Die Wednesday Writing Tips sind eine Reihe von wöchentlich erscheinenden Schreib-Tipps erfolgreicher AutorInnen und Stoffentwicklungsmethoden:
The EPIGUIDE.COM Character Chart for Fiction Writers
By Kira Lerner and Toni Walker
Character’s Full Name:
Nickname, if any (if so, explain its origin – e.g. who created it?):
Does s/he like the nickname?
Place of birth:
Degree of religious practice (e.g. orthodox, casual, lapsed):
Does s/he rent or own?
Brief description of home (apartment, house, etc.):
Does s/he live with anyone?
Describe the area in which s/he lives (city, town, rural, other):
Is this his/her ideal home and location? If not, what would s/he prefer?
Home decor: 0 Expensive 0 Inexpensive 0 Carefully planned 0 Comfortable 0 Neat 0 Cluttered
Does s/he drive? Own a car? (Make, model, color, age, etc.):
Pets? (If so, what kind/how many/names?)
If so, how important are they? How well are they treated?
Current occupation (include length of time, location, job title):
Job satisfaction (happy, discontent, ambivalent, ambitious…):
Sexuality (e.g. straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, uncertain…):
If married or currently romantically involved, with whom, and for how long?
List any significant previous romantic partners:
For current spouse/partner, what does the character call him/her (pet names, nicknames, etc.)?
How did they meet?
Any children (include names, ages, other parent if different from any current partner):
Describe his/her relationship with children (if any)?
Weight: Body type (thin, athletic, overweight, curvy, muscular, etc.)
Eye color: Need glasses/contacts/hearing aid? Skin tone (pale, ivory, tan, olive, ruddy, brown, etc.):
Face shape (round, oval, chubby, thin, long, square, heart-shaped, etc.:
Any prominent features, freckles/moles/scars/tattoos or other distinguishing marks:
Whom does s/he most look like (e.g. famous person or relative)?
General health (good, excellent, poor…)?
Any current health problems or chronic conditions?
How does s/he dress?
Price: 0 Expensive 0 Average 0 Inexpensive 0 Cheap
Style: 0 Haute Couture 0 Conservative 0 Trendy 0 Eclectic 0 Business 0 Sexy 0 Gaudy 0 Casual 0 Sloppy
Why does she dress in the above manner (e.g. to be noticed)?
Any special jewelry? (If so, why is it special?) What about accessories?
Grooming: 0 Fastidious/Very neat 0 Average 0 Clean but scruffy 0 Dirty/Unkempt
If other than average, why?
Describe hairstyle (long, short, crewcut, locs, bangs, side-part etc.):
Natural hair texture (smooth, wavy, curly, etc.):
Current hair texture (if different):
Natural hair color:
Current hair color (if different):
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION:
Pace of speech (fast, average, slow?):
Voice tone (shrill, high, average, deep, squeaky, hoarse, harsh, authoritative, cultured, etc.):
Accent/dialect, if any: Any favorite/habitual words/phrases? Curse words?
Describe general vocabulary or speech pattern (e.g. educated, precise, pretentious, average, uneducated, vulgar…)
0 Cool/confident 0 Volatile 0 Nervous/shy 0 Aggressive 0 Friendly 0 Remote 0 Other (describe)
0 Stiff 0 Stands straight but not stiffly 0 Average, varies with mood 0 Slumped/defeated 0 Slouchy, careless
0 Relaxed 0 Other (describe)
Gestures: 0 Rarely 0 Controlled 0 When excited 0 Most of the time 0 Wildly/oddly 0 Other (describe)
Common/habitual gestures (e.g. nail-biting, hair patting, drumming fingers, clenched fists, hands in pockets, etc.):
EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR / HABITS:
Finances: (prudent/cautious, some debt, lives paycheck to paycheck, deep in debt, criminal activity, etc.):
Personal Habits: Smoking, Drinking, Drugs, Gambling, etc.? Are any of these addictions?
Morning Routine: Describe the character’s morning rituals. Who else is sleeping in the same bed? What time does he/she wake up? Is he/she cheerful in the morning? What does he/she do during breakfast-read, watch tv, feed kids, etc.
Afternoon/Workday: Does s/he work outside the home? How does he/she get there? Is s/he good at this job? What if anything would he/she rather be doing? How long and hard is the work day? If the job isn’t outside the home, what does a typical afternoon consist of?
Dinner: Does s/he eat at home or go out a lot? What is/are his or her favorite restaurant(s)? Who cooks at home? Does s/he eat alone?
Evening: What does your character do on a typical evening? Where? With whom? How much does he/she enjoy it? What is the ideal evening for him or her?
Sleep Habits: Fall asleep easily, or an insomniac? Any recurring dreams? Sleep soundly, or toss & turn?
