Writing a Character Description

Your character description should be a thumbnail sketch of its personality and physical traits.


There are some mental and physical traits that are part of the dramatic structure of a story and others that are merely added to enhance audience interest. This is not a function of the trait itself, but of how it is employed.

For example, if a character speaks with an accent, it might just be an attribute from where he or she was born, or it might be an affectation of pretense. A character might simply have a big nose, or he might be Cyrano de Bergerac, in which case the size of his proboscis has a major function in the plot, triggering and driving forward key events.


In Star Wars (Luke): A whiny farm boy, athletic, somewhat attractive, who dreams of excitement and glory. Now if he can only get out of his familial responsibilities and join the Rebellion.

In The Glass Menagerie (Laura): “A childhood illness has left (Laura) crippled, one leg slightly shorter than the other, and held in a brace….Stemming from this, Laura’s separation (from reality) increases till she is like a piece of her own glass collection; too exquisitely fragile to move from the shelf.”

Excerpted from
Dramatica Story Development Software