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Character Questionaire


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#1 Nessa Arandur

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:34 AM

This a list of questions for people to fill out on behalf of their characters in order to build on and really flesh out the character. Alisha Annas first posted this on Arcane Artistry, and it was such a good resource, I thought I'd repost it here. :) Beware, it's long.

If you have any other character questions you think could be helpful, feel free to post them in this thread.


Character Questions

1. What is your full name?

2. Where and when were you born?

3. Who are/were your parents? (Know their names, occupations, personalities, etc.)

4. Do you have any siblings? What are/were they like?

5. Where do you live now, and with whom? Describe the place and the person/people.

6. What is your occupation?

7. Write a full physical description of yourself. You might want to consider factors such as: height, weight, race, hair and eye colour, style of dress, and any tattoos, scars, or distinguishing marks.

8. To which social class do you belong?

9. Do you have any allergies, diseases, or other physical weaknesses?

10. Are you right- or left-handed?

11. What does your voice sound like?

12. What words and/or phrases do you use very frequently?

13. What do you have in your pockets?

14. Do you have any quirks, strange mannerisms, annoying habits, or other defining characteristics?

15. How would you describe your childhood in general?

16. What is your earliest memory?

17. How much schooling have you had?

18. Did you enjoy school?

19. Where did you learn most of your skills and other abilities?

20. While growing up, did you have any role models? If so, describe them.

21. While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family?

22. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

23. As a child, what were your favourite activities?

24. As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display?

25. As a child, were you popular? Who were your friends, and what were they like?

26. When and with whom was your first kiss?

27. Are you a virgin? If not, when and with whom did you lose your virginity?

28. If you are a supernatural being (i.e. mage, werewolf, vampire), tell the story of how you became what you are or first learned of your own abilities. If you are just a normal human, describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today.

29. What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?

30. Who has had the most influence on you?

31. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

32. What is your greatest regret?

33. What is the most evil thing you have ever done?

34. Do you have a criminal record of any kind?

35. When was the time you were the most frightened?

36. What is the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to you?

37. If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why?

38. What is your best memory?

39. What is your worst memory?

40. Are you basically optimistic or pessimistic?

41. What is your greatest fear?

42. What are your religious views?

43. What are your political views?

44. What are your views on sex?

45. Are you able to kill? Under what circumstances do you find killing to be acceptable or unacceptable?

46. In your opinion, what is the most evil thing any human being could do?

47. Do you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love?

48. What do you believe makes a successful life?

49. How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings (i.e. do you hide your true self from others, and in what way)?

50. Do you have any biases or prejudices?

51. Is there anything you absolutely refuse to do under any circumstances? Why do you refuse to do it?

52. Who or what, if anything, would you die for (or otherwise go to extremes for)?

53. In general, how do you treat others (politely, rudely, by keeping them at a distance, etc.)? Does your treatment of them change depending on how well you know them, and if so, how?

54. Who is the most important person in your life, and why?

55. Who is the person you respect the most, and why?

56. Who are your friends? Do you have a best friend? Describe these people.

57. Do you have a spouse or significant other? If so, describe this person.

58. Have you ever been in love? If so, describe what happened.

59. What do you look for in a potential lover?

60. How close are you to your family?

61. Have you started your own family? If so, describe them. If not, do you want to? Why or why not?

62. Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help?

63. Do you trust anyone to protect you? Who, and why?

64. If you died or went missing, who would miss you?

65. Who is the person you despise the most, and why?

66. Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?

67. Do you tend to take on leadership roles in social situations?

68. Do you like interacting with large groups of people? Why or why not?

69. Do you care what others think of you?

70. What is/are your favourite hobbies and pastimes?

71. What is your most treasured possession?

72. What is your favourite colour?

73. What is your favourite food?

74. What, if anything, do you like to read?

75. What is your idea of good entertainment (consider music, movies, art, etc.)?

76. Do you smoke, drink, or use drugs? If so, why? Do you want to quit?

77. How do you spend a typical Saturday night?

78. What makes you laugh?

79. What, if anything, shocks or offends you?

80. What would you do if you had insomnia and had to find something to do to amuse yourself?

81. How do you deal with stress?

82. Are you spontaneous, or do you always need to have a plan?

83. What are your pet peeves?

84. Describe the routine of a normal day for you. How do you feel when this routine is disrupted?

85. What is your greatest strength as a person?

86. What is your greatest weakness?

87. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

88. Are you generally introverted or extroverted?

89. Are you generally organized or messy?

90. Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at, and three things you consider yourself to be very bad at.

