August 18, 2008

Daily Blog 18: Just the (Character) Facts

For fun, today I decided to play off a past post on 50 Memes that Dani wrote about at BlogBookTours .

To make a character real, you need to know their likes/dislikes, habits, quirks, tastes, favorite music, and more of the facts besides just their eye and hair color.

It's those kinds of details that make the character appear real to you as a writer and more importantly, make them real to the reader.

So for today, I've adapted one of those memes that can be used to better know your characters.

A short eight to 10 question list can help you round out your characters before you write. To keep track of the facts and descriptions for later use, you can use a character worksheet (download in PDF format) or do a detailed character profile log as described by author Marvin D. Wilson.

Examples in this exercise are based on my characters, Sam and Lita, from Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery.

Feel free to use your own characters and share some of their quirks and personalities.

Eight Character Facts

1. Your Character's Favorite Word:
Sam likes to say 'holy cow' a lot.

2. Your Character's Favorite Pastime:
Lita likes to read. Sam is a dabbler and hops from one project to another.

3. Your Character's Oddest Thought:
Sam tries to picture she, her mom and her pal Lita in a pillow fight.

4. Your Character's Favorite Food or Snack:
Sam likes chocolate and Starbursts candy. Lita likes Banana Laffy Taffy candy.

5. Your Character's Worst Memory:
Sam hated when she and Lita were mad at each other in grade school.

6. Your Character's Likes or Dislikes:
Sam hates spiders. Lita doesn't like ghosts or spooky stories.

7. Your Character's Favorite Dessert:
Both girls like ice cream.

8. Your Character's Worst Moment:
Sam doesn't want her mom to know they got scared of some noises outside.

** Your Turn: Copy and tell us about your character. Other categories that can be added include: favorite sport, clothing, hairstyle, music, etc.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting questions to ask your characters.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like this! My problem with doing it before writing a character would be that these quirks make themselves known as I write...

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  3. Good stuff! I like to develop as much of a character as possible before writing, (and thanks for the link to my blog, btw - smile) but I also agree with Zhadi that lots of times those serendipitous quirks present themselves as the story unfolds. But good prep is always a sound practice. Here's my character, Owen Fiddler's answers (Kind cheating, though, cuz he's already been written up and pub'd)

    Eight Character Facts

    1. Owen's Favorite Word:
    You would need to bleep it out here.

    2. Your Character's Favorite Pastime:
    Drinking, carousing and womanizing at the pub.

    3. Your Character's Oddest Thought:
    Why am I here? What's the point?

    4. Your Character's Favorite Food or Snack:
    Greasy Spoon diners - cheeseburgers and fries.

    5. Your Character's Worst Memory:
    Being responsible for his own daughter's death.

    6. Your Character's Likes or Dislikes:
    He likes to dance, but dislikes paying the fiddler.

    7. Your Character's Favorite Dessert:
    Doesn't like sweets much. Closest thing would be that cigarette after sex.

    8. Your Character's Worst Moment:
    Worst and best, actually - coming face to face with his maker in the never-world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fun post! I used it as an opportunity to think about one of my characters. And, since I haven't blogged myself in a while, I posted it here: http://beachhouseintheburbs.blogspot.com/2008/08/meet-billy-poteet.html

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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