Writing

NaNo 3 – Our Heroes

Today’s challenge asks for a character sheet for each main character of my NaNo novel. I have brief ones up for both Kessa St. James and Danny Harmon on the book’s website. In the spirit of “you can never know too much about your characters”, here is some more data on each of my invisible friends.

Note: this is a work in progress. I’ll be coming back to it!

Kessa Michele St. James

Name origin:  Kessa – A combination of her father’s first name (Kenneth) and her mother’s name (Tess)
Michele – Her grandmother’s name
St. James – From her British ancestry
Nickname, if any
(if so, explain its origin – e.g. who created it?):
 Kess – Only Danny Harmon gets away with calling her that. She prefers her last name to be used professionally. Danny also gets away with calling her Kessa. (Kess sounds too close to Tess, her mother’s name… it was a constant source of confusion growing up)
Does s/he like the nickname?  No, unless it’s coming from Danny. Then she outwardly tolerates it, but inwardly appreciates this bit of closeness.
Birth date:  July 2nd
Place of birth:  Portland, Oregon
Ethnic background:  English/French/German – your typical Anglo-Saxon-white-girl
Religion:  Atheist, from an atheist family
Degree of religious practice
(e.g. orthodox, casual, lapsed):
 N/A
Current address:  An apartment in Oakland, CA overlooking Lake Merritt
Does s/he rent or own?  Rent
Brief description of home
(apartment, house, trailer, etc.):
A single-bedroom flat on the fifth floor of a high-rise condo complex. Hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and a small amount of living space that is devoted to her computer desk and one comfortable chair for reading. She had two bar stools at the breakfast bar, but the second one doesn’t get much use.
Does s/he live with anyone?  No
Describe the area in which s/he lives
(big city, town, rural, other):
 It’s a big city, but the Lake Merritt district is a little pocket of casual quiet. She likes the proximity to the lake, because the running trail that runs around its circumference is ample for her exercise needs.
Is this his/her ideal home and location?
If not, what would s/he prefer?
 She has always loved it. It’s quiet, and it’s all hers. However, once her Adept ability kicked in, she feels out of place. She has found ley lines that connect the bay area to the Fade, and she’s spent time in those pockets of connectedness, but she feels moved to be closer to the pacific northwest.
Home decor (check all that apply): ___ Expensive _x__ Inexpensive
___ Carefully planned _x__ Comfortable
_x__ Neat ___ Cluttered
When someone walks in, what’s his/her first impression?  “Does anyone actually live here?”
Pets? __x_ No (why?) ___ Yes No pets, because she doesn’t spend a lot of time at home. She grew up with a dog, and remembers him fondly, but doesn’t have room in her life to properly care for a pet.
If yes, what kind and how many? Name(s)?  N/A
How important are they? How well are they treated?  N/A
Current occupation
(include length of time, location, job title):
 Special Agent Kessa St. James, FBI, San Francisco Field Office, Investigations, Media Relations Specialist
Job satisfaction (happy, discontent, ambitious…):  Her job is her life
Income level:  Median
Education:  Bachelors in Journalism, Masters in Psychology
Does s/he drive? What kind of car does s/he own, if any? (Make, model, color, age, etc.):  She doesn’t own a car; she takes the BART to work and uses Bureau vehicles for any driving she has to d.
Sexuality
(e.g. straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, unsure…):
 Straight
Marital status:  Unmarried (and very few relationships – none long-term)
If married or currently romantically involved, with whom, and for how long?  Spoilers, sweetie!
List any significant previous romantic partners:  She had a boyfriend, Tyler, in grad school who she stayed with for 8 months. She nearly moved in with him, and then found out he was cheating on her.
For current spouse/partner, what does the character call him/her (pet names, nicknames, etc.)?
N/A
How did they meet?
N/A
Any children (include names, ages, other parent if different from current partner)?
No Children
Describe relationship with each child (if any):
 N/A
PHYSICAL APPEARANCE:
Height:  5′ 9″
Weight:  145
What is his/her body type (skinny, slim, athletic, curvy, overweight, muscular, etc.)?  Athletic
Eye color?  Brown
Does s/he use glasses? Contacts? Hearing aid?  No
Skin tone (pale, ivory, ruddy, tan, olive,
brown, black, etc.):
 Tan
Any prominent features, freckles/moles/scars/tattoos/
other distinguishing marks?
 No distinguishing marks
Face shape (round, oval, chubby, thin, long, square, heart-shaped, etc.)?  Oval
Whom does s/he most look like (e.g. famous person or relative)?  Scarlett Johansson
General health (good, excellent, poor…)?  Excellent health
Any chronic conditions?  No chronic conditions
Any current health problems?  No current health problems
How does s/he dress (mark as many as appropriate): PRICE:

