Kurahieiritr

Character Development sheets To beat Sue/Stu Problems

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Upon seeing so much Sue/Stu fear questions listed under Character development, I 'll offer to share a professional author's series of crib sheets with everyone. If that is something people wish to see, please let me know. I have a series of worksheets that are broken into different segments including a psychology test to define the flaws and strengths to get a consistent characterization upon which a writer can safely rely for writing any story that contains Original Characters. These are fairly in depth detail oriented, and one is a personality targeting questionnaire.

I will warn everyone that it is 2 documents, and some parts overlap between the two. The redundant sectors are meant for consistency building. So, if I receive any feedback that is positive I will gladly share these specific worksheets. I have used them for several years with exceptional results..

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Hey there, and welcome to the forum :D

I am sure that a whole lot of people would be interested in these worksheets.

I would be interested to take a look at them, and I'd probably use them because I like to at least try and make my characters realistic and "human".

So, please do share them.

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I am doing a bit of condensing to take up less space. Here is the first worksheet. Feel free to copy it and use it all you want. I got it free from a pro writing site, and have used it for over a decade personally.

Character Developing Worksheet

NAME:

RACE:

GENDER:

CITY OF BIRTH: STATE: COUNTY: COUNTRY:

BIRTH DATE: CURRENT AGE:

NICK NAMES:

PHYSICAL STATISTICS

HEIGHT: WEIGHT:

BODY TYPE: NECK: SHOULDERS: ARMS: HANDS:

BREASTS/CHEST:

BELLY & WAIST:

LEGS & HIPS:

VOICE:

FACE & EYES: HAIR COLOR & STYLE:

Habitual Expressions:

PERCEIVED PHYSICAL IMPERFECTIONS MINIMUM OF 3

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES/ MINIMUM OF 3:

CLOTHING STYLES & FAVORITE OUTFITS; MINIMUM OF 3:

Favorite Colors:

Taste in Jewelry:

This is a psychoanalytical tool. This focuses mainstream values and character behaviors. This is the inner world workings of characters that evoke emotional responses to each situation.

Language Spoken:

Political Affiliations:

Social Class:

Family:

Father's Name: Profession: Living or dead? If dead, how did he die?:

Mother's name: Profession: Living or dead? If dead how did she die?:

Are parents happily married, or divorced where applicable?:

# of Brothers:

Names:

# of Sisters:

Names:

Description of family escutcheon (Coat of Arms) where applicable:

Interesting information regarding family (Idiosyncrasies/historical significant background such as starting a company that was successful/ war hero ancestors/Scientific innovators etc.):

Marriage to whom and when.:

Number of children, ages, and names if any:

Character's relationship with family:

Thoughts and feelings about their family:

CHARACTER LINEAGE: 3 GENERATIONS MINIMAL

CREATE FAMILY BACKGROUND FOR CHARACTER'S RELATIVES; INCLUDE HISTORY, OCCUPATIONS, ETC WHERE APPROPRIATE.

PERSONALITY TYPE:

CHARACTERISTIC GESTURES (Habitual Mannerisms are Actions that are somewhat compulsive to emotional cues) Name 4 minumum:

RELIGION; WHERE APPLICABLE:

GENERAL PERSONALITY TYPE: INTROVERT? EXTROVERT?

QUIRKS Name 3 or more:

ECCENTRICITIES/ MINIMUM OF 3:

TEMPERAMENT: Emotional Level (i.e. Cries at the drop of a hat/ angry at the drop of a hat):

SENSE OF HUMOR:

METHOD OF HANDLING ANGER/RAGE:

ADMIRABLE TRAITS; MINIMUM OF 4:

NEGATIVE TRAITS= MINIMUM OF 2 preferable to have 3 or more:

BAD HABITS/VICES List MINIMUM OF 4:

PREJUDICES = MINIMUM OF 2:

PET PEEVES/GRIPES MINIMUM OF 4:

FAVORITE PET SAYINGS, WORDS/IDIOLECT MINIMUM OF 5:

SPEAKING STYLES; TALKATIVE, TACITURN, SOFT/LOUD ETC...

PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE:

TYPE AND # OF CLOSE FRIENDS MINIMUM OF 2:

BEST FRIEND:

OTHER FRIENDS MINIMUM OF 6:

What do friends and neighbors really think of him/her?:

What does (S)he value most in his/her friends?:

Who are his/her worst enemies and why?:

THINGS THAT MAKE UNCOMFORTABLE/ EMBARRASS = MINIMUM OF 4:

MOST PAINFUL THINGS IN LIFE MINIMUM OF 2:

TRAUMAS/PSYCHOLOGICAL SCARS FROM PAST MINIMUM OF 3:

MOST CRUCIAL EXPERIENCE(S) THAT HELPED SHAPE PERSONALITY/ATTITUDES MINIMUM OF 1:

FEARS MINIMUM OF 2:

PHOBIAS: WHERE APPLICABLE

MANIAS: WHERE APPLICABLE

PHYSICAL ILLNESSES/AFFLICTIONS: WHERE APPLICABLE

MENTAL DISTURBANCES: WHERE APPLICABLE

HOBBIES: Hobbies or Past times, MINIMUM OF 3(Can these activities show characterization or influence story?):

