A Character Checklist

Checklist

So, we’ve done a lot of talking about characters, who they are, how they function and what they add to your story.  But how do you know you’re on the right track?  Here’s a list of questions about your characters.  If you can answer all these questions with clear, simple and specific examples, you’re on your way!

Physical Attributes

What is the age and sex of your character?

What does your character look like?

How does your character like to live?

What does your character like to wear?

What is your character’s sexual orientation?

Backstory: Upbringing

From what kind of family does your character come?

Was your character loved as a child?  A teenager?  An adult?

Was your character raised comfortably or without means?

What kind of childhood did your character have?

What was your character exposed to as a child?

What kind of relationship does your character have with parents and other family?

Values and Self-Worth

What are your character’s values?

What are your characters hopes and dreams for him/herself?

What are you characters fears?

What is the class or status of your character, is s/he rich, poor or something else?

What’s your character’s race and nationality?  How does that affect him or her?

How does your character see him/herself?

What is your character’s moral code?

What matters to your character?

What amuses your character?

Psychology

What are your character’s ambitions?

What are your character’s dreams for him/herself?

What does your character think that s/he wants for him/herself?

What does your character actually need that s/he doesn’t even know?

What are your characters biggest disappointments?

What does your character love/hate about him/herself?

What inhibits your character?

What inspires your character?

What is your character afraid of?

What turns your character on?  What, if anything, obsesses him/her?

Social

What is your character’s occupation?

What is your character’s education?

What is your character’s financial situation?

What are your character’s hobbies?

What are your character’s habits and manners?

Is your character neat and clean or dirty and messy?  How much in either direction?

What kind of taste does your character have?

What are your character’s political views?

Does your character’s religious beliefs?

What kind of music does your character like?

What kind entertainment – art, sports, movies, something else?


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