__ Expensive     _x_ Average
_x_ Inexpensive   __  Cheap

STYLE:

__  Haute Couture  _x_  Conservative
__  Trendy    __  Eclectic   _x_  Business
__ Sexy    __  Gaudy    __  Casual
__ Sloppy

Does s/he dress to be noticed? Why?  She does not dress to be noticed; she wears business or business casual most of the time.
Any special jewelry?
If so, why is it special?
 None
Other accessories:
Grooming: ___ Every hair in place, very neat (Why?)
_x__ Average grooming
___ Clean but sloppy
___ Unkempt (Why?)
Hairstyle
(long, short, crewcut, locs, bangs, side-part etc.):
 Just past shoulder length, bangs in front, easy to tie up into a ponytail to get it out of her way.
Natural hair texture
(thick, thin, wiry, smooth, wavy, curly, nappy, etc.):
 Mostly straight with a slight waive
Current hair texture (if different from above):  N/A
Natural hair color:  Dark brown
Current hair color (if different from above):  N/A
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION:
Pace (does s/he talk fast, average, slow?):  Her schooling and professional life dictate that she must be a calm, deliberate communicator. That said, when she gets in a huff, she will pick up the verbal pace.
Accent or dialect, if any:  None
Voice tone
(shrill, high, average, deep, squeaky,
hoarse, harsh, authoritative, cultured, etc.):
 Average voice tone with an authoritative edge.
Any favorite/habitual words/phrases or curse words?  None – she actively avoids forming habitual phrases
Describe general vocabulary or speech pattern (e.g. educated, precise, pretentious, average, childish, uneducated, vulgar…):  Educated and precise, though she can talk to any level.
Mannerisms/demeanor? _x__ Cool/confident
___ Volatile/moody
___ Nervous/fidgety/shy
___ Other?
Typical posture: ___ Stiff and rigid
__x_ Stands straight but not stiffly
___ Average, varies with mood
___ Slumped and defeated
___ Slouchy, careless
___ Relaxed
___ Other
Gestures: ___ Doesn’t gesture much
_x__ Deliberate and controlled
___ Only when excited/upset
___ Most of the time
___ Wildly/weirdly
Common gestures (e.g. nail-biting, hair patting, drumming fingers, clenched fists, hands in pockets, etc.):  She twists her hair up into a bun while she’s thinking.
EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR / HABITS:
Finances: (prudent/cautious, average w/some debt, lives paycheck to paycheck, deep in debt, criminal activity, etc.):  She actively invests for retirement, even though she has no desire to ever leave the FBI.
Describe any personal habits, e.g. smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, etc. Are any of these addictions?  Kessa stays away from negative personal habits; she’s more of the “running, eating healthy and reading” kind of girl, to a fault.

Morning Routine:

Describe the character’s morning rituals. Who else is sleeping in the same bed? What time does he/she wake up? Is he/she cheerful in the morning? What wakes him/her up — alarm, spouse/lover, kids, pet? What does he/she do during breakfast-read, watch tv, feed kids, etc.

