Over on the Absolute Write website, in the forums, a lot of writers participate in a forum game called “How Well Do You Know Your MC?”, MC meaning Main Character (link: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133757). The questions range from the pertinent, to the pointless to the bizarre. This is in the Young Adult section, so most of the characters are adolescents.
I thought it’d be interesting to try to answer some of these for your own main characters, even if you don’t answer them on the forums. Here are some of the questions:
– How would your character react to inappropriate advances by a dirty old man?
– How did your MC find out where babies come from?
– What’s your MC’s greatest fear?
– What is your MC look like?
– What would your MC do when confronted with the threat of death?
– What’s is the biggest black mark on your MC’s conscience?
– It’s your character’s last meal. What’s on the menu?
– If you have magical powers, what would you do if they suddenly stopped working? If you don’t, what magical powers would you NOT like to have?
– What is the funniest thing your MC has said?
– Out of these: toaster, computer, bathtub and oven, which does your character think could be the most terrifying if it became sentient?
– A gigantic tank is aiming straight for your MC. What does he/she do?
– What genre of books does your MC prefer? If he/she doesn’t read, which would he/she be least upset about having to read?
(The last three were mine)
I think this game thread is an excellent resource for character-building material. Sure, it might never be important to the story to know how your character would react to having a tank in the face, but these sorts of things will tell you something about the character. Sometimes there’s a question that’s difficult to answer, and that can help find holes in characterization. Anyway, I should get back to typing.