In case you need just a bit of help getting started.
Having trouble creating an awesome character?
Trust me, I know the feeling.
I’ve been struggling with creating unique and beloved characters for years. It’s hard to create a fictional person that real people will feel attached to, and even harder to create multiple fictional people of that same caliber. With this in mind, I’ve created a list of sites that may help you in planning every detail of who your character is.
This list is not made up of characterization traits, mind you. If you’re looking for those, check out my list of helpful links for describing characters. The difference between this list and that list: this list is for the planning process, that list is for the writing.
Websites for Creating Characters
- Character Flaws: Your characters can’t be flawless. Flawless is bad. Very bad. It’s unoriginal and boring. Your character needs flaws, and multiple of them at that. Here’s a nice list of flaws in alphabetical order, just in case you can’t think of enough. And no, “not pretty enough” is not a flaw. Your characters need real flaws that get them into messy situations. That’s how you make things interesting.
- High-Level Description of the Sixteen Personality Types: If you’ve ever heard of the sixteen personality types, you’ll know that this is a great source. If you’re having trouble getting to know your characters, take the test for them and see what they get. It might just help you decide why your characters act the way they do based on what personality type they get. It sort of helps you decide what role they’ll play in a group.
- Zodiac Signs Astrology: No, I don’t believe in all of the astrology hubaloo, but it is rather interesting… And it helps with creating characters. I wouldn’t rely on this list for creating characters, but it can help in minor ways. I’ve messed around with it before. If used in the right way, the astrological signs can be very helpful!
- Ophiuchus: Have you ever heard of the 13th zodiac sign? It’s a real thing. Turns out, the zodiac signs we know and love don’t match the sky anymore. If the zodiac signs were to be accurate, the dates would have to be moved around… And Ophiuchus would have to be added! And guess what? I’m an Ophiuchus! It’s unnerving how well this zodiac fits me…
- Hobbies Masterlist: What does your character do in his/her free time? Do you know? Need some ideas? Well, here you go! A masterlist of hobbies that has been compiled over the course of multiple years. Well, I think it’s taken that long. But either way, it’s a masterlist!
- A List of All Religions and Belief Systems: It’s impossible to create a perfectly complete list of religions and belief systems, but this list comes pretty darn close. If your religion or belief system isn’t on this list, don’t be offended. The site didn’s mean to offend you, and neither did I. It just didn’t happen to be on this list. And anyway, this list is only meant to assist you in creating your characters. So no being offended!
- List of Religions: This is another list of religions, but it only covers the major religions of the world. Note: Major is not synonymous with important. It just means the religions that have the most followers. It’s a narrower list, so you may prefer it.
- List of Christian Denominations and Their Beliefs: I know Christianity has a crazy number of denominations. According to this site, there were about 43,000 denominations in 2012. Therefore, there is no perfect list for this either. However, in case you need a specific denomination for your character development, I found a site that does a good job of summarizing them. Note: I’m not going to go into the denominations of any other religions because I don’t feel like I know enough about them to do that.
- 76 Incredibly Accurate Pet Peeves That Will Drive. You. Nuts.: If you really want to get to know your character, decide what pet peeves they have. Here are a few dozen to get you started!
- Job Description Search Tool: If you need any help thinking of a career for your character, this entire site helps, but this page in particular can help if you already have an idea or have already messed with the other features of the website. Basically, you can use a Holland code to discover the perfect career for your character, or you can research the basic job you want them to have and it will give you more detailed options!
- Comprehensive* List of LGBTQ+ Term Definitions: When creating your character, you need to know what their sexual orientation is. If you think figuring out the sexual orientation is easy, guess again. There are so many different terms for varying sexual orientations, and you need to know them all to make sure you don’t offend anyone.
- List of Impairments- Adult Listings (Part A): Your character doesn’t necessarily need to have a disability or impairment of any sort. In fact, you should be very wary in giving characters disabilities and impairments. They’re very serious and should be treated as such. Don’t give them out all willy-nilly. However, if you have a good reason to give a character an impairment/disability, here’s the best place to start in choosing the right one.
