Monday, February 12, 2007

Questions of Character

There's a lot of thinking around how to get into a character's head while writing. In a screenwriting class, we got a list of many questions to answer about your character before you get into a story. Some of them seemed relevant, some a little silly (favorite color? I guess it doesn't hurt to have that info all in one place...). Anyway, in light of the recent course I took on tension and conflict, I came up with a couple more questions that I might want to answer about a character before going ahead and writing a story about him or her. "He" used as the generic pronoun to save space.

* Who does the character instinctively turn to in times of stress?
* How does the character react when he does something wrong?
* How does he react when someone points out that he's done something wrong?
* How does he view someone trying to help him? As helpful or as condescending?
* How does he try to solve problems? Step back and assess the situation or jump in and charge?
* How does he react to a friend of his doing something wrong (i.e. kid who catches his friend shoplifting)?
* What does he do to relax?
* How does he view friendships? More casually or more intensely? This also affects how he views actions he sees as counter to his friendships--with a shrug, or with a sense of betrayal.

I'm sure there are a lot more, but those are some good ones to figure out how your character will handle stressful situations. Got any more of your own?

No comments: