In my personal opinion, I think character mapping is by far one of the best parts of writing a story. It gives you a detailed snapshot of who your characters are and you can see a vivid image of them in your head. Character mapping is an important part of creating a story, and it also gets the creative juices flowing and sets you on the right track to writing the particular story you want to write. These tips and tricks I’m passing on to you are ones that have been passed on to me by a teacher I had in the past. She was incredible and gave us tons of great advice and practice when it came to character mapping.
The first thing you want to do is grab a fresh piece of paper, or start on a crisp page in your writing notebook or journal. Use lots of different colours during this process as well, whether it be different coloured pens, sticky notes, highlighters, you name it! The colourful, the better, and the more fun it will be.
Here is a template of what you can possibly do for your character map (feel free to add more information if you want to go into even more depth of your characters):
The first part of your character map will include the MOST important detail – the character’s name.
This second part of your character map will involve the physical details of your character, such as hair colour, height, and age.
Hair (style and colour):
Eyes (shape and colour):
The last section will include the intangible parts of your character, such as their friends or family members that they might mention or appear in the story, people who they are closest with, romantic interests, deepest fears, best/worst traits, and more!
Family member(s)/friend(s)/roommate(s)/romantic interest(s):
Best trait(s): (can be physical or personality traits i.e., kind, selfless, pretty face, etc.)
Worst trait(s): (can be physical or personality traits i.e., arrogant, lazy, talks too much, etc.)
Distinguishing feature(s): (can be a physical feature such as a crooked nose, freckles, or a trait such as the tone of their voice, the way they walk, etc.)
Most embarrassing moment:
By writing these out, and more (for example, you can map out their favourite foods, movies, music tastes, style, morals, and so on), you’ll be able to gain a picture of who your character is and the ability to visualize them as a real person.
Another great way to take your character for a test drive is to write out a few sentences in different contexts, in that character’s voice. For example, write a short sentence as if your character is ecstatic, terrified, annoyed, angry, depressed, tired, etc. This way, you can really put yourself in your character’s shoes and prepare yourself for writing your story.
Hopefully you all enjoyed these quick tips and tricks on character mapping! Grab a pen and your favourite journal and start writing!