- Types of Addictions List: There are more addictions out there than just alcohol and drugs. If your character is going to be addicted to something, think carefully about what that addiction might be. Here’s a very extensive list of addictions that may help you in deciding. Note: Not every addiction possible is on this list. You may think of an addiction not present on this list. If so, congrats! There’s no reason for you not to use it.
You know, the ones that you can’t research without people flipping out.
You know those touchy subjects that you just can’t research without people thinking you’re a murderer? Like how to kill someone with your bare hands, or how to disappear?
You no longer have to research such touchy subjects, because I’ve got all the sites you need gathered right here!
There’s all sorts of touchy subjects on this list, as well as a few not-so-touchy subjects that are still helpful and still might make people question you. Either way, this will definitely be a fun set of websites to explore.
Anyway, there’s really not much more to add beyond, happy writing from the dark side!
Note/disclaimer: Please do NOT use these sources to learn how to torture/harm/kill real living beings. If you do, I am not responsible for it. Character cruelty/death? I take full responsibility. Living creature cruelty/death? Absolutely not. I’m telling you now, don’t do it.
I will probably be adding to this list as well. There’s a lot that can still be added…
Websites for Those Touchy Topics
- The Phobia List: I’ll start off simple with a site I’m sure we’ve all stumbled upon at some point. This site is literally completely comprised of a list of every single phobia, as well as some links to other sites that have to do with phobias. It’s really a great list, though it’s pretty lengthy. But if you want to give your character a deathly fear, this is the best place to go for your research.
- The Limits of the Human Body: Alright, enough with the simple stuff. Time to dive in. If you’re planning on torturing your characters a bit or bringing them within inches of death, you’ll need this list. Blood loss, dehydration, body temperature, you name it! It’s all here in one organized chart.
- Limits Of The Human Body: For more detailed information and other limits not on the chart, this is a good site. It’s a very detailed discussion that even I haven’t gotten all the way through.
- 10 Methods of Death: I’m just going to link this right here, right after the limits of the human body, so you know how to cause these deaths… Yeah, I love this site. It’s one of my favorites. I love the idea of writing from the perspective of someone who’s actually dying. Any with this site, you can do just that accurately!!! Awesome. Pure awesome.
- How to Diappear Completely: This is the real deal. Seriously, just check it out! It’s a complete and detailed, step-by-step guide on how to disappear entirely and without a trace. It’s meant to help people who want to disappear and start a new life, and if I was planning on doing just that, this would be a very helpful place to start! And you know, actually, it is a helpful website for me because, hey, look at that! I’d love to make that character disappear completely…
- On Writing Mentally Ill & Insane Characters: I don’t know if any of you will want to use this source, but I definitely do. In fact, the main character of the main novel I’m working on right now is mentally ill, to an extent. I can’t give you any spoilers beyond that, sorry to say, but this is a very helpful source for such necessary research.
- This is a Towel: Mental Disorders: I actually like this website more than the one above. It has some points on what to know when writing a mental disorder, as well as links to other sites that help you write specific disorders, and a listing of sorts for different types of disorders.
- Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: I’m sorry to say this isn’t a complete list (you’ll have to get the book to have that), but it still helps in understanding the common traumatic experiences listed. Seriously, this list is awesome. And if you’re trying to create a character with a specific traumatic experience, this can really help you get them right. Note: A character should not have all of the traits listed on each page. Only some of them. Pick and choose carefully in order to build your character accurately.
- 25 Methods for Killing With Your Bare Hands: And these are the types of websites that make people think you’re a serial killer. Can you believe this website was blocked in my school? Seriously, people, just let me live my life! Oh, and this site is exactly what it sounds like. Warning: It’s a bit graphic at times.
- 16 Steps To Kill Someone And Not Get Caught: This site has good tips to follow when having characters kill other characters, as well as a few good-to-know facts. You know, for whenever you’re ready to do some killing.
