You’re building a character. His name is Eric Cruz. You’ve established his age, his family history, his looks, his profession. You may have tagged him with an enneagram, or perhaps sent for his astrological chart. You may have filled in an elaborate questionnaire, noting what kind of car he drives, where he went to school, what political party he joined.
Here are a few off-the-wall questions that might spark both new layers to your characters and plot twists you can use.
1. In your life, what constitutes homeostasis? Let me explain this question a bit. In our physical bodies, homeostasis is the inner equilibrium maintained by the constant adjustment of physiological processes. In fiction, especially in the heroic journey prototype, we start our stories with the character’s ordinary world. This is homeostasis. Then, something happens to our character that throws off his balance and he spends the rest of the book seeking homeostasis. But if we don’t know what that looks like for each of our characters (or better, what he thinks it looks like) how can we set up conflict that will do the most to disturb this delicate balance? After all, our job is to torture our characters, push them as far as we possibly can without destroying them.
2. If you won a million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with the money? The answer to this question tells you about your character’s values.
3. If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
4. What is your biggest regret?
5. Define success.
6. If you had to flee from rising flood waters and could only take one possession, what would it be and why?
7. If you weren’t doing what you’re doing for a living, what would you be doing?
8. What is worth dying for?
9. Do you believe in luck?
10. Who is your best friend? Why is he your friend? What do you admire most about him?
About the Author:
Jaxine Bubis, a.k.a Jaxine Daniels is a multi-published romance author. She teaches writing workshops at writer’s conferences around the country and online. Visit her website at http://jaxinedaniels.com Email Jax at JaxineDaniels@gmail.com.