The Easiest Way to Plan Characters in a Series: Cloning (Yes, Really!)

This spring, Becca and I released two very important tools for writers… The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd edition (expanded by 55 entries) and a Character Builder Tool at One Stop for Writers.

These two releases happened within days of each other, unplanned, because if we’ve learned anything about building software these last few years it is that releases rarely hit their target date. And that’s okay with us, because the team at One Stop cares far more about quality than deadlines!

Because these two big projects releases so close to one another, we weren’t able to spend as much time describing just how powerful the Character Builder at One Stop for Writers is.

It’s the first tool we’ve created that uses all the content from our many character-specific descriptive thesauruses, meaning as you plan your character’s backstory wound, physical features, personality, skills, etc., the character builder shows you all the options we have in our description databases. Even better, it’s hyper intelligent, so each time you choose a specific detail, the tool prompts you with more options tied to that detail so you can go deeper. Building a fascinating, complex, and unique character now takes half the time!

This alone makes the CB tool different from anything else, but we weren’t finished, so we pinpointed specific details from your character’s profile that, when combined, will create an accurate character arc blueprint:

There are a million other things I could tell you about this tool, but today I want to point out one super helpful feature: the ability to clone characters.

Why Do I Need a Clone?

Many of us write series, meaning we often carry our characters from book to book. But as the series progresses, our protagonist’s goal and motivation will change, they will have different flaws to overcome, and something new will be at stake. Redoing all that character planning seems like a lot of work…unless you can make a clone!

Just click the button, and boom, you have a clone. All their details carry over, and you can focus on whatever changes for the next book: the goal, the stakes, newly-acquired talents, and whatever is motivating them to achieve a specific objective.

And then you can head back to their character arc blueprint and see exactly where the story will go from here!

This is a perfect way to tweak and adapt characters as they grow book to book. It is also handy if a character’s role changes, say if your protagonist had a love interest in book 1, but in book 2, an ugly war pits the lovers against one another and now she’s the antagonist. You’ll need to change certain things about this character but her backstory, personality, beliefs, appearance, etc. will remain the same. What an easy way to save yourself some work!

In just a few short months, One Stop for Writers users have created over 2000 characters using the Character Builder tool!

How amazing is that? And if you’d like to see how deeply layered these characters are, check out our character Paul Graham or watch a video to see this tool in action.

Have you tried out the Character Builder Tool at One Stop for Writers using our FREE TRIAL? We’d love to hear about the characters you build!


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
This entry was posted in Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Description, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, High Stakes, One Stop For Writers, Series, Software and Services, Tools and Resources, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons. Bookmark the permalink.
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Richard Hebert
1 year ago

I am a newbie to writing as I started writing fiction 3 years ago. Have not thought about writing a series character and at my age I don’t know how much time is left on the clock. (74 going on 75 in Oct.) My father lived to be 50 and his father 35, so I just write and see how it goes. I don’t think I will ever be a real writer for a living but I do live to write. My education was almost nonexistent in school as were I went my father was poor and they figured why waste time to teach me to read. In my youth spent my time supporting a family and now with only SS. income paying someone to check my work is hard. So I write and I can see my work getting better.