Organize Your Character Profiles

Character descriptions can take on lives of their own. Some writers map out every little detail while others list only the highlights. Regardless of your preference, with a series, you’ll want to organize your character profiles.

Preference plays into the method you choose, but if you plan on writing an extended series, you’ll benefit from using software that’s simplifies the creation, storage, and retrieval of character profiles.

Readers demand you keep names and descriptions consistent. In a series, that’s no simple task:

  • Each novel has primary and secondary characters.
  • Characters often reoccur within a series.
  • Later books introduce new characters while eliminating others.

I keep the current character profiles within Scrivener for reference as I write. That works fine for books one and two. But when I get to the third, keeping track of every character in my current manuscript can become unwieldy.

The better approach is to keep a master inventory of character profiles. 

  • Scrivener features drag-and-drop copying of character profiles from your open writing project to the master inventory.
  • It’s easy to create a new character profile from a pre-formatted template in your current novel and then drag a copy to the master inventory.
  • Likewise, when you start a fresh novel, you can move a copy of the reoccurring characters into the current manuscript.

Some prefer the old-school method of typing a character profile and storing a printed copy in a three-ring binder. Scrivener works just like a digital version of a three-ring binder. The key difference is Scrivener can keep open multiple documents, which makes it a snap to reference a character in the master inventory or in your current manuscript.

To see how you can create character profiles, visit Tame Your Book and check out the post, Free Character Template.