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Character Profile: Cindy Thorn

I've never done a character profile before, but a lot of authors find it useful when trying to understand their characters better. Once you know your character inside and out, it becomes easier to write about them in any situation and really let them take the lead in writing the story. I find that I often let my characters surprise me as they move the plot of the story forward. I'm more of a pantser than a plotter (we can talk about those later) which means I don't plan a lot of my story out ahead of time. My character's lead.

My aim in filling this out is that I'll have an even better understanding of this character and it will make editing my book a little bit easier. Read until the end to see if I gained any insights by doing this, or if I find value in going through this exercise and would do it again.

I hope you like Cindy as much as I do and might be interested in reading her story when it comes out! I found the outline for this character profile from Reedsy- a website that's a great source for any author.


Cindy is one of the main characters in my novel "Shelf Space." She's a stay-at-home mom that yearns to go back to college and finish her degree, but she's also bound with the responsibility of taking care of all the men in her life; including her messy younger brother, needy husband, and six-year-old son. I always pictured someone like Jennifer Lawrence or Hillary Duff playing her if this book was ever adapted into a movie.

Basic Info:

Name: Cindy Thorn

Age: 32

Current location: Ponte Vedra, Fl

Education: Some college

Occupation: Homemaker

Physical appearance:

Height: 5' 7"

Eye color: Hazel

Hair color: light brown/dirty blonde

Build: medium with wide hips

Distinguishing features: A kind, round face

Preferred outfit: basic t-shirt and jean shorts with Keds

Distinguishing tics or mannerisms: Grinding her teeth when she's upset or deep in thought

Speech and Communication:

Style of Speech: Sarcastic but straightforward

Tempo: fast

Pitch: Higher than she would like, especially when she's upset

Does she gesture: Only when she's angry

Level of eye contact: normal, but more deliberate with her husband

Preferred curse word: Shit

Laughter: loud and sporadic

Smile: wide but hesitant, like it might be wiped away at any moment

Is she emotive?: She has a hard time hiding what she's feeling at any given time

The Past:

Hometown: somewhere on the east coast of Florida

Type of childhood: Difficult. Her father left when she was a teenager and her mother worked

all the time. She was left to take care of her brother and herself a lot.

Education: She had to drop out of college to take care of her brother after their mother died

Named most likely too: run for office

Past Jobs: cleaning houses with her mom, college school bookstore, administrative assistant

at a small law firm.

Dream Job: speechwriter for Jed Bartlet

Greatest regret: Never finishing college (feeling like she settled)

Hobbies growing up: reading, cheerleading, student council

Favorite place as a child: Disney World

Major turning points in her life: Dad leaving, brother's mental health breaking down, mom

dying, dropping out of school, marrying Daniel, giving birth to Luke, taking Clint in after



Father's occupation: Sales

Mother's occupation: Maid

Siblings: One younger brother, Clint

Spouse: Daniel, together since sophomore year of college

Children: Luke (age 7)

External Relationships:

Close Friends: Janice, whose son is in Luke's class. She is rich and lives for the "now."

Enemies: The 'momfia' at school. A clique of popular and mean moms who run the volunteer


How are they perceived?: Mild-mannered and nice, if a little over-baring at times. She wants

to be liked by everyone, though sometimes her filters fail

Social media: Facebook mostly, she doesn't really understand Instagram, but follows a lot of

politicians and celebrities on Twitter

What is their role in a group dynamic?: Parent

Who does she depend on for...

Practical advice: Daniel

Mentoring: no one

Wingman: Janice

Emotional Support: no one

Moral Support: Janice

Significant other: Daniel. He's steadfast, if a bit emotionally immature. He cares for her but

also cares for the perception of money and happiness. He's ambitious and a little



What does she do on rainy days?: Entertain her son or read a book

She could be described as: introverted with plenty of common sense. Very practical

Favorite place in the world: snuggled in bed with Daniel and Luke

Secrets: She resents her family and blames them for holding her back from her full potential,

yet she also knows she uses them as an excuse to not chase her dreams

Most wanted thing in the world: To feel a sense of accomplishment for something other than

how she serves others

Biggest flaw: trying to be in control of everything and holding too high expectations

Biggest strength: seeing the potential in people and working to care for those around her

Biggest fear: Being unneeded and therefore unloved

Biggest accomplishment: her son

What does she want to be remembered for?: making a difference

What object would she save if the house was on fire?: Luke's baby book

What makes her bored?: pretending to care about PTA meetings

What makes her angry?: When the people around her fail to see her for who she is

How strong is her moral compass?: Very. She's rigid in her beliefs of right and wrong, which

leads to a difficulty compromising

Pet peeves: chewing with an open mouth, littering

Best compliment she's ever gotten: "You're a good mom"


After working through that list, I found that I put a lot more of myself into my character than I originally thought. I was also surprised by how different she was from me in some aspects. I always knew she was an amalgamation of myself, my mother, and a few other strong women in my life, but I didn't see that ways in which she had grown into her own being as well. There were some questions that I skipped because I didn't have an answer. I think that's okay though because I don't know some of the answers for myself. I would say that I found this exercise helpful, but it would be more beneficial to a story that was just starting out instead of one that was in the end stages of editing.

In writing more of this character I hope to discover more about her and what drives her. I'm in my seventh revision of my current book and each time learn a little more about her, and her brother who is the other main character. If everything goes well, this should be my last revision before I start submitting to agents and then it will go through the next long revision process, but knowing who my characters are deep down will help to guide me, even when other voices begin touching the book. The characters should be the guiding force, staying true to themselves no matter what edits are made to their plot.

A horrifying AI generated image of what Cindy might look like

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