As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a novelist. I’ve self-published one book and have written two more. I’m gearing up to publish the next one late this spring. And that means I need to start working on a new one! I’m having trouble getting a feel for the characters in my new WIP, so I turned to a couple of character profile questionnaires I’ve saved from writing blogs and forums over the years. The problem is, those things are not always easy to fill out! I don’t want my characters coming across as cliches or bland or unrealistic but every time I fill something in for one of the questions, that’s exactly how it feels. I thought filling out the questionnaire for an actual person might help me get over my issues. And then I thought filling it out for myself would be even better, and probably more fun.
So, without further ado, here’s a character profile of a real, live, human being (aka Me):
Profile for: me!
Age: 29 (almost 30)
Hairstyle: shoulderlength; brunette usually, but went red recently; wears wavy or straight
Body: chunky; big boobs; small hands and feet; blue eyes
Physical Condition: out of shape
Marks, Scars, Tattoos: scar on left knee; fell down on a dirt road during fishing trip with father and siblings and scraped it badly
Clothing: doesn’t have extra money, so has been wearing the same clothes for several years. tries to be cute and trendy when possible, but doesn’t usually pull it off
Birthplace: Buffalo, NY
History: born 1984; grew up in the south; middle child in family of 6 (4 siblings); often felt ignored or least-liked by siblings; community theater and cheerleading played big parts of high school; class valedictorian; majored in Criminal Justice in college, but is never going to use her degree
Home: one bedroom apartment above the business where she works; very basic: living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom; usually pretty messy with dishes in the sink; no dishwasher; lots of books and dvds; corner desk collecting dust with pretty framed picture of book cover, awesome Target lamps; all furniture is hand-me-downs/free except really nice Queen bed (really felt like an adult when purchased)
Pets: sadly no. really wants a dog, but pets aren’t allowed in the apartment by landlord
Personality: depends on who with (Gemini!)
Likes: Sunkist, pens, movies – especially Disney and Romantic Comedies, pop music, country music, cute boys of Hollywood; desserts – especially chocolate cakes, ice cream, books, karaoke, dancing (like a dork)
Dislikes: cutting toenails, lying, condescending people, life sometimes, phone calls
Fears: being alone forever, rejection, failure, snakes – SNAKES
Goals: to be a full time writer one day, to live in different places all over the world
Hobbies: reading and writing, mainly; singing badly whenever the opportunity arises
Occupation: Customer Sales Associate (a.k.a. Accounts Receivable and whatever anyone else asks me to do) at Event Rental Company; aspiring author
Favorite Food: Just one? not possible. Pizza, sushi, chocolate
Least Favorite Food: tomatoes, onions
Most Prized Possession: not exactly “prized” but favorite – Buffalo Bills blanket that belonged to Dad
Vernacular (Way of Speaking): says “You’re killing me, Smalls,” and “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids,” a lot. likes to use the few big words known whenever possible (ostentatious, for example).
Psychological Condition: Pretty stable; lonely a majority of the time; has definite moments of envy; worried will never know romantic love
Character Behavior: can be impatient and quick to temper sometimes; moods really ebb and flow; other times easily excited and cheerful (again, Gemini!)
Aptitude: smart, but not as smart as used to think; easily picks up on things
Social and Other Pressures, Problems: living paycheck to paycheck; feeling pressure to find a relationship and start a family – not really from outside forces, more internally
Relationships (With Who and What Kind): has known very best friend since age 6 (23 years!), and feels blessed to serve as aunt to her kids; close friend from college lives many hours and states away, but try to connect via phone every month or so and visit whenever possible; close friend since adulthood meets to write bi-monthly and do other fun things like go to concerts etc. has best boss in the world and knows how lucky she is; starting to become friends with a lot more writers thanks to her regional NaNo chapter
Belief, Superstition, Moral Value: Thinks like a liberal, but acts more like a conservative. really no chance to act like a liberal yet!
Positive Characteristics: funny sometimes, fairly intelligent, positive sometimes, can be perky/chipper depending on the day and activity, gets very passionate about certain things (Harry Potter! Jane Austen! Disney movies/music! dessert!), generous when presented the opportunity to be
Negative Characteristics: can be impatient; negative sometimes; wears emotions on sleeve (and all over face); doesn’t always feel sympathy for others; passion can be mistaken for obsession; usually waits for the opportunity to be presented before being generous
Other: desperately wants to go to London; introverted – needs down time alone to unwind; re-reads favorite books; thinks niece is the cutest child on the planet; usually finds it difficult to talk about self, but found this relatively easy and painless
No word yet on if this is actually going to assist me with creating the characters for my book, but I’ll keep you posted on that. If anyone else wants to use this character profile in their own writing, go for it. I wish I could tell you the original source, but I got it so long ago, I don’t remember. If anyone recognizes it and wants to tell me where it came from, please comment and I’ll add the credit in!