- Havocscope: The perfectly legal way to learn illegal things. It uses newspapers and police reports to tell you how much all sorts of illegal stuff costs. And no one can tell you off for it, because it’s totally legal, thank goodness!!!
- Traumatic Injuries Writing Reference Sheet: Wow. Just… Wow. The effort put into this is just… Wow. If you’re writing an injury, please check this out. It. Helps.
- Other Important Survival Skills & Information: If you’re planning on putting your character through a high-stakes situation, you need to know what it would take for them to survive. This kind blogger has put togther a whole listing of links that will take you to pages of information about surviving any given situation. Yeah. It’s awesome.
This blog is amazing! It’s basically just a compilation of a bunch of powerpoints about all sorts of stuff, from death to cancer, from sexual assault to child development. Everything you need to create an accurate story, detailed in a very organized format, all in one place!
A World on Fire
^^^Check it out!
For all of your character description needs!
Before I even begin, note: Any person included in any form of a story is a character for that story.
These links come from the collection I’ve been building over the last few years, and they all have to do with describing a character. From the way they look to the way they speak to how their expressions change, I’ve collected all my favorite websites here to make them easier for you to find!
Rememeber to read all of the descriptions thoroughly to choose the perfect word/phrase. That’s the way to create the best possible character.
Websites for Describing Characters
- Words used to describe someone’s voice: Ever tried to describe someone’s voice, and you just couldn’t think of a word that quite works? This link might just help out. It’ll take you to a page of Macmillon Dictionary (you’ll see a lot of that in this post) that consists of an alphabetically ordered listing of every word that directly has to do with a person’s voice. It’s basically awesome.
- Words used to describe facial expression: Another source from Macmillon Dictionary, this page is set up just like the one with the voices, but with facial expressions instead: It consists of an aphabetically ordered listing of every word that directly has to do with a person’s facial expression. It really helps when trying to pinpoint emotions, I swear.
- Describing a person’s muscles and general shape: Yet another source from Macmilliom Dictionary! This one is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a full listing of every word that directly describes a person’s body shape. Oh my gosh, this might be the most helpful source at all. Seriously! If you don’t want to call a guy handsome or strong, or a girl pretty or skinny, this has a bunch of other options that are much more interesting!
- Physical Feature Thesaurus: Not quite sure what exactly you want your character to look like? This may help. It isn’t a complete list (you’d have to buy the thesaurus for a complete list), but it’s still very langthy and helpful. Arms, backs, ears, toenails—this page has got it all! It even has descriptions for butts! You know, just in case you want the other characters looking…
- Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language: Are you trying to portray a character’s emotion, but don’t want to just outright say “they were feeling…” so and so emotion? Try using body language. This can also help with your character’s overall attitude. Let’s say your character has a secret to hide. Hey, look! There’s an emotion on the list called “secretiveness!” Now you know exactly how your character might normally act. Or, at least a part of how they might normally act. It helps, I swear.
- Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions: If you need help just understanding body language in general, this is a pretty great source. It just goes down a list of different body parts and how they can differ and what such differences might mean. It’s pretty helpful, honestly.
- Undestanding Body Language: Another source to help you understand body language. I don’t actually use this source all that much, but if you really want to/need to do an in-depth study of body language, this website has a bunch of links to scientific studies and theories of body language.
- Words used to describe clothes: Going back to Macmillion, here’s a list of ways to describe your characters’ clothes. I would suggest being a bit more wary in describing clothes (no one needs to know every detail of what your character is wearing, seriously), but if it’s important to the plot or setting, by all means, go for it. Here’s a great place to properly describe the clothes!
- How to describe a character | Using descriptive words: And here’s a whole page worth of lists for describing different aspects of characters. It mainly includes words to describe facial features, but it goes into all sorts of aspects. It’s definitely very, very helpful.
- Words used to describe someone’s face or features: It’s the return of Macmillian! Seriously, this site is the bomb. It is so helpful. This page on the site is just a list of words used to describe someone’s face or features. It’s just awesome.
