Question from the e-mail: Do you still have that questionaire you handed out in your workshopt for character planning?
Answer: Sure. See below.
CHARACTER PLANNING SHEET
Plot should come out of character, evolving naturally from each character's beliefs and desires. To understand your characters' feelings, take a look at the events that shaped their lives. Look first at the character's emotional life, then at world events.
Use the following interview sheet to get closer to your characters. It was Alice Orr who taught me that good characters do things for good reasons, and bad characters do things for bad reasons, but all characters should have an understandable reason to do whatever they do. Fill out a sheet below for each major character in your story.
Questions with a (*) must be answered.
Name, date of birth and place of residence? (*)
What does he or she want? (*)
What stands in his or her way? (*)
How will the character change by the end of the story? (*)
What is the character’s reason for taking action?
What are his or her strengths and weaknesses? (*)
What secrets does the character have?
What childhood or personal events shaped the character’s life?
What world events shaped the character?
Physical description: (*) (Hint: Sometimes it helps to pick an actor to play the role, as they are easy to visualize and describe, but never, under any circumstances, tell anyone who that actor is or say a character looked like the actor. Each reader will create the character in his or her imagination, and could get a rude shock. )
© 2012 Arline Chase