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Thread: Character sheets--how important is it to write these out before starting a novel?

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    USA
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    2,796

    Character sheets--how important is it to write these out before starting a novel?

    So I'm now on step 7 of something called the snowflake method, and step seven wants me to to expand my character descriptions (sketched early in the snowflake, step 3 I think) into full fledged 'just about everything you could ever know about each character.' Like, the religious practices of each, and so on and so forth, really down into minute detail. You are given a week to do step seven.

    Yes, characters are very important, but my instincts tell me that characters should not be cast in stone before the story is written. That they need room to breathe. I know from experience that characters will reveal things to me as I am writing the story, and also, many of my characters carry over from novel #1 so I already know them pretty well.

    I'm skipping ahead to step 8. (I'm a rebel.) But part of my brain (the part that follows recipes exactly) says I should not skip step 7. I told my brain, I said, I'll check in wth other writers and ask them:

    What are the pitfalls of starting a novel with partly formed, but not yet fully fleshed, characters?

    What are the advantages of doing so?
    Last edited by Patty; 07-28-2019 at 12:15 AM.

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