Image from Giphy.com.  Shot of Severus Snape, baby Harry Potter, and dead Lily Potter from Harry Potter.

Give Them History

Now that you know who your character is, let’s figure out who you character was.

Perhaps one of the most difficult steps, this is where your writing abilities will be most tested.  Consider everything about your character so far, consider where your character lives, and within what time period your narrative takes place.  What does that time period imply?  Does your character act as expected in that world, or not?  Scan their aspects for hidden background ideas as well.

Considering all this, ask these brief questions to the best of your ability to flesh out your character’s backstory, and be sure to write the answers to these questions as plot points when possible:

  1. Where was your character born?
  2. Who raised them?
  3. How was the character raised?
  4. What did they want to be?
  5. What moments define them?
  6. Who was important to their backstory?
  7. What did they learn from their own history?

An entire series of articles could be written on making character backstories specifically, but this should at least give you enough to write a general plot for a character backstory.

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