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.