Character Templates

Hi. Does anyone have a character template they’d like to share?

After creating a few dozen sketches using the “Novel” default character template (the project template already heavily modified to reflect my quirkiness), I’m looking for a character template with more specific categories.

I’m not quite sure where I go from “too few” to “too many” subcategories…so I’d appreciate anyone’s opinions & experience on that as well.



Sorry for the duplicate post. Mods please delete. When I refreshed IE, it posted this again. AHL



Arthur, have you tried Googling? I don’t use character templates as such, but last time I looked the Web offered quite a few.

I’ve linked below to what I generally use at the moment:
I’ll add things based on the story I’m writing as well. For example if I was wriing “Titanic” I’d probably add a question such as “Why are they on the boat?”.

Note, that I won’t necessarily fill in all of these up front, some of them are just populated once I know the answers from my writing.

I am actually thinking of changing it a bit, however. Through my day job I’ve had the pleasure of going on a few courses designed to help you recognise personality types in yourself and others, and I’m thinking of introducing a few of those elements into my standard form.

I have tried Googling…which led me to this forum, actually. Most of what I found on the Web were way too complicated for what I’m looking for. I was able to lift an idea here and there.

LIke a field for “meaning of name/why was he named that?” And the same for nickname --and what were the circumstances?

I have four generations of characters who have the exact same name (of course they use Roman numerals in their official signatures), but they each have a different “calling” name (that phrase from the dog-show world) I thought a field to explore and explain that would be useful.

(I have a character who’s always been told he was named for his grandfather – and his younger twin for her grandmother. That was too pedestrian for me. So I had him discover as he did some research, that though he and his grandfather have the same first and surnames, they have the same middle names–but in reverse order.

Turns out, Kevin discovers he is named for his uncle (his father’s older brother), who was a U.S. Marine Corps Corsair pilot who was shot down and killed over Guadalcanal in World War II. And the uncle was named in that fashion because his father most emphatically did NOT want any son of his to be called “junior.”)

Just little things like that, that probably won’t even make it into the book, but are helpful to ME in fleshing out the characters. I want a place to keep them.

I really liked the beginning of Keith Blount’s character template in one of his videos – but it’s only half there.

I’m not really sure what I want…which is why I came here, to see what others were doing.


It sounds to me as if your needs may be quite individual, in which case an Excel spreadsheet or a Bento database may be the solution.

More generally, of course the aim is to achieve rounded detail with consistency. I think the world divides between those who create lists of their characters’ attributes and motivations, and those who draft their scenes and then Cmd-C/Cmd-V the paragraphs in which each character appears into “character documents” as they go along (leaving aside of course those whose hero has brown eyes in Chapter 1 and green eyes in Chapter 5 - unintentionally).

For the character document-maker, it seems to me Scrivener is fine, especially if you use Scrivener links. Or you could set up a writing journal in another application (or even - I hesitate to mention this :wink: - in a notebook). For the list-maker, if you want to spend the money, apart from Excel or Bento, there is specialised software such as Character Writer and Subplot. And many other pieces of novel-writing software and books on fiction-writing have their own lists. But as far as I can see none is intrinsically better than any other.

I suppose what I’m saying is that rolling your own on the basis of what your own imagination tells you is probably the best solution.

Mind mapping software might give you a leg up with “small” facts that can be summed up in a word or two, but there’s never going to be a character template that will contain everything you need for each character. It sounds like what you need is a basic template to keep up with details like eye color, hair style/color, height, weight, etc… and then a free-form area below those basic traits for more detailed info. If you find that you need to track everyone’s boss/spouse/street address, then add those fields to the template for the next new character sheet.

Given your individual needs, can you not just create your own character sheet within Scrivener, containing all the fields and information necessary for your project? There are a lot of examples of character sheets on the 'net, but they do all tend to be of the height/eye colour/job variety. So you could just design your own sheet, using tables or just ruler indents to separate elements. In which video did you see the character sheet you were interested in?

All the best,

Keith, it was in “Scrivener 2 Basics - Document Templates & Custom Icons Mac Only”. I was so interested that I paused the video to shamelessly copy it down!


Hello Arthur,

I just went through the Scrivener projects in my video creation account, but unfortunately couldn’t find the character sheet template you desire. As I recall, there wasn’t much more to it than you can see in the video. I shamelessly cribbed it after the briefest of Google searches, only amending what I found slightly, so it shouldn’t take you too much effort to get something very similar.

All the best,