One tool writers use to assist in their short story or novels is a Character Profile Sheet. It aids in creating characters that hopefully spring to life on the pages. Below is a character profile sheet developed from various sources. While rather lengthy, all parts need not be completed. Depending on the genre, additional sections might be added (as in the case of science fiction or fantasy).

Sparing the usual biography page as seen on many writers’ websites, I’ve completed a character profile sheet on myself, as if I was a character in a story.  As you can see, many items may be blank, especially if they have no real bearing within the story. Take for instance ‘neck’ under the physical appearance section. Generally this could be left blank; however, if the character had a scar on his neck from a noose he wrangled free from just before the trap door sprang; well, that’s something worth mentioning.

As you can see from below, some entries are truthful; others are fabricated or exaggerated. You decide which is which.

For those wanting a blank sheet to use for their projects, please go to this page.

Who could play your character’s part in a movie:  Ned Beatty, Peter Boyle.  He’s not the leading man type.

(Attach a photo or a picture cut out of a newspaper or magazine to represent your character or a sketch if you’d like)

Name  – Reverdy Lewin Orrell, III

Nickname  –  Reb, aka ‘The Depraved Brain’.

Work  – MIS, tech support, webmaster.

Role in Story Date  – Main character.

Character’s Major Goal  – Become an accomplished writer.

Present Problem  – Unknown writer.

How Will It Get Worse?  –  Rejection slips will start to pile up and become a fire hazard.



Sex  – Male.

Age  – Born June, 1949 (you do the math).

IQ  – Dull normal.

Nationality  – American (why do we get so hung up on ethnic labels?).

Birthplace   – Baltimore, Maryland.

Sexual Drive & Appetite   – Morning, noon, night, and in between snacks.

Religion  – Not important.

Religion Beliefs  – Few and far between.  Often prays to Dollie Parton, the Goddess of Cleavage.

Political Party  – Registered Republican but votes for the ‘lesser of two’ evils, conservative in most areas, ultra-conservative in all others.

Social Class – In Childhood  – Middle class.

Social Class – At Present  – No class.

Relationship status  – Married 1970; divorced; remarried in 1999.

Children, Names/Ages/etc.  – Reb IV, born 1974.

Hobbies/Pastimes  – Reading, writing, screaming at the TV while watching news shows.

Organizations  – Various Masonic organizations (past presiding officer of several), Sons of Confederate Veterans, Moose Lodge, Maryland Writers’ Association, Orrell Family Association (founder), plus several others he was asked to leave.

Sports Spectator/Participant  – Active in youth with wrestling, judo, softball; currently enjoys channel surfing, thumb wrestling, watching ice hockey and staring at cleavage.

Favorite Books  – ‘The Unloved‘ – John Saul, ‘Gone with the Wind‘ – Margaret Mitchell.

Favorite Authors  Novels/Short Stories  – Novels – John Saul, Dean Koontz, early vampire series by Anne Rice; Short Stories – various authors.

Favorite Movies  – ‘Joe‘, ‘Blood on the Sun‘, ‘Smokey & The Bandit‘, ‘Gettysburg‘, plus several ‘adult’ movies of which ‘Hump the Hostess’ and ‘Back Door Bandit’ top the list.

Favorite Music  – Light Jazz (non vocals with plenty of sax).  I hate Rap!

Enjoy The Arts?  – NO !  NO! – waste of time – doesn’t like anything artsy-fartsy.

Favorite Animal  – Dogs.

Favorite Entertainment  – Watching an ice hockey game, relaxing in West Virginia, taking a drive in the country with his wife.

Favorite TV Show(s)  Older/Current  – OlderAlfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, Carol Burnett, I Love Lucy; CurrentThe Shield, Alias, Monk, Nip/Tuck, The O.C.