- Words used to describe skin color: I would just link Macmillian, but all of these individual pages are the specifically helpful ones, so I’m linking them all individually. Here’s some words for describing skin color.
- Handy Words for Skin Tones: If you want some more specific ways to describe specific colors, this palette might help you out some. Make sure to be careful in your description, though. Seriously, don’t want to offend anyone.
- Eye Color List: Just so you can get über specific with your eye colors. It’s actually a really fun page to look at… I think I have russet brown eyes. Either that, or chocolate.
Or a list if websites that will help you choose the right word or remember that word you’ve forgotten.
Over the past few years, I’ve been putting together a collection of websites that help me out with writing.
The websites range from ways to describe characters, to finding the word on the tip of my tongue, to choosing the best weather for a scene. They’re mostly lists and collections that other bloggers have put together, but some are more complex and have really saved my writing in the past.
This time around, I’m sharing the collection of websites I’ve found that help out with word choice and/or finding the word you’re looking for. I’ll make more of these lists in the future for easy reference.
If you know of any great websites I missed that have to do with word choice or finding the right word, let me know! I’ll definitely check them out and see about adding them to the list!
I will be updating this post as I find more websites, by the way.
Websites that Help You With Word Choice
- Tip of My Tongue: I like to call this beautiful site “Saving Grace.” You know how you’ll be writing, and you’ll suddenly stop because there’s this perfect word you want to use, but you just can’t think of it? This site is the answer to your troubles! Just type in the meaning of the word, the letters in it, whatever you know about it, and it’ll give you words that match your search. Hopefully, one of the words will be the one you’re looking for. Bonus: I bet it’d be a huge help with word puzzles, too!
- OneLook Reverse Dictionary: Like the first site on this list, this site helps you figure out that word you can’t remember. All you have to do is type in the definition, and it’ll give you the word! Come on, you know you’ve always needed a reverse dictionary. Think about all the types you’ve known the definition of a word, but not the actual word.
- Words to use instead of SAID: Sweet gummy bears, this is one amazing site. Every time I start writing something lengthy, I pull this bad boy up and check it every once in a while, either when I can’t think of the word I want to use, I can’t think of a word that properly describes what I want to portray, or I just plain want a more interesting word. It’s a life-saver, let me tell you. Though I guess all of these are a bit of life-savers… Oh, you know what I mean!
- Said is Dead: Though not as extensive as the prior list, this is a nice visual aid that organizes the basic words that you can use instead of “said.” It’s a nice organized chart, especially if you don’t know what many of the words on the other list mean.
- Prepositions: This link takes you to the same website as the last link, but a different page on the site. This page is just a complete list of prepositions. I don’t use it too much, but it’s nice to have on hand. It comes in handy every once in a while.
- 101 Words to Use Instead of “Amazing”: Also known as all the words to use instead of “good.” It’s a very fun and complete list. I’m sure you could come up with even more words, but 101 words is a pretty good start.
- 60 Synonyms for “Walk”: Don’t say “she walked” or “he ran.” Say “she strutted” or “he sprinted” or “they lumbered.” Be creative! And if you’re having trouble pinpointing the word you want, here’s a list to help out!
- Thesaurus.com: Live it. Love it. Thesaurus.com. (And dictionary.com too, if you need it!)
- Synonym Finder: Just in case the Thesaurus isn’t enough, here’s a site that will give you a bunch of synonyms (among other things) and can spout out a graph/chart of them! It’s pretty neat and super helpful.
- synonyms for the most commonly used words of the english language: This includes the synonyms for “said,” “amazing,” and “walk.” However, these lists aren’t as extensive as the other lists I have linked in this post.
- Rhyme Zone: If you’re a rhyming poet, then you need this website. I use it all. The. Time. Seriously, it’s beautiful.
Fun, crazy, entertaining and completely original writing prompts that I’ve created for your writing needs!
Are you looking for some original writing prompts, but can’t seem to find them anywhere? Have you scoured the Internet for a prompt that actually inspires some thought, to no avail?
