Giving Your Character… Character

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More often than not, a character is depicted as a human. They’ve got arms and legs, a face, body, and everything else we have. But this is never enough when it comes to character creation. Rarely do we know or remember someone just based on physical appearance alone. There is something else that draws us humans to each other, and that is our character.

While it’s easy to say that this so-and-so person is an easy-going, nice-looking gentleman or lady, it’s hardly enough to cover anything. What defines easy-going? What about their attitude? Are they easy-going all the time, or just some of the time? A whole slew of questions can be derived from just that one facet of the character.

While there is always the option to go through all of these questions that come up, another way that covers even more bases is to take your creation and answer questions about their background rather than his or her specific character. Questions like “Where were you born, and when?”, “What is your favorite childhood memory”, and “What is your favorite childhood food” will not only help you create a character, you will also have the background information that would justify a particular character’s action.

In a sense, it could be considered method acting. You take on the mindset of your character and become them as you answer the questions. You don’t have to have every answer to the questions already – this process is to help you come up with them. By the time you are done, you will have not only fleshed out your creation, you will have come up with a complete one that not only has character but also memories, another very important aspect of the human being. What happens in our past often affects our future choices.

The questions are limitless, ranging from simple and clean to lengthy and gritty. You choose how much character you want for your creation, whether it be for a play or story. Here are some choice questions to get you started. You might find a facet of your character you never knew he or she would have.

When and where were you born?

What is your favorite memory?

What were your parents like?

Describe the house you grew up in.

Did you like school as a child?

Who were your close friends, and what did you do together?

Do you follow a particular religion?

Were you a single child, or did you have siblings?

What is your favorite food/drink? Why?

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