 She needs her morning coffee. Her mornings typically consist of drinking the first cup of coffee – sweetened – while reading the morning news online. Then she’ll go for a run or lift weights in her apartment gym. Afterwards, she showers, gets ready for work (no make-up, minimal hair styling… she will eat a healthy breakfast and pack a lunch). Then she takes the BART into the San Francisco field office.
Afternoon/Workday:

Now describe the character’s workday or afternoon behavior. Does s/he work outside the home? How does he/she get there? Does he/she anticipate, dread, resent the work ahead? Does s/he give the job genuine attention and effort? Does s/he enjoy this work? Is s/he good at this job? What would he/she rather be doing? How long and hard is the work day?

Does s/he stop for lunch? Where?

Kessa prefers her time in the field office to just about any other. Her director and fellow agents are more of a family than her family ever was… though it’s still not much. She always feels a bit like an outsider, and always has. She usually eats lunch at her desk, though she’ll occasionally have coffee with a couple of the other agents. She works across the team as a media specialist, thus she doesn’t have a designated partner.
Dinner:

Does s/he eat at home or go out a lot? If the latter, what is/are his or her favorite restaurant(s)? At home, who prepares the meal? Who does he/she eat it with? What does it typically consist of? What goes on during dinner — tv, conversation, fighting, reading, etc? Who cleans up?

 She typically eats at home, alone, though there are a couple little bistro style restaurants that she knows and loves within walking distance of her apartment building.
Evening:

What does your character do on a typical evening? Where? With whom? How much does he/she enjoy it? What is the ideal evening for him or her?

She usually doesn’t head home until late. She’ll make herself a healthy dinner and then read until bed time. Sometimes she takes her book down to the coffee shop at the base of her apartment building.

If you ask her, she’s perfectly happy with life the way it is. But she does get lonely.

Bedtime:

Does he/she go to bed at a consistent time? Alone or with someone else? Does s/he usually fall asleep right way, or is s/he an insomniac? Does he/she dream — a lot, a little, never? Are most of his/her dreams scary, pleasant, sexual, imaginative? Are there any recurring dreams? Does s/he sleep well or poorly (e.g. tossing & turning)?

