Friday, August 26, 2011

Interesting Characters

I've been thinking a lot lately about building believable characters. It's really interesting. It goes into a lot of detail about how you should know your characters as well as you know yourself.

I thought it would be a fun exercise to name some weird facts about ourselves that others might not know. Just to make the point of exactly how well we know ourselves.

In the comments--put in at least one thing that isn't commonly known about you. Here are a few of mine.

~ I was fifteen when I got my first kiss--and then I got 12 in one night. A wacky friend lined up every guy at my birthday party and he pinned my arms and walked me down the line. I was too shocked to respond at the time-- but he got an earful the next day.

~ I was pulled over 8 times before I ever got a ticket--this all happened before I turned 17. Did I mention that I'm kind of a speed demon?

~ I never had to study in school, everything came easy to me--but I often planned study parties with my friends, because I knew they needed to study and I wanted to feel normal.

~ I once received an invitation to a high school dance via a toilet seat that was left on the floor of my room.

~ I was very shy when I was younger and by the time I went to high school I felt pinned in by that stereotype. So, I convinced my mom to let me change schools so I could get a fresh start. When I graduated I was known as one of the most outgoing girls in school.

~ My sister is one of those people whose lives should be made into a book or movie--but I'm pretty sure she'd kill me if I did.

~ My mom is a ridiculously strong woman--but also one of the funniest people I've ever met. When I was a teenager she used to tell all my friends stories about how she had a magical gorilla toe that made all the men want her.... no, I'm not kidding.

Enough about me, what about you? What are your strange facts? Do you think you could fill out a similar sheet about your protagonist?


  1. What a fun exercise! I'll have to try this with my MCs.

    Your first kiss story is funny! My first kiss was on a train in Italy right after saying goodbye to the boy I was in love with. It should have been romantic, but he, unfortunately, was not the guy who kissed me. No. THAT guy was some random man who decided to sit with us in our compartment and told us that if you pretend like you have fleas, people won't want to sit with you. I fell asleep, he went for a smoke. I'd barely woken up when it was his stop and was completely unprepared for him to kiss me. He had facial hair and smelled like an ashtray. To make it worse, he patted me on the head before he left. So I guess that's a strange fact about me. :)

  2. I love your facts. It would be interesting to try that out with my characters. I'm trying to think of something little-known about me. I used to be an avid skier. My parents taught all us kids when I was about ten and we went all the time. I still love it, but I haven't been in about eight years! Sad. Also, I was a dancer in my younger years. Not anymore, though.

  3. What a fabulous idea. Okay, little known college I belonged to a Renaissance Faire Guild.

    I had all the accoutrements fitted bodice, corset, skirts, bloomers, dirk, and my sword. I especially loved my sword which I carried strapped across my back.

    My friends and I would put on our garb and head to Faire for a weekend of fake accents, puppy piles, and lots of kissing.

    I actually met my husband through the faire. We belonged to the same guild.

  4. I've been thinking about that too. For a few of my characters I know SO MUCH about them, but it's not all stuff that needs to be in the book. But those weird details about them still show up in the book anyways just because they affect who the characters are.
    Anyways, little know fact about me: when I was younger, I had this "thing" about being independent, so I learned how to grow my own food, cook, knit, crochet, sew, various first-aid skills, and how to build shelters in the woods. All because I wanted to be able to take care of myself. As a twelve-year-old.
    Plus side: Zombie Apocalypse/Impending Hurricane--I am ready for you!

  5. Wow, I'm hooked! I'd totally want to read about a character with your weird facts. :) Love the one about asking your mom to let you change schools so you could break out of your shy image!