how to CREATE a CHARACTER from *SCRATCH*✍🏼my 3 step character developing process

ana neu
15 Oct 202208:16

TLDRIn this video, Anna shares her 3-step process for creating a character from scratch, emphasizing the importance of understanding the story and themes first. She uses her book's main character, Robin, as an example to illustrate how the character's background, social status, and motivations are integral to the narrative. Anna also encourages viewers to consider character limitations and offers free templates for character profiles to help deepen the development process.


  • 📝 Start by identifying the story's origins and how it came to be, as this will guide character creation.
  • 🎯 Focus on the main themes of your story, such as feminism or social dynamics, to inform character attributes and roles.
  • 🌟 Choose characters that reflect and enhance the story's themes, ensuring they are integral to the plot.
  • 💭 Limit the number of main characters to one to three to maintain focus and depth in character development.
  • 👤 Consider the character's gender, age, social position, and occupation as crucial elements in their development and story relevance.
  • 🏰 Use the character's background, such as their environment and experiences, to shape their motivations and actions.
  • 🌐 Understand that the plot doesn't happen to the characters, but rather the characters happen to the plot, highlighting their importance.
  • 🎭 Develop a deep understanding of your main characters, including their convictions and personal histories, to inform their role in the story.
  • 👥 Include side characters that add layers and depth to the main characters, influencing their development and interactions.
  • 🖌️ Utilize character profiles to further explore and define the characters' personalities, interests, and backgrounds.
  • 📈 Provide templates or guides for character development to assist others in creating well-rounded and compelling characters.

Q & A

  • What is the main focus of Anna's video?

    -The main focus of Anna's video is to discuss a 3-step character development process for creating characters from scratch.

  • Why does Anna believe it's important to establish the importance of characters in a story?

    -Anna believes it's important because characters are crucial in storytelling; they are the ones who tell the story, not the plot happening to them.

  • How does Anna usually start her writing process?

    -Anna usually starts by coming up with the story first and then brings the characters into that story.

  • What are some themes Anna wanted to emphasize in her book about Robin?

    -Anna wanted to emphasize themes like feminism, girl power, and the dynamics between peasants and a kingdom in her book about Robin.

  • Why did Anna choose a female character for her story?

    -Anna chose a female character because it made more sense for the themes she wanted to explore, such as feminism and the struggles of peasants.

  • How did Anna develop the character of Robin?

    -Anna developed Robin as a young peasant girl, a thief, with a backstory of her parents being exiled and killed by the king, fueling her desire for revenge.

  • What are some factors to consider when developing a character from scratch?

    -Factors to consider include the story and themes you want to explore, the character's gender, age, social position, occupation, and their personal convictions.

  • What does Anna suggest is the next step after establishing the character's role in the story?

    -The next step is to delve deeper into the character's personality, interests, and the reasons behind those interests, including the development of side characters.

  • How does Anna recommend character development for writers?

    -Anna recommends using character profiles and provides free templates for both main and side characters to help writers with their character development.

  • What is the significance of the character's backstory in Anna's process?

    -The character's backstory is significant as it provides context for the character's motivations, actions, and how they fit into the story's themes.

  • What does Anna suggest for limiting the number of main characters in a story?

    -Anna suggests focusing on one to two main characters, as it helps maintain a clear narrative and allows for deeper character development.



🎨 Character Creation from Scratch

In this paragraph, Anna introduces the concept of creating a character from the ground up. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the story and themes before developing characters. Anna shares her process of creating her main character, Robin, for her project 'BB', highlighting how the character's background, motivations, and role in society were chosen to reflect the themes of feminism, girl power, and revolution. She explains that the character's gender, social status, and occupation are crucial in telling the story and that having a limited number of main characters helps in focusing on their development.


🌟 Developing Characters to Reflect the Story

Anna continues to discuss the development of characters, focusing on how their attributes and personalities should align with the story's themes. She stresses the importance of considering the character's role in the narrative and how their traits contribute to the plot. Anna provides a detailed account of Robin's character, explaining how her background as a peasant and her desire for revenge against the king were instrumental in shaping the story. She also touches on the significance of side characters and their contribution to the main character's development. Anna concludes by encouraging viewers to use character profiles for a deeper understanding of their characters and offers a template for this purpose.