 She typically gets to bed by 10:00 or 11:00. Her dreams have always been odd – like they’re telling her something, but it’s always just out of reach. Being ever the skeptic, she dismisses the feeling, even though it persists nightly, and has since she was a child.
Skills/Talents:  Martial arts, sharpshooter, disaster assistance trained, journalism, psychology, Adept of the Ancients
What is s/he particularly unskilled at?  She is not a singer. Not in the least. She also avoids sports like skiing, skateboarding, or anything else that requires balance at speed.
Any hobbies (sports, arts, collecting, gaming, etc.):  Running (she runs 5k and 10k races)
THE PAST:
Home town (if different from current home):  Astoria, Oregon
Was his/her childhood happy? Troubled? Dull? (And does the character remember it accurately?)  Kessa grew up with a very pragmatic and somewhat detached family. Her mother, a lawyer, was always working. Her father, a city police chief, encouraged Kessa to go into martial arts and eventually law enforcement. Her father died in a car wreck during her senior year of high school. Her service in the Bureau is personal, dedicated to the memory of her father. She knew her parents loved her, but as an only child of two career-minded people, she learned to be alone from an early age.
Earliest memory:  Fog rolling off the Pacific and over the beach where she sat playing in the sand. Her grandparents and parents talking. The cries of seagulls. The feeling of sand, trapped and scratchy in her diaper.
Saddest memory:  Losing her father at age 17.
Happiest memory:  Receiving her badge and first Bureau assignment.
How much school did s/he attend, if any?
Did/does s/he like school? Why or why not?
 She has a bachelors in Journalism and a masters in Psychology. She enjoys school very much, because it gives her both something to do and a reason to stay home. She went into the Bureau out of undergrad, and got her masters during her first couple years as an agent. She was considering going back for a second masters.
Most significant childhood event:  Attaining black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 14
Other significant childhood events, if any?  Frequent visits to Gig Harbor, WA to visit her cousins; the first time she  met Danny was at age 15. He was a friend of her cousins. She would never have considered the meeting to be significant, until he stepped out of the car and presented himself as an FBI profiler and her new partner.
Significant past jobs:  She worked as an intern with the SF Gate. She also did some time as a barista during high school.
Any police record?  No
If so, what was the arrest for? When/where?  N/A
Convictions? Sentence(s) served?  N/A
First crush or romantic love?  She crushed on all the popular boys in junior high and high school, but went relatively unnoticed. She had a couple boyfriends during her early years, but they were short-lived affairs.
What was his/her first sexual experience?
Is it a positive/negative memory?
 It was during college, with her longest-ever relationship, Tyler. She finally decided she’d found “the one” and she gave him her all. He broke her heart. After Tyler, she decided that it just wasn’t worth the risk. She’s had a couple partners –  usually someone she met at the bar during an uncharacteristic night out. She filed those experiences into the “letting off steam” category.
Major accidents or traumas?
How is s/he still affected, if at all?
 N/A
FAMILY OF ORIGIN:
Mother’s name (include maiden name if known/applicable):  Countess (Tess) Mariam Webber
Mother’s current status: _x__ living ___ deceased
(If living, her age: _66___)
Mother’s occupation, if any:  Trial Lawyer
Describe the mother’s relationship with character:  Kessa calls her mother once every several months, or if something major happens. It’s not that they don’t get along, and she loves her mother… they’re just not close.
Father’s name:  Kenneth Eugene St. James (Goes by Eugene)
Father’s current status: ___ living _x__ deceased
(If living, his age: ____)
Father’s occupation, if any:  Police Chief
Describe the father’s relationship with character:  Kessa was closer to her father than her mother, and went to him for all the big talks and questions in life. Mostly, because he was home more. But also because he was more approachable and encouraging. It was because of him that Kessa went into law enforcement.
Any step-parents, foster parents,
or birth parents (if not same as above):
 None
If s/he is adopted, does s/he know?  No
Any siblings (include age and birth order, i.e. relative to main character):  None
Relationship with each:  N/A
Nieces/Nephews, if any:  N/A
In-Laws, if any:  N/A
Other than the above, who else in the story is part of his/her extended family (e.g. cousins, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.)?  Her aunt and uncle who once lived in Gig Harbor, WA moved to Phoenix. She’s been to visit them once, but isn’t real close to them. She has no other family to speak of. Her grandparents all passed away.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS:
Who, if anyone, is his/her best or closest friend?  She maintains a loose friendship with one of her high school friends, Janelle. They were friends by default during school – the two girls who basically got looked over by the popular crowd. Janelle always said there was something different – unique – about both of them… that they walked on a different wavelength than everyone else, and that made it harder for those “normal people” to see them. Kessa always thought it was pretty funny, but after realizing her ability to wield magic, Janelle’s words have come back to her with new meaning.
Other close friends:  She feels a bond of trust with her director, Aaron Crase, but she wouldn’t go so far as to call it friendship. As of the end of Rising, Danny Harmon is squarely in the friends-with-benefits category. It’s new territory for her.
How in general does s/he react to or is perceived by…
Friends?  Aloof
Strangers?  Intense and serious
Spouse/Lover?

Past spouse/lovers?

