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Building a character profile: historical

I’ve started researching and planning for a novel set in the Elizabethan era, principally in the early days of the Age of Exploration and the very beginnings of the emergence of the British Empire (English Empire up until the reign of James I).

As part of this planning, I’ve outlined/still outlining a general plot and subplots, sort of like a timeline of events.

I’m also building character profiles for my main characters. I’ve condensed the information into a simple template-style questionnaire. That way it’s easy to read and quick reference should you need it. It’s also a quick and easy way to start thinking about your character, their traits and how they would react.



Date Of Birth:

Race/gender/sexuality/social status:



Height/Weight/Appearance [including clothing, posture, distinguishing features (tattoos, piercings)]:



Enemies and why:

Character traits:




Others view him as

Speech – accent/style; interactions (how does the character interact with the others?)

[Remember that the dialogue needs to be authentic so research into phrases/words may be needed and also think would a ‘real’ person act/say the things you’re making your character say/do?]

Home(s): building(s) and town(s), include past and current residencies

Outlook on life:

Personal goals:


Brief history;

Combat – style of fighting etc:

Answer the following in his/her own voice

My outlook on life is….

I see myself as/My view of my character traits are…. (they may be short-tempered, but they may view themselves as more tolerant than they are)

The worst time in my life was when…

The best part of my life is… 

Where am I going/What are my personal goals?/What is in my future?

My dreams are…..

How do I look?

What is my general attitude? My attitude to life and everything/one in it?

You can also have a look of the following websites. I’m not a troll and like to direct people to others whom have (perhaps unknowingly) helped me.



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