The Writer's Character Questionnaire!
Well it’s been a long time, blog readers! Sorry I’ve been lacking in my blog posts, I hope to get back into my regular schedule, but we shall see. ☺
First off, I just wanted to say thank you all soooo much for the prayers for my family and little sister. It means sooo much to us. Also, thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, that was one of the most special things that’s ever been done for me. Because of R’s immune system counts my parents told me we couldn’t really have a party for my twentieth birthday, so imagine my shock and surprise when I got all these birthday emails on my birthday! I was blessed beyond anything I can even begin to explain to you all, it just meant soooo much to me. ☺ I saved each and every one of those emails to cherish forever!
Today’s blog post is something I’ve been thinking about doing for quite some time but never got around to. How many of you who write feel like you know your characters well? How many of you would like to get to know your characters better? How many of you feel like you know the characters of your favorite book or TV show well enough you know exactly what they'd do in any given situation?
This game was taught to me by a friend at church several years back and I never forgot it. Not only was it really fun and hilarious to play, but it also taught me a lot about my characters and how they react in certain situations. So today I am going to teach you that game. It really has no name, so we’re going to call it The Writer’s Character Questionnaire.
Here’s how it works.
First off, copy the list of numbers I provide below.
Then, write down a name next to each number of one of your characters. If you don’t have that many characters, don’t worry- write down the names of your favorite book characters, movie characters, etc. And use those. DON’T GO ANY FURTHER UNTIL YOU WRITE DOWN YOUR CHARACTER NAMES. Trust me, there’s a reason for this.
Here’s an example of my list:
1 Aichear Mornelly
2 Emily Anna Jones
3 Tatyana Melnikova
4 Ciarán Mornelly
5 Dzherri Kalasky
6 Sigmund Schneider
7 Damhán Mornelly
8 The Most Excellent Gerhard
9 Breandan Mornelly
10 Ruslan Petrov
11 Bran Mornelly
12 Aileen Mornelly
Now that your list is filled, read the list of questions below and substitute the number for the name of the character you wrote. Example:
1 and 7 want a banana but there’s only one. Will they fight each other for it or will they talk about it civilly to decide who deserves it?
So substitute it with:
Aichear and Damhán want a banana but there’s only one. Will they fight each other for it or will they talk about it civilly to decide who deserves it?
Not only is the question funny and the situation somewhat goofy to think about, this gives you an idea of what your characters might do in a similar situation. Either write down your answer or answer it in your head, then answer the next question in the same fashion- substituting the number for the name you wrote down.
After you finish off these questions, why don’t you try to make up your own with a friend! You can write a whole list of your own questions with numbers and then give it to a fellow writer to answer with their list of characters. The possibilities are endless and it’s a real fun game to help you know more about your characters. The only thing I recommend is trying to keep the more romancey questions to a minimum- in case number 6 and 3 happen to both be brothers or something. ;) This has happened before when I played this game, and so the rule was to just find the closest number that had a girl’s name on it.
So have fun answering the questions! If you want, post the questions and answers with your character names below or email them to me! I’d love to read them! ☺ I hope you enjoy this game, special thanks to my friend Rose who showed this to me. ☺
Question One: While out on a walk, 5 and 10 happen upon little, lost and frightened 4, who has lost his/her parents. Do they take 4 to the police for the police to take care of or do they help 4 find 4’s parents themselves?
Question Two: While on the bus, 8 realizes his/her wallet is missing. Does 8 blame the person sitting next to him/her (who happens to be 2), or does 8 go searching for the wallet instead?
Question Three: 9 has a great fear of ducks. Does 3 laugh when he/she finds out or try to help 9 get over it?
Question Four: 12 is the greatest detective in New York City. When sent on a new case to figure out who stole the statue of liberty, 12 narrows it down to three suspects: 10, 6 and 7. Who is the least likely to have done it and who is the most likely to have done it?
Question Five: 11 is accused of stealing 5’s cookies. Did 11 do it or not?
