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  1. #1
    Brady Boyd
    Guest

    Character Template questions

    I'm posting a lot due to some issues with writer's block, and having some troubles getting to know my characters in my WIP. In an effort to create believable characters, I am putting together a list of questions that I can use to flesh them out. Would you like to help? Once I'm done I'll plop the complete list here, and also on a website for future reference.

    I've found some categories into which the questions can fall:
    LOOKS
    ATTITUDES
    FAMILY
    PAST
    GOALS
    HABITS
    HOBBIES
    PREFERENCES
    WORK


    Thanks.

    Brady Boyd



  2. #2
    Carter
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    I would add age - I like to give birthdates as well

    Also: motivations, what they want to achieve by the end of the story

  3. #3
    Brady Boyd
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    Thanks, Carter. Is motivation the same as goals?

    Brady Boyd

  4. #4
    Carter
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    I guess it depends. To me, goals suggest general, broad goals that would fit the character's personality but which may not be completely pertinent to the story, whereas motivation would be "why is this character behaving the way they do in this story?"

  5. #5
    Brady Boyd
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    Okay, I'll add MOTIVATION as one of the categories. Once I get a good number of responses, I'll plop 'em in the categories.

    Brady Boyd

  6. #6
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    Boxers or Briefs? (As you probably know, I think templates are for the birds and create sterotypical characters myself. Maybe some distance into the book, when the character has begun to flesh him/herself out, I might do something like this to help with continuity and consistency, though. Wouldn't want her in boxers for the first four chapters and then unexpectedly in briefs for the rest of the book.)

  7. #7
    Rhodi
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    Hi Brady,

    My two bits: "ailments" and "marital status". I'm also sending you a virtual Block-Be-Gone. *poof*

    -Rhodi

  8. #8
    Brady Boyd
    Guest

    Gary

    Yes, I poo-pooed templates as well, but as I admitted, I'm struggling for a spark. Usually an overdose of caffeine helps, but my stomach's sick of green tea this week.

    Boxers or briefs would fit under clothing PREFERENCES, yes.

    Brady Boyd

  9. #9
    Jennifer Lyon
    Guest

    Re: Character Template questions

    Here are some ideas:

    NAME: Why did your main character's (MC's) parents give him or her this name? Was he/she named after another person? Does your MC have a name that's common for his/her generation? (A teenager named Gladys or Bertha in a contemporary YA novel will probably have some "issues" about her name.) Perhaps your MC doesn't have a name, like the MC in BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY or the one in INVISIBLE MAN.

    GENDER: Male or female or somewhere in between? Does your MC have certain hang-ups related to gender? (Mom always wanted a girl and MC was Son #4.) Are your MC's career and interests different from what's expected of a man or woman in that culture? (For example, your MC could be the only male nursing student at his university or your historical novel could be about a 19th century female who wants to practice law.)

    RELIGION: In terms of religion, how was your MC brought up? How devoutly religious are MC's parents? What are the religious beliefs of the community at large? How does this affect your MC? Has your MC chosen a religion different than that of his/her parents or community? How does your MC's religious beliefs affect other areas of his/her life? How does MC feel about people who do not share his/her beliefs?

    SEX: What are your MC's attitudes toward sex? Where and how did he/she acquire these attitudes? Does your MC's sexual behavior reflect these attitudes or is there some discrepancy? (For example, your MC could be a "pro-family" fundamentalist minister who is secretly carrying on with the church choir director.) Is there some past sexual behavior that could affect your MC's life now? (The affair with the choir director happened twenty years ago in another state, but Wifey just found those old love letters in the basement.)

    RACE/ETHNICITY: Is MC an immigrant? A racial minority? (This will vary depending on where your story takes place.) Where did MC's family come from? How does MC feel about his/her ancestors? Does MC look or speak differently than the people around him/her? How does this affect him/her? What relationships does MC have with people of other races or ethnic groups?

    These are just some ideas. If I think of anything more, I'll post it.

  10. #10
    Brady Boyd
    Guest

    Re: Gary

    I'll plop marital status in with FAMILY. Ailments might fit in a category all itself...maybe OBSTACLES.

    Brady Boyd (whom you can put in WEIRDO)

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