Develop Your Characters to Plan Your Novel (#3)

Plan Your Novel Tip #3: Develop Your CHARACTERS

Today is the third in an 8-post series on planning your novel. In today’s post, we focus on character development. (First published on Writers Fun Zone blog in 2014.)


If you missed it, the first step in your novel preparation was your elevator pitch and the second step was crafting your story synopsis.

Keep in mind: Take note of your genre. This will give you a general idea of your story ending and the kinds of characters work best for the story you’re writing.

Time to budget: I recommend you take 30-60 minutes to do this exercise for each of your main characters. As a suggestion, set your timer for 20 minutes for each of the items below.

Brainstorm these essential elements of your main characters to get you started:

  1. Goal, motivation and conflict, for both the inner life and outer life
  2. Strengths, inherent and learned
  3. Important relationships
  4. Appearance
  5. Education
  6. Home, living circumstances
  7. Preferred travel method
  8. Backstory as it relates to story problem
  9. The things in her pockets, or backpack, or car, or satchel, etc.
  10. Habits, mannerisms, ticks
  11. Other elements and factors that occur to you as interesting or important — jot them down!!


Here’s an image to share or pin and use for your brainstorming!



Would you like hands-on support to plan and write your novel?


If you’d like hands-on support to plan your novel with your peers and with experienced instructors — Beth and Ezra Barany, then join us for our next course starting October 1st: 30-Day Writing Challenge to Plan Your Novel.

Sign up for this blog to get notified of this course and our other offerings.

You can join the home study course at any time here.

Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It! by Beth and Ezra Barany, Available where all books are sold!


You can also check out our newest book, Plan Your Novel Like A Pro, here!

This book will help you get excited to plan your novel. The tools shared here are designed to spark your muse and give you confidence when you sit down to write your story. Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It! is for organic writers and pansters who want a roadmap to follow, so that they can let their creativity loose.

“Beth’s book is like plotting for pantsers!”—Tess Rider, Science Fantasy Romance Author



Happily married for over 18 years, Beth and Ezra Barany help authors reach their dreams.

Beth Barany, an award-winning novelist and certified Creativity Coach for Writers, runs Barany Consulting, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to helping novelists write, publish, and market their books. She’s the author of the award-winning young adult fantasy series, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and the paranormal sweet romance collection, Touchstone Series. She’s currently working on a science fiction mystery series.

Ezra Barany, an award-winning novelist and the bestselling author of The Torah Codes series, is also a teacher and mentor.

Together they help authors get their books out into the world.


Tip #4: Plan Your Novel with World Building is here.

List of all 8 tips here, including the downloadable checklist.

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  • Thanks for sharing this

  • Beth Barany says:

    You’re welcome!

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