Well, do I have the list for you!
All of the prompts on this list, I’ve come up with myself! They’re all entirely original, created straight from my mind. Unless somebody decides to copy them (in which case they’d need to cite/link to this page), you won’t find them anywhere else!
I’ve done my best to make them crazy, entertaining, and fun, so I suggest having fun and being crazy when writing based on them. And whatever it turns into, just keep going. You never know, it could turn into an amazing original story! Or an amazing poem. Or and amazing flash fiction. Or an amazing… Something else. This list isn’t specified to any one form of writing. Write whatever you please!
So there a two main ways to do this:
- One is to read through these and choose one that you think you can write off of.
- The other is to pick a random number (or have a friend give you a random number) between 1 and 50, then write based on the prompt that corresponds with that number.
Both ways work fine, but I would suggest the second way. It’s the random option, and forcing yourself to write based on a random prompt can turn into a pretty entertaining piece. It may not be good, but you can always revise it later.
Remember: You don’t have to stick to the prompt. If you deviate from it, it’s totally okay. Just keep writing what wants to be written.
Also, though the majority of these prompts say you’re the one affected, you can write from any person (first, second, or third) and you can always write from a different perspective if you so choose.
Original Writing Prompts
- You are a zombie in a zombie apocalypse… And you’re also a vegetarian. Write a piece as this character/from this perspective.
- You just discovered that you can talk to fruit. Write a piece based on the conversation and events that come from this.
- A comb was randomly found at the scene of a crime, but no one knows how it got there! Tell the comb’s story.
- Perry the Platypus just showed up on the door and somehow communicated to you that he needs you for a mission. Write about the awesome adventure that follows.
- You know that phrase “pain is beauty?” Well, it might just be real after all. You’ve discovered a pair of heels that literally change the way you look so that whoever looks at you sees the perfect person (in regards to beauty). The real trouble is, the heels are eight inches tall and cut in at all the wrong places. Write a piece with this in mind.
- Your best friend just got turned into ice cream… In the middle of summer. Write… Well, you might want to start with how that even happened, but you can start wherever.
- Write from the perspective of the (or a piece of) candy in a candy shop. What are their thoughts as they wait to get chosen? Do they want to be eaten? What are their goals and aspirations?
- Flying pigs are trying to take over the world and you’ve discovered their plans, but no one will believe you. Tell your story in this instance.
- Weird creatures that look like apples are running around and eating people’s pants. Write about everyone’s reactions and the attempts to get rid of the apple creatures.
- A socially awkward unicorn appears out if nowhere and needs your help. Write about whatever commences.
- You’ve just discovered the Ultimate Burn Book that includes everyone in all of history, and it has the power to take over the world. However, there are some people who will do anything to get their hands on it. Write about what you do with the book and the results of your decision.
- Your teacher asks you for your homework, but you don’t have it! But you didn’t just lose it/forget it/throw it away. What happened to it?
- The jaguar doesn’t like your shirt, the giraffe ate your blanket, and the rabbits won’t go to sleep! Why did you ever agree to babysit these animals? Discuss this situation.
- A griffin shows up and starts eating everything in your house. What the heck, griffin. Write about your… adventure with this annoying griffin.
- A sphinx shows up, and it won’t stop telling riddles and eating anyone who answers wrong! Write about your… Adventure with this pesky sphinx.
- You’re a vampire, but you’re not a fan of blood. In fact, you’re a vegan. Write from this perspective/as this character.
- Somehow, you ended up in Antarctica, and the penguins and polar bears are starting a war over land. What did you do? How did you even get to Antarctica?
- Technology is taking over the world. The only way to stop it: Wear clothes from the eighties. Why that’s the only way is totally up to you.
- Everyone in the world starts dancing except you, and no one can stop. How will you save the world from endless dancing?
- You’re a dentist, and you’ve been asked to do a dental checkup on an elephant. Write about how that goes.
