Story Challenge Week 3 – Characters

Week three of my story challenge is all about characters, and here are some of my top tips for creating your own fictional characters.


I get names from all over the place.

  • Real names
  • Names of stars, planets, trees, fruit etc
  • Street names, city names
  • Nonsense words, words spelled backward

Make a list of names and add to it when you come across any names that you like.


Inventing a character is a bit like meeting a person for the first time. Think of the questions you might ask someone.

  • How old are you?
  • Where do you live?
  • Do you have brothers and sisters?
  • What’s your favourite colour, what are your favourite hobbies?
  • What do you hate most in the world? (You might not ask someone this when you meet them, but it’s a useful question to ask your character.


Think of your favourite books and you’ll see that the main character almost always has a problem they’re trying to solve.

In my Accidental Pirates, Brine Seaborne is trying to find out who she is. In Mirror Magic, Ava and Howell need to find out what’s happening to the magic in the town of Unwyse. In Storm Hound, Storm has fallen out of the sky and needs to get home to the Wild Hunt.

Make a list of some of the problems your character could have. It could be something big or something quite small. The important thing is they care about solving the problem.

Here are some ideas.

  • Your character has lost something.
  • Your character has broken something.
  • Your character is a knight who has to kill a dragon.
  • Your character is a princess trapped in a tower.

Once you have created a character and a problem you’ve got the beginning of your story. Next week I’ll talk about writing the middle part of the story.