INTERESTS: (Not Romantic) MINIMUM OF 2

SPORTS:

FAVORITE SHOWS MINIMUM OF 2:

FAVORITE MOVIES:

FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS:

PETS:

DIET; RICH OR LOW CHOLESTEROL/FAT?:

FAVORITE MEAL:

Favorite Non Alcoholic Drinks:

FAVORITE RESTAURANT/ETHNIC FOODS:

A: Restaurant:

B:Ethnic Foods:

DRINKS ALCOHOL? : HOW OFTEN? WHAT IS FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK?:

FAVORITE BOOKS:

FAVORITE SONGS IF APPLICABLE?:

OPINIONS SECTION

OPINION ON ABORTION (As Example):

OPINION ON BIRTH CONTROL:

OPINION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:

OPINION ON MILITARY INTERVENTION:

OPINION ON PROGRESS; SCIENTIFIC:

MEDICAL:

TECHNOLOGICAL:

OPINION ON CRIME/WEAPONS CONTROL:

OPINIONS PECULIAR TO CHARACTER MINIMUM OF 4:

WHAT IS HIS/HER ATTITUDE TOWARD SMALL CHILDREN?:

ATTITUDES ABOUT CHARITIES:

LIVING SITUATION SECTION

HOME; APARTMENT/CONDO, MANSION, CASTLE ETC.. LOW INCOME/EXPENSIVE, RENT OR OWN?

NEIGHBORHOOD:

DESCRIBE FURNISHINGS IN CHARACTERS HOME (COLORS AND MATERIALS):

CITY BACKGROUND?:

COUNTRY BACKGROUND?:

TRANSPORTATION:

OBEY LAWS:

WHAT IS THE WORST CRIME (S)HE HAS EVER COMMITTED?:

DRIVE FAST/SLOW

INCOME:

INCLUDES BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES IF POSSIBLE:

STOCKS/BONDS, INHERITANCE WHERE APPLICABLE.

SEXUAL ATTITUDES SECTION

TYPE OF MEN/WOMEN ATTRACTED TO OR PREFERRED:

FAVORITE PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES OF OPPOSITE/SAME SEX: MINIMUM OF 2:

ATTRIBUTES OF CHARACTER THAT ATTRACT OPPOSITE SEX:

OPINION ON HOMOSEXUALITY:

SEXUAL TURN ONS: SEXUAL TURNOFFS:

SEXUAL ATTITUDES; PRUDE OR PROMISCUOUS:

WOULD THIS CHARACTER PREFER ORDINARY SEX, OR SEEK MORE THRILLING GRATIFICATION?

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

IQ:

YEARS OF SCHOOLING:

POOREST PERFORMANCE SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL:

FAVORITE SUBJECTS:

MAJOR/MINOR STUDIES IN COLLEGE; IF APPLICABLE:

DEGREES EARNED/AWARDED/ HONORARY:

GRADES ACHIEVED:

SPECIAL OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING WHERE APPLICABLE:

SKILLS/ABILITIES/ & TALENTS: I left numbers because all O.C. characters need these to be realistic.

1

2

3

4

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

1

2

3

CURRENT OCCUPATION:

PREVIOUS OCCUPATIONS:

1

2

3

4

QUALITY OF WORK PERFORMED: HOURS WORKED PER WEEK: INCOME:

REPUTATION WITH THOSE WORKED WITH:

GUILDS BELONGED TO IF ANY:

Edited by Kurahieiritr

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Worksheet Number 2 is a psychology heavy profiling tool to understand the Character's Motivations and responses. If you still come with a Mary Sue/Gary Stu after doing this worksheet, then it is a chronic disease on the reader's end of the spectrum that makes the Sue/Stu accusation. Sorry these posts are so long, but these are fairly in-depth tools.

WORKSHEET # 2

3-D CHARACTERIZATION SHEET:

Traits and Personality section

Attitude toward Animals (Pets, horses, etc):

What does this Character care about most?"

What does (S)he carry with her/him the most? (EX; Memento/jewelry/money?:

This section defines expected, or unexpected, deeper personality factors and Quirks. These questions help determine critical points of character depth.

Psycho Analysis of Character

Introvert/Extrovert section:

1) Would character prefer to work behind the scenes to promote change, or be in the lime light as a community leader that gets all the credit?

Is this Character a Leader, Follower, or a dropout whenever things get difficult?

2) Does this character feel that many occupations do more harm to the population than Good?

3) Which is more important in leaders? To be tolerant and encouraging, or discriminating about the roles people should maintain for the public's good?

4) If character had the choice to work as a receptionist, or be their own boss which would character choose?

5) Does this character feel that a doctor should put personal feelings aside while determining the treatment of patients, or should feelings be one of his/her main guides in developing treatments?

6) Does character find it easy or difficult to adapt their behaviors according to the specific company they are in?

7) If this character went on vacation would they prefer to spend most of their time alone, or going out to meet new people?

8) Would becoming a hermit come easily to this character or be very difficult?

9) Would this character prefer to marry someone who is thoughtful, or very sociable?

10) Are most people likely to be trustworthy or untrustworthy to this character?

11) Would this character like, or dislike to throw parties/coordinate social gatherings?

12) Would this character prefer to do things involving travel, or working in an enclosed environment?

