Need help building a believable character?

Here’s an extensive questionnaire that I created a few years ago (and finally put up somewhere besides scribbled down in a tattered notebook). I suggest answering every question, even the ones that seem tedious or don’t pertain to your story. For example, even if you never mention your character’s favorite color, you can still add that detail to the way they dress, the choices they make when buying something, etc. Even the smallest detail can add A LOT to your story. And while it may seem silly to answer eye and lip shapes, those are details that not only help you and the reader imagine the character, but it helps you as a writer to use synonymous words throughout to give yourself a clear image and to keep from being repetitive. I highly recommend filling out the nervous tics and subconscious movements (like your character tugs at their ear, or brushes at the back of their neck when talking for example) because it makes your character very human and it’s something I personally think more books/stories need in their characters.  I might be missing some things and sorry if it’s too small, but here’s a link for a pdf you can download: [X]

It may seem like a lot to answer but I feel that knowing the answers to these questions really helps build a realistic character and they’re great to use on secondary characters, too. I hope that this helps others in the way that it has helped me. Happy writing!

PS: Friendly reminder that I am not a professional writer. These are just things I have picked up through years of writing, reading, editors, and teachers/classes. 

(Special thank you to my friend Katie—amoralteething  / thewayward-sonn—for helping catch anything I might have missed—especially in the family/morals section).

Reblogged from scribbledwriting

Sometimes I stand in the dark
because the light screams too loudly
that I’m here and I’m alive
when maybe I don’t want to be.

And I turn these thoughts into poetry
so people will think that they’re beautiful.
When really, on their own,
they’re just damn scary.

I feel lost even when I have a map
like I know the right turning
and my legs still walk me in the wrong direction.
There’s nothing I can do to change my path.

I think other people are so goddamn lucky
but I forget that most of them are walking the same path as me
and we’re all so self-involved
that we think the meaning of life revolves around us.

The meaning isn’t to do good for others;
it’s that the good gets done. And nobody cares
about your Instagram updates,
or that I get scared, sometimes.

That my voice isn’t loud enough
but when I laugh I’m too loud;
that my bones aren’t strong enough
and I’ll miss my life because I’m too afraid to turn around.

My voice doesn’t shake;
it tumbles, it crashes and it weeps all by itself.
It has a heart of its own and a mind to itself
and I wish I could tell it to be confident.

My thoughts are not linear
and they wander like gypsies
and I wish that they’d find a home
so that I could have a place to call mine.

'The Meaning of Life' - Julia Payne