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Mrs. Cariker’s Character Developer

2 November, 2016 writing tips 0

Some years ago I read a book titled Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It changed my life. Not because it was transcendental, or maybe it was, but because there were two things that I have carried with me ever since:

  1. I am a writer, not because I published a claim to fame, but because I bleed words, I think in dialogues and quotes and I write with a passion that invades every aspect of this life.
  2. Teaching, when you are nowhere near an expert on a topic, puts you on the road to becoming one.

Immediately after finishing that book, I launched my first creative writing course. I started by gathering a prolific amount of activities and exercises to break the ice and from there, I planned to let the students guide the lessons both intuitively and creatively. It was a plan without a plan. And it worked. I had 4 paying students sign up. I was like at kid at Christmas. It was an unforgettable experience.

But enough about me. Today, I came here to share a little nugget with you.

One of the character building activities I used during that first workshops was a questionnaire answered by Marcel Proust. Apparently, when Proust was fourteen years old, it was quite common to send these kinds of questionnaires as a way of getting to know your pen pal. I have since modified his original questionnaire in order to put my flavor into it and hope that it will help you as much as it has helped me!

Mrs. Cariker’s Character Developer

  1. What is your favorite band or who is your favorite singer?
  2. What kind of shoes do you have on?
  3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  4. If you could meet anyone from the past, future or present, who would it be?
  5. What do you do when you are nervous?
  6. When do you feel the happiest?
  7. What kind of food do you always eat on your birthday?
  8. What kind of a first impression do you typically make on people?
  9. How do you normally get to work?
  10. What is your most prized possession?
  11. Who do you despise?
  12. What do you look for in a partner?
  13. What guilty pleasures do you have?
  14. Who do you hide your guilty pleasures from?
  15. What phrase or word do you overuse?
  16. What is your superhero super-power?
  17. What is on your bucket list?
  18. Do you have an unrequited love? If so, who?
  19. Are you goal oriented?
  20. What was your last New Year’s resolution?
  21. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
  22. What kinds of gifts do you love receiving?
  23. When do you feel loved?
  24. How do you express your love?
  25. What languages do you speak?
  26. What is your biggest virtue?
  27. What is your biggest failure?
  28. What is the worst job you have ever had?
  29. Do you have a deep dark secret?
  30. Who is the only person that knows your secret?

Do you have any questions to add? How do you usually brainstorm your characters? Are you interested in being a guest blogger and sharing your writing tips with our readers! Contact us! We are building a community and we want you to be part of it!


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