13) Would you describe this character as an optimist, or a pessimist?

14) Does this character enjoy big noisy gatherings/parties/social occasions or not?

15) would this character find it easy or difficult to make a public speech?

16) is this character quick or slow to make a witty reply during most conversations?

17) would you describe this character as being full of energy or predominately lethargic?

Emotional Stability section:

18) Has this character ever walked in his/her sleep that they are aware of?

19) Does this person take more sick days off, or never gets sick days, compared to others in their work setting?

20) Does this character get confused if interrupted while working on a project or not?

21) Does this character exercise hard every day, or tend to be laid back?

22) When this character learns a new skill does he/she feel confident of mastering it, or not?

23) Does this character get irritated by trivial problems, or does the character brush them off?

24) Does this character agonize for hours over felt humiliations, or do they brush it off as a learning experience and move forward?

25) Would other characters regard this character as a sensitive person, or not?

26) Does this character fall asleep easily and sleep well through the night, or are they an insomniac?

27) Would other characters consider this person shy or outgoing?

28) Does this character feel deeply disturbed if a friend does not greet them, or not?

29)Does this character feel happy or sad without any discernible cause?

30) does this character find themselves daydreaming when they should be working, or not?

31)Does this character have a habit of nightmare dreams or pleasant?

32) Does this character have a fear of heights, tunnels, or going outside?

33) Does this character believe him/her self to be an emotional or rational person in everyday life situations?

34) How do other characters perceive this person during every day living situations? Emotional or rational?

35) Does this character frequently worry about their health or not?

36) can this character recall specifics of having annoyed others during the past year, or do they not care to recall any such transgressions made?

37) does this character perspire a lot even though they have not exercised heavily enough to warrant the perspiration?

38) Does this character's mind go blank in the middle of doing a job?

39) Has this character met three or more people that they felt were unfriendly toward them within a short amount of time over the previous year?

40) Has this character had shortness of breath unrelated to exercise strain? (Psychological anxiety Que)

41) Is this character tolerant of other people's idiosyncrasies or not?

42) Is this character normally self confident, or not?

43) Does this character believe they can or cannot manage the situations of life as easily as other people?

44) Does this character get headaches, sour stomach, chest pains, and other symptoms of stress once a month or more?

Mental Strength or Submissiveness Factors:

45) Does this character prefer their life to be full of change or static and unchanging?

46) Is this character ambitious?

47) Does this character hide their true motives from others when doing things or allow others to know their feelings?

48) Would this character rather dream about success, or work hard to gain concrete success?

49) Would this character rather be a coward that stayed alive or the dead heroic figure?

50) Which would upset this character the most; Hearing about a friend's illness or losing a material possession?

51) Does this character seek to get their own way without regard for others feelings when pursuing their objective?

52) Does this character feel/pursue vengeance if another character hurts them?

53) Would this character worry about work if they were on a vacation?

54) Does this character tend to compare their work/contributions to that of other characters? (Performance/Competition)

55) If this character gets into a heated discussion/debate, do they find it difficult to calm down and stop discussing the topic?

56) Would this character take a shortcut in their tasks to get the job done faster?

57) Is this character inclined to keep their goals set too low because of a fear of failing to produce a positive result?

58) If this character was called upon to witness an execution, would they be pleased or uneasy about the task?

59) In the above situation, would this character feel that the punishment was justified?

60) Is this character cool minded or hot headed when dealing with others?

61) Would this character prepare thoroughly before facing a situation?

62) Does this character tell white lies?

63) Does this character enjoy dancing?

64) Would this character be the type to enjoy traveling at 150 MPH or faster in a race car if they had the opportunity?

65) If confronted with another character obstructing their view of a play or similar situation, would this character ask the obstructing individual to give ground so that they could also continue to view the situation?

66) Does this character hold stronger opinions than most people?

67) Would this character prefer flattering others in order to improve their status in life, or would they choose hard work?

68) As a child, did this character always do as they were told., or rebel against parental authority somehow?

69) Did this character like to embark on dangerous adventures to push the limits of their abilities, or stay within expected childhood games?

70) Does this character place their achievements among the most important things in their life? Do they place people in this position?

71) Does this character work hard to get ahead?

72) Would this character be the type to walk on a moving escalator to get there faster, or would they quietly stand in place until they reached their level?

73) Would this character feel it was best not to respond to a rude person, or would they confront the rudeness?

74) Does this character prefer even temperature climates, or fluctuating temperatures?

75) would this character ask someone to stop doing something they disapprove of or feel uncomfortable about being around?

76) To this character which is more important, Love or success?

77) If this character witnessed someone cutting into a line before them, would they allow the rude transgression, or confront the offender?

78) If this character were put on some kind of committee, would they be in charge, or in another role?

79) If this character disapproved of their friend's behaviors would they remain silent or make the friend aware of their feelings about the behavior?

80) Would this character try new innovations rather than stick to older tested methods if given the chance?

81) Would this character get so angry with another character they would shout at them over a perceived transgression, or try to find a solution in a calm and rational manner?

82) Does this character have a creative bent that they share with others freely to enrich their lives through color, form, or other methods?

83) Does this character see the world and all the things that happen within it is being black and white, gray scale, or color?

84) Would this character hesitate to go up to a stranger and ask a question?