Favorite Singer(s)  – Current – Sade, Luther Vandross. Classic – 50’s & 60’s, Motown groups of the 60’s.  Also enjoys some country music with Confederate Railroad, Travis Tritt, and Brooks & Dunn being his favorites.

Favorite Actor(s) – Current – Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Denzel Washington, Clint Eastwood; Classic – Cary Grant, Doris Day, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, W.C. Fields, John Holmes.

Favorite Color – Why?  – Navy blue.

Favorite Weather – Why?  – Warm and sunny.

Favorite Foods  – Drinks  – Meatloaf, steak (medium rare), potato chips, a good cup of flavored coffee, sour beef and dumplings, Western omelets, cold Hamburger Helper, diet Coke, and hotdog and lentil soup.

Foods Disliked – Why?  – Anything healthy in nature.

Magazines  – Alfred Hitchcock, Cemetery Dance, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, several chess problem magazines.

Newspapers  – No free time to read newspapers.  Was editor of The Prison Pen, while incarcerated.

Other Likes/Dislikes/Comments  – Illegal immigrants who crawled in under the fence; scam artists, telemarketers, basketball, the Kennedys & Clintons, Dan Rather, all politicians, and anything French.

Politics & Views – The U.S. should pull out of the U.N. and stop being the police dog for the world, stop dumping money into third World toilets, death penalty should be instantly imposed on drug dealers, murderers, terrorists, rapists, bleeding heart liberals and jaywalkers; give us the Congressional pension system and let those idiots live on our Social Security; stop caving into liberals and politically correct retards.


Height  – 5′ 6″

Weight  – 210 (subject to change)

Eye Color  – Brown.

Hair Color  – What hair?

Skin   – Reptilian.

Color  – Gray, with shades of blue.

Complexion  – Rough.

Forehead  – Slanted.

Jaw Line  – Broken.

Eyebrows  – One, very bushy, stretching from ear to ear.

Eyes  – Just one, Cyclopes style.

Hairstyle  – Hard to do anything with only a few strands.

Facial Hair  – Has had a mustache and a beard in the past.

Face  – Ugly.

Lips/Mouth  – Twisted.

Breasts/Chest/Hips/Waist  – Yes, definitely a breast man.

Neck  – See above.

Ears  – Hairy.

Nose  – Broken.

Teeth  – Two, on bottom.

Shoulders  – Two, one sits eight inches higher than the other.

Legs  – Three, counting the one in the middle.

Feet  – Wears orthopedic inserts, Achilles problems, sometimes walks with a limp and needs to use a cane.

Hands  – Roaming.

Fingers  – Six on left hand, seven on right hand, often used in conjunction with his roaming hands.

Additional Detail – Left-handed.

Scars/Birthmarks  – Several knife wounds.

Voice Quality  – Slurred.

Sounds Like  – He’s drunk all the time.

Characteristic Manner Of Speaking  – Grouchy, grumpy, harsh, rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.

Posture/Walk  – Neanderthal.  Walks like he has a load in his pants.

Physical Distinctions  – A real mess.

Type Body  – Roly-poly.

Mannerisms  – Childlike.

Illnesses/When  – Mental, since birth.

Major Accidents/When  – His mommy dropped him on his head as a baby.

Cartoon Character He Most Resembles – Cross between Mr. Magoo, Elmer Fudd, & Goofy.


General Appearance  – Ragged.

Clothing Usually Worn – Why?  – Anything comfortable; although has been known to wear a tuxedo.

Also Wears – Why?  – Adult diapers, wild, multicolored Hawaiian silk shirts, cowboy hat.

Jewelry/Accessories –  Nose ring.  Has been forced to wear handcuffs in the past.

Reason: Fashion/Sentiment/Religion/Other  –

Character Dresses Like  – Someone stuck in the 60’s. Never wears anything that is considered ‘in style’.

Appears: Wealthy/Poor/Mid Income/Other  – Mid income.

Dress Distinctions  – Enjoys sweat pants and T-shirts, seldom wears underwear.