Question Six: 1, 8 and 3 are best friends. They do everything together and share all their deepest secrets. When 8 finds out that everyone at school knows his/her secret truth that he/she loves baby turtles (which is very embarrassing to 8), does 8 suspect 1 or 3? Would 8 confront either one? Would 8 be really upset or just roll with it? Finally, who is the most likely to have blabbed that secret, 1 or 3?
Question Seven: There’s been an invasion and America has been taken over by bad guys! When caught and told he/she either has to join or die, would 10 join the bad guys or not? Is 5 terrified and hiding or trying to fight back? And where would 2 be during this whole scary event?
Question Eight: If given the choice between ice cream and cake, what would 6 choose?
Question Nine: 9 is getting married. Who does 9 choose as his/her best man/maid of honor, 12, 11 or 4? Of the three, would be hurt if he/she wasn’t chosen? Who would do the best job at being the best man/maid of honor?
Question Ten: 1 is working very hard on a novel, but when 5 happens to read it over 1’s shoulder, he/she laughs. Does 1 either
a) tell 5 to leave,
b) tell 5 that 6 loves the story and 5’s opinion doesn’t matter,
c) cry about it or
d) drag 5 out of the room and lock 5 out of the house?
How does 5 react to what 1 does?
BONUS STORY: Once upon a time there was a little girl/boy named little 12 riding hood. 12 was asked by his/her mother/father, 6, to go and check on 12’s grandmother/grandfather, 7. 12 happily agreed and went on his/her merry way, glad to be out of the house and always happy to go and visit 7. But on the way, 12 runs into the big bad 8, who demands to know where 12 is going.
“I don’t talk to strangers,” 12 stated flatly.
“Well that’s too bad because I happen to have candy,” 8 tried.
12, whose great weakness is candy, thinks about this trade of information for the sweet treat. But then 12 remembers what the great and wise 3 told 12 once, “Candy is not the answer to the problems of the world.”
“No,” 12 says at last, and goes on his/her own way.
Now 8 really wanted to get money from kidnapping 12 because 8 is broke and spent all his/her money. So 8 tries to sneakily follow 12 through the forest, only to run into 3, 2 and 1, who are having a picnic and discussing politics.
“What are you?” 2 asks, unimpressed.
“I am the big bad 8 and I’m going to get myself some money, so stop talking to me,” 8 snarls.
“Fine, see if we care,” 3 shrugs, and then goes back to the picnic with 1 and 2.
Meanwhile 12 makes it to grandmother/grandfather 7’s house and raps on the door, unaware that there is danger ahead. “Grandmother/grandfather 7, it’s me, 12! I’m here to visit!”
“Come in!” says a strange voice that sounds a lot like the big bad 8.
Huh that’s weird, 12 thinks, but comes in anyways.
Inside, 12 is shocked to find not only 8, like he/she had thought, but also 10, 9 and 11, 8’s evil minions! 4 is there, too, but is a rather unintimidating squirrel that only screeches in displeasure.
“Get him/her!” 8 declares, and 10, 9 and 11 spring into action.
12 thinks fast and bolts out the door, the evil minions on his tail. 12 runs straight to 5 and 6’s house, the twins. “Help, help! The big bad 8 is trying to kidnap me!” 12 cries.
5 and 6, who happen to be ninjas and trained in fighting off evil minions like 10, 9 and 11, instantly rise to their feet from their lunch of honey sandwiches and defeat the bad guys. They chase after 8, who was still hiding in 7’s house and have 8 arrested by 1 the police officer, who stopped talking about politics long enough to show up and throw 8 in jail. 12 thanks the twins and told 7 all about his/her scary adventure, to which 7 replied, “Ah, that reminds me of a story when I was young when…”
So what did you think of the game? Did your answers help you out with your characters? Was the story very whacky with your characters of choice or did it kind of make sense? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on the blog your answers, I’d love to see them! God Bless and have a wonderful week!