91. Do you like yourself?

92. What are your reasons for being an adventurer (or doing the strange and heroic things that RPG characters do)? Are your real reasons for doing this different than the ones you tell people in public? (If so, detail both sets of reasons...)

93. What goal do you most want to accomplish in your lifetime?

94. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

95. If you could choose, how would you want to die?

96. If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, name three things you would do in the time you had left.

97. What is the one thing for which you would most like to be remembered after your death?

98. What three words best describe your personality?

99. What three words would others probably use to describe you?

100. If you could, what advice would you, the writer, give to your character? (You might even want to speak as if he or she were sitting right here in front of you, and use proper tone so he or she might heed your advice...)

"To see the world, things dangerous to come to. To see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

"Vision does not ignite growth. Passion does."

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#2 Dreaming of the Mists

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 04:41 PM

Good questions to ask. Reminds me of a selection of character creation questions for RPGs.

Are writers generally able to answer these questions without losing the story? I have tried using similar questions for character creation in the past. I may finish the questions, but by the time I am done, I am no longer interested in the character I created and am very unlikely to remember anything I wrote for the questions that did not pertain to information from stories I had written.

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#3 ScintillaPurpose

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:49 PM

I'm going to give this a try. And I know if I don't post it I won't finish it-- so, yeah. Don't read it if you're pressed for time like most of us.
Thanks for posting these questions, by the way. I never thought of my character's voice before! I feel shocked.

1. What is your full name? [Don't want to say it on a public forum in case I ever get this novel published, and the whole world doesn't need to know PretendTheresPurpose's real name]

2. Where and when were you born? Fifty years from now, in a house just outside a large busy city. I have always loved both nature and culture.

3. Who are/were your parents? Both my parents are still living. My mother, a historian, studies the recent history of human relationships with other intelligent beings. My father is a businessman and works with a friend at an art supply store. Both are quiet, unlike me.

4. Do you have any siblings? What are/were they like? I have a sister who is three years younger. I love her. I take responsibility most for her.

5. Where do you live now, and with whom? Describe the place and the person/people. In an apartment, alone.

6. What is your occupation? History student and mystic.

7. Write a full physical description of yourself. You might want to consider factors such as: height, weight, race, hair and eye colour, style of dress, and any tattoos, scars, or distinguishing marks. I am a white male, six feet tall, 20 years old, and rather thin. My hair is light brown and tied in a ponytail. I dress casually, but I prefer to wear well-known brands.

8. To which social class do you belong? I grew up middle-class. And now, um, I'm a university student. . .

9. Do you have any allergies, diseases, or other physical weaknesses? As far as I know I'm not allergic to anything on Earth, but I have hay fever on several other planets.

10. Are you right- or left-handed? Right

11. What does your voice sound like? Deep, strong, and sensitive. My friend says my voice sounds like I'm shy even though I'm not.

12. What words and/or phrases do you use very frequently? "Surreal", "and such", and "bewail the fall".

13. What do you have in your pockets? Oh, let me look. . . Well I have my glass orb filled with dried fungus, and some cash. That's about it. I don't keep much in there.

14. Do you have any quirks, strange mannerisms, annoying habits, or other defining characteristics? Every night I can't sleep I pull out a knife, find a log, and carve random notches.

15. How would you describe your childhood in general? Since an early age I cared deeply about social and political issues, and because of it I related best to socially-conscious adults than to anyone else. As a result I tried hard to prove my maturity to adults so that they would take me seriously. It was hard. Among my peers, though, I took a bit of a leadership role.

16. What is your earliest memory? Three years old, when my sister was born.

17. How much schooling have you had? I'm in my third year at a large private university.

18. Did you enjoy school? Socially yes-- I made sure relationships ran smooth. But I disliked the actual learning. I feel powerless following teachers like sheep. I wanted to do the teaching! *laughs*

19. Where did you learn most of your skills and other abilities? I taught myself most of the mystical arts I know, from the internet and such. I don't like having instructors.

20. While growing up, did you have any role models? If so, describe them. No. Having role models is just blind faith. I encourage young people to just be themselves.

21. While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family? I loved them. I even remember reading about health and such and then yelling at my parents to eat healthier.

22. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?A college professor and a poet. And no, I don't write poetry anymore.

23. As a child, what were your favourite activities?I wrote, I taught myself to play guitar but quit when I was 12, and I hung out with my great friends.

24. As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display? Strong, innovative, charismatic. . . attention-craving. . . judgmental. . .

