Structure

I recently found these character interview suggestions. A useful way of getting to develop and getting to know the characters you’re writing. It’s given me some structure to my character planning and has helped me to think more deeply about who it is I want in my story. My characters are now on their way to being well-rounded and quirky, no longer just names on a page.

  1. Name:
    What do they like about their name:
    What does their name mean to them:

  2. Background:
    Birthday:
    Place of birth:
    Parents:
    What was important to the people who raised them?
    Siblings:
    Economic status growing up:
    Ethnic background:
    Places lived:
    Current address and phone number:
    Education:
    Favourite subject in school:
    Special training:
    Jobs:
    Salary:
    Travel:

  3. Friends:
    Who they live with:
    Who they fight with:
    Who they spend time with:
    Who depends on them and why:
    Who admires them:
    How do others see them:
    Who are their enemies:

  4. Dating:
    Single or married

  5. Overall outlook on life:
    Religion:
    Do they like themselves:
    What would they change about their life:
    What demons do they have:
    Are they lying to themselves:
    Are they an optimist or a pessimist:
    Are they real or feigned:
    What is their morality level:
    What is their confidence level:

  6. Typical day:
    Physical appearance:
    Physical build:
    Posture:
    Head shape:
    Eyes:
    Nose:
    Mouth:
    Hair:
    Skin:
    Tattoos, piercings, scars:
    Voice:
    Clothing:
    What do people notice first:
    How would they describe themselves:

  7. Health:
    Disabilities or handicaps:

  8. Characteristics:
    Personality type:
    Strongest character trait:
    Weakest character trait:
    How can their strongest trait be a weakness:
    How much self-control and self-discipline do they have:
    What makes them angry:
    What makes them cry:
    What fears do they have:
    What people, places, situations do they avoid:
    What are their talents:
    What do people like about them:

  9. Interests and favourites:
    Political views:
    Collections:
    Food and drink:
    Music:
    Books:
    Movies:
    Sport/recreational in school and now:
    Colour:
    Childhood daydreams:
    Current daydreams:
    Way to spend a weekend:
    A great gift for them:
    Pets:
    Vehicles:

  10. Typical expressions when:
    Happy:
    Angry:
    Frustrated:
    Sad:
    Afraid:
    Most used facial expression:

  11. Idiosyncrasies:

  12. Laughs at:

  13. What annoys them:

  14. How to cheer her up:

  15. Hopes and dreams and how do they see themselves accomplishing these:

  16. Worst thing they’ve done to someone:

  17. Greatest success:

  18. Biggest trauma:

  19. Biggest embarrassment:

  20. Cares about most:

  21. Secrets:
    If they could do anything, what would it be:
    They are the kind of person who…:
    What I love most about them:
    Why will the reader sympathise with her right away:

  22. How are they ordinary or extraordinary:

  23. How is their situation ordinary or extraordinary:

  24. What is their core need:

  25. What is an anecdote:

  26. Their history:

K.M. Weiland. (2011). Outlining Your Novel: Map out your way to success. PenForASword Publishing: United States of America

The Freedom of Truth

You would think I’d have had enough. All of the assignments, the lectures, the stress. Yet, I have spent all day waiting for 5pm. Not for the rest or the break away from work, but for writing.

The relief of knowing I no longer have restrictions placed on my writing to be academic, to be reflective. I can write to enjoy it, write to unwind. The joy of it, the satisfaction of the words coming together and all of it making sense in the end… I have missed it.

Life has taken over and it has taken ‘writing for pleasure’ away from me. Instead, all I have had is writing to meet the domains, to tick boxes on that ever-growing list of things that University ask of us.

I have missed this. I have missed my laptop, missed choosing the font that I want and not the font that University insists we use. All of the little things that make up the bigger ones.

I have missed the freedom of my own truth, my own words, my own self.

I welcome writing back into my life with open arms.

Until the next time.   

Nowhere to Hide

Closure
Is that too much to ask?
One simple question
Is all that I have.
Manipulations and deniability are not welcome here.
Never
I have left things be
Always brushed it under the carpet
Constantly; daily.
But,
now the carpet has disappeared and now there is nowhere for it to hide.

As a ‘Writer’…

As a ‘writer’, I find inspiration in everyday life. My mind is constantly writing – looking for things I can borrow from. The earth, the universe, strangers, family, friends, loved ones… I find stories in most things, every day. I find myself narrating in my own mind, more times than I can count – most times without even realising. I mentally write stories about things that never even make it onto the page. Every day. Like an addiction. I write without even being conscious of it, it is within me. It is my nature. I observe and I see. I have a mind cramed full of words. But then I don’t. Social situations are not my nature. They are mostly difficult, with rare exceptions. Talking to talk, is not my nature. Talking about myself openly and without prompting is not my nature. But writing. Writing is like a cool breeze on the hottest day of the year. It is a relief. A hope. A wish. Writing is everything. The weights of the world lift off my shoulders as soon as my fingers run across the keyboard. The scratch of a pen against paper fills my soul with such lightness, it makes my breath stop.

The feeling of that last sentence. Of pulling everything together neatly, of feeling that closure… Of getting to have the last word. Just this once… or until the next time that my fingers meet the keyboard.

 

 

Day 21

And then with 5 little words, the stresses were gone. The words came out of nowhere, from somewhere behind her and were so very much familiar… and British, that she actually felt herself sigh.

“Stick the kettle on, then.”

Day 19

And then the whistle blew, the results were in and everyone sat there waiting. There could be only one. The weight of the world was on everyone’s shoulders. Until the name was drawn and the weight of the people passed over onto the chosen one.