Friday, 16 January 2015

Uncommon Character Development Questions

So while browsing through my dash on tumblr (maddoctorartist) I came across this interesting post (source: This author's come up with some very unusual questions to help character development, so I thought I'd try it on my own characters!

I've also added a slight twist- the characters themselves are the ones going to answer.

Of course, who better than to start with than Eliza Bryant, protagonist of my Chronicles of Azaria (The Binding, The Parting).

1. What position does your character sleep in? ( i.e; stomach, side, back, etc. ) Describe why they do this — optional.

Eliza: On my front. I just like hugging my pillow. Done it since I was little, though I'm not sure why.

3. Does your character have any noteworthy features? Freckles? Dimples? A scar somewhere unusual? etc.

Eliza: I have dark blue eyes, which is pretty unusual for a Northerner, and I have scars on my arm where a baby fox attacked me a few years ago.

4. Does your character have an accent? What does it sound like?

Eliza: I have the usual Northern accent, nothing special. It sounds pretty boring, to be honest.

5. Do they have any verbal tics? Do they have trouble pronouncing certain words or getting their thoughts across clearly?

Eliza: I do say 'sheesh' a lot. I think I'm pretty articulate in getting my point across...

Ryan: The word you're looking for is 'blunt'.

Eliza: Eh, it works, doesn't it?

6. What are their chief tension areas?

Eliza: My temples, usually, and also my stomach. The same as my courtship symptoms, which happen every month. During that time I become vulnerable and any social interacting with another person will Bind me to them.

7. If you were to pick one song — and only one song — to describe your character, what would it be and why?

Eliza: I don't really know of anything. I'm not a big music fan.

8. How does your character perceive themselves? Positive? Negative? Neutral?

Eliza: I'd like to think neutral.

Ryan: Sometimes you're a bit oblivious to your deeper faults.

Eliza: *blush*

9. Are they a quick thinker or do they need time to sort through their thoughts?

Eliza: I over-think and over-analyse everything. Usually this is a result of much too much time on my hands.

10. Does your character dream or are their nights filled with an empty blackness?
Eliza: I...used to dream a lot. They were pretty crazy and didn't make a lot of sense. I probably still do but I barely remember them anymore.

11. Describe a dream they’ve had or a night they couldn’t sleep and what they did to preoccupy their time.

Eliza: I have been spending more nights awake these days, and I've found things to occupy my time. Reading, walking, teaching myself yoga (not too successfully I might add). 

12. If they had a choice, would they prefer a subway or a bus for public transportation?

Eliza: We don't have those but the idea of motorized transport sounds divine.

13. What do they think of creation? Do they believe in evolution or do they believe in God? What is their religion like?

Eliza: I guess I follow the Goddess religion like everyone else, but I don't have a spiritual bone in my body. Which is a teeny bit ironic...

14. Describe 5 unusual characteristics your muse has.

Eliza: Five? Oh, um, let's see...I have a mild obsession with scarves. No idea when that started.

Eliza: I absolutely can't stand the taste of alcohol and will never go near it.

Eliza: I can interpret and use a iasometer, which not many people my age can. I also know how to take it apart and repair it.

Eliza: I am quite self conscious about my legs and I always wear something that will cover them up.

Eliza: I'm rubbish at climbing.

15. Have they ever been so overwhelmed they had to stop and take a break from something?

Eliza: Oh, plenty of times when the Binding's tried to compel me to do all sorts of things to Ryan.

Ryan: What sorts of things?

Eliza: *blush* Can we move on to the next question?

16.Are they a team player or do they prefer to be solo?

Eliza: I can be either. You have to be when your father's a healer!

17. Can they multi-task or must they focus on one subject at a time?

Eliza: I can multi-task pretty well. My parents taught me well. If I do focus on one thing though I tend to overdo it, so if I have more distractions I'm less likely to do that.

18. What are their best school subjects? What are their worst?

Eliza: I'm really good at the Natural and Health related Sciences and Art. Totally rubbish at History, Languages and Mathematics.

19. Is your character an introvert or an extrovert? How do they handle big crowds of people?

Eliza: Introvert. I don't mind crowds per se, but I'm a lot more comfortable with people I know.

20. Are they a leader, do they prefer to follow, or would they rather just stay on the sidelines altogether?

Eliza: I think I'm capable of leading in the right circumstances, otherwise I'll do as I'm told.

21. If your character was suddenly challenged, would they rather run away or stay and fight?

Eliza: Run. I'm not trained to fight. Believe me, Adam's tried, but I'm not soldier material at all.

22. If your character was allowed to murder one person without any consequences, who would that person be and why?

Eliza: I'd have said Lord Ozier a long time ago, as he was involved with my sister's accident, but I've come to peace with that now, so I don't have anyone else in mind.

23. Your character has been granted 3 wishes; what would they wish for and why?

Eliza: I'd wish for Bindings to be destroyed, because it's such an unfair and abusive spell. I'd also wish for the poor Unbound- the people who were separated from their Bound partners too long and ended up as soulless husks- to return to normal. Finally, I'd wish for an easier way to distribute knowledge other than major centres for learning. If I could trained as a healer in my own home, I'd be the happiest girl alive.

24. Does your character trust people right off the bat or does it take them some time to warm up to someone?

Eliza: Since my sister left I find it hard to trust people. It takes me a long time to lower my defences.

25. Do they prefer romance or affection? What is the quickest way to your character’s heart?

Eliza: I'm a big follower of 'show don't tell'. I don't like ostentacious flowers or gifts, I'd much prefer a hug or kiss.

26. Does your character have any enemies? If so, who and why?

Eliza: I start to gain a few after my Binding to Ryan...

27. Do they have any weird bedroom habits? Any unusual kinks?

Eliza: None whatsoever.

Ryan: You do like having extra pillows.


28. How does your character prepare for bed? Do they sleep at all or can they stay awake for days on end without trouble?

Eliza: I usually brush my hair, wash my face, and snuggle up with my toy horse Teddy. Sometimes I read as well, if I don't feel too tired.

29. If your character had one thing to say to their parents before they died, what would it be?

Eliza: That I love them both and I hope I did them proud, and that I was sorry for any pain I caused them.

30. Are they afraid of death? Do they have any regrets?

Eliza: I'm very scared of death. My regrets? Being unable to see eye to eye with my parents, and being too afraid to trust my heart.

31. Does your character get restless when things are too quiet or do they favour solitude and silence? Why?

Eliza: I don't get restless but my mind ruminates far too much if it's too quiet, so I'd prefer some distraction.

32. Finally; if your character was forced to eat one thing for the rest of their life, what would they choose and why?

Eliza: My mother's homemade vegetable stock soup. I could live off that!

So, there you have it. To spread the love, I tag the following:

Will Macmillan Jones- The Banned Underground

A.F.E Smith- Reflections of Reality

Kay Kauffman- Suddenly They All Died

Andrea Baker- Author