Character Trait Chart
by Sandy Tritt
It can sometimes be helpful to make a Trait Chart for each character.
This is especially helpful during the early stages of character
development, before the character becomes as real to you as your mother.
There are several charts of this sort available, some extremely detailed
and some containing only facts and figures. I've tried to make one that
includes the most important traits to help you visualize your character,
both physically and emotionally.
To use this chart, print it out and make a copy for each of your
characters. If you can't get it to print nicely, email me and ask me to
send you a Word Document with the Character Chart on it.
Inspiration for Writers
What is the first thing you notice about this
How does he smell?
What does his voice sound like?
Where does he live?
Who does he live with?
Possessions (how does he feel about them?)
How does he feel about himself?
How do other people feel about him?
What is his usual disposition?
How intelligent/educated is he?
What special talents does he possess?
What, more than anything else in the world, does
this character want?
What personality traits will help him achieve his
Who or what prevents this character from having what
he wants (the antagonist)?
What personality traits work against him?
What, more than anything else in the world, does
this person fear?
What is a normal day like for this character?
(c) copyright 2000, Inspiration for Writers,
(c) copyright 1999 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved,
except for those listed here. May be reproduced for educational purposes
(such as for writer's workshops), as long as this copyright notice and the
url: http://tritt.wirefire.com are distributed with the pages. For use in
conferences or other uses not mentioned here, please contact Sandy Tritt
for permission and additional resources at no or limited charge.
Visit our sister websites...
Publishing New Writers,
March, 2002 (no.303)
Editor Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL 60118.
Fax (847) 428-8974.
Submissions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Links are
To subscribe and/or review our archive of past newsletters, go to
- First ten pages free, and, for a limited time, all additional pages at
50% off the regular rate of $2.00 per page. Just mention Publishing
New Writers Newsletter (March, 2002).
- Critiques by Sandy Tritt
- Unlike most editors, I consider my role to be a mentor or a coach.
Instead of just telling you what is wrong, I explain how to correct the
problem, and I work with you to teach you how to write effective prose.
More than 50% of my business is repeat business, and I relish
establishing long-term relationships with other writers.
- Treat you with respect and compassion. All criticism will be of the
"constructive" sort. My purpose is to improve your writing, not to
destroy your confidence.
- Mark your manuscript, correcting grammatical and spelling errors and
suggesting alternative wording where appropriate, line-by-line.
- Highlight areas that are especially well-written, so you will know
where your strengths are.
- Where appropriate, offer suggestions for plot development, character
development or other areas that could be strengthened.
- Return a two-to-four page written analysis of your work. This will
include evaluation of: plot, setting, characterization, dialogue,
special effects (flash forwards, flashbacks, etc.), voice, point of view
and any other areas particular to your work.
- If appropriate, recommend reading or resources to strengthen your
areas of weakness.
- Answer any questions you may have via email.
- Provide my telephone number for a personal follow-up, if you desire.
For Sandy's success stories, see
Write Sandy at email@example.com
(See Sandy's article in the left column.)
This is Dianne Ochiltree's
site for children, parents,
teachers and writers for
young readers. Dianne is an
author of books for young
readers (birth to teenage)
and she is also a children's
book reviewer. She's been
writing professionally for
over 25 years---about 18
years in public
and the last 7 years as a
children's writer. Dianne
has two books published to
date, with Scholastic and
with Simon & Schuster.
http://tritt.wirefire.com The Inspiration for Writers website offers help and encouragement to writers of all levels. Tips and Techniques give practical advice about frequent writing blunders. The Writer's Prayer, inspirational quotes, and essays about the writing life add insight and inspiration. The Fiction Showcase offers short stories for the reader's enjoyment. And, for those serious about improving their writing skills, manuscript critiques and coaching services are available. Visit http://tritt.wirefire.com today!
Go Back in Time!...
our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (Part 1) from David C. Cook
III. You'll become a true believer. Visit...
is dedicated to the memory of David C. Cook III.
This Just In – From Paul the Apostle
By Kurt Schuller
inspired work recreating
Read... Two-bit Dancing
Life's an onion. Not a new concept—Usually, what we reveal to others
about ourselves adds flavor, distinction…making us appear just a bit more
exciting. Assume for a moment, that someone is peeling your life apart,
onion layer by onion layer. Are you still adding flavor? Distinction? Is
at the heart of the onion really a heart? Is it, then, the onion crying —
or the one who’s peeling…?
Angela Louie, mother of a teenager and a disabled child, is entering a
fine hotel while fidgeting with the business card of an escort service —
lapse of common sense? Hanson Lee Ascano is a computer genius working for
a prestigious firm — he also dances in an exotic night club a few nights
each week. Tom Lawson is taking on what should be a routine investigation
to reunite a parent with his children — instead, it rouses monsters.
For more info, visit... http://www.twobitdancing.com/
About the Author
Evelyn Schneider was born and raised in Germany. She has written
"almost anything from plant-care tags to television sitcoms." She lives in
San Diego, California.