85) Does this character crave excitement?

86) Does this character believe there are better reasons to get married than love?

87) Does this character targetr socialization toward individuals who can most help them?

88) Would this character consider mountain climbing too dangerous, or an interesting challenge?

89) Does this character tend to win people overt by telling them things they want to hear, or by their actions which demonstrate sincerity?

90) Does this character seek out a conspicuous place in a room, or seek to avoid notice from others?

91) Does this character know/care about the differences between right or wrong?

92) Does this character like to shock people?

94) Would this character be the type to think every man for themselves, or group cooperation is more important?

95) Is this character the type to take care of things today, rather than leave them for tomorrow or even later?

96) Does this character find another character's ignorance appalling, or treatable?

97) Does this character have a burning ambition to be of great importance within their community?

98) Does this character dislike foreigners, or try to strike up conversations so they can learn more about this other way of living?

99) Would this character advocate force to stop a crime when necessary?

100) Is this character fond of rougher, physical activities such as wrestling, football, and other rowdy sports?

101) Can this character work while listening to others, or must they do one or the other activity?

102) Is this character inclined to be lazy, or very active?

103) Did this character mold their behaviors after someone they know and respect?

104) Does this character take excessive pride in their work?

105) Can this character persuade other characters to do things their way by being eloquent?

106) Would this character think most people are good, or think people are hiding bad intentions most of the time?

107) Is this character a natural organizer, neat and tidy, or are they sloppy?

108) Does this character think before speaking, or let things spew from their lips without regard to others feelings?

109) Would this character believe that individuals with extreme views have the right to inflict their opinions upon others?

110) Does this character believe all religions are basically the same?

111) Does this character concentrate upon one great cause through their life? (Great causes are things like saving souls for God/Feeding the hungry)

112) Is this character willing to compromise with their opponents?

113) Does this character get annoyed when other characters refuse to admit that they are wrong?

114) Does this character enjoy being the center of group attention, or try to avoid attention whenever possible?

115) Does this character fear boredom or prefer it?

116) Is this character aware of the beauty surrounding them, or is everything viewed as a commodity to use?

117) Would this character feel that playing is more important than the winning of the game, or vice-versa?

118) Would this character criticize someone they felt was conceited?

119) Would this character go to a spouse swapping party?

120) Is this character often furious with other characters?

121) Is this character often drawn to unfortunate people?

122) Does this character state their opinions with vehemence?

123) Does this character hurt other people in order to get what they are after?

124) Does this character feel that pacifists are actually cowards?

125) Does this character believe it is best to always be honest, or do they tell white lies to protect other people's feelings when required?

126) Does this character try to understadn another character's view point when in conflict, or simply refuse to listen to the other side nad come up with an alternative that respects both sides of the conflict?

127) Is this character easily startled?

128) Does this character like top take orders or resent receiving them?

129) Does this character continue to argue even when they know they are wrong?

130) Will this character help someone in need without coercion, or self gain?

131) Is this character slow to trust people?

132) Does this character fear people in authority or resent their authority over their lives?

133) Does this character often think about falling in love?

134) Does this character believe there is much to be learned from other cultures?

135) Does this character find it difficult ot say no to others?

136) Can this character make up excuses to get out of doing something they do not want to do easily?

137) Does this character prefer a peaceful or a risk taking life?

138) Is this character easily swayed to jealousy of other people's successes?

139) Is this character inclined to active forms of protest against things they do not agree with?

140) Does this character blame someone else when things go wrong or accept responsibility for their part in creating the negative situation?

141) Would this character prefer to convert others to their religious views, or tolerate different faiths?

142) Does the sight of blood make this character queasy? IF so, what created the aversion?

143) Will this character tend to scold others when they do something offensivce?

144) Does this character surropund themselves with people who are unpredictable and non conformist?

145) Does this character fight for their rights, or give them up without struggles when in a confrontational situation?

146) Is this character always amiable around others?

147) Does this character grind their teeth when emotional?

148) Does this character frequently question their own beliefs and actions?

149) If the character knows they are right, do they argue with the opposing person, or walk away?

150) Does this character's sympathy lie with the underdogs, or the winners in any situation?

151) Does this character cry at times in private or public?

152) Is this character regarded by others as being too good natured?

153) Does this character have a sarcastic streak?

154) Is this character prone to cynical judgments of others?

155) In any argument, is this character firm an forthright with their opinions?

156) Does this character tend to change their mind frequently?

157) Does this character like jokes of all kinds, or only a few types? (Meaning practical jokes with physical components that could potentially hurt might be viewed as vulgar)

158) Is this character patient or impatient with people and situations?

159) Does this character prefer to get closely involved with people or keep their distance emotionally?

160) Does this character believe that it is most beneficial to a group's cohesion if everyone believes the same things, or is differences in opinion good for progression of the group's growth?

161) Is this character good at bluffing their way out of situations?

162) Is this character prone to forgive people who have wronged them, or hold grudges?

163) Does this character stick to their decisions long term?

164) Does this character wish to improve themselves?

165) Does this character pay attention to other people's view points during a discussion?

166) Does this character put their interests before others?

167) In a burglary scenario would the character shoot the burglar with or without hesitation to preserve their possessions?

