Friday, August 5, 2011
How Well do you Know your Characters?
I have tried to read as much as I can on how to get into the mind of my characters. The risk taker that I am, I love the idea of not knowing what is going to happen next. At other times my analytical mind wants every teenie weenie detail down on paper.
I am currently in the plotting stage of my new WIP. My Beta Reader cum Crit Partner is going over my completed manuscript with an extremely fine tooth comb.
For my current WIP, I have decided to get to know all my characters, not just the protagonist and the antagonist, but also characters who have smaller roles to play in the story.
I am going to pretend that I am a journalist and interview all my characters by asking them about their family background, work interest, relationships, religious beliefs, politics, favourite leisure pursuits, hobbies, dreams, ambition in life, relationship with parents and siblings, educational qualification, any fears that they have, friends, favourite childhood memories, pets, people they loved and lost, people that inspire them, things that touches them the most and things that turn them off.
I am also planning to throw in a few questions like what they would do in case they win a million dollar lottery, if they are stranded alone on an island with their enemy, if they meet an alien and what happens if they suddenly develop a super power: the ability to interpret dreams, to read people’s minds, to see the future and the ability to change something.
The responses I imagine my characters giving me will be kept short; these responses I am sure will help me know my characters better. It will also be an useful way of catching each character’s voice, personality and individual style of speaking.
As I am currently in the brainstorming mood, it will be a fun exercise to do. What do you all do to get to know your characters better? Do you have a method that helps you get into the skin of your characters? Please share with us.