In constructing characters for one's role playing antics, many people are often caught up in what character they wish to portray, and design. Knowing a character well takes time, dedication, like getting to know a living person. But taking the time to do so can help you find new directions to take your writings as you explore the places your character will go. This Questionnaire is designed to help those who have been struck by the dreaded writer's block, to help them scope, and shape their characters, which in turn might help with crafting an intrinsic motivated side-plot that surrounds your character.
This is to simply help, and inspire ideas, or organize ideas for your characters, an in-depth roster if you will.
Take your ideas for future characters, or current character, and see how well he or she fits this questionaire. This could simply aid you shape the outlook of your [next] character, and help improve in character analysis/creation all together. You do not need to share it, though I hope this helps in the long run. Not every field is required, especially the in-depth questions that requrie you to explore new frontiers in character-crafting, but the more questions you think about, the stronger and more "human" your character will become.
The Character Questionnaire:
I. Basic Attributes ((The Basic Attributes, are the "candy fields" and Physical descriptions of your character, what one can see upon first impression))
* Given Name:
- hair color/style
- eye color
- clothing style
* Physical abilities/limitations:
II. Socioeconomic class/standing:
* Place of birth:
* Place and time of story:
* Parents' profiles
- socioeconomic level:
- quality of relationship with child(ren):
* Brothers/sisters/significant-other relatives (profile each)
- socioeconomic level:
- quality of relationship:
* Family structure/life:
III. Brief Life Story
It is very important to write a biography for your character, which often is what History becomes. The more detail you create, the deeper you can make your character, and this rich history will be such a rich source of information that it will change and evolve your story accordingly. Questions to keep in mind when you craft your biography would be:
- How did your character get here from there?
- What was their life like before the story began?
- What was growing up like for them?
- Did they have a good or bad childhood?
- What struggles have that had, or hardships they have overcome?
- Has their life worked out like they expected?
- Has their life been difficult or easy until now?
- Were they forced into their current path, or are they here by choice?
- Do they have regrets?
- What special circumstances have made them into who they are today?
- Did anything happen in their past that they cannot forget or live down, or that has deeply changed them or scarred them in some way?
((As the mods say about "cliches" one should not simply create a cheap Freudian back story as motivation for your characters. Examples that you should not do include "His mother beat him as a child, and now he hates all women." -or- "She was once robbed at gunpoint, and now has an irrational fear of guns."
Simply put, people are more complex than this. If such a traumatic event happened in their lives, then make the psychological or emotional consequence unexpected rather than exactly what any five-year-old would instantly assume.))
IV. Psychology ((This is heading into teh Human Psyche, the internal drive of the Human being, which most like would become the personality))
* Outer Goal (physical):
* Inner Goal (psychological/emotional):
* Superobjective: (This is your character’s primary motivation, what drives them more than anything else.)
* Life, career, or personal goals outside of the realm of the story:
* Defining characteristic:
* Dirty Secrets:
* Introvert or extrovert?:
* More thinking or feeling?:
* What do you see is the biggest contradiction(s) your character lives out?:
* Tends to be self centered? Selfless?:
* Favorite and hated foods/drinks:
* Education or important learning experiences:
* Most hated activities:
* Most enjoyed activities:
* Deepest secret or wildest fantasy:
* Sense (or lack!) of humor: what makes your character laugh?
* Who is your character's hero, or who do they admire or emulate?
V. Philosophy & Morality
* Attitudes toward:
- the world
* Political philosophy:
- conservative/traditional/ liberal/radical:
- public causes supported/protested:
- politically active/apathetic:
* Catchphrase that defines their worldview? (Examples: "What goes around comes around." "Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse." etc.):
VI. Life & Lifestyle
* Closest friend(s):
- Attitude towards job:
* Noted accomplishments:
* Clubs/organizations belonged to:
* Favorite music or group/favorite TV shows or films:
VII. Food for Thought
* How would your character react to:
- Inheriting $1 million:
- The death of a loved one:
- A natural disaster: hurricane/earthquake, etc.:
- Being fired:
- Meeting an old friend or enemy not seen for years:
- Having or raising children:
- Being raped/mugged/violated in some way:
- An unexpected kindness or compliment:
- A serious illness such as AIDS or cancer:
- A flat tire on the expressway:
- An interracial relationship:
- Five minutes on local or national TV:
Spoiler:- More In-depth, thought provoking questions to think about:
I Hope this questionnaire has provoked thought about your characters, and helps you for the better. Yes, it is in depth, but to benefit all in every possible thought to make your character more then two dimensions. Just as the Human body is complex, just as creating a new life. You are the "God" of your character, you creat them from pen and papper, to a masterpiece.
Thankyou for taking your time and reading this, If you wish, you may post feed back about it, or even talk about your main character you recycle many times ((though with a few alterations). You may even post the whole questionaire's worth of answers, if you want.
I hope this has helped you.