Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Working It Out Wednesday: Characters

Elena and I are winging it- this whole co-writing thing. Yes, we have some sort of system we've come up with and, yes, it is working (yay!) BUT perhaps we should be a bit more organized. We do have an outline and we try to talk weekly when we play tag with our story. Still, the story and characters are developing as we write.While allowing development to occur in this manner may be fine for writing alone, it might get confusing down the road with two of us.

I didn't really analyze all this until recently when I read Ink Diva Diaries regarding "How to Grow a Character." In it, the writer used an analogy I loved- though not necessarily the image it evoked. Lori Sizemore described her free writing process as vomiting her characters onto her page. I can relate to this because it is what I do; however, I commented that the character worksheets she introduces in her post might be beneficial to Elena and I so that our vomit would be consistent. (insert winky face here)

A day later, I was flipping through a book and I stopped on a page: Character Bio Worksheet. Are you hearing bells and whistles? Because I am. And the neon signs pointing to it are pretty bright!

In case you're interested, here are the questions in the Character Bio worksheet:
  1. Age
  2. Occupation
  3. Family Members and/or Significant Others
  4. Personality Traits
  5. Character History (where he/she is from)
  6. Highest Level of Education
  7. Physical Traits
  8. Biggest Motivator
  9. Biggest Fear
  10. Things he/she likes and dislikes
  11. What kind of music does he/she listen to
  12. What do they like/not like about themselves
  13. What is their favorite childhood memory
  14. What is their most traumatic life event
  15. What is their most prized possession
  16. What kind of transportation do they use
  17. What is his/her favorite food
  18. What is the most interesting thing about this character
  19. What does this character's voice sound like
  20. If limited to five words, which ones would most people who know this character choose to describe him/her
I'm not sure what we're going to do, but I do know I'll be analyzing the topic a bit more! I hope this gives you all something to think about, too.

Happy Writing!


  1. I'm glad my analogy inspired (but grossed you out).

    For co-organizing you could try using a wiki that you both update. Sort of like making a novel bible.

  2. Thanks, Lori! Yes, it was inspiring! Thank you, too, for the wiki suggestion.