A month ago I moved, and ever since then have been sick and pretty much holed up in my living room, stealing my dad's comfy green recliner. The excessive time I've had to just sit and think produced another story idea, and finally I had time to really sit down and use that Character Writer. So here's what I found...
When you first open Character Writer 3.1, you can immediately start filling in a character's basic information, from their name to their catchphrase and story goal. A file can be made for each story/novel you are working on, and within that file you can have a subfile created for each character.
From there you simply keep hitting the continue button, answering basic physical appearance questions and then, my favorite, personality questions. This program takes you through the Enneagram personality-typing system to help you better understand just where your character is coming from.
After the psychology of your character is founded, then you can dig into background. What makes your character do what he does? What significant event in his past made her like this? You answer another series of questions, all different but set up the same way, before heading into dialogue and relationships.
If you have created more than one character, there is a relationship generator in which you can enter in a secondary character's type and see how he or she might react with the main character. It's a handy little tool to see just how these two people might clash or work together in real life. Here's an example from one of my own projects in which my main character, a type 5, is placed against his love interest, a type 8, and his sister, a type 9:
By this point, you've completed most of your character development. There are further pages to write out story beats, note sheets, specific scenes that come to your head, etc., but the meat of it is done, and believe you me, I'm always exhausted by this point.
While this program is extensive, one thing I would still recommend is taking a piece of paper and writing out your character basics first. Write a brief description of their background, their interests, what they want. It will make the process go by much faster and you won't feel the need to skip around or "come back to it later," and it will allow for more creativity when it comes to fleshing out details.
The Character Writer 3.1 is an excellent tool for getting to know your characters deeply and solidifying their story in your mind; it's more than a character writer, but really helps you grasp where you want your story to go. After using this, I felt more prepared to write my novel. The program definitely works best for main characters, or any character you want to flesh out, but you can still use the basics to keep an eye on your secondary characters.
Overall, I'd give the program 4.5 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone looking for help in developing better characters. If you're interested, you can buy the program here. Let me know if you've tried the program and what your thoughts are!
(**Please note that I was not given a trial run from The Writer's Store in exchange for a review, but simply purchased the program on my own and wanted to post a review so other's might know about it.)