Writing Well-Rounded Characters

One of the things that I consider to be one of the most important things when writing a novel is writing well-rounded characters.

When I write I want to write humans that are alive. They have likes and dislikes, favorite foods, and things that they would do on their weekends.

How I do that is by going through a list of things that I like to know about these characters.

Know I don’t tend to do this with every one of that characters in my novel but I do  it with the ones that are important and in the book a lot.

And I do this by going through these things.


  1. What Do They Believe in? This could be a god, goddess, government system, or any other thing. And I like to go into how they show this belief. Do they show this believe by telling everyone, or are they just quietly believing in it.
  2. Why Do They Believe in This? Why do they believe in this system and how does it affect them? Why is this thing so important to them? Why do they resonate with this?
  3. Why Don’t They Believe in This? This is for when a character does not believe in something be it a god/goddess or government system. Why do they not want it? Why do they not believe in it? When did they start to not believe in it?


  1. Who Do They Trust? Why do they trust this person? Who is this person to them? What made them trust them so much? Why this person? How much do they trust them?
  2. Who Don’t They Trust? Why don’t they trust them? What made them not trust them? When did they start to not trust them? How much do they not trust them?
  3. Do They Trust Themselves? Do they trust themselves? Do they trust their own judgment? How much do this trust themselves? How little? Why don’t they trust themselves? Why do they trust themselves? What won’t they trust themselves with?


  1. What Do They Like? What are there favorite foods? What are their favorite colors? Favorite places? Favorite movie type? Favorite book genre? who is their favorite person?
  2. What Do They Dislike? What do they hate to eat? What do they hate to watch? To wear? What is a place do they not like to go to? Who do they not like to hang out with?
  3. Why Do They Dislike This? What made them dislike this thing? this person? Do they have a bad experience with it? Do they just not like it?


  1. Do They have any quirks? What are they? Where did they come from? Where they always there? When did they develop? Do they annoy people? Do people find it funny? do they love it?
  2. Are they shy Or Loud? Are they shy? Are they out going? Why? How do they feel about it? Have they always been like this?


  1. What Do they Look Like? What is their height? Body type? Eye color? Skin color? Heir color? heir length? Who did they get their looks from? Did they change any of this? Why?
  2. Do They Have Any Distinctions? Do they have any scars? Birthmarks? Tattoos? How did they come to be? Why? Do they like them? Hate Them? Would they change them?


  1. What Choices Would They make? Why would they make them? Could they be swayed to not make that choice? How? Why? How would going again their choice affect them? How would following their choice affect them?
  2. What Moral Stance Are They? Are they moral? Not moral? Morally grey? How does hard choices affect their morals? Can they go against these morals? Why? Why not?

I can go on and on about more things that I like to ask these characters. And I am sure that you would have some that you would ask your own characters.

But these are just some of mine.

I am someone who likes to plan out every little detail of the book. So you don’t have to use them all if you don’t want to.

But it’s just to give you some thoughts and questions to ask about your characters.

use what you will.

7 thoughts on “Writing Well-Rounded Characters

  1. I have trouble planning my writing projects out extensively, so that’s why I often run out of steam with a manuscript within a couple of days. I do usually write a brainstorm of the premise and a character sketch of the protagonist but that’s about it. These are all good ideas, they’re definitely worth using and some of them are ones that might be overlooked by many people. πŸ™‚

    1. well your welcome to use any of them. I tend to go over bored when I write and plan out every detail of every character and place. I like to know everything about all of the character. Even when most of the information that I have does not go into the book.

      1. Well, Ernest Hemingway once compared writing to an iceberg, there’s so much underneath that the writer puts into it that isn’t immediately apparent to the reader. I think it’s actually a pretty good method, way better than my ridiculous underplanning. Just out of curiosity, what have you written? Any full-length manuscripts?

        1. I have two full length manuscripts and a handful ones that are underway and have been set aside for now. One of the full lengthened I am about to go through with publishing. The other two I am going to think on if they are any good or not.

          1. Cool! I wrote five manuscripts this year but only two of them were any good. The other three were complete messes. There’s one manuscript in particular (my favorite of the two good ones) that I’m thinking about trying to get published, but I’m not sure if I want to self-publish it or not. :/

          2. I can understand that. The best thing to do is just to study up on both Self Publishing and Traditional Publishing. See how each of them works and what the benefits and down sides of each of them are. Find which one works for you.

          3. Thanks! πŸ™‚ I’m actually thinking about going for the middle ground and trying to get it published by a independent publishing company. It’s kind of different, I’m not sure it would be a hit with a traditional publishing house. πŸ˜‰

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