What is a Character Profile?

So, usually one of the first things an instructor will present in a character development class is the character profile sheet, but I tend to delay this because of my own belief system, which is probably something I shouldn’t admit, but it basically comes down to this:

I care more about my characters’ insides than their outsides. Yes, the demographics of who they are and how they grew up and their physicality absolutely impacts who they are, but I want their yearnings, wants, big lie, human worth and flaw to be the things that matter the most to me as the writer and the reader.

But character profiles are beautifully concrete tools and approaches that can truly help you nail down your character (not literally, no hammers involved).

A character profile is basically a tool that:

  1. Helps you not get confused with the details as you write.
  2. Helps you round out your character’s psychographics and demographics.
  3. Organizes your thoughts.

Writerswrite.com says,

“A Character Profile is just meant to be a guide where you can list facts and details to help you get to know your characters, especially if you get stuck on one character who doesn’t quite seem real. You also want to be sure you don’t create a Mary Sue character. Maybe he needs a new characteristic — a hidden trauma, a fabulous skill or a deadly secret — something that will make the character come alive for you. If you are having trouble coming up with character details try to see how your character performs using a writing prompt or walk them through a situation known well to you.”

When I was in fourth or fifth grade, I loved character profiles, filling in all the blanks on the sheet, but what I didn’t know then is that while the profile is a fantastic organizational tool that helps you think about your character, it isn’t what makes your characters believable or lovable or be the kind of characters that readers want to invest time in.

Bringing life to the character doesn’t happen in the outline or the profile, it happens on the page as that character deals with conflict, goes after their yearnings, takes action, interacts and moves across the story, guided by their own yearnings that we readers can relate to.

Those yearnings are a much bigger deal than demographics because it’s those yearnings that make us (and our characters) human.





It’s super fun. An adult paranormal/mystery/romance/horror blend. Think Charlaine Harris but without all the vampires. Instead there are shifters and dragon grandmothers and evil police chiefs and potential necromancers and the occasional zombie and a sexy skunk.

It’s out November 1, which means you can buy it now, and I seriously love it. So, it would be cool if you bought it so I can be all motivated to write the next book.

Oh, and it’s quirky.

This is because most of my books are quirky.

Be ready to resurrect your love of the paranormal in the first novel in the Alisa Thea series—the books that give new meaning to quirky paranormal.

Alisa Thea is barely scraping by as a landscaper in small-town Bar Harbor. She can’t touch people with her bare skin without seeing their deaths and passing out, which limits her job and friendship opportunities. It also doesn’t give much of a possibility for a love life, nor does her overbearing stepfather, the town’s sheriff. Then along comes an opportunity at a local campground where she thinks her need for a home and job are finally solved . . .

But the campground and its quirky residents have secrets of their own: the upper level is full of paranormals. And when some horrifying murders hit the campground—along with a potential boyfriend from her past who may be involved—Alisa starts to wonder if living in a campground of paranormals will end up in her own death.

Join New York Times and internationally best[selling author Carrie Jones in the first book of the Alisa Thea Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.

It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s kind of like Charlaine Harris, but a little bit more achy and weird.

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Almost Dead Series – Meet Alissa Thea, a sexy skunk, a haunted campground and a lot of quirky


If you checked out this post, you’ve spent some time figuring out your character’s flaws, and now it’s time to actually use those flaws to make a better novel.

And the first thing you need to do is let the reader know about that character’s flaws and where it came from.


You want to show the reader why the character is the way they are.

Can you blame their childhood? Or something terrible? A lot of times our negative scripts in our brains or something horrible happening to us characters creates that flaw that is currently keeping us from having a nice, happy story.

Can you blame conditioning? Not the kind of conditioning you do for being fit, but the kind of conditioning that teachers, parents, the robots, the authority figures put you through. Is the flaw or negative belief system inherited via education or example?

Is it just your character’s brain? Sometimes our characters are not the smartest tools in the shed and they have big lies that motivate them or big flaws in their thinking or their logic because they make wrong assumptions because of things that they’ve experienced or seen in the past.


You want your character’s flaw to flow well with the character. Most of us don’t know that we have flaws and we might ignore it (and bristle when someone brings it up) or think it’s actually a strength. A Slytherin doesn’t think cheating on a test is a bad thing. They think it’s being cunning or ambitious. A Carrie Jones doesn’t think being self-deprecating is annoying. She thinks it’s being authentic.


A lot of times you have one specific flaw destined and planned out for your character, but then they go and add more. That’s good. Most of us have more than one flaw.

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