She says, Two-bit Dancing was inspired by a television talkshow, and
laughs. Then, serious: "The true inspiration came many years ago while
visiting a police fair. I was a teenager then and should have been
impressed by the latest crime-fighting technology. But what remained in my
soul where the images of cubicles upon cubicles filled with photographs of
children -- not victims of some far-away war but sons and daughters of
modern families: burnt, starved, locked away.
How To Write For The Internet
by Lynette Rees
Do you have access to a computer? Are you able to log on to the
Internet? Have you got reasonable writing skills? If the answer to all
three is yes, then what are you waiting for? You could be writing for
Yes, that’s all very well but how do I go about it?
You have a head start by reading this article. Last year, although
having been on the Net myself for about 18 months, I didn’t know how to
go about it either, but I’m passing on my tips to you. In less than a
year, I have managed to have 14 articles published for payment, plus
I’ve had another 4 recently accepted for publication.
The first thing I did was to go to a search engine, I suggest using a
well known one like Google: www.google.com or Yahoo: www.yahoo.com. By
typing in something specific in inverted commas like for example:
‘Freelance writing on-line’, the search engine throws up a mass of
information, anything from sites that offer freelance work, to articles
about freelance writing or sites that publish market listings.
By constantly trawling the Net over the weeks I was able to find some
good sites that printed market listings. Some had newsletters for
subscribers, this just involves sending them your e-mail address, they
send you a weekly/bi-weekly or monthly newsletter. A weekly writers’
newsletter usually contains articles on writing and a market round up,
some include warnings of which sites to avoid (generally ones that
haven’t sent payments to freelancers.)
So now I can get started what do I do?
Initially you need to think about what type of articles you would
like to write. There are a wealth of ideas out there. Focus on what
hobbies or interests you have, you may know a lot about genealogy and
what advice to give to a novice, or you may be a keen gardener who knows
how to grow organic vegetables. What jobs have you had? You may have had
an unusual one, or be able to write an article about nursing or policing
for example. If you have children then there’s plenty of fodder there:
Suitable childcare for you child, Listening to your teenager etc. Do you
know a lot about cats/dogs/horses etc? Perhaps you’d prefer to
write a personal essay instead e.g My first day at school or My first
boyfriend, for example. Brain storm your ideas onto paper.
• The Query Letter
This is your pitch to an editor to offer him a taster of the article
you have written or the idea you have for an article. More experienced
freelancers tend to submit the article idea first, then write the
article later if the editor shows interest.
To submit a good query letter you need to use formal letter format
and address the Editor by name ( you can find this at the web site). You
need to ‘hook’ him/her in so that they want to read the entire article.
If you can get your idea highlighted in about 2-3 paragraphs, that’s all
If you have had any work published on-line, you can send the url of
web page where it was published, or photocopies of any work in
print e.g an article you had published in your local paper. If you
haven’t had anything of note published then don’t worry, don’t mention
it. Ensure to spell check for any grammatical errors before submission.
Most web sites now take on-line Submissions , but if they don’t, then use
good quality writing paper and envelopes to send your query, preferably
• The Importance Of Following Submission Guidelines
If a web site asks for an article of between 600 and 800
words, then it’s no good submitting an article of 1,200 words. So it’s
vital you check the guidelines, there’s usually a writers’ guidelines or
submission link on the home page somewhere. Sometimes the web site will
inform you what topics they are looking for, so this would increase your
chances of publication if you could write on one of those.
The style is important too, so check out the articles that are
already published on the site, are they quite formal? Or are they
informal and humorous? Are they written from the writer’s personal
experience in the first person, or are they written as if he/she is
addressing you personally in the second person?
What is the tone of the web site? What type of people are reading it?
It’s no use writing an article on crochet if the site is aimed at
fishermen for example.
• The difference between writing for the Net and print
Readers on-line tend to read faster and the attention span is much
shorter. So you need to break your writing down into bite
size chunks, small paragraphs, to make it easy to read. Put in some sub
headings to catch the readers attention.
• How to format e-mail Submissions
Most web sites like you to submit your article/story in the body of
an e-mail in plain text. Or if they are willing to take file
attachments, then they usually ask for the file to be saved to Word or
Rich Text Format.
• How do I manage to get paid on the Net?
This is easier than you may think. Most of the web sites I have been
published at are American or Canadian. Some will send a check to your
home address, the only problem here is that usually it is made out in
the currency of that particular country. So you have to have it
converted into your own currency for which your bank will charge you a
fee. Some of the bigger web sites will have converted it for you.
Another method of receiving payments is by setting up a Pay Pal
account. This is a way of obtaining payment via your e-mail account. Pay
Pal hooks up your bank account to your e-mail address to send or receive
payments. It costs nothing to register. It is secure as the the web site
is encrypted, and has over 12 million users world wide.
I’ve given you the basics so what are you waiting for? Get out that
old type writer, switch on the computer or pick up that pen and paper.
Start writing and find a market for it!
Lynette's creative Writing Website
(type both lines in one)