Characters

I think we’re both writing things that are character-driven rather than plot-driven, so it’s very important to be clear about who these characters are, their motivations, goals, backstory, even their appearance.

One of the best things I ever read about writing new characters is that people tend to ‘cherry-pick’ parts of their friends (or at least people they know) to create a kind of Frankenstein’s monster which then fails to hold up as a convincing character once things get going – or worse, suddenly can’t do what you need them to do to tell the story you want to tell. They may be able to walk and talk, but can they tap-dance?

So we’re going to think about our characters and do some character bio sheets for them. As well as producing another 3 pages (at an absolute minimum – more if possible!) of actual story.

We can do this.

The entries on the bio sheet should be as full and interesting as possible, including reasons why, amusing stories, etc.

Copy and paste the following 25 questions into a new document and fill out once for each main character;

  • FULL NAME:
  • AGE / DOB:
  • FAMILY MEMBERS:
  • CHILDHOOD:
  • EDUCATION HISTORY:
  • CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
  • DESCRIBE THEIR HOME:
  • FAVOURITE COLOUR:
  • FAVOURITE OBJECT & WHY:
  • BEST FRIEND, INC. FUNNY STORY:
  • HOBBIES/INTERESTS:
  • FAVOURITE ITEM OF CLOTHING:
  • INTERNET PRESENCE (I.E. BLOG, FB, INSTAGRAM, ETC):
  • PHYSICAL APPEARANCE (TATTOOS, SCARS, HEIGHT, WEIGHT, HAIR, EYES, ETC, INC. PIC IF POSSIBLE):
  • FAVOURITE COMEDIAN:
  • PROGRAMME THEY NEVER MISS:
  • BOXERS OR BRIEFS:
  • FAVOURITE GENRE OF MUSIC/ARTIST:
  • FAVOURITE WAY TO SPEND CHRISTMAS/BEST CHRISTMAS EVER:
  • BEST BIRTHDAY EVER vs. LAST BIRTHDAY:
  • CONTENTS OF THEIR POCKETS:
  • MOST OVER-USED WORD:
  • QUIRKS, HABITS, ALLERGIES:
  • GREATEST REGRET:
  • RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL VIEWS:

2 weeks allowed.

By the end of this assignment, we should have at least 8 pages of story.

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