The more I write the more I become convinced that it is imperative writers utilize character sheets. No one wants to read a story filled with one-dimensional characters who fall flat when it comes to being believable. Readers will forgive a lot in a story if the characters are people they can invest in and really care about. That means doing your legwork, and making sure you craft characters that can practically live and breathe on their own.
When you start talking about a series of books written about the same characters, it becomes all the more important to keep track of their specific traits. Relying on memory is like trying to wrangle a slippery eel, and let’s face it, no one wants to do that. If you’re a genius and can manage it, hat’s off to you sir. I know if I tried to rely solely on my memory the characters in my book would probably undergo sex changes at least twice. Honestly, though, I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read where the character’s eye color changed with each book. Good storytelling this does not make for, young padawan.
So, I sat down and started once more tinkering with a character sheet. I have this odd obsession with all of my setting information having to not only be organized, but pretty on the eyes as well. If I have an ugly setting document, I’m not happy with it. I will literally waste hours finding a way to better organize the information and decorate it. This may be a form of procrastination, but at least I can claim it’s related to my work.
Here is my finished product for a character sheet: click me!