As I mentioned before, I am not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. However, I am working on a story. Well, actually I am working on the pre-writing of a story. I have learned the value of an outline and the “Character Questionnaire”. Since characters are what attract your readers and keep them reading, along with a good plot line, it is important to create rich, memorable characters, and the best way to do that is by knowing your characters inside and out. That is the purpose of a “Character Questionnaire”.
A Character Questionnaire asks questions about your character(s). I intend to fill out a Character Questionnaire for each of my protagonist, my antagonist, and a few other characters that I feel I need to know well because they will be doing quite a bit of interacting with the protagonist.
You can find lots of character questionnaires online, simply by googling “Character Questionnaire”. There is even a NaNoWriMo character questionnaire at http://blog.nanowrimo.org/post/61118193819/nano-prep-the-official-nanowrimo-character. There are 46 questions on this character questionnaire.
The character questionnaire that I am using comes from an E-book that I got free from K.M. Weiland at http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/?s=crafting+unforgettable+characters. It’s very in-depth and it’s really helping me to flesh out my character, to the point where she is becoming real to me, so I know I’ll be able to write her well. Not only do I have to know what she looks like physically, I have to know what her idiosyncrasies are, what cheers her up or annoys her, what are her hopes and dreams, does she have a secret, where and when was she born, and so much more. (I used “her” and “she” because the character I am working on is a female.
I am enjoying creating my character with the help of a character questionnaire.
How about you? Do you use a Character Questionnaire to help you create your characters?
2 thoughts on “Character Questionnaires”
I use a fill-in biography form that I got through the now-defunct CWG. Last year, my current mentor (and forever mentor I suppose) DiAnn Mills, talks about filling in those gaps. Ask the question: What happened to the character five years ago? Two years ago? One year ago? One month ago? One week ago? Yesterday? This morning? Right before the opening line. Gives us a lot of food for thought, doesn’t it? 🙂
Wow, it certainly does. That might be harder than the Character Questionnaire that I am using that has me figuring out the character’s looks, likes, dislikes, background, talents, what makes him/her angry, sad, happy, his/her idiosyncrasies, and so much more. It really makes you get into the heart and head of your character.