25. As a child, were you popular? Who were your friends, and what were they like? Oh, very popular. I am still friends with most of them. They are a wonderful and diverse group.

26. When and with whom was your first kiss? A girl in eighth grade.

27. Are you a virgin? If not, when and with whom did you lose your virginity? Yes, I'm a virgin. [He is only because I am. ;)]

28. If you are a supernatural being (i.e. mage, werewolf, vampire), tell the story of how you became what you are or first learned of your own abilities. If you are just a normal human, describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today.I'm not revealing my ability; you LegendFire people might steal it! But anyway, I decided to learn this ability after my friend's mother died and I needed to console him.

29. What do you consider the most important event of your life so far? Gaining the trust of the aliens.

30. Who has had the most influence on you? Mama.

31. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Gaining the trust of those aliens! That was my most difficult and most influential accomplishment yet.

32. What is your greatest regret? [assuming this interview is at the beginning of the story, because he sure has more to regret later!]I walked right by a little girl in the park once who was crying. Now that I think of it, she seemed to be really lost and her parents weren't anywhere around. I just felt so bad afterwards.

33. What is the most evil thing you have ever done? Probably that. But I don't think I'm too evil.

34. Do you have a criminal record of any kind? I don't know, jaywalking?

35. When was the time you were the most frightened? Getting out of the spacecraft on O_________ was scary of course, but it was more thrilling and uplifting. I would say the time that was really most frightening was the time I did a very strong emotional projection one night in the woods. I projected loneliness since my best friend had gotten angry at me, and I heard this weird cracking sound and saw this flash of light.

36. What is the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to you? It was pretty bad when I spoke sweetly to a little kid only to find out he was an adult midget.

37. If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why? Only thing is not starting to learn the skill of F______ earlier.

38. What is your best memory? Organizing that awesome paintball massacre among my friends!

39. What is your worst memory? That paranormalish thing in the woods. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days.

40. Are you basically optimistic or pessimistic? Optimistic for sure.

41. What is your greatest fear? That someone will switch my food for human flesh, and the flesh will turn out to be someone I know.

42. What are your religious views? That's a weird question for me. I know something's out there based on my experiences with supernatural fungi, but nothing like Christianity or anything like that.

43. What are your political views? Liberal, but I also tend to support wars for a good cause. I'm still a liberal, right?

44. What are your views on sex? Sounds like a lot of fun, but I'm saving the moment for later.

45. Are you able to kill? Under what circumstances do you find killing to be acceptable or unacceptable? I would definitely kill someone if they were in enough pain. And I'm not a vegetarian. Could I kill a really really evil person? Probably, depending on how evil. *shrugs*

46. In your opinion, what is the most evil thing any human being could do? Perpetrate the crime I said earlier was my worst fear.

47. Do you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love? Haven't had one, but I have hope.

48. What do you believe makes a successful life? Being moral and leading other people to moral, loving lives.

49. How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings (i.e. do you hide your true self from others, and in what way)? That's interesting. I'm very extroverted, but I think a lot of me I never express. I use my fungi for what I don't put in words.

50. Do you have any biases or prejudices? Sure, I like people who share my values.

51. Is there anything you absolutely refuse to do under any circumstances? Why do you refuse to do it? Deceive someone, or watch them suffer, or both.

52. Who or what, if anything, would you die for (or otherwise go to extremes for)? At the moment I'll say anyone.

53. In general, how do you treat others (politely, rudely, by keeping them at a distance, etc.)? Does your treatment of them change depending on how well you know them, and if so, how? I have no problems being friendly with anyone, even strangers. People tell me I'm not awkward around anyone. I'm very informal and I often call people by their first names before I should.

54. Who is the most important person in your life, and why? My best friend.

55. Who is the person you respect the most, and why? My best friend again. He has this totally uncompetitive outlook. I compete with him for that. Yes, I see the irony.

56. Who are your friends? Do you have a best friend? Describe these people. Wasn't that an earlier question?

57. Do you have a spouse or significant other? If so, describe this person. No, I would like one.

58. Have you ever been in love? If so, describe what happened. No.

59. What do you look for in a potential lover? She has to believe in the things I believe, and she must be somewhat spiritual and introspective. I'm good. I can pick up on those things in conversation.

60. How close are you to your family? Very.

61. Have you started your own family? If so, describe them. If not, do you want to? Why or why not? Not at the moment at least. I'm certainly interested in raising children sometime in the future.

62. Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help? D_____________. She's only eight, but she's such an insightful little girl.

