Character Development for Planning Your Novel

Today is the third in an 8-post series on preparing your novel for Nanowrimo. In today’s post, we focus on character development for your NaNoWriMo prep. 

If you missed it, the first step in your novel preparation was your elevator pitch and the second step was crafting your story synopsis.

Keep in mind: Take note of your genre. This will give you a general idea of your story ending and the kinds of characters work best for the story you’re writing.

Time to budget: I recommend you take 30-60 minutes to do this exercise for each of your main characters.

Brainstorm these essential elements of your main characters to get you started:

  1. Goal, motivation and conflict, for both the inner life and outer life
  2. Strengths, inherent and learned
  3. Important relationships
  4. Appearance
  5. Education
  6. Home, living circumstances
  7. Preferred travel method
  8. Backstory as it relates to story problem
  9. The things in her pockets, or backpack, or car, or satchel, etc.
  10. Habits, mannerisms, ticks
  11. Other elements and factors that occur to you as interesting or important — jot them down!!


Here’s an image to share or pin and use for your brainstorming!

Character Development Questions, 11 Elements to Brainstorm

Character Development Questions, 11 Elements to Brainstorm (#30DayWC)



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Plan Your Novel 30-Day Writing Challenge, starts October 1st

If you’d like hands-on support to plan your novel for Nanowrimo with your peers and with experienced instructors — Beth and Ezra Barany, then join us for our next course starting October 1st: 30-Day Writing Challenge to Plan Your Novel.

All the details for the course here.

Follow our tips on Twitter with the hashtag #30dayWC.


Further Reading


The Five Kingdom series about Henrietta The Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany

Award-winning novelist and creativity coach for writers, Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes magical tales of romance and adventure for women and girls to transport them to new worlds where anything is possible. She empowers novelists to write, publish, and market their genre novels.


Books by Ezra BaranyBook marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra today to begin the conversation on how he can help you design your book cover or pitch via FacebookTwitter, or contact him through this blog, or email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM. More about his thrillers at

Beth and Ezra Barany, Co-Founders of the Barany School of Fiction

Together Beth and Ezra run the Barany School of Fiction.
Check out our listing of current and upcoming self-paced and facilitated courses here:

Tip #4: On World Building

List of all 8 tips here.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this

  2. Beth Barany says:

    You’re welcome!

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