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Free Character Tools to Help You Create Your NaNoWriMo Characters

by Jennifer on October 14, 2009

By Jennifer Blanchard

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, getting to know your characters before you start your NaNo novel will go a long way when it comes time to start writing.

Here are some great characterization tools to help you along your journey:

  • Characterization Series, by Larry Brooks: Brooks’ series does a great job of helping you create characters that are well-rounded and believable.
  • Character Development Drives Conflict, by Pedar Hill: This article details the character arc and the role it plays in creating believable characters.
  • Building Complex Characters, by Jennifer Blanchard: This post details the “diamond method” to characters, created by romance novelist Connie Flynn.

And although it’s not mandatory, here are some other tools I recommend when creating characters:

  • A baby names book–This is extremely helpful when it comes to finding the right names for your characters. Baby names books are cheap and available in every bookstore.
  • BabyNamesWorld.ParentsConnect.com, BabyHold.com, BabyNames.com or other Web sites that list potential baby names. Some even come with meanings for the name. These are free alternatives to the baby names book.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year and would like help staying motivated throughout the entire challenge, be sure to sign up for my 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Tips for Procrastinating Writers e-mail newsletter.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Trina October 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I woke up this morning with five characters on my mind for NaNoWriMo…I’m really trying hard not to procrastinate….your posts are helping tremendously. I love Larry’s Series too.
Also…I love your Writing Tool too.
Happy Writing

2 anna October 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I always use babynames.com! So useful.

Thanks for the links – Flynn’s article is particularly good.

3 jblan October 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm

@Trina You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! 🙂

@anna Yes, Flynn’s article is great. It helped me to turn one of the characters in a short story I wrote into a more real person.

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