 Danny thinks Kessa seriously undervalues herself and that she’s dismissive of her potential. He sees her as powerful and capable, but stubborn and difficult at the same time.
Own children, if any?  N/A
Other family members  Her mother is very proud of the woman Kessa has become; she respects Kessa’s drive and ambition in her career and her education.
The opposite sex?  Attractive, if not a bit intimidating.
Children in general?  The children she has worked with on cases have taken an instant trust and liking to her. She’s know to have a “way” with kids.
Others who are more successful?
Others who are less successful?
Boss (if any)?
Underlings at work?
Competitors?
Authority (police, IRS, politicians, attorneys, doctors, etc.)?
Anyone who challenges him or her?
Anyone who angers him or her?
Anyone who asks for help?
What do most people consider likeable about him/her?
What do most people consider his/her biggest flaw?
Any secret attractions? If so, does the other person know it? Has there been any actual romantic/sexual activity?
In romantic relationships, is s/he generally monogamous or uncommitted? (If the latter, is s/he honest w/ partners?)
Is his/her sexual behavior inhibited, average, experimental, or reckless? Has this changed
(and if so, why)?
Whom does s/he dislikes most, and why?
Whom does s/he like most, and why?
Who’s the most important person
in his/her life right now, and why?
Whom does s/he admire (nonromantic), and why?
Biggest influence, and why (famous or not)?
Whom (if anyone) does s/he consider an enemy, and why?
Person s/he most misunderstands or misjudges:
Person who most misunderstands or misjudges him or her:
Has s/he’s lost touch with anyone who was once significant in his/her life? If so, why?
Worst end of a relationship (could be friend, romantic, colleague…)
Whom does s/he most rely on for practical advice?
Whom does s/he most rely on for emotional support?
Whom, if anyone, does s/he support (e.g. advice or emotional support)?
MENTAL ATTITUDE/PERSONAL BELIEFS:
Any psychological issues (e.g. phobias,
depression, paranoia, narcissism, etc.)?
Is s/he an optimist or pessimist?
Meyers Briggs Personality Type:
(Don’t know? Take a sample test for your character.)
Most comfortable when …
(alone, hanging w/friends, drinking, etc.):
Most uncomfortable when …
(in a crowd, alone, speaking in public, etc.:
Is s/he cautious, brave, or reckless
in his/her approach to life?
What does s/he most value/prioritize?
(family, money, success, religion, etc.)
Whom does he/she really love best?
What would he/she be willing to die for?
Is s/he generally compassionate, sensitive to others?
Or self-involved/selfish/oblivious?
Personal philosophy:
What is his/her biggest embarrassment?
What is his/her greatest wish?
Any prejudices (race, culture, sexuality, religion, etc.)?
Political party or beliefs, if any:
Does s/he believe in fate or destiny? Is s/he superstitious?
Character’s greatest strength:
Character’s greatest flaw:
Other good characteristics:
Other character flaws:
What are his/her own favorite attributes
(physical and personality)?
What about least favorite?
Are these feelings accurate?
How does s/he think others perceive him or her? (And is this accurate?)
Biggest regret:
Other regrets:
Proudest accomplishment:
Other accomplishments:
Biggest secret(s):
Does anyone else know these secrets?
If yes, how were the secrets revealed?
How does s/he react to a crisis?
What usually causes the problems in his/her life (romance, finances, friends, colleagues, personality flaws, health, etc.)?
How does s/he react to change?
Quirks:
What would s/he most like to change about her-/himself, and why?
Write a paragraph (~100 words) of the character describing him/herself:
Short term goals:
Long term goals:
Does s/he plan to achieve these goals, or does s/he think they’re unrealistic?
Will others be affected?
If yes, does it matter to the character?
What, if anything, is stopping him/her from achieving these goals?
What does he/she actively work to gain, keep or protect?
What event or occurrence does s/he most dread or fear?
Which person in his/her life would s/he most want to emulate?
Which person in his/her life would s/he least want to emulate?
LIKES/FAVORITES:
Food:
Drink:
Color:
Book:
Film:
Music/Song:
TV:
Sport:
Motto/Quote:
Hangout(s):
Possession:

