Personally, I’m not big on planning. But I will admit that having a good plan does make the actual writing so much easier. There are a lot of ways that someone can outline or plan their novel. Some people have a very short, vague outline. This is pretty much how I roll for the most part. I usually don’t do very developed outlines. But what I do do is character profiling.
This is, for me, actually pretty fun. I really enjoy doing character profiling because it feels like I’m getting to know the characters as people and not just characters on a page. There’s a lot that goes into a character profile. Stuff that you won’t even bring up in your novel will show up in your profile. You want to know the characters backwards and forwards. There shouldn’t be a thing about them that you don’t know because they’re your characters. If you don’t know things about them for sure, you should be able to guess because again, your characters. Character profiling helps with that.
What are the sorts of things that you should put into a character profile? A lot of things. Their physical descriptions, for one thing. Are they tall? Are they short? How old are they? How much do they weigh? What’s their hair like? What about their nose? What’s their race?
Then you have things like their background. What was their family life like? How many siblings do they have? How many are still alive? What’s their history with their family? Are they well-off financially?
What are common phrases that they use? What sort of vocabulary do they turn to? Are they well-mannered? Is there anything about the way that they talk that sticks out? What sort of clothing do they usually wear?
Who are their friends? What’s their dynamic with their friends?
What’s their sense of humor like? Do they have a romantic life?
Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into a character profile, but those are just some examples of things that you might put into your character profiles.