168) Would this character believe that there is some referential truth to everyone's views, or only in a set of criteria that can be proven through analytical means?

169) Does this character prefer to agree instead of argue for their beliefs?

170) Is this character prone to repeating themselves?

171) Is this character the type to stamp their foot or shake a fist when angry?

172) If given the opportunity would this character participate in an orgy?

173) Does this character stand up for themselves?

174) Does this character feel comfortable singing around others?

175) Does this character tend to get pushed around despite trying to stand up for themselves?

176) Does this character prefer to listen to their internalized intuition, or wait for concrete actions to guide their judgments?

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By condensing, do you mean you removed content, or just stuff like spaces and newlines etc?

I made sure I did not remove any specific content aside from the #1,#2,#3, and blank spaces created in the sections. Changed # lines to Minimal of #. The other major change was removing the each topic has its own independent line. Age and Birth date share the same line space in this version type condensing is all I did. The originals I copy and paste when designing characters are 12 pages for the top document. The second is 10 pages of in depth questions once copied and pasted with fill ins expand into as many as 22 pages once I answer all the questions. Sometimes I get 30 if I jot in a specific scene tag or 2 that is important to a fan fiction, or original story specific scene.

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Those are good forms. But I admit I discover much of my characters as I go. Even in OCs for a fanfic they are developed reacting to canon characters or new events. I can fill much of these that are relevant after they've had a tale and they've grown bit by bit.

But the work or two that I tried to make characters ahead of time, they were all flat and boring. They had no spark. Creating characters for my writing style (whatever that is) doesn't work like a detailed job application or entry form for a new doctor practice. I can use these for a little fill in, but not before I have a good feel for the core character.

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That is actually the idea of these character design cribs. By having a way to flesh out some of the psychology, you bring depth to a flat cardboard doll image. It makes it easier to develop the back story, the history and other elements as you go. I don't always fill out every single line either. However, it does make it easier to have the click of a button access to a character as they are developing. I add, change and revise these, yet the characters will stay complex instead of going flat

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I'm going to add a link to a post from our own Melrick on World Building only because a great many of the questions it asks about the people of a world are very much applicable to the sort of character development being discussed here.

Even when writing within the confines of a fandom, where the world has been created for you, being able to answer some of these questions can help you create an OC that makes sense within the setting.

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Oh Yeah! I totally love that idea also. I have a coupe world builds that are science Fiction variety so you have to know basic physics to design planets. My fave book of all time came from Writer's Digest publishing. It's about building alien Worlds and Species. It includes physics and so much more. But it is way too big to turn into an easy enough crib. :)

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Here is another worksheet I use when I am a little iffy about the direction a story in my head could go. This is a handy tool to write a decent story in a matter of weeks, instead of requiring months to contemplate new steps when things get foggy and the story seems to dry up without explanation also. Copy and paste this one, and fill it out. It can help speed story writing and give you a great overview of the technical aspects of the overall story. It is called a Snowflake technique. I forget where I got this info, but it has worked well for me. Hope it helps someone else.

STEP 1: HOOK LINE: In one sentence, what is the essence of your story?

STEP 2: BLURB: A one paragraph summary of what will happen- think the back cover of a novel at the book store.

(STEP 3: Part 1: this section deals in clarifying the Blurb as in what starts the trouble, and how it affects characters

LESSER INCITING INCIDENT:

GREATER INCITING INCIDENT:

GOALS (Lesser & Greater/Mental) How does the character perceive the inciting incidents and why they choose to take action:

GOALS (Lesser/Physical) The physical actions taken to counter the inciting incident; the personal stakes:

GOALS (Greater/Physical) The impact the physical actions have in overcoming the inciting greater incident for the greater good of the majority:

STRATEGY (Lesser):

STRATEGY (Greater):

OPPOSITION (Lesser):

OPPOSITION (Greater):

STAKES (Lesser) What does the character have to lose personally?:
STAKES (Greater) If character fails, how much will the rest of the story cast have to lose?:


BLEAKEST MOMENT (Lesser & Greater):

EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL HOLE (Lesser & Greater):

HOLE FILLER (Lesser & Greater):

REVELATION (Lesser & Greater):

DECISION MADE (Lesser & Greater):

Step 3: TRUE : MICRO SUMMARY the one full page condensed main character actions list :

STEP 4: MAJOR SUMMARY the one page interaction of all characters to gain resolution of conflicts:

SECOND VERSION Snowflake main: the outline for the story. This section is where you come up with the good and the bad character plot lines and how the characters will be affected and seek to overcome or dominate each other to gain their ends.

Edited by Kurahieiritr

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These worksheets do seem really helpful, but I'll admit that when I first saw them I thought of character sheets I used in role playing way back in high school. That last one I'll put to good use and definitely echoes things I've seen in screenwriting books. Thanks for these!

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These worksheets do seem really helpful, but I'll admit that when I first saw them I thought of character sheets I used in role playing way back in high school. That last one I'll put to good use and definitely echoes things I've seen in screenwriting books. Thanks for these!

A: You are most welcome. Some ideas on these work sheets are inspired by role playing cribs too. The last one on the list is a variation of the snowflake technique. It helps to nail down the directions for the story so you can keep track of where you want to go with a tale. Good luck and have fun with them.

