I'm minorly OCD about my planning and plotting but I love character outlines. Like someone else, I used to (and still somewhat do for fun) online roleplay so character sheets were quite standard.
When I got Scrivener, I was able to transition it over smoothly. At first on word I had several scrap pages with alias' and titles and histories.. now with Scriv it's a lot easier to keep track of everyone. I do basics name, age, personality, description, history, and key/plot elements (alias, number, titles)..
A New Breed is Awakening~
Hybrids - Round 2 Revisions; after three brave beta-readers, our young heroine must battle the red-pocked manuscript and re-write a new beginning
This subject got me thinking about the questions I ask of my characters when I'm fleshing them out and I realised something. I used to think motivation - 'what do you want?' was the question to get them out of the gate, but on reflection, I'm starting to think that 'how did you get where you are now?' has been far more useful to me over the years. What they want seems to naturally flow, once I've figured out how they ended up in the position they're in at the start of the yarn.
So, for everyone else, what's the most productive question you ask of your characters? Motivation is probably always going to claim the 'important' top spot, but for you, what's the most productive place to start that process?
This appeals to me, because I've done both plotting and pantsing, and I can never get past three chapters when I know what's going to happen. It just kills the story for me. However, when I make it up as I go along, often things happen which don't fit with the character.
Originally Posted by Dancre
Planning the hell out of the characters seems like a good compromise. I might just try it. Because logically, if you know your characters well enough, the story should follow from their motivations and actions, no? At least I think it would...
Maybe - what do you care about, and what don't you want to change about yourself? Answering the first question gives me something to focus external conflict on, but I can create internal conflict by focusing on the second question.
Originally Posted by MetalDog
figuring it all out
I write a detailed (one page) description of the character and then do a Google image search for pictures to use for that character. I find ones for their eye color, hair color, what they look like, what kind of clothes they wear, etc. Then I paste them all into a Word doc with the description. It's fun, and I often refer back to the pictures when I'm stuck and trying to think of a creative way to describe them in a scene.
For myself I list things such as hair & eye color, perhaps their motivations for a certain allegiance, two hobbies, where they are from, and some other minor details, such as two distinct personality traits