Character Creation Brainstorming Exercises

5 Exercises to Simplify Character Creation

#1 Characteristics Brainstorm

Step 1 – Make a list of potential admirable or likeable characteristics

Step 2 – Make a list of potential character flaws

Step 3 – Make a list of unique energizing, fun, or quirky personality traits that you can think of from people in real life, books, TV shows, movies or wherever

Step 4 - To create a comic character, brainstorm ways to exaggerate some of your characters likeable qualities, flaws, or unique traits

#2 Character Desires Brainstorm

Step 1 – Make a list of things you, siblings, children or anyone you know really wanted/desired as a child.

Step 2 – Make a list of things that any fictional character might want or desire.

Step 3 – Choose from these last 2 brainstorms what your character really wants.

#3 Character Inner-Conflicts Brainstorm

Step 1 – Brainstorm relationship, social, political, religious, philosophical, fears or job circumstances that would make it hard or impossible for your character to obtain what they really want.

Step 2 – Choose a likeable quality, flaw, or an item from Exercise 1 that will make it hard for your character to get what they want.

Step 3 – Brainstorm desires or qualities that are in direct opposition to your character’s admirable or likeable characteristics.

#4 Character Issues Brainstorm

Step 1 – Brainstorm any 3 of the following character issues:

  • The worst thing that can happen to your character
  • The funniest or most ridiculous thing that can happen to them
  • The most important thing that can happen
  • What does your character mistakenly think he/she wants
  • The saddest thing that can happen to your character
  • The happiest thing that can happen, then turn it upside down

#5 Build your Character

Choose and combine character attributes, desires and issues from the previous character brainstorms to build your character.

T-Rex animation
How to Care for Your T-Rex
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Indie Bound
Old MacDonald had a Dragon
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Cow Can't Sleep
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Brave Little Monster
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Picture book collection

Copyright 2001-2019 by Ken Baker

How to Care for your T-Rex pictures by Dave Coverly
Old MacDonald had a Dragon pictures by Christopher Santoro
Brave Little Monster pictures by Geoffrey Hayes
Cow Can't Sleep pictures by Steve Gray