63. Do you trust anyone to protect you? Who, and why? Not really. People I know shouldn't take that as an insult though. If I want to be safe, I have to be independent.

64. If you died or went missing, who would miss you? My parents, my friends, and every alien being who depends on me.

65. Who is the person you despise the most, and why? S_____-C____. I mean, he's a great person, but I find him very closed-minded and unproductive.

66. Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict? I persuade people in a peaceful, friendly way. If they don't listen, I might argue, but I really prefer not to.

67. Do you tend to take on leadership roles in social situations? Oh, definitely.

68. Do you like interacting with large groups of people? Why or why not? Yes! People are amazing. I just love how everyone's individual personality gets so intensified in a large group.

69. Do you care what others think of you? I care that they know me as a good man and that they know the values I stand for. I like to be sort of an authority that people can trust, yes.

70. What is/are your favourite hobbies and pastimes? Mystical arts, reading nonfiction, the internet, and interacting with people.

71. What is your most treasured possession? My fungus ball.

72. What is your favourite colour? I like blue-green, like the algae, and rich reddish-brown

73. What is your favourite food? E______ fruit.

74. What, if anything, do you like to read? Nonfiction-- philosophy, science, history.

75. What is your idea of good entertainment (consider music, movies, art, etc.)? I like intellectual stuff, as well as cheap stuff. I don't make the distinction.

76. Do you smoke, drink, or use drugs? If so, why? Do you want to quit? I love trying out exotic alien substances from planets I visit, but I'm not addicted to anything thankfully. I need my clear thought.

77. How do you spend a typical Saturday night? With friends, making new friends.

78. What makes you laugh? Kids. And anyone being themselves and letting me make fun of them.

79. What, if anything, shocks or offends you? Really conformist people. Ignorance. Inaction.

80. What would you do if you had insomnia and had to find something to do to amuse yourself? I told you already, I carve weird notches in pieces of wood I can find!

81. How do you deal with stress? Projecting my emotions as shades of red and purple.

82. Are you spontaneous, or do you always need to have a plan? I like to know where I'm going so no one can take advantage of me, but I love new experiences and trying out what comes up.

83. What are your pet peeves? Artwork that's easily destroyed, like really delicate little artifacts that people display on stands at home. I feel like crashing into them and ruining this hard work.

84. Describe the routine of a normal day for you. How do you feel when this routine is disrupted? Don't have a routine, really

85. What is your greatest strength as a person? Compassion

86. What is your greatest weakness? Needing to be accepted. I'll admit it. I think about it way too much.

87. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I get lonely too easily. I wish I didn't have such a strong need for people.

88. Are you generally introverted or extroverted? Extroverted, but I'm also very introspective.

89. Are you generally organized or messy? Organized, mostly

90. Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at, and three things you consider yourself to be very bad at. I'm good at motivating people, taking things lightly, and being creative. I'm not so good at admitting when I'm wrong, keeping secrets, and saving money.

91. Do you like yourself? Yes, I do.

92. What are your reasons for being an adventurer (or doing the strange and heroic things that RPG characters do)? Are your real reasons for doing this different than the ones you tell people in public? (If so, detail both sets of reasons...) I do it because I truly feel it's my duty. Everyone knows that.

93. What goal do you most want to accomplish in your lifetime? Let no one suffer in ignorance!

94. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? A respected leader of a democracy.

95. If you could choose, how would you want to die? Honorably but asleep. Is that possible?

96. If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, name three things you would do in the time you had left. Write a speech to be read publicly by my best friend, speed-develop my own programming language, and hug everyone I know.

97. What is the one thing for which you would most like to be remembered after your death? My service to the world.

. . .ran out of time for the last three.

I'm writing: "Out of the cistern of love" – short story for the Strange Beasties anthology

I'm reading from the public domain: nothing just now.

 

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#4 Alex The Epic Opera Girl

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:16 AM

This is an awesome list!!!
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#5 Dreaming of the Mists

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:04 AM

Different set of character questions: https://sites.google...racter-creation

 

Questions on character housing: https://sites.google...esign/buildings

 

Questions for a Human subspecies: https://sites.google...sign/subspecies

 

Questions for creating a high school setting: https://sites.google...urces-1/schools

 

Misc. Paranormal test (questions): https://sites.google...aranormal-tests


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Allusions and Dreams Writing Resources: https://sites.google...sionsanddreams/

Oldine's Time Lines Torchwood Fan Fiction Companion: https://sites.google...stimelines/home

 

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