What Image (Overall) Is Portrayed?  –


Major Mode Of Transportation  – Tricycle.

Car, Year/Make/Model/Color/Condition  –

Other Vehicles  – A Jules Verne ‘time machine’.

Home, Type/Age  – (2) – one in Baltimore, Maryland; another in Berkeley County, West Virginia.

Describe:  Townhome in Baltimore, single family cabin in Berkeley County.

Describe Home Furnishings  – Practical, affordable, and comfortable.


Predominant Colors/Textures  – Blue or gray solids, color blind, has hard time dressing himself.

Atmosphere: (Physical/Mental/Emotional)  – Unstable; prone to burst out in fits and rage followed by long periods of sobbing.

Other Accommodations/Assets  – Depleted bank account.

Pets  – Two dogs; Cheyanne (sheltie) and Brandi (cocker spaniel).


Completed (Grade/College/Special Education)  – BA. UMBC, some graduate work at University of Baltimore; graduate of Writer’s Digest School.

Name Of School Where? Major/Additional Training  – Several classes in website design.

Where?  – Baltimore & Washington, D.C.

Excelled In Favorite Subject  – Lunch.

Awards – Voted most like to rise to a mediocre position in the fast food industry.  Also considered the most likely to receive the death penalty.  He’s still working to achieve both; has come close on the later.

Poorest/Best Subject/Grades  – Poor – Physics, math, Best – Public Speaking in college; on honor roll through high school.

Special Communication Skills  – Can communicate on all levels from the board room to the gutter; prefers the latter.

Language Proficiencies  – English should be the only language spoken; plus a little Pig Latin.


Income/Source/Amount  – Not enough.

Where Employed  – Last job was making license plates while behind bars.

Position/Length/Time  – Missionary.  Yes, he has served time in the past.

Previous/Other Work  – Part time website design, full time pervert.

Union Or Professional Affiliations  – Has no use for unions or most professional organizations.

Work Schedule  – 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

Quality Of Performance  – Always on probation; keeps one step ahead of being fired.

Reputation Level Of Enjoyment  – Coworkers run and hide when he approaches.  Never take him seriously; never listen to his opinion; second guess or challenges everything he says.

Professional Ambition  – To retire at 62, out on bail, having both mortgages paid off.


How Are Problems Usually Solved?  – Generally through violence. Also writes irate letters to CEOs, followed up by phone calls and postings on his blog.  If all else fails gets even by making the person a victim in one of his stories.  Enjoys going up against companies and organizations – views this as an enjoyable event.


Father Profession Living/Dead   – Living, retired.

Mother Profession Living/Dead  – Living, retired.

Parents Are – Happily Married.

Brothers/Sisters  – None.

Other Key Relatives  – Cousins, aunts and uncles.

Describe Home Life While Growing Up  – Normal, happy.

Attitude Toward Parents  – Excellent.

Attitude Toward Siblings  – n/a

Other Relatives  – Excellent.

How Has Attitude Changed From Childhood? Why?  – No.

Interesting Info On Family  – They’re normal, unlike him.

Childhood Trauma?  – Stuck on an elevator for three hours.  The music reel was stuck and they kept playing Beatle songs over and over.  To this day he goes into a fetal position whenever he hears John, Paul, George, or Ringo.

As A Child What Did He Want To Become? – A trial lawyer.

Did He Accomplish That? Did Anything Stand In The Way? – No. Something called ‘law school’ stood in his way.  That and, of course, time in the nut house.

Best Advice His Father Ever Told Him – A car is merely a way to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.

Best Advice His Mother Ever Told Him – You make your bed, you lie in it.

