Character Memes

It's hard to flesh out a character, to make him or her feel 'complete' and real, as opposed to just being a handful of words on the page. In order to polish off a character, the key is generally to ask questions about him or her; find out the 'why' behind the attitude, the looks, the style of dress, the activities he or she enjoys, fears and phobias and everything else.

In order to help you explore your character-in-progress further, here is a list of questions that you might ask yourself while writing up pieces of your application. This list will constantly be extended and updated.

  • Beyond just coloration, what does your character look like? Nose shape? Eye shape? curve of the mouth? Line of the jaw?
  • Do eye and hair color make sense together? If not, what's the reason for the discrepancy?
  • How does your character usually like to wear his/her hair?
  • Do they fight? If so, do they keep it up out of the way, or cropped short?
  • Is your character vain? Is grooming important? Is he/she usually kept spotlessly clean or a little sloppy around the edges?
  • Is your character attractive, in a traditional sort of way, or is he/she more charismatic and unusual? Not everyone is classically pretty, and even people who are not actually considered 'beautiful' in a physical sort of way could always be 'attractive' despite their flaws.
  • How well off is your character? Can he/she afford fancy clothes? Does being rich mean he/she enjoys slumming it, or dressing up nicely?
  • Does your character's clothing fit with his/her personality? If shy, would he/she be more likely to cover up? Dress in baggy clothing? If outgoing, would he/she wear bright colors, loud patterns, to catch attention?
  • Is comfort more important, or style?
  • What kinds of colors does he/she wear?
  • Does your character interact well with others?
  • More manipulative, or innocent?
  • What kinds of people does he/she like?
  • What kinds of people is he/she attracted to?
  • If given a free hour, what would your character most likely do?
  • How is your character in leadership roles?
  • What sort of education has your character had?
  • What kinds of training has your character had?
  • If a character fights — what kind of fighting? Sword? Gun? Martial arts? Bar fights?
  • Is there an art form in particular that your character enjoys? Is he/she good at it, or only a connoisseur?
  • What is your character truly, terrible awful at?
  • What was family life like? Siblings? Single parent? Happy, normal marriage? Grandparents? Aunts and uncles? Gay cousins? Wicked step-sisters?
  • How well off was your character, in various points of his/her life?
  • What goals did your character pursue? Where did he/she fail? Where did he/she succeed?
  • Regrets?
  • Lost friends?
  • Pets?
  • Does every aspect of your character fit together, according to a theme/personality?
  • Are any of your characters abilities just your own unfulfilled dreams, or are they all necessary and logical?
  • Is your character too perfect, too flawed, or balanced just right?
  • Have you reread every part of the app to make sure it looks and feels right to you?