Daniel (Danny) Edwin Harmon

Name origin:  Daniel – Just a name his mother liked
Edwin – His mother’s maiden name
Harmon – British origin
Nickname, if any
(if so, explain its origin – e.g. who created it?):
 He prefers Danny; it’s what he’s been called his whole life.
Does s/he like the nickname?  Yes.
Birth date:  November 12th
Place of birth:  Tacoma, Washington
Ethnic background:  English/Irish – your typical Anglo-Saxon-white-guy
Religion:  Agnositc
Degree of religious practice
(e.g. orthodox, casual, lapsed):
 N/A
Current address:  A duplex in Tacoma near Pt. Defiance Park
Does s/he rent or own?  Rent
Brief description of home
(apartment, house, trailer, etc.):
Does s/he live with anyone?  No
Describe the area in which s/he lives
(big city, town, rural, other):
Is this his/her ideal home and location?
If not, what would s/he prefer?
Home decor (check all that apply): ___ Expensive _x__ Inexpensive
___ Carefully planned _x__ Comfortable
___ Neat ___ Cluttered
When someone walks in, what’s his/her first impression?  “What’s that smell?”
Pets? __x_ No (why?) ___ Yes No pets, because he doesn’t spend a lot of time at home. He never had pets growing up.
If yes, what kind and how many? Name(s)?  N/A
How important are they? How well are they treated?  N/A
Current occupation
(include length of time, location, job title):
 Special Agent Danny Harmon, FBI, Seattle Field Office, Special Investigations, Profiler
Job satisfaction (happy, discontent, ambitious…):  His job is his life
Income level:  Median
Education:  Bachelors in Criminal Justice, Masters in Psychology
Does s/he drive? What kind of car does s/he own, if any? (Make, model, color, age, etc.):  He has an older Honda Accord.
Sexuality
(e.g. straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, unsure…):
 Straight
Marital status:  Unmarried
If married or currently romantically involved, with whom, and for how long?  Spoilers, sweetie!
List any significant previous romantic partners:
For current spouse/partner, what does the character call him/her (pet names, nicknames, etc.)?
N/A
How did they meet?
N/A
Any children (include names, ages, other parent if different from current partner)?
No Children
Describe relationship with each child (if any):
 N/A
PHYSICAL APPEARANCE:
Height: 6’1″
Weight:  190
What is his/her body type (skinny, slim, athletic, curvy, overweight, muscular, etc.)?  Athletic
Eye color?  Blue
Does s/he use glasses? Contacts? Hearing aid?  No
Skin tone (pale, ivory, ruddy, tan, olive,
brown, black, etc.):
 Pale to Tan
Any prominent features, freckles/moles/scars/tattoos/
other distinguishing marks?
 No distinguishing marks
Face shape (round, oval, chubby, thin, long, square, heart-shaped, etc.)?  Heart-shaped
Whom does s/he most look like (e.g. famous person or relative)?
General health (good, excellent, poor…)?
Any chronic conditions?
Any current health problems?
How does s/he dress (mark as many as appropriate): PRICE:

__ Expensive     __ Average
_x_ Inexpensive   _x_  Cheap

STYLE:

__  Haute Couture  __  Conservative
__  Trendy    __  Eclectic   __  Business
__ Sexy    __  Gaudy    __  Casual
__ Sloppy