💡Character Development

Character development refers to the process of creating and evolving a character's personality, traits, and backstory to make them believable and engaging within a narrative. In the video, Anna emphasizes the importance of starting from scratch and building a character to fit the story's themes and plot, using the example of her character Robin to illustrate how the character's background and motivations are integral to telling the story of revolution and feminist ideals.

💡Story Creation

Story creation is the process of构思 and developing a narrative, which includes establishing the plot, setting, and characters. In the context of the video, Anna explains that her approach to story creation begins with the plot and themes, which then informs the selection and development of the main characters. This ensures that the characters are integral to the story and not just passive participants.


Themes are the central ideas or messages that a story aims to convey. They provide a framework for understanding the characters' actions and the narrative's underlying meaning. In the video, Anna highlights the importance of aligning the characters with the themes of the story, such as feminism and the dynamics between peasants and the kingdom, to create a cohesive and impactful narrative.


The plot refers to the sequence of events and actions that make up a story, driven by the characters' goals, conflicts, and resolutions. In the video, Anna stresses that the plot does not happen to the characters but rather the characters happen to the plot. This means that the characters are the driving force behind the events and their actions and decisions shape the story's outcome.

💡Character World Focus

Character World Focus emphasizes the importance of developing a deep understanding of the characters' world and how it shapes their experiences and perspectives. This includes considering their social status, environment, and personal history. In the video, Anna explains that by focusing on the character's world, writers can create more nuanced and believable characters that resonate with readers.

💡Social Hierarchy

Social hierarchy refers to the structure of society where individuals or groups are ranked according to their status, power, or wealth. In the video, Anna discusses how the social hierarchy of the kingdom influences the characters' roles and their attitudes towards the ruling class. This hierarchy is crucial in determining the characters' motivations and the conflicts they face.


Backstory refers to the events, experiences, and history that have occurred before the main narrative begins. It provides depth to a character by explaining their motivations, fears, and desires. In the video, Anna explains that understanding a character's backstory is essential for creating a well-rounded and believable character, as it informs their actions and decisions throughout the story.


Feminism is a social and political movement advocating for gender equality and the rights and equality of women. In the video, Anna wanted to emphasize feminism as a central theme of her story, which influenced her choice of a female protagonist and the exploration of themes related to female empowerment and the dynamics between different genders in society.


Revolution refers to a significant and sudden change in the structure of society, often brought about by the overthrow of an existing government or social order. In the video, Anna's story revolves around the concept of revolution, with the characters and their actions driven by the desire for change and justice within their society.


Peasants are members of the lowest social class in a society, typically living in rural areas and working in agriculture. In the video, Anna's story explores the dynamics between peasants and the ruling class, using the character of Robin as a representation of the peasant's struggle and their potential for rebellion.


A thief is a person who steals, often viewed as a criminal in society. In the context of the video, Anna chose to make her character Robin a thief to reflect her rebellion against the kingdom and to symbolize her attempt to reclaim what was taken from her and her people.


Anna shares her 3-step character developing process for creating characters from scratch.

The importance of understanding the story and its themes before creating characters is emphasized.

Characters should reflect the story's focus, such as gender and social status.

The character Robin is introduced as an example, who embodies themes of feminism and revolution.

The character's background and personal experiences should align with the story's plot.

Limiting the number of main characters helps in focusing on their development and story contribution.

Characters should have a purpose and drive the plot, rather than being passive participants.

The process of character development starts with understanding their role and significance in the narrative.

Anna provides a free template for creating character profiles to help in their development.

The video offers practical advice for writers looking to build strong and impactful characters.

The character's personality, appearance, and name come after establishing their role and significance in the story.

The importance of character-world focus is discussed to create a cohesive and engaging narrative.

Anna's method encourages writers to think deeply about their characters' motivations and backgrounds.

The video provides a clear and structured approach to character creation, beneficial for both new and experienced writers.

The character's social hierarchy and occupation play a crucial role in storytelling.

Anna's enthusiasm for character development is evident, inspiring confidence in her process.