Good characters are like onions; you have to peel back the layers to get to their core.
You can quote me if you want.
Building characters is my favorite part of writing; in my opinion, if you don't have good characters, you don't have a story.
Here are 8 basic questions I ask myself about my characters (next week I'll post 8 more in-depth questions):
- What is your character's name?
- Favorite flavor (sweet, salty, sour, astringent, spicy . . .?)
- Favorite food?
- Least favorite food?
- Favorite color?
- Favorite article of clothing?
- Favorite type of music? (The music you listen to says a lot about you! You can have fun with this question. Think about the stereotypes and then turn them on their heads! Why not have a teenage girl who adores 50s folk music? Or an old guy who really likes rap? Or an old lady who loves Taylor Swift? Or a new mom who will listen to nothing but jazz?)
- Does weather both him/her? What is his/her favorite kind of weather? Least favorite? (Okay, that was kind of a three-in-one.)
This character is one I've mentioned before: the Princess in Shining Armor.
- Her nickname is Skipper (I can't give away her actual name because you're not supposed to know that until the end of the book).
- Her favorite flavor is astringent.
- Her favorite food is chocolate.
- Her least favorite food is calamari (although she hates any kind of seafood, both for its taste and its texture).
- Her favorite color is green.
- Her favorite article of clothing is an old, discarded pair of brown lace-up boots that used to be her father's.
- She doesn't really listen to music, but if she did, it would be something stirringly classical, like John Philip Sousa marches.
- Weather doesn't really bother her. She prefers sunshine because you can get more things done in it, but she loves thunderstorms too.
I also have an announcement to make: I read 14 books in July.
Usually I only read four or five books per month, so this was . . . wow! I think blogging is actually pushing me to read more because I can show off everything I've read. It's fun.
So, let's talk! Which character questions do you like best? Are there any I missed? And how many books did you read in July?