Any special talents? Skills?
What is s/he particularly unskilled at?
Any hobbies (sports, games, arts, collecting, etc.)?
FAMILY OF ORIGIN:
Mother’s name (include maiden name if known/applicable):
Current status: __ living __ deceased (If alive, enter age: ____ )
Mother’s occupation, if any:
Describe the mother’s relationship with character:
Current status: __ living __ deceased (If alive, enter age: ____ )
Father’s occupation, if any:
Describe the father’s relationship with character:
Any step-parents, foster parents, or birth parents (if not same as above):
(If s/he is adopted, does s/he know? If not, why?)
Sibling(s) (include age and birth order relative to main character):
Relationship(s) with character:
Nieces/Nephews: In-Laws, if any:
Other than the above, who else in the story is part of his/her extended family (e.g. cousins, etc.)?
Home town (if different from current home):
Was his/her childhood happy? Troubled? Dull? Does the character remember it accurately?
How much school did s/he attend, if any? Did/does s/he like school? Why or why not?
Most significant childhood event:
Other significant childhood events:
Significant past jobs:
Police record (explain any convictions, sentence served, where/when):
First crush/romantic love?
What was his/her first sexual experience? Is it a positive or negative memory?
Major illnesses, accidents or traumas? How is s/he still affected, if at all?
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS:
Who is his/her best friend?
Who are his/her other close friends?
How in general does the character relate to friends?
… to strangers?
… to spouse/Lover?
… to past spouses/lovers?
… to own children, if any?
… to other family members?
… to the same sex?
… to the opposite sex?
… to children in general?
… to others who are more successful?
… to others who are less successful?
… to boss (if any)?
… to underlings at work?
… to competitors?
… to authority (police, IRS, politicians, attorneys, doctors, etc.)?
What do most people consider his/her most likeable trait?
What do most people consider his/her biggest flaw?
Any secret attractions/crushes?
In romantic relationships, is s/he generally monogamous or uncommitted? (If the latter, is s/he honest w/ partners?)
Is his/her sexual behavior inhibited, average, experimental, or reckless? Has this changed (and if so, why)?
Whom does s/he dislike most, and why?
Whom does s/he like most, and why?
Who’s the most important person in his/her life right now, and why?
Whom does s/he secretly admire (nonromantic), and why?
Who was his/her biggest influence, and why?
Person s/he most misunderstands or misjudges:
Person who most misunderstands or misjudges him or her:
Has s/he lost touch with anyone significant in his/her life? If so, why?
Worst end of a relationship (could be friend, romance, colleague…)?
Whom does s/he most rely on for practical advice?
Whom does s/he most rely on for emotional support?
Whom, if anyone, does s/he support (e.g. advice or emotional support)?
MENTAL ATTITUDE/PERSONAL BELIEFS:
Any psychological issues (e.g. phobias, depression, paranoia, narcissism, etc.)?
Is s/he an optimist or pessimist?
Meyers Briggs Personality Type:
S/he is most comfortable when … (alone, hanging w/friends, drinking, etc.):
S/he is most uncomfortable when … (in a crowd, alone, speaking in public, etc.):
Is s/he cautious, brave, or reckless in his/her approach to life?
What does s/he most value/prioritize (family, money, success, religion, etc.)?
Whom does s/he really love best?
Whom or what would s/he be willing to die for?
Is s/he generally compassionate or self-involved?
What’s his/her most embarrassing moment?
What is his/her secret wish?
What (or who) is his/her biggest fear?
Any prejudices (race, culture, sexuality, religion, etc.)?
Political party or beliefs, if any:
Does s/he believe in fate or destiny? Is s/he superstitious?
Character’s greatest strength:
Other good characteristics:
Character’s greatest flaw:
Other character flaws:
What are his/her own favorite attributes (both physical and personal)?
What about least favorite?
Are these feelings accurate?
How does s/he think others perceive him or her? (And is this accurate?)
Character’s biggest secret(s)? Who else knows (if anyone)?
How does s/he react to a crisis?
What usually causes the problems in his/her life (romance, finances, friends, rivals, colleagues, personality flaws, health, etc.)?
What would s/he most like to change about her-/himself? Why?
Write a paragraph (~100 words) of the character describing him/herself:
Short term goals:
Long term goals:
Does s/he plan to achieve these goals, or does s/he think they’re unrealistic?
Will others be affected? If so, does s/he care?
What if anything is stopping him/her from achieving these goals?
What event or occurrence does s/he most dread or fear?
What does he/she actively work to gain, keep or protect?
Which person in his/her life would s/he most want to emulate?
Which person in his/her life would s/he least want to emulate?
We can cover that by a line of dialogue...