Characters make a story. Without good characters and characterization your reader just wont care what happens to them.

You might have the best plot in the world and if yoru characters stink, your story will too.

Fortunately, it’s fun to create compelling characters and with these three categories you’ll be able to create fully realized folks to fill your pages.

#1 Physiology

What does your character look like? What color is their hair? What shape is their face? Are they large? Skinny? Tall? Do they have green eyes? Brown skin?

Physiology is all about their physical appearance. Physiology is the easy part of a character. Yet many people skip providing the reader with a physical description. You certainly, and probably shouldn’t, create a list of physical characteristics.

For example, “She wore black pants that hugged her curvy backside, a white t-shirt that hung on her flat chest and had a bright red hat which she used in a failed attempt to cover her unruly curls.”

This provides a decent description and is enough. If the writer were to continue adding the color of her eyes, her height and so on, it would be too much. It’s always effective if you can weave physical characteristics into the story as your action takes place.

For example, “The wind caught her bright red hat and tossed it to the ground. The unruly black curls she struggled endlessly to contain were on display for everyone to see.”

#2 Sociology

What social group do they belong to? What are their politics? Religion? Financial situation. Where did they grow up and how did it affect their personality? Sociology is important because it helps your reader understand where the character is coming from. It also helps explain some of their motivation – the reason why they behave a certain way.

#3 Psychological

This is how and what your character thinks. Much of their psychology will be directly related to their sociology and physiology. However, it also encompasses their life experiences too. For example, if a character was assaulted then they may be fearful or even have a phobia about being alone.

This is part of their psychology. It’s important to understand your character’s psychology because it will have an impact on their motivations – the reason why they behave the way they do and what their goals are.

Before you sit down to write any story, pull out a pen and paper and create your characters first. Each primary character should have these three categories fully fleshed out. To read more on characterization check out James Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel.

And keep your eyes open here at MakeALivingWritingRomance. I’m going to be uploading a character worksheet that will help you cover all your bases with each character you create – hero or villain.