Does s/he dress to be noticed? Why?
Any special jewelry?
If so, why is it special?
Other accessories:
Grooming: ___ Every hair in place, very neat (Why?)
___ Average grooming
___ Clean but sloppy
___ Unkempt (Why?)
Hairstyle
(long, short, crewcut, locs, bangs, side-part etc.):
Natural hair texture
(thick, thin, wiry, smooth, wavy, curly, nappy, etc.):
Current hair texture (if different from above):
Natural hair color:
Current hair color (if different from above):
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION:
Pace (does s/he talk fast, average, slow?):
Accent or dialect, if any:
Voice tone
(shrill, high, average, deep, squeaky,
hoarse, harsh, authoritative, cultured, etc.):
Any favorite/habitual words/phrases or curse words?
Describe general vocabulary or speech pattern (e.g. educated, precise, pretentious, average, childish, uneducated, vulgar…):
Mannerisms/demeanor? ___ Cool/confident
___ Volatile/moody
___ Nervous/fidgety/shy
___ Other?
Typical posture: ___ Stiff and rigid
___ Stands straight but not stiffly
___ Average, varies with mood
___ Slumped and defeated
___ Slouchy, careless
___ Relaxed
___ Other
Gestures: ___ Doesn’t gesture much
___ Deliberate and controled
___ Only when excited/upset
___ Most of the time
___ Wildly/weirdly
Common gestures (e.g. nail-biting, hair patting, drumming fingers, clenched fists, hands in pockets, etc.):
EVERYDAY BEHAVIOR / HABITS:
Finances: (prudent/cautious, average w/some debt, lives paycheck to paycheck, deep in debt, criminal activity, etc.):
Describe any personal habits, e.g. smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, etc. Are any of these addictions?

Morning Routine:

Describe the character’s morning rituals. Who else is sleeping in the same bed? What time does he/she wake up? Is he/she cheerful in the morning? What wakes him/her up — alarm, spouse/lover, kids, pet? What does he/she do during breakfast-read, watch tv, feed kids, etc.

Afternoon/Workday:

Now describe the character’s workday or afternoon behavior. Does s/he work outside the home? How does he/she get there? Does he/she anticipate, dread, resent the work ahead? Does s/he give the job genuine attention and effort? Does s/he enjoy this work? Is s/he good at this job? What would he/she rather be doing? How long and hard is the work day?

Does s/he stop for lunch? Where?

Dinner:

Does s/he eat at home or go out a lot? If the latter, what is/are his or her favorite restaurant(s)? At home, who prepares the meal? Who does he/she eat it with? What does it typically consist of? What goes on during dinner — tv, conversation, fighting, reading, etc? Who cleans up?

Evening:

What does your character do on a typical evening? Where? With whom? How much does he/she enjoy it? What is the ideal evening for him or her?

Bedtime:

Does he/she go to bed at a consistent time? Alone or with someone else? Does s/he usually fall asleep right way, or is s/he an insomniac? Does he/she dream — a lot, a little, never? Are most of his/her dreams scary, pleasant, sexual, imaginative? Are there any recurring dreams? Does s/he sleep well or poorly (e.g. tossing & turning)?

Skills/Talents:
What is s/he particularly unskilled at?
Any hobbies (sports, arts, collecting, gaming, etc.):
THE PAST:
Home town (if different from current home):
Was his/her childhood happy? Troubled? Dull? (And does the character remember it accurately?)
Earliest memory:
Saddest memory:
Happiest memory:
How much school did s/he attend, if any?
Did/does s/he like school? Why or why not?
Most significant childhood event:
Other significant childhood events, if any?
Significant past jobs:
Any police record?
If so, what was the arrest for? When/where?
Convictions? Sentence(s) served?
First crush or romantic love?
What was his/her first sexual experience?
Is it a positive/negative memory?
Major accidents or traumas?
How is s/he still affected, if at all?
FAMILY OF ORIGIN:
Mother’s name (include maiden name if known/applicable):
Mother’s current status: ___ living ___ deceased
(If living, her age: ____)
Mother’s occupation, if any:
Describe the mother’s relationship with character:
Father’s name:
Father’s current status: ___ living ___ deceased
(If living, his age: ____)
Father’s occupation, if any:
Describe the father’s relationship with character:
Any step-parents, foster parents,
or birth parents (if not same as above):
If s/he is adopted, does s/he know?
Any siblings (include age and birth order, i.e. relative to main character):
Relationship with each:
Nieces/Nephews, if any:
In-Laws, if any:
Other than the above, who else in the story is part of his/her extended family (e.g. cousins, aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.)?
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS:
Who, if anyone, is his/her best or closest friend?
Other close friends:
How in general does s/he react to or is perceived by…
Friends?
Strangers?
Spouse/Lover?