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A: You are most welcome. Some ideas on these work sheets are inspired by role playing cribs too. The last one on the list is a variation of the snowflake technique. It helps to nail down the directions for the story so you can keep track of where you want to go with a tale. Good luck and have fun with them.

Thanks again. I'm making use of them right now. :)

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I just wanted to thank you for posting these. I have copy/pasted them into word for my use. You're great!

A: Awesome to read that you plan to use these cribs. I'm always happiest when I can be of help to others. So very glad you like them and you are most welcome.

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Question: I am righting a story that starts out when one of the main character is 4 years old but in the story she grows up. Do I answer the questions on the forms as she would be at the end of the story or do I answer the questions a couple times as she grows and her attitude and everything changes?

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I'd think it makes sense to have the updated answers for those questions that would require updating. That way, you have a picture yourself of how she changes over time.

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Children are innocent until experience strips that innocence away. The sheet would start out only partially filled when at 4 years old, but would get more answers added to the 1st one as the character matures. A 4 year old won't normally have opinions about sexuality unless s/he gets molested in example. Fill in as you go. The sheets on psychology would also evolve and change as the child grows up too. Experiences make all the difference in how a character evolves after all. So I am thinking the psychology and opinions version would be revised at least once, while somethings in the first sheet with physical characteristics would be more subtle shifts. While a blond haired child can grow up to be a true red head, or darker brown hair, a black haired child will normally stay black haired. :) So use your discretion on them is the best way to go when writing a growing up type of story.

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An in depth world build crib I recently finalized to share. Hope this helps someone in need. It is sci-fi geared, but you can use it for fantasy easy enough with a little tweaking.

GENERALIZED OUTLINE- WORLD BUILDING BASICS: SCIENCE FICTION
ASTRONOMICAL/GEOLOGICAL SECTION:

PLANET NAME:

PLANET CLASS: Moon, Super terrestrial, Terrestrial (earthlike)Sub-Jovian, Jovian (Think Jupiter) Sub-Terrestrial (Think Venus or Mars for size):

If Terrestrial; is it like Earth now, or Past or Futuristic:

How is this planet the same or different from our planet?

Type of atmosphere?

GEOGRAPHY: Mountains/Deserts/Plains/Woodlands/ Swamp/ Oceans, ETC. Physical features include Size/ Gravity/Atmosphere/ Moon (s)/ Sun class (f5 lower strength white through f-9 lowest- to G class yellow (our sun I in this category= G1 to G9 (9 is weakest)or K class (red Dwarf’s which may be close to death =Plot added drama/ and constellations of note:

What natural resources exist (such as mining resources to build technology from if applicable)?

How are these resources utilized by the dominant species specifically?

CLIMATE: Distinct Seasons; Summer/Winter/Spring/ Fall/Dry/Wet/ & Types of Weather patterns: IE. Snow, Rain, Arid, Humid, Tropical,

Temperatures expected average during each Season:

FLORA AND FAUNA SECTION:
FOOD SOURCES: What do people and animals on planet eat?

DOMESTICATED ANIMALS: Types of livestock for work or food can your planet support based upon geography and climate?

What types of companion animals or Pets does your world have, if any?

WILD ANIMALS:
What kinds of animals does this planet support naturally? How do the main People and animals from the wilderness regions interact? Are wild animals carnivores, omnivores or Herbivores, or some of each type? What is the food chain like? Ex: herbivores need plants in large numbers to eat so the carnivores can eat them and the omnivores eat both meat and plants aka like humans do:

Are any of these wild life animals intelligent like your dominating species is intelligent?

PEOPLE OR RACES SECTION:
POPULATION SIZE:

World population:

City Population: (Only those needed for story line):

Town populations:

Village Populations:

SPECIFIC RACE (s) of note:

In what ratios? (I. E. 30% white skin, 15% black skin, 12% blue skin, 65% green skinned )

CULTURE AND SOCIETY: Villages or cities, rural or suburban, inner-city versus outer-city
(think New York with Brooklyn and other suburbs for inner outer city concept)

Language(s) spoken:

Specific cultural aspects: (Hunter Gatherer/ Farmer/ Industrialized?)

Holidays, Celebrations, Rites of Passage, Family Traditions?

What are the most important festivals and holidays?

How important to culture are these rituals and holidays?

Behaviors frowned upon?

Behaviors approved of?

Word or Phrases specific (Idioms) to the region in question?

Any known origins to the words or phrases used by people of this area?

Significance of following cultural enrichment forms:
Art:

Entertainment:

Leisure Activities:

Architecture:

Dress/Fashions:

What forms do these items take?


GENDER ROLES:Which gender is dominant or is there no dominance at all?

How does society enforce those gender roles through education, Through expected conformation of roles between the two genders?

Family structure:

Who raises and teaches children?

What levels of education exist on this planet or in a specific area?

What forms of specialized Education systems exist if any?

Who cooks meals by tradition?

Who cares for sick family members with non lethal colds?

Do extended families live together or is it Parents and children only in each dwelling?

Are there different types of food eaten in different social classes or unified to region (japanese eat stir fry/Americans eat Steak and potatoes as example)

SOCIAL CLASS: Warrior/spiritual, Wealthy/Working/Poor/Middle class Etc:

Where do each class of people live and do their dwellings vary from class to class?

