The Storytellers Journey: Chapter 3 (part B – Characterisation)

Once done, I moved on to the next section: characterisation.

‘When creating character remember every little thing they do or say is important. Each element or piece of your character will describe something about them, from their place of origins, right down to the smallest, tick in motion

To do this, first ask yourself the following five questions – and underneath them are some things many storytellers found worth thinking about when you do, to aid you in your journey:


  • what is their name? Does it have some family connection? Does their name how stature or power? Or does this not matter much in your story?

  • This may also link to their looks. Do they inherit similar features and genres that can indicate a family connection? Do these have any importance?

  • Also, think about the type of clothing here. The price of the clothing can also indicate the type of character she is as well as the type. For example, the rich may where silk and overpriced clothing, or a hunter may stick to simple clothing suiting their need for swift movements and time on their job.

  • What is their job? This will tell the readers of the skill set your character may hold y decide their position in the story in the reader’s mind. For example, if they are a knight this may indicate that they hero in the story. This may also coincide with the genre of the story – also when thinking abut this think about the genre of the story, and how hat they play may also help pull the story along.

  • Think of the characteristics this job may suggest they have and pinpoint which ones you wish for your character to require – for example, if they were a knight some characteristics they might hold is the selflessness of a hero or the need to wake up early and get some practice in to be in top form at all times. This may also means that they are always alert, paying attention to the slightest of sounds and suspicions



  • Where are they from? What country do they originate from? Are they from another planet?

  • This may also mix in with the choice of genre.

  • For example, if they are from another planet the genre could be of a sci-fi nature

  • this could also affect their values

  • if they are from a small, close-knit town, they may rely heavily on family and relationships. Or if they live in a secluded area, they might be wary of newcomers

  • Place of origin may affect speech patterns such as accent dialect and use of specific word differences that should be taken into account. For example, some may call their mother, mummy, mom, or mum – the word used differes from place to place.



  • what era is your book taking place in?

  • What values, belief, and actions might be the result of living and growing in such a time period?

  • Does this time period effect the way your character dresses?

  • Does it affect the way they hold themselves?

  • Does it influence the story line through his or her actions?

  • For example if your character is a female during an era where women are seen as nothing better then house wife’s, this may effect the way your character acts, leading her to maybe hold skills of a good housewife like cooking or cleaning – or maybe the character rebellious as she sees the downside of being a housewife and it leads to her developing characteristics defence and opposite to that of a ‘good’ housewife.



  • What is your character?

  • Is it a he or she?

  • Is it humans or not?

  • Is this going to be affected by the genre of the story?

  • For example, if you were to write a fantasy book your character could be a witch or a fairy.

  • This could lead to further opportunities of characterisation as difference beings may face different trail and experiences. Such as a werewolf may face trials like having to shift and the difficulties that come with becoming a fully grown wolf, having an effect on their characters such as anger problems, or physical ability



  • this question looks to the background of the character and things like events and situations that could affect a character who they are.

  • For example, someone may be stoic and afraid of fire as they lost a close one during a fire.

  • Or your character could be aiming to gain their shield as they saw a hero in their childhood which inspired them at aim to being a hero themselves.

  • Remember: no two characters are going to respond exactly the same to a situation. Each person has their own response.

  • Their childhood/background could also hold the key to what is driving their motivation through the story.

  • For example, if you have a story about a townsman defeating an evil king, the past could hold event such as the townsman seeing the king’s evil first hand or parent facing the burden of this king and making him promise to fight which motivated him to grow stronger and leads the story to the end point.’










Come back next weekend to read the final part in chapter 3: main characters


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