Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Character Outline

Here's the outline I promised in yesterday's post:) I hope it helps you to better understand your characters. Please, don't feel like you have to answer every question. I never do. Actually, I've only used an outline on a few characters. The rest ... I just knew and didn't need to ask.

1. What is the character’s name?

2. How old are they?

3. Who were their parents?

4. Where were they born? Did anything unusual happen?

5. Where do they live?

6. Are they single?

7. Do they have a job? What is it?

8. What was their childhood like? Are there any brothers or sisters? What is the relationship with siblings?

9. What kinds of relationships does the character have? What kinds of friends? Enemies? Why?

10. Does the character have any bad habits? Sexual appetites?

11. Describe the physical appearance of the character. Skin color? Height? Weight? Physique? Tall or short? Fat or thin or muscular?

12. Hair color? Eye color?

13. Do they have an accent? What kind?

14. How do they walk? (strut? swagger? etc)

15. Does the character have any disabilities? Distinguishing marks? Tattoos? Disfigurements? Why? How did they get these scars?

16. What kind of jewelry or ornamentation does the character wear? Rings, earrings, necklace, medallion or piercing?

17. What class of person is this? Wealthy or poor? Honest or rogue? Soldier or leader? Merchant or laborer? Teacher or student? Highborn or lowborn? Educated or ignorant? Rational or superstitious? Religious or skeptical?

18. What kind of clothing does the character wear? Fancy or plain? Expensive or cheap? Elegant or simple? Describe the clothes.

19. What kind of weapons does this character carry? Why? What do these weapons accomplish? How much training has your character had in the use of these weapons?

20. What powers or abilities does this character have?

21. What’s their best quality?

22. What’s their worst quality?

23. What does your character believe? What does he or she know? What does he or she need to know?

24. What is this character’s weakness? Fatal flaw?

25. What are they afraid of?

26. What makes them angry?

27. What do they dislike?

28. What do they like most?

29. What do they want?

30. What do they need?

31. What do they most need to learn? What do they most need to say? To whom?

32. What’s their worst fear?

33. Do they have any regrets?

34. Do they have any special talents or abilities?

35. What do they dream about?

36. If they could do one thing with their life what would it be?

37. What is the problem? Why is it his or her problem? Why does this problem hurt?

38. What is the essential emotional problem that this character must face and resolve?

39. What one word best sums up their personality?

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