By Ginny and Kelly

In Depth: Step 2:

If you read my ‘Writing Alliance, steps for writing a story’ then here’s a more in depth look at each step, if you wanted more detail.


  • Imagine the sort of house your character is likely to live in, though this does not necessarily need to be based on their personality as a character may not always like their home. How would they choose their own room to look? Are they even allowed to do this? What would their reaction and emotions be when being present in this location. Is there a location in real life that you can base this on and how did you personally feel whilst present there.
  • Consider location of the house. Is it solitary and far from other contact or close by to other people. How do these people interact with your own character and how would aspects of the location influence your characters thoughts and feelings.
  • Imagine the character actually growing up in these locations. Conjure up their education and workplaces of family members. Has this affected their relations or skills or traits in any way?
  • Imagine their parents individually and start at step one again, although in less detail. Remember that offspring do not always follow in their parents footsteps and therefore do not need to be replicas of them. 
  • Considering the personalities of the character’s parents, imagine the kind of job they would have. Based off past experiences, did they even gain their desired job and has this affected their current personality. How often do they work and how often does your character involve in this activity. If you know little of a certain job, you can later investigate it in your research stage.
  • Any other key family members work with the same principles, although the parent’s personalities will help you put yourself in their state of mind to see how their brain thinks and how they would have chosen a name for your character at birth. 
  • Never worry about detail at any of these early stages as development will always come later. If you are unsure of families and past then simply leave it until you feel you understand the character better. These suggested questions to consider are only pointers and tips you may like to consider. Creating a family for your character though, I find, does tend to help you better develop your mental image of them so you can put yourself in their shoes and imagine you have experienced all that they have and then decide whether or not it has been influential. 
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