you well.

Make good art!

Edit: Since Google Docs seems to like to muck with my picture-placement for no discernable reason, here is the same document in .odt for those of you who use Open Office.

Enjoy!