Friday, February 26, 2016

H is for Heroes and Heroines

Margaret talks about Hero and Heroine character studies

For each book and for each of my main protagonists I do a character study before I start writing. I find this invaluable and below are some of the questions I ask myself:
What does he or she look like?  (hair colour and style, eye colour, height, build, etc.)
Star signs? - which can show useful traits.

Where do they live? Town or country?

Do they live in a house or an apartment?

Do they live on their own? If not who with?
Do they have a pet?

What sort of education have they had? Did they go to university?

What do they do for a living?

Do they enjoy their work?

How do they feel about the opposite sex and why?

Have they had former lovers?

Are they single, married, divorced?

Are there children?

Do they have brothers or sisters?

How do they feel about true love? Have they experienced it?







  1. I am a huge fan of star signs, but I have to envision the character somewhat to set up a horoscope. Looks, goal, internal flaw or wound, primary personality trait, age and era: these help identify the birth time, date and place to run a test chart. I have been amazed by the "accuracy" of the charts, which leads to a fleshing out of the character. My thing, for sure.
    Your list of questions is super!!

    1. I have used star signs quite a lot too, Ana. It really does help in fleshing out the characters.

  2. I confess I don't do any character study before I start writing! For me, writing the first draft involves getting to know my characters, just as I get to know people in real life - and I love how they gradually reveal themselves to me! At the end of draft I may be able to answer some of these questions, but not necessarily all of them!

    1. It's a good job we're all different, isn't it, Paula. But I have to confess my characters do sometimes take me by surprise.

  3. My stories usually start out with one character. I usually know some things about them, but not everything. Like Paula, I find I get to know them as the story goes on, but I also do sometimes get stuck. This is a great list of questions that might help me get unstuck!

    1. There are many different ways of working on new stories, and I find it interesting to hear how other writers go about it.