Do clothing, personal items such as Jewelry or fashions vary based upon class and wealth?

Doe Hairstyles and similar things vary by class and what types are there? (Long or short hair? Beards or mustaches etc go here)

TIME SECTION:

What calender or other methods of measuring time exist? Include clocks and time pieces, or sun dials, as well as give some form of indication as to whether or not this society is aware of months and years passing. (All technology using species will have both clocks and calendars for certain as will any medieval societies have at least calenders if they have oceanic shipping and trade with outside races and nations)

RELIGION(S):

One God or Many? Name some and denote genders implied:

Spiritual philosophies:

Beliefs about Birth, Death, and Afterlife ?

Does culture condone Burial or Cremation, or something else?

Why?

Who is in charge of places of Worship?

Does this place have magic practices and if so how does that affect the world on a planetary wide basis as well as locally?

How does religion in general impact the world?

Will it have relevance in the plot line of the story? Or will it simply be a low key element that
helps define character behaviors in story line?

Do different races have different Gods?

Does Technology and religion co-exist peacefully or are there strong conflicts between the two factions?

TECHNOLOGY SECTION:

What levels of technology exist on this world (horse and carts/ or cars and planes/ Space ships and higher?)

Is technology the same planet wide or only in specific regions?

Is technology distributed based upon racial or economic factors or equally shared?

Is there a technological aspect that will have significant impact upon the story?

What is the major forms of transportation? (horse and carts/ or cars and planes/ Space ships?)

How does technological advances shape these forms of transportation?

What level of technology for weapons where applicable? (Forges/ assembly lines/Robot workers as examples)

Are there any weapons restrictions, and are those restrictions important to the plot line?

How has the technology (or magic) helped to build up or destroy the society that uses it? Is it still helping to build, or destroy its users?

What level of medicine exists?

Who does the healing?

What technology is involved, if any? (Shamans and witches and magic users would use herbs or crystals)

If technologically advanced what types of medical care is available to the people (Hospitals and insurance company concepts go here)

What types of diseases and illnesses are common?

Are they curable, or lethal?

POLITICS SECTION:

What kind of GOVERNMENT(s) exist in this world? (Story Relevance Specific) (POLITICS is always relevant to some degree in every story line!!!)

How, & why did this government come about?

Who makes and upholds the laws of the region?

What are the laws and the consequences for breaking them?

How are relationships between Countries? Are any currently at war with each other? If so, why?

What level of law enforcement exists?

Is there a structured legal system such as in America with lawyers and courts? Or is it ‘caught and hung same day’ variety (antiquated/medieval) system?

Governmental Questionnaire:

1) Does your planet have more than one government?

Sovereigns = King Queen, by birth with Dukes and Lords
democratically elected= president and congress as example

Elder’s council

Land holders council

dictatorships

ogliagarchy

Parliamentary (Limited Sovereign- must get elected groups agreement to do certain things)

Militant (yes it is different from Tyranny, A.K.A. Dictators)

Cooperative (a lot like Ogliagarchy, but a smaller group making the decisions)


3) Communications systems include mail, phone or other forms of vocal/written communications. Are there high tech telephones or is there a mailing system? How does it work for sending info like ‘Help, we’re being attacked! Send the militia!’ How does it work if calling home to say, “hey mom and dad I’m getting married next week, or I got that great new job!”?

4) taxation? How does it work? Purchases taxed only, Land, paychecks, possessions, birth fees? Be creative as you are not playing U.S.A. here. Example: a world that only taxes at time of birth, be it a sentient child or farm animal, all young are taxed which helps stop overpopulation. Perhaps a a historical nightmare that almost destroyed this particular species/planet would generate such a taxation formula.

5) Basic history...any major wars? Inter-species to interplanetary? More than one country/nation and governmental styles will have a past war history. First space voyage, famous treaties or constitutions with who signed and why? These are good to make obscure references to in novels that take place elsewhere if only to remind the reader of the exotic setting without having to bash readers over the head. Major holidays, interplanetary and galactic? Design a general interspecies calender, or national holiday calender depending on the genre writing.

6) Military.. Draft based or volunteer corps? Paid a good wage/ poor wage? Does this world have sets of treaties to provide troops in time of crisis in example Coalition sponsored or local provisions such as lord calling on vassals, or do they have full time experienced and trained army or similar liberation intentioned forces? Example : major ports and military platforms paid for By Coalition agreements in return for skills such as tech support, housing for warriors, docking/repair platforms in space etc...(sci fi examples)

7) Diplomatic corps) How many? Any special training/school system for this group, or do these diplomats train under one of the Halls (This is the term for schools based upon highly specific technology, medicine, textiles, political, police, computers or space travel in my sci-fi series which means trained by a journeyman level for the particular trade... It’s a guild based trade society kind as you can see....If you choose Hall style, is training off planet in technology space faring sci fi books formula, or planet sponsored (for home planets with resident halls such as fantasy based books would contain) give list of Halls and what they train to yourself to help insure plot consistencies and add details to plots through dialog etc... Or give list of educational expected forms such as home school to high school and college if possible.

8) technology, science and jobs section; Is technology eco friendly or industrial pollutants generating? Large city complexes with factories & refineries, or smaller information dominant social structures that have pleasant in home offices, smaller scientific designated areas versus agriculture regions.