Stories He Would Like To Write – Has a great horror story in the back of his head about a Senator who makes sexual advances on a young intern.  After he gets his way he wants to get her out of the picture and drives his Buick over the side of a bridge where he leaves her to die in the water. He goes home and goes to bed.  The next day he ‘remembers’ that something happened and holds a press conference wearing a phony neck brace.  I’m sure a horror novel like that has never been written before.  Another horror story would involve the President of the United States having oral sex in the White House Oval Office.  When questioned he acts goofy and debates the meaning of the word ‘is’.  He gets caught and eventually must confess, only after his DNA shows up on her blue dress.  I know that’s far fetched, but it would make a good horror story.


ChildhoodCurrent  – Closest childhood friends are still his best friends.


Currently Lives In (Town/County/State/Country)  – Anne Arundel County, Maryland with a second home in Hedgesville, Berkeley County, West Virginia.

Nearest Landmark/City And Distance/Direction  – Crownsville Mental Hospital; Prison for the Criminally Insane.

Also Lived In / Worked In  – State Mental Hospital.

Because  – His elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top.  He was wrongfully convicted of a morals charge and defended himself in court. Served an extra three months for mooning the judge.

Travel History/Reason  – Has traveled extensively crossing many state lines to escape from authorities.

Favorite Spot – Why?  – In the ‘Red Room’ at his West Virginia cabin – it’s quiet and peaceful.


Had student deferment in college; was a correctional officer in the only maximum security juvenile institution on the East Coast.


Most Important Thing To Know About Character  – He means what he says; ask a question and you’ll get a straight answer.  Brutally frank.  Has no patience.  Dislikes change.

One Line Characterization  – He’s a straight up, stand up guy who you can count on.

Values  – Believes in family values.  Believes every person should be held responsible for their own actions.

Morals  – Truthful, honest (unless a lie will work).

What Traits Will Make Character Come Alive? – Why?  – A six pack of Miller Genuine Draft usually works.  And, of course, porn.

Why Is Character Worth Writing About?  – By his own admission he’s proud to be a PIP (Politically Incorrect Person).  He enjoys striking back against liberals and won’t back down.  He’s happiest when they’re so mad they become tongue tied with smoke shooting out of their ears.  Many people are ‘closet’ PIPs.  He’s been out of the closet all his life.

Why Is Character Different From Other Characters?  – Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Fights for truth, justice and the American way.

Spending Habits (Frugal/Spendthrift) – Why?  – Frugal on everything except computer equipment & books.

What Does He Do Too Much Of?  – Working on computer.

What Does He Do Too Little Of?  – Writing.

Reader Will Like/Dislike – Why?  – They know exactly where he stands on any issue.

This Character Will Be Remembered Because  – He doesn’t back down and stands up for what he believes even if he’s the only person that believes it.

Main Character Trait – Minor Traits  – One tract mind.

Outstanding Qualities  – If you’re his friend, there’s nothing he won’t do for you.  If he doesn’t like you he’ll do his best to just ignore you and act as if you don’t even exist.  He won’t go after someone without just cause.

Inferior Qualities/Faults (As Seen By Him)  – Wears his emotions on his cuff; could never bluff in a card game.

Inferior Qualities/Faults (As Believed By Others)  – Too many to list.

Strengths/Weakness (As Seen By Him)  – Strengths: Thick skinned, truly doesn’t care what others say or think about him.  Organized and well motivated in areas he considers important.  Weakness: None.

Strengths/Weakness (As Believed By Others)  – Weakness: Bullheaded, stubborn, politically incorrect.  Has a vivid imagination.

Habitual Mannerisms  – Mumbles to himself.

Habitual Expressions  – Usually involves four letter words.

Stress Level  – Average, except when watching news shows.

Sense Of Humor  – Yep!, warped.

Sees Self As  – A frustrated writer with not enough hours in a day.

Seen by Others As  –  A pain in the ass.

Biggest Failure To Date  – Won the Baltimore City Weightlifting Championship in 1969 but bombed out at the state level.

Biggest Success To Date  – Winning the hand of a wonderful lady in 1999.

