Structured Chaos

In an attempt to be more structured in my writing, or perhaps just a teensy bit more organized, I’m trying to create an all-in-one, generic form for Character Bios.  I’ve seen a few other author-created templates floating about online, but none of them meet the criteria I need.  Some are so in-depth, they even ask how the character would act in a given situation.  Pfft.  My hat’s off to any whose characters are that damn cooperative, because mine sure in the hell aren’t.

My characters grow, learn and evolve (usually) as the story moves along, so I have no idea how they’re going to react until they’re ‘in the moment’ – which, to me, feels more realistic.  I do know when I’ve forced them to react in a way unbefitting their personality, though.  In those cases, I definitely pick the scene apart and make the necessary adjustments.  So, here’s the problem: I have numerous supernatural creatures, each unique to their series (i.e. not all of my ‘vampires’ are the same) and therefore, the information collected for one, might not be enough or is too much for the other.

Here is what I’ve managed to plot out thus far:

Basic Information:

  • Series / Book
  • Full Name / Nickname
  • Age / Gender / Orientation (yes, it varies)
  • Hair / Eye / Height / Build
  • Relationship Status
  • Born / Resides
  • Job / Occupation / Title
  • Other Titles / Honorifics / Roles
  • Species / Race / Subspecies (if any)
  • Clan / Tribe / Brood / Coven / Pack
  • Affiliations (if any)
  • Lineage (if known)

Characteristics:

  • Emotional / Physical (i.e. scars or birthmarks) / Mental
  • Habits / Hobbies / Activities
  • Talents / Skills / Specialties
  • Natural Powers
  • Friends / Associates
  • Enemies
  • Important Background Info
  • Role and Future in book and/or series
  • Notes

It seems like a lot, but that list has already grown since I started.  I fear I might have to scrap the idea of one generic form and actually create different ones that better fit each series.  It’s bad enough I can’t seem to choose a genre! Ha – Ah, well, back to work.  I’m totally open to suggestions or advice from anyone who has it!

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