9) Trade section/ large mass goods or specialized goods. Example, Are they like Corroscant from Star Wars.. Must import food and water to survive.. Or like Mon Calamari... Lots of exports, lesser imports due to self sufficiency. Export raw materials or finished, or refined goods. Taxes and regulations upon imports & exports where applicable. Community based trade without taxation such as a village would be seen as normal.

IN DEPTH JUDICIAL SYSTEM: What rules for theft or does this species idolize it? Violence (warrior species will probably have ritual battles and other forms of accepted violence and laws that uphold forms of ritualized violence)are there laws for or against sex crimes? Or any other form of judgement ruled system such as divorce, wills/probate, and drug slave trade laws or bans etc. and who enforces... Military <militant rule government system> private security groups (hired by government?) Regulation trained police or law enforcement agency that is government backed. Embezlment, fraud/perjury, domestic situations: I.E. traffic tickets/ monetary disputes., lawsuits, you get the idea.

***This information can be used in future scenarios to explore corruption and other forms of negative enforcement as well as to challenge our respective characters in different world settings in the future trust me. The weirder and/or bizarre the laws, governments, rituals, and technology you design; the more creative the plots for Characters and creations to build one heck of a lot of twists, plots and fun.. All members are expected to visit everyone else’s planet and learn it’s customs etc... before this set of games is done. Please fill out as much as you can and do research on different types of governments in any encyclopedia, online, or in book form to learn how to design your background setting for your books you write. This information does affect every aspect of social order and will have strong bearings upon plots which must have some form of social cohesion.

ECONOMICS:

What types of currency is used? (Money and coins/ credits or plastic cards/ or implanted chips/ gems or barter forms (a Chicken for a bag of grain example) Currency? What are denominations in credit/ money forms for your planetary or nations? Driads for Coalition as example. If you have major ports of call built into your system, you may have a star grouping form of currency such as example Star Wars driad, as well as an internal set of indigenous, or planetary specific currency. Are the monies based on metals, papers, fabrics, jewels and crystals, microchips, cards, or barter?


Is there more than 1 monetary system to be considered for this story line?

Trade? Name some Imports, exports (look at geography for natural resources to come up with these items- a farming community will trade grain and food stuffs with more industrialized areas for things like forged metal goods etc)

How are goods imported and exported? (By ship/truck/train/caravan/plane etc...)

Are there taxes on imports and exports?

How is local; trade carried out? (Barter may exist in local or a credit ledger you pay off when harvest time is done as example)

HISTORY WORLD AND LOCAL
Wars of significance?

Treaties of significance?

Major discoveries that have altered history

Natural disasters, and other events that have altered history?

Are these histories directly affecting your story overtly, or simply shaping character behaviors (same as religion)

If important to main story list some ways it will affect the characters and story line potentially.

History of interactions between different societies?

Important historical figures that influence a culture or society? In Example: religions created by, governments designed by? Laws that make differences? Metals found and forged for first time? (You get the idea here)

(*Myths from religions alive or defunct/ history / and politics are always relevant to the shaping of a character’s behavior and actions!)

FOR FANTASY ONLY SECTION:

MAGIC:
If there is magic on this world is there more than 1 type of magic (type is healing or warrior, or holy relic making, or getting from one place to another in examples)

How does magic work in your world? Cast and get immediate results or cast and wait, or perhaps you need a power object to do anything at all.

What are the limitations of magic? (Example magic might not work to resurrect the dead, but it might be able to recreate an arm if you lose one in a fight)

What Magic Taboos exist? (I.E. Creating a Frankenstein would be a taboo in many cultures)

Comments notes and story relevance outside of these peramiters to be considered in researching the particulars:

TIPS FOR SUCCESS!!!
Make Lists to get the basics down onto paper

Research items on your list that require it!

Maps: get graph paper and build your own maps or buy some D&D type maps and then do mental alterations or chop and pastes onto larger sheets to create a map to help you see where your characters are going to and coming from! No matter what genre you are writing, so pace and time laws do not change and therefore you will have to give space and time references to build a good story

Genealogy: Build bloodline maps for visual bloodline traits and such for future reference, even if not mentioned in the story per say, they can be great ways to add tension based upon race and other background hints you don’t go into in depth and they make for very interesting characters!

Snippets scenes Begin writing snippets of scenes using things like religion, history and all the compiled information to see how you can subtly add these things to a story line in tiny ways that make it more realistic, believable, as well as more engrossing to read.

Things like getting dressed based upon clothing styles and other things add visual interest and feel to a story line. Incorporating all this information contained inside this crib sheet is not needed or a good idea to add it all into the main story line as plot and scenes. But, it is helpful in keeping characters in a focused place with focused character behaviors and interactions with other non essential characters to add depth and strength to a plot or a scene!

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Thanks a lot for posting these! I find them very interesting and helpful. I have a similar (but much shorter) sheet that I was given by a friend in the pre-web dark-ages that I've used. This is way more detailed, and I think will be an asset to all. :)

Regards,

Edgar

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I have a similar (but much shorter) sheet that I was given by a friend in the pre-web dark-ages that I've used.

Hey, add it here, sometimes a slightly different wording to trigger a new approach.

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