This month’s writing topic relates to choosing one of the characters you write about, and just answering totally random questions about them. I love it! I think when writing and forming these people in our heads we tend to stick to those template basics- physical traits, wants, fears, family members. Diving further into additional quirks helps give added dimension (and may even ignite a creative spark for some future chapter!)
Today I’m going to write about Max, one of the characters in the NaNoWriMo project that I slammed together in 2015 and am perpetually editing. Max is a Coyote. Literally a canine. So these questions will have an interesting spin on them I hope?
1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?
She was inspired by the need to have a larger cast than I originally outlined for. NaNoWriMo was a weird experiment for me in that the core story stayed mostly similar to what I had planned for, but it took some strange detours to get there, and picked up probably 2 dozen named characters that existed literally no where in my planning notes. When I decided to shift from a solo adventure tale to that of a group, Max was actually the last named of the six, and was tossed in to serve as an additional player in the predator/prey dynamic.
2. Describe their daily routine.
Wake up, pull self from pile of younger siblings, eat whatever leftovers are laying around, listen to strange, lupine-reverent, near religious lecture from her dad, disappear to the fields with Alfie while lying about her whereabouts.
3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
She’d be that kind of sheltered kid who joins a sport so that she can make friends who haven’t been chosen by her quasi-controlling parents. It wouldn’t be a marquee sport, something smaller, more low-key. Like ski club.
4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…
Her younger siblings, her dad’s weird political rants, most birds.
5. How do they react in awkward silences?
With rebounded awkwardness. That’s what happens when someone isn’t allowed to leave their family compound during their formative months.
6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?
Yes. Basic biology and instincts. She’s a coyote.
7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
Meeting her best friend Alfie when the Coyotes finally decided that Foxes weren’t so different from them. He was the first real companion she ever had.
Also, the Airport Incident.
8. What things do they value most in life?
She values, above all things, the freedom to make her own choices.
9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
She sees the world in shades of grey, understanding that it is a very new place for both her and her clan and that errors will be made in opinions and upbringings. She is smart in that way Coyotes are, and is thus neither quick to trust, nor quick to cast suspicion.
10. Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?
Beach. Alfie. Eating anything other than insects.
I feel like I need to do these for more of my squad…