Do I really need to know my MC's birthday, favorite color, hobby, or if he/she sleeps on the right or left side of the bed, prefers to wear jeans or dress clothes, etc if it doesn't pertain to the story?
Yes, yes, I understand that by completing these forms I could better "know" my character. But the truth is, I don't.
I don't know if my character will melt at the sight of a daisy with one remaining petal and the words to follow are "He loves me not".
Or if MC will:
*know how to fix a tire,
*sing like crystal,
*laugh at a snarky joke,
*press her hand on the chest of the most attractive man in the world then suddenly think to dab the hot chocolate from her lips before he kisses her,
*cry over a Hallmark commercial
*inhale food or daintily eat small forkfuls
*knock soft or loud on a door when angry
We can't assume all people respond the same. Not all angry people bang on a door or ball their fist, or furrow their brows, or...
It is HARD to get inside an MCs head with the sacred fifty to one hundred character questions.
All right, Mary, you might be saying. How do you suggest the problem be solved?
I propose we do a sixteen part class discussing the character personality puzzle together. No need to sign up, and if you miss one, you can easily scroll back to the previous class. Each post will stand independent, this is not a skyscraper building block course.
Are you ready to give it a whirl? I hope so.
Let's start with an Introduction.
We will look at sixteen different character personalities. Each one will include male and female examples to help you better understand how this type of character would respond in a given situation.
What we will be looking at are character personality only and not physical appearance.
For example: A character is sitting on a bench waiting for transportation to work. The bus turns onto their street. How would a Forrest Gump character respond? You already know, right? The picture is in your head. Quick, jot down in the comment section what popped in your mind. Remember we will be discussing the personality only. Your MC will have different physical features and will, most likely, not look at all like Forrest Gump
Now, imagine a Marilyn Monroe character sitting on that bench? Oh, now we have a very different response, right? I don't have to suggest anything. Your mind is already there and could write either scene. Quick, jot down in the comment section what popped in your mind.
No, I'm not suggesting this will be easy. But what I am suggesting is by determining which one of sixteen character personalities belong to your MC you will be able to paint the best 3-D, heartfelt stories because your character will be consistent and although he/she grows in their journey, they will respond to situations in conjunction with their personality--and not because of their birthdate. (yeah...got the sarcasm thing going...hanging head)
Because we will be celebrating Christmas, part one will be on January 7 and address the character who is outgoing, creative, empathetic, and open minded. Yes, all of this in one character!
Are your characters stuck in quicksand, begging to be free of trivial details to express their personality? To live their life to the fullest?
Have you struggled to make your MC unique, just as you are unique?
We are more than our outsides...more than details...we are heart and soul.
Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes young adult mystery/adventure Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.