I usually advice people to try to get to know them as well as they know themselves, but in reality that is clearly impossible. And with characters in fiction, you will always learn more about them as you bring them to life through the writing. Naming your fictional characters is something you will want to give full care and attention to, because finding perfect character names can make the world of difference to how the characters are perceived by the readers.
Nevertheless, the more spadework you do on character creation at the outset, the stronger and more believable your characters will end up. If you are anything like most novel writers, you will probably go through several names for your story people until you settle on the right ones.
I commented in parentheses throughout the profiles below what I thought of them and why: I gave this profile a passing grade because while it’s not great, nothing about it makes it terrible.
“I have been in the ——- area for a few years now and always looking to meet new people. I enjoy meeting new people and going to new places.
It is unfortunate that so many people join dating sites but so few put a fair effort into writing a really good profile that makes them stand out from thousands of other users.
I am not sure why people go through the trouble of signing up and filling all those questionnaires and then post a profile that looks like a copy of any other neutral, boring, profile full of cliches and types.
Let's say that your central character's wife confesses to him in the opening chapter that she has been having an affair...
You won't know the answers to any of these questions because you really don't know who the character is.
It doesn’t describe you with overused adjectives such as “intelligent, compassionate, educated, and independent” and it is free of boring statements that say nothing such as “I am as comfortable staying in as staying out.” Rather than continue describing what a good profile is, I want to bring to your attention real examples of three actual dating profiles from on popular site that I rated for content.
(This first sentence says nothing eye-catching about the woman and is very bland, and boring). (still, nothing thought provoking or attractive) I am very spontaneous and I love the outdoors, watching movies, dancing, and traveling. (Finally something somewhat interesting that she says about herself).
(Another cliché statement that is being used by thousands of other women) A great date can be staying at home with a movie and popcorn, or a night on the town. I made myself a promise a few years ago to take a vacation somewhere new, out of state, every year. Well, that is a little about me if you are interested say hello and we will chat. ” *********************** This profile gets a higher grade because it reflects on the writer’s character and her personality.
Why is it important to create profiles for your fictional characters before you start to write?
Because if you are too eager to push on with writing the novel, and you skimp on taking the time to get to know the characters before you begin, you will have little sense of how they should act and react to what is happening around them in any given scene.