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A few months back I got this idea out of the back of the Amber Diceless RPG to come up with questions to help define my characters for a novel I'm trying to write. Just things that help describe the character and make me, as their creator, feel like I know them a little bit better.

A week or two ago, sunnysusan12 was looking at ways to hammer out characterization for her novel, so I figured this might help her, as well as others on this list, so that maybe we aren't all doing the same bookwork over and over.

I came up with 20 questions. You can answer as many as you like for your characters. I posed them in first person from the character's point of view so it's easier to answer with "I do such-and-such." Could be used just to get your creative juices flowing or they could be the start of a larger character sketch. Anyway, enjoy ^__^.


  • Where do I go to think? Why? Is the place comforting, away from distractions or among many people to fill me with ideas?
  • If given time and opportunity, what would I read? What book do I read on a daily basis? Why are they different/the same?
  • At what point will I betray a friend? How will I feel about him afterwards? How will I feel about myself?
  • What makes a cause worth championing?
  • If I found a piece of information that could be either damning or vitally important -- but it is not readily apparent which it is -- do I tell others or keep it to myself?
  • What one thing above all else would cause someone to lose respect in my eyes? Why? How would I feel if I did this thing to another person?
  • What landform, weather pattern, or natural phenomenon do I associate myself with? Why?
  • What makes a person worth trusting? Can many smaller actions constitue the same result?
  • What weapons do I prefer in combat? Why? Will the weapon change depending on the circumstances? What circumstances?
  • What one thing do I do very well? Am I confident in my abilities at this task? If not, what about myself do I feel confidence in? If so, what other abilities am I confident in?
  • What does my voice sound like?
  • What about me could cause others to dislike me?
  • What would I describe as my perfect death?
  • How would my father describe me? How would my mother? Why would the two be different?
  • What item is more precious to me than any other? Why? Where is it kept?
  • Do I sleep well? Are there places or conditions in which I sleep better than others? Why?
  • What emotions do I express in public? Why? With friends? What do I not share with anyone? Why?
  • What would provoke me to kill? How would I feel about myself and the dead man afterwards?
  • Describe my average day.



Not all of these questions are going to apply to all characters, obviously. But some of them are going to apply to most, if not all characters, because a lot of them are just specific to humanity. Non-human characters might take more thought ^__^.

If anybody has any feedback or questions they'd like to add to the list, I'd love to hear them!

~Mystic
Current Mood:
happy happy
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Crossposted from my own journal ^__^.

Ok, so I had this epiphany the other day.

Actually, it was the other night, but we'll get to that part.

When I was younger (think middle school on up) I would create these stories in my mind as I went to sleep. Most of them tended to be little romances involving strikingly handsome suitors of beautiful women in need of saving. I'm that type of girl, it makes me happy. I had mostly given up twiddling those kind of stories in my head just because I had other things to think about (work, role-playing games, MMORPGs, etc.). It wasn't that I didn't like them anymore, it's that I didn't need them. My mind was full enough when I put my head to my pillow.

But the other night my mind was relatively empty. So I thought, why not? I started running the story through my head and before I knew it, I was batting around ideas and scenarios for my book. Seriously throwing the plot into high gear and figuring you things that I had previously been like, 'I'll think about that later.' It was semi-disturbing because I suddenly wanted to go write (now dammit, while I have the inspiration), but I needed to sleep. Eventually I slept. But then I got up the next day and got out a few pages. Then the next day a few more. I think I probably put out about six or eight pages last week, which isn't bad when I'm not even trying.

This week, I've used my nifty new 'think about something else to inspire creativity' technique and I've written 14 pages as of yesterday. My goal for this week was 12. I'll probably proceed with the 12-page goal for a couple more weeks. If I continue to go over, I'll up the weekly goal. Ultimately, I'd like to get to about four pages a day.

I lucked into this, but I wanted to share it. I know how hard writing is, how difficult it is to get interested in something enough to write it. Maybe interested isn't the right word. Maybe it's inspired that I'm looking for? At any rate, it seems if I stimulate creativity in ways other than just staring at the blank screen, I seem to get more done. Having a goal is nice, too. I never could work without a deadline. Unless something was eating my brain, which happens on occasion.
Current Mood:
creative creative
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Just wanted to say that, while I set this community up to help my own book-writing efforts, I'd love to see it expand so the other writers here are all helping one another with their projects if possible and, as I get tools and such together, notes on helpful writer-type tips and such, I'll continue to post these here.

Most of the stuff I post that's specific to my book or involving personal information about myself will be put up "friends only" but general stuff I'll try to remember to put up in public entries like this one. I'll leave it to individual community members to decide whether they want their entries here to be "friends only" or not, but please - by all means - post!

Handy tools of the trade or progress of your own works...if you've hit a roadblock in your own process and would like feedback from others here..whatever, it's fine with me!

The reason I've been keeping my own entries as "friends only" is because I'd prefer not to have my book writing stuff be randomly picked up by some idiot who later claims to have written my book...Yeah, I'm paranoid, so sue me. LOL

Anyway, thanks to you all so far for your fantastic, helpful comments. I may not update each day, but I will try to put stuff up as it comes into a form y'all might be able to actually understand! LOL

In other news, I posted some inquiries recently on the _scientists_ and astronomy communities to help with some of the hard science stuff and I've gotten a few really great replies so far, so I'm jazzed!

Oh...and thank you again soooo much for being here! Y'all rock! Woot!

Oh, and as a side note? When using essential oil perfumes instead of regular perfumes...less is more or else headaches will ensue. Oy. That is all.
Current Mood:
loved loving
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If you'd like to join this community, please go to the community user info page and click to "join community". I'll look for a comment below before I add you:

- Who are you?
- How do we know each other? (Do we play an online RPG together? Do we know each other from high school or college?)
- How did you find my journal? (Did someone direct you my way because they thought we'd get along? Do we share common interests and you thought you'd like to see my views on them? Did you read a posting I put up on a community board or one of your LJ friend's journals?)


In my mind only boring people are bored and any small task can be an adventure, depending on one's perspective. Writing I enjoy reading generally reflects the unique perspective of its author, a flair for storytelling, and/or an engaging writing style. I try to infuse such qualities into my own writings. IMHO a good storyteller can make cleaning out earwax seem like something everyone should try.

My appreciation to siriusmelody for the banner.

NOVEMBER 13, 2005 UPDATE: I am currently putting together a poetic manuscript to enter in a competition next fall and have temporarily suspended work on this novel until then. Worry not! When the manuscript is finished, this is my next priority.
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Okay, it's not specific to Hayyim...but really...ya gotta love it! LOL

(Pulled from my personal journal entry of March 14, 2005 20:58)

HOW TO WRITE GOOD
by Sally Bulford

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
4. Employ the vernacular.
5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
8. Contractions aren't necessary.
9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
10. One should never generalize.
11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate
quotations. Tell me what you know."
12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
13. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's
highly superfluous.
14. Be more or less specific.
15. Understatement is always best.
16. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
17. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
18. The passive voice is to be avoided.
19. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
20. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
21. Who needs rhetorical questions?
22. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
Current Mood:
giggly giggly
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