Character Themes Template

This is a template I use for designing my characters. It’s great for protagonists, but also for ancillary characters. If you can’t fill in any of the below sections for your sidekick, ask yourself why they need to be there?

This template is not designed to tell you a character’s hair colour, eye colour, shoe size, or how they like their eggs. It is for the process of applying the core themes and elements of your narrative to your character’s development, and visa versa. Not all fields need to be filled in for every character. Use your own discretion to determine which ones are relevant. You may find that you do not have all the answers at the beginning, but they fall in place as you further develop your story.

The examples given are very basic responses, and are just there to give you an idea of what kind of content you can include. Ideally you would have multiple aspects for each field.
Core Relationships and Nature of the relationship:

  • Mother – strong single-parent to child bond.

Overall theme created by these relationships:

  • importance of family ties

Core character traits at the beginning of the story:

  • selfish

Aspects of the character’s life that influenced these traits:

  • wealthy upbringing

Core character traits at the end of the story:

  • selfless

Events that led to these changes:

  • lost all his money and father

The character’s primary goal:

  • avenge his father’s death

Reflection of this goal in the primary relationships:

  • the connection is family

Core themes of the story:

  • altruism

Reflection of core themes in the character development:

  • loss of wealth leads to new understanding of what is truly important

Reflections of core themes in primary relationships:

  • would make any sacrifice for family, this extends to altruism towards others


Another great resource for character creation and development is 33 Ways to Write Stronger Characters. Be sure to check it out.

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