- A bunch of giant mutant gummy bears are eating all the chocolate! Write about your fight to stop them!
- “George Washington called. He wants his hair died.” You’re a hair stylist, and George Washington shows up at your shop wanting his hair died. Write about how that goes.
- You wake up, only to find yourself floating on your mattress in the middle of the Nile river. Not only that, but there are four hungry hungry hippos, and Cleopatra might be on that fancy boat coming towards you.
- Your best friend just found a voodoo doll of you. Write about the repercussions (my best friend suggested that they shove a pie in your face without actually touching the pie).
- You live in medieval Europe, and your King/Queen just declared war on the neighboring country because they prefer waffles over pancakes. Write from the perspective of the King/Queen’s main advisor.
- You’re part of a movie (your choice what movie), but you have no idea what’s going on. No one ever gave you a script! Everyone else knows what’s going on, but they won’t tell you. Write about what happens.
- You turn into the last thing you touched. Discuss how this occurence goes.
- You’ve discovered a pair of earmuffs that let you read minds. Tell the story of your adventures with these earmuffs.
- You’ve discovered an eraser that can erase objects from existence. Decide exactly how this eraser works and discuss your adventures with said eraser.
- Area 51 is real… And it’s run by bunnies. You are a photographer who wants to convince the world that they’re aliens. Tell your story.
- A random old man drags you into a parody of Wonderland (or Narnia, if you’d rather). Write about your experience.
- A moose is eating my shoes! How rude! We should get him some food. Could you?
- You’ve died, and you’re going back and forth between Heaven and Hell because no one wants you (sorry!). Describe your experience.
- Ants are carrying away your two year old sister to make her their Queen. What do you do?
- The Greek gods are drunk, and you have to keep them from destroying the world. Discuss your experience.
- Every time you Tweet something, it really happens! But they work like a genie‘s wishes in that your Tweets very rarely turn out the way you expect them to. Write about what you Tweet and the results/repercussions.
- You discuss hot dogs and hamburgers with an alien who entered our world through a painting.
- You discover clouds really are made of cotton candy, the moon is really made of cheese, and trees are really giant sticks of broccoli. What do you do with this information?
- Somehow, a store/shopping mall with all its merchandise still in it becomes your new home. Write about your experience.
- You wake up to find a mysterious package sitting on your kitchen table. You open it, and inside is… Van Gogh‘s cut-off ear, hung on a cord. And it just so happens that when you wear the ear, you can hear things that are normally silent. You can hear a rainbow, for example. Write about your experience with the ear.
- Every statue in the world comes to life. As in, they can talk and move whatever body parts they have. Write from the perspective of a museum curator.
- You work at a tattoo parlor. One day, the Queen of England shows up wanting a tattoo. How does everyone react? What tattoo does she get?
- There’s a skeleton in your closet. No, seriously. It’s playing dress-up with your clothes, and it’s asking you if you’ve got any doughnuts.
- The Easter Bunny shows up at your front door on Christmas Eve, pleading for your help because Santa‘s eaten too many cookies and can’t move, so he needs you to deliver the gifts. Write about… Whatever becomes of that.
- You’re going to be in the Olympics! Only problem? You have no clue how to play the sport you’re competing in, your teammates all speak another language, and you’re playing against monkeys. What could go wrong?
- Your favorite character just died, and as a result, the world will literally end (in some crazy way of your choice). Somehow, you have to convince the author/director to bring the character back to life before it’s too late.
- Your Grandma’s a drug lord, and she doesn’t even know it. How did you find out, and how will you break the news to her?
- The trees whisper to you… And they’ve got a ton of dirty gossip about the other plants, let me tell you! Write about what they tell you, or maybe even make it into a longer story!
- Turns out Mr. Snuggles, your favorite teddy bear, is actually a secret agent. Not only that, but you don’t know what side he’s on! You’ll have to find out!
- You’re a therapist, and Darth Vader is your newest patient. He needs some parenting advice, among other things. Write about your conversations and how you try to help him.