Do you take the time prior to actually writing your novels to study the characters and perhaps create flow and personality charts dedicated to the story TO BE written?
Knowing I just dive right in and type makes me feel somewhat neglectful, if not guilty, and then again, it doesn’t bother me that much, either.
From Diane Chamberlain, author of Necessary Lies. This is a list where you (the author) pretend to be one of your characters and fill in the blanks . . .
I am embarrassed by ___________________
I want a man who______________________
My biggest flaw is______________________
My house is___________________________
My life is_____________________________
The world is___________________________
_______________________________makes me happy
_______________________________makes me sad
_______________________________makes me proud
_______________________________makes me lonely
I don’t want anybody to know that____________________
I am afraid of___________________________________
I like to wear____________________________________
I hate to wear___________________________________
The worst man/woman for me is_______________________
Since I was a child I______________________________
If I could do one thing I would_______________________
People think I___________________________________
I wish _________________________________________
If I could change one thing__________________________
. . . in order to come up with all sorts of insight into their . . . well, their character. I’ve edited the list, but the link offers the whole thing (there were repeat questions and a few that don’t apply imho).
I don’t usually take the time to really study the backgrounds, subtle nuances, or even the personality quirks of my characters until I’m well into the story. After I’ve begun to really get a feel for them as . . . almost human . . . then I know what to add to the story when I edit.
Still, having questionnaire’s of this sort on hand help in that regard, and I’m sure I (or you) can think up questions as well that will enhance the experience and help us to better understand who it is we’re creating, why, and what these traits mean to the story as a whole.
If you can think of other questions or created your own list, and if you are the type to plan ahead, I’d like to hear from you. I’m thinking it might be a good time to start getting a little discipline in my life 😀