Biggest Trauma To Date  – The aftermath of winning the hand of a wonderful lady in 1999.

Things He Never Gets Around To Doing? – Working on chess problems, casual reading, completely relaxing.  He is always working on several projects at any one time.

Character Changes In Last 10 Years  –  More frugal, more relaxed.

Dreams (Still A Dream Or Has He Given Up On It)  – Becoming accomplished at writing.  Will never give up.

Pet Peeves  – Too many to list.

First Impressions Others Have Of Him  – Stubborn, immovable on opinions, hardnosed.

Does That Impression Change?  – Probably not.

Does He Care? – Absolutely not.

Most At Ease When  – At home in West Virginia with wife and dogs.

Things He Hates  – He’s not prejudiced – he hates everything.

Drives And Motivations   – Constantly works.  Wants to be successful at something.  Now in his mid 50’s realizes time is running out.

What Annoys This Character  – Cliques, office politics, real politics, woman’s football, politically correct people, community associations and their Nazi Gestapo attitudes.

Who Is Their Hero/Villain In Life  – Heroes: G. Gordon Liddy (was willing to take a bullet for what he did), Harry S Truman (actually a 7th cousin) – had no problem dropping the bomb to end WW II; Michael Savage (Talk Show Host), Rick Roberts (Talk Show Host), Ann Coulter (conservative columnist, Michele Malkin (conservative columnist); Villains: The Clintons, Ted Kennedy, Je$$e Jack$on, Al Sharpton; school teachers, police, clergy, or anyone else who abuses children, politicians who think they know ‘what is best’ for the rest of us, liberals who want to give money to people who are just too damn lazy to work, the U.N., professional athletes making several million a year who go on strike for more money, liberal judges who let criminals off easy, illegal immigrants, and people who came to America yet refuse to learn the language.

Tolerance Of Others?  – Little to none.

Acceptance Of Other Cultures?  – Not if they’re in America.


Leader/Follower/Dropout/Other  – Very independent, not easily led.

Ambitions/Desires  – Wants to retire to his home in West Virginia, leaving the Baltimore area which he considers to be an urban demilitarized zone.

Moral/Immoral Code –   High morals code, would never harm anyone on purpose.

Philosophy Of Life  – You are responsible for your own actions.

Temperament (Basic Nature)  – He’s OK provided you don’t piss him off.

Basic Emotions (Predominant)  – Content.

Inner Conflicts/Complexes  – Fears he might not make it as a horror/mystery writer and might have to turn to writing children’s books or sitcom comedy scripts.  If that fails, he might have to do something useful like become a brain surgeon.  He figures, if that happens,  he’ll at least be able to keep his website domain name.

Superstitions/Imagination  – No superstitions, vivid imagination.

Frustrations/Irritations  – His wife pushing him to write children’s stories.

Fears/Phobias  – He’ll wind up in jail for attacking some condescending, superior acting person.

Deepest Regret  – That he didn’t start seriously writing at an early age.

Darkest Secret  – That people will discover he’s not half-bad.

Self Confidence Level  – High.

Most Feared Threat – Reaction To Threat  – That he’ll write a book whose plot will be carried out by a madman forcing him to appear on The Jerry Springer Show to defend himself.

Reaction To Emergency  – Generally calm.  Easily excitable when watching porn.

Apparent “Soft Spots”  – Dogs, other animals, abused children, battered spouses.

Level Of Common Sense  – Minus two.

The Very Best Thing About The Character  – You can leave his website at any time and not come back.

The Very Worst Thing About The Character  – He’s captured your IP and email address and will stalk you forever.

Summarize events/influences in the character’s life which make him/her shape the plot of the work in an unavoidable manner:

What happens in the story to make this character or the people around him/her different from the impressions they gave in the beginning of the story?  As people get to know him they’ll find he’s not that bad.

Misc. – You’d hate to meet this guy in a dark alley.  Not the type you’d take home to meet Mom & Dad.