Past spouse/lovers?

Own children, if any?
Other family members
The opposite sex?
Children in general?
Others who are more successful?
Others who are less successful?
Boss (if any)?
Underlings at work?
Competitors?
Authority (police, IRS, politicians, attorneys, doctors, etc.)?
Anyone who challenges him or her?
Anyone who angers him or her?
Anyone who asks for help?
What do most people consider likeable about him/her?
What do most people consider his/her biggest flaw?
Any secret attractions? If so, does the other person know it? Has there been any actual romantic/sexual activity?
In romantic relationships, is s/he generally monogamous or uncommitted? (If the latter, is s/he honest w/ partners?)
Is his/her sexual behavior inhibited, average, experimental, or reckless? Has this changed
(and if so, why)?
Whom does s/he dislikes most, and why?
Whom does s/he like most, and why?
Who’s the most important person
in his/her life right now, and why?
Whom does s/he admire (nonromantic), and why?
Biggest influence, and why (famous or not)?
Whom (if anyone) does s/he consider an enemy, and why?
Person s/he most misunderstands or misjudges:
Person who most misunderstands or misjudges him or her:
Has s/he’s lost touch with anyone who was once significant in his/her life? If so, why?
Worst end of a relationship (could be friend, romantic, colleague…)
Whom does s/he most rely on for practical advice?
Whom does s/he most rely on for emotional support?
Whom, if anyone, does s/he support (e.g. advice or emotional support)?
MENTAL ATTITUDE/PERSONAL BELIEFS:
Any psychological issues (e.g. phobias,
depression, paranoia, narcissism, etc.)?
Is s/he an optimist or pessimist?
Meyers Briggs Personality Type:
(Don’t know? Take a sample test for your character.)
Most comfortable when …
(alone, hanging w/friends, drinking, etc.):
Most uncomfortable when …
(in a crowd, alone, speaking in public, etc.:
Is s/he cautious, brave, or reckless
in his/her approach to life?
What does s/he most value/prioritize?
(family, money, success, religion, etc.)
Whom does he/she really love best?
What would he/she be willing to die for?
Is s/he generally compassionate, sensitive to others?
Or self-involved/selfish/oblivious?
Personal philosophy:
What is his/her biggest embarrassment?
What is his/her greatest wish?
Any prejudices (race, culture, sexuality, religion, etc.)?
Political party or beliefs, if any:
Does s/he believe in fate or destiny? Is s/he superstitious?
Character’s greatest strength:
Character’s greatest flaw:
Other good characteristics:
Other character flaws:
What are his/her own favorite attributes
(physical and personality)?
What about least favorite?
Are these feelings accurate?
How does s/he think others perceive him or her? (And is this accurate?)
Biggest regret:
Other regrets:
Proudest accomplishment:
Other accomplishments:
Biggest secret(s):
Does anyone else know these secrets?
If yes, how were the secrets revealed?
How does s/he react to a crisis?
What usually causes the problems in his/her life (romance, finances, friends, colleagues, personality flaws, health, etc.)?
How does s/he react to change?
Quirks:
What would s/he most like to change about her-/himself, and why?
Write a paragraph (~100 words) of the character describing him/herself:
Short term goals:
Long term goals:
Does s/he plan to achieve these goals, or does s/he think they’re unrealistic?
Will others be affected?
If yes, does it matter to the character?
What, if anything, is stopping him/her from achieving these goals?
What does he/she actively work to gain, keep or protect?
What event or occurrence does s/he most dread or fear?
Which person in his/her life would s/he most want to emulate?
Which person in his/her life would s/he least want to emulate?
LIKES/FAVORITES:
Food:
Drink:
Color:
Book:
Film:
Music/Song:
TV:
Sport:
Motto/Quote:
Hangout(s):
Possession:
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