Character Sketch Galore

I just bought a Mac. And on this Mac I finally purchased Scrivener, which I have heard so much about when it comes to the writing world. (Side note: In love. If I could marry it, I would.)

The program comes pre-formatted with character and setting sketches, which is nice because it asks questions that make you think about your character as a whole and develop the backstory that isn’t necessarily that important to the story, but is for the character.

Anyway, here’s the one for the main character, Donovan. I’m hoping he sounds like a pretty interesting main character and doesn’t seem too dull or boring (really just wrote bull or doring first. Sleep is a necessity for me right now.) I want him to be unique and well-rounded, so I decided to post what I wrote and see if I could get feedback from anyone?! I would appreciate it very much =)



Donovan Hagan Carter


Role in Story: Main character of the story. One of the four chosen from our world to enter the Kingdom of Konida and help them preserve Ianaro. His elemental power is fire, and he’s the first to receive his power, making him feel like he’s been put into the leadership role.

Occupation: At the beginning of the series, he starts as a server working at a restaurant. Once he comes into Ianaro, he turns into a really strong warrior (a dark one, in correlation with his name). He chooses the scythe as his weapon — one with multiple daggers conveniently placed on each end.

Physical Description: Tall, around 6’2”. Sandy blond hair, kept short and oftentimes spiked. Big sapphire blue eyes, a long nose with a little curvature but not an obnoxious amount, straight white teeth and the body like a Greek god, as Kaylee (his girlfriend) describes it. More of the model-esque “pretty boy” in the group, and definitely looks a bit out of place in the other world.

Personality: Type A, but if he’s surrounded by only Type B people he tends to mold into the same type. He likes to be right, likes to be in control, and likes to be in the center of attention. His sense of humor changes depending on his mood, but he’s generally easy to get along with and loved by most people who encounter him. He has a certain charm about him that most people are attracted to but are unable to explain.

Habits/Mannerisms: Has a tendency to take things too seriously at first. He can be hard up and hard to talk to, maybe even a little stand-offish until someone gets to know him. Has a nervous habit of twirling things through his fingers (I.e. Pajama strings and hoody strings.) Likes to read and play a lot of video games, drink beer with Logan (his best friend/roommate), watch television, and avoid dramatic situations.

Background: Born on April 7, 1990 (Aries)

Has one brother who’s ten years older, and he rarely gets to see him. They had a strong bond for the first eight years of his life, but the brother had a falling out with his parents when he left for college, putting him in the middle of an awkward situation. This situation started him feeling like he always needed to provide the right answers from a young age, which becomes a major personality trait later on in life. He keeps a lot of his own issues to himself because he doesn’t want to burden the world with his problems, but he rarely says no to anyone. He’s in between a pushover and a jerk sometimes, depending on the amount of advice/help asked of him, but he’s generally more than willing to always put his best foot forward. He and Logan were raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts, before moving to Lowell together for school. Very goal-oriented and career driven, most of his colleagues don’t realize his age because they always think he’s much older (instead of being 23, they think of him more in the late 20’s stage of his life due to his maturity.)

Internal Conflicts: Hates admitting defeat. At the beginning of the story, it drives his hesitation for seeing a therapist, because in his mind that openly admitted his weakness.

External Conflicts: Feels a lot of pressure from the outside world. While it may not necessarily be true, he thinks he carries the weight of everyone’s issues on his shoulders. Apart from being the first Chosen, a multitude of people prior to the situation have come to him seeking advice, making him feel like he always has to have the answers to every problem. It becomes part of his drive to lead his friends into success, and molds part of the reason his internal conflicts revolve around the fear of failure.


Notes: Name means Dark Warrior, which is actually really perfect due to his complications surrounding his power of fire and how it begins to consume him.


2 thoughts on “Character Sketch Galore

  1. Writing characters is fun. But what will you do with the character? Is he appropriate for the story you want to tell?

    Having said that, I have to admit that my own approach ping-pongs between characters and plots, and I’ve started with characters as often as not. I’ve even got a philosophical justification for doing so, because people and events in their lives rarely fit together neatly.

    That said, what’s Carter good for? I zero in on your description of him as being both a pushover and a jerk at different times. He sounds like he’s God’s gift, but doesn’t really know how to handle it. I would expect there is not a logical, but psychological, difference between what his actual merits are, what he believes they are, and what he believes they should be. So he becomes even more an idealized figure in this other world, but have him bump up against reality, too, have it teach him a few hard lessons about himself, preferably ones in which he has serious choices to make. It would be even cooler if the world he’s fighting for has similar misperceptions about itself, which he also has to address.

    Some thoughts, probably at variance with what you want to do with the character, but what I saw in him as described above.

    • I hate writing characters! I feel like there’s always so much pressure put on to them and it stresses me out! At least the backstories of the characters that make them come into the characters we’re introduced to. I agree with your idea on people and lives rarely fitting together neatly, and I’m rather fond of chaos making the path for one’s life.

      While Donovan is a central character to the novel and thinks he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, that’s not exactly the case. Being only one of the four people destined for the powers they’re fighting for, he is not idealized as much as he thinks he is when they enter into the other world. (A.K.A., you’re spot on with the psychological difference between what his actual merits are, what he thinks they are, and what he thinks they should be.) He definitely has to learn some hard lessons about himself over the course of the book (rage and greed consume him when his power rises and he has to sacrifice someone he loves the most to win the war), but his character starts to mold with the insanity that surrounds him. He gets a few reality checks here and there about who he really his and his real worth, and leads the pack convincing everyone else to do the same.

      “It would be even cooler if the world he’s fighting for has similar misperceptions about itself, which he also has to address.” — I like this, actually. Thank you for sharing it.

      Also, thank you for taking the time to give such detailed feedback! You’re a master at conversationalist comments, I’m envious.


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