In honor of ‘NaNoWriMo and the need to prepare, I’m starting a series of posts on things to prepare. And one of most important things to know is your character and their character.
Once you have a story idea, you need to decide just who your characters are and the role they will play in the story. Generally, every story has a hero or heroine and a bad guy of some sort. You may also have some of the classic characters such as a mentor/teacher, an ally, comic relief, a victim, a red herring, or love interest. When you know who takes part in the story, you need to know who they really are. And that does matter.
For example, if your character seems to be an animal hater yet is constantly confronted by people who love animals, it will create lots of tension. But, the why of hating animals will have a huge impact on the story. When this character was a child, did a beloved pet die a horrid death, right in front of their eyes? Or perhaps the pet was stolen or taken from them. Their heart broke so to keep from getting hurt again, they decided they hate animals.
You may have to dig down deep inside the character to find this information. One of the coolest ways to get to know your character is to interview them. Image sitting across from each other — you ask, they answer. Which is why I have put together a list of over 60 character interview questions. This isn’t the standard, hair color, height thing. It’s questions meant to discover just who they really are.
There are also questions you can ask the best friend of you character. These are kinda cool…think there are about 20 or so. And then I have some questions you, as the author, must answer about the character.
I planned on offering my list of 91 Character Questions on the sidebar, just click and download, but due to life, I haven’t figured out just how to do that yet. So, if you’d like a copy of those questions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request them. I’ll be happy to send them to you. And, yes, I’ll probably keep your email addy and send you an update ever so often but I promise not to give out your email to anyone and not to over send stuff to you. :-)
So, prepare for NaNo. Get your story idea then start getting to know the characters. Remember, it’s the writer’s job to bring those characters to life for your readers.