Getting To Know You

I was at a writing related meeting and a published writer was speaking about how she develops her characters. She passed around a twelve page questionnaire she fills out for each of her characters. The questions ranged from the character’s relationship with his/her mother to the type of medical insurance the character used. It was interesting to see and listen to her explain how answering the questions helped make her characters well-rounded.

When I come up with an idea for a story, I know very little about my main characters. I might know their names and approximate ages. It’s not until I flesh out the plot more that I start sketching out my characters. I grab a notebook and pencil and then start jotting stuff down, keeping in mind the plot of the story. Once I get enough details listed, I start making connections between the main players and list potential scenes. My characters continue to grow and sometimes they change as I write the story. 

So how do you get to know your characters? And for a bonus question, if your main characters were at a karaoke bar (they can either go together or alone), what song would each sing? And why?

Here are my answers to the bonus question:

Heroine D would sing Nasty Girl by Vanity 6 to purposely embarrass the hero.  Hero T wouldn’t sing because he doesn’t like to be the center of attention. But if Heroine D picked  on him enough, he’d sing Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together .  Or if she teased him about one of his hang ups, Teddy Pendergrass’s Turn Off The Lights to prove her wrong.



Filed under Kimberly, writing

7 responses to “Getting To Know You

  1. Heroine D would be singing the UB40 version of “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”

    Hero G would sing Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle.”

  2. Inez Kelley

    Da’ girls
    Charlie – Fever by Peggy Lee
    Livvy – Stand By Your Man- Tammy Wynette
    Frannie- Mama, He’s crazy – THe Judds

    Da guys
    Coe – *blush* I don’t sing, go away
    John- Get that damn thing outta my face
    Jinx – Vanilla Ice *snicker*


  3. If forced, and by forced I mean held at gunpoint, she would sing “Time After Time” and he would sing “Sweet Child O’ Mine”–but only if he could air guitar too.

  4. talesfromthecrit

    It’s interesting to see that you go about it the opposite of how I do, Kimberly. I think of the characters before the plot. They tell me who they are and then I decide what sort of trouble a person like that might get into. It’s funny how different and yet the same the stuff that goes on in the minds of writers are.

    Hmm, Karaoke…
    I can’t imagine Chandler singing at a bar, even though he certainly can sing since it’s part of what he does. Hmmm. I don’t know.

    Actually, I just went down the list in my head and I can’t imagine any of my heroes singing at a karaoke bar. Really.

    Not true. Aodhagan would. And he’d sing this,

    or, actually, maybe this one.

    He has a vanity plate from one of his friends at the DMV that says Mr PSS because of this song. LOL.

    My heroines would be much more likely to sing in public. Andi would sing a show tune. Maybe Roslind Russel’s version of Conga.

    Of course she’d need some help but I can’t see Andi having any trouble getting drunken men to help her sing.

    Fielding would probably also sing a show tune being as that is her training. Hmm. Which one though. I think What I Did For Love from A Chorus Line.

    This is actually really fun, I could probably do this all day, but I won’t. Okay one more.

    Helen would sing Whatever Lola Wants

    I seem to have a theme going on here. But hey, everyone has a few songs to listen to if they want, lol.


  5. Ohhh, this is fun.

    Kristair: Gradh Geal Mo Chroi (Fair Love of My Heart)

    Jacob: Nothing On But the Radio – Gary Allan

  6. sonyacardiff

    Hero M would sing “Brick House” by the Commodores. 🙂

    Hero R and Heroine D would do a duet of “Dancing Cheek to Cheek.”

  7. laniefuller

    Let’s see.. Bianca would probably sing I Shall Believe – Sheryl Crow right now.

    Chas, la hero, probably wouldn’t sing at all. He’d say something smooth and get out of it.

    And I can’t imagine Jade or Linc singing.

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