I’ve been waiting for so long for November to start. To get myself through October, without starting any new projects, I’ve been working on prewriting. To say that I’ve done more for this book than any other would be an understatement. My Bible is filled. Background stories, setting, culture, maps, outlines, and yes, character bios.
When creating a character, I usually say that all I need to know is the most important event in their life so far and how it affected the character. I usually steered clear from the character questions and interviews because I never thought they were that relevant. I mean, I have characters living in a fantasy world trying to survive. Who cares what their favorite color is, right?
But since I have so much time, I figured I would actually try them out and see what happened. I went through multiple questions and picked the ones that I thought would apply the most to my characters, and yes, I left the question about favorite color in there. There were times that I really got stumped.
What kind of music does my character like to listen to? I have no idea.
What time do they go to bed or wake up? Does it matter?
Apparently, it does. I found out that one of my character loves to go stargazing, which means he stays up late to look at stars. I have another character who like silence, no noise, no music. Things I would not have known if I’d just focused on the most important aspect of their lives.
It doesn’t feel like I’ve gotten everything about the characters figured out, but there are small details that separates them from all of the other characters. It’s not a replacement, but I will definitely be using it in the future.
What do you do to build your characters? How do you get their backgrounds and personalities figured out?