Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Character Development 101 Part Dos: The Giant Form of Doom

*evil cackle* I know this is a very long post.  As a good friend would say: live with it.  It's helpful, I promise!
When working on a character, some things are often overlooked, forgotten, or just plain too hard to figure out.  Filling out a giant form of doom like this really helps to keep track of your character.  There are many of these online.  This is just one of them that I found, slightly modified.  Some of these may not be relevant, depending on what genre you write.  If you're writing a fantasy novel set in another world, chances are their favorite music and books won't be relevant because it's not set in our world.
It looks intimidating.  I know.  Once you get going, it's actually much easier than you would think.  It shouldn't take very long.  Feel free to add or delete categories as you figure out what works for you.

The Form of Doom Begins Here:
Today's Date:
Full name of Character:
Reason, meaning or purpose behind the name:
Nickname:
Reason for nickname:
Race:
Occupation/class:
Social class:

Appearance
Age:
How old they appear:
Eye Color:
Glasses or contacts?
Hair color length and style:
Weight and height:
Type of body (build):
Shape of face:
Distinguishing marks (dimples, moles, scars, birthmarks, etc.):
Predominant feature:
Is s/he healthy?
If not, why not? Or why are they healthy?

Favorites
Char’s favorite color:
Least favorite, why?
Music?
Least favorite music, why?
Food:
Literature:
Expressions:
Mode of transport:
Hobbies:
How do they spend a rainy day?

Personality
Are they a daredevil or cautious?
Do they act the same alone as when with someone?
Habits:
Greatest Strength:
Greatest Weakness:
Soft spot:
Is their soft spot obvious, why/why not:
If not, how do they hide it:

Background
Hometown:
Type of childhood:
First Memory:
Most important child hood event that still effects him/her:
Education:
Religion:
Finances:

Family
Mother:
Relationship with her:
Father:
Relationship with him:
Siblings, How many, relationship with each:
Children of siblings:
Other extended family:
Close? Why or why not:

Attitude
Most at ease when:
Most ill at ease when:
Philosophies:
How they feel about themselves:
Past failure they would be embarrassed to admit:
If granted one wish what would it be, why?

Traits

Optimist or pessimist? Why?
Introvert or extrovert? Why?
Drives and motives:
Talents:
Extremely skilled at:
Extremely unskilled at:
Good characteristics:
Character flaws:
Mannerisms:
Peculiarities:
Biggest regret:
Biggest accomplishment:
Darkest secret:
Does anyone know?

Self-perception

One word they would use to describe themselves:
One paragraph of how they would describe themselves:
What do they consider their best physical characteristic and why:
The worst one? Why?
Are they realistic assessments?
How they think others preserve them:
What four things would they most like to change about themselves:
Why?
Would changing of number 1 make them more happy? Why/why not:

Interaction
How do they relate to others:
How are they perceived by strangers:
Friends:
Wife/husband/lover:
The Hero/Heroine:
How do they view the Hero/Heroine:
First impression of the char:
why?
What happens to change this perception:
What do people like most about this char:
What do they dislike most about them: 

Goals
Immediate:
Long term:
How do they plan to accomplish them:

Problems/Crisis

How do they react in a crisis:
How do they face problems:
Kind of problems they usually run into:
How they react to new problems:
How they react to change: 

General
Favorite clothing, why:
Least favorite, why:
Themesong:
Other accessories:
Where do they live:
Where do they want to live:
Spending habits, why:
What do they do too much of, why:
Most prized possession, why:
People they secretly admire, why:
Person they are most influenced by, why:
Most important person in their life before story starts, why:
How do they spend the week just before the story starts:





And there you have it.  Why is it called the Form of Doom?  Because I felt like it.  Why not?

3 comments:

  1. Great advice as always!
    Thanks, seriously, this helps a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It really is the form of doom. Very hard and very tiring, but oh so helpful. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only I can think of to add is birthday. Just a suggestion, otherwise it's perfect! Thank you so much again! (On her third of four of these)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...