Character Development



Once you have finished your plot summary, you will have identified a few POV Characters. The list below is unordered, but should be developed.

  • Identity. Put yourself in your character’s shoes. Using a Adjective & Noun, how would they describe themselves?
  • Catchphrase.
  • Motivation. Secret desire
  • Want. This is the SMART goal that propels their action & reactions. What is the character’s Happiest Moment? The Want gets them there.
  • Conflict. What/Who is preventing them from their goal?
  • Epiphany/Truth Discovered. What is the Truth, relative to the project’s Theme, that the character learns?
  • Conflicting Convictions What are the two values the character cares about & drives him? The Climactic Scene puts these in conflict.
  • Character’s Logline. Write a logline specific to their storyline.
  • Character’s Plot Summary. Expand the character’s Logline to a paragraph.

[character’s name] is the sort of person who describes themselves as [descriptive phrase]. If called on to use a single adjective to describe they’d use [descriptive adjective]. Friends, family and co-workers say they’re best known for [social mask]. When people first meet them, they notice their [flaw], then they notice that [traits that add or possibly contradict the flaw]. Because of [tragic event], they have a [wound], and they need to prove that [emotional need in the story]. Also because of the past, they fear that [worst fear] and will [plan of action, goals, want] to prevent it.


Tell the story from the character’s point-of-view.



This approach to backstory comes from Susan May Warren’s The Story Equation. We explore the one tragic event (Tragic Event) in the character’s past that drives their behavior in the story.

  • Wound. How does the character react to this Tragic Event emotionally? What pain comes from this event? What would assuage this pain?
  • Flaw. What is the visible manifestation of / behavior resulting from that wound? Their behavior protects that Wound.
  • Worst Fear. What does the character dread may happen that draws from this Tragic Event?
  • Lie Believed. What does the character believe that is a lie? By Segment 7, this
  • Hope. ???

Character Details


  • Age: Add Stuff here
  • Description: Add Stuff here
  • Style: Add Stuff here s

Emotional / Family Life

  • Personality: Add Stuff here
  • Humor: Add Stuff here
  • Faith: Add Stuff here s
  • Politics: Add Stuff here
  • Upbringing: Add Stuff here
  • Dreams: Add Stuff here
  • Social Mask: Difference between how one intentionally presents oneself and how others see them

Intellectual / Work Life

  • Education: Add Stuff here
  • Work History: Add Stuff here
  • Interests: Add Stuff here s
  • Philosophy: Add Stuff here
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