This is for a story I've had kicking around in my head for a while. I'm trying to flesh out the two (out of three) main characters I feel I don't know as well. In an attempt to push the project forward. So, I introduce to you Lucas, at the beginning of my as yet untitled story.
1. Does your character have siblings or family members in their age group? which one are they closest with?
Lucas has four younger siblings, as two sisters younger than him by two (Maria) and four (Julia) years, than a younger brother (six years younger, Martín), and finally another sister (eight years younger, Ema). He’s was close with Maria until they hit seven and five, when Maria started getting closer to Julia. Now, in the family, Lucas is closest with his eldest cousin, Alonso, but it’s not very close.
2. What is/was your character’s relationship with their mother like?
A bit distant. Lucas feels ignored by her and actively discouraged from having a good relationship with her by his father.
3. What is/was your character’s relationship with their father like?
Resentful. Lucas isn’t entirely aware of his resentment yet, but he’s been passively resisting his father for years. As much as he feels he can without making his or his siblings’ life awful.
4. Has your character ever witnessed something that fundamentally changed them? If so, does anyone else know?
Yes, his full initiation into his fraternity beginning of sophomore year. It’s... not a good memory. His frat brothers, obviously, knew and now Eric and Pria know something happened, even if he hasn’t shared the details.
5. On an average day, what can be found in your character’s pockets?
His pockets have his cellphone, wallet, his student id (usually floating loose from the wallet), a couple coins, and a pencil nub. His backpack is more interesting: laptop, notepad, notebook, pens, pencils, highlighters, crumpled flashcards, a couple crumbled bills (anywhere from 1$ to 10$ bills), wall plugs and charging cables for his phone, an external battery, rolled ace bandage, jock strap, and an ankle splint.
6. Does your character have recurring themes in their dreams?
Not particularly. The closest would be once or twice a month dreaming about running of some variety. Sometimes on two legs, sometimes as a wolf on four.
7. Does your character have recurring themes in their nightmares?
Yes. The smell and taste of blood. Running.
8. Has your character ever fired a gun? If so, what was their first target?
9. Is your character’s current socioeconomic status different than it was when they were growing up?
No, Lucas grew up lower-middle to middle-middle class and he’s at college as a semi-broke student. This isn’t all that different on a day-to-day basis than high school.
10. Does your character feel more comfortable with more clothing, or with less clothing?
More clothing. Not layers and layers, but fully dressed.
11. In what situation was your character the most afraid they’ve ever been?
Two instances: 1) his full initiation to his fraternity and 2) last night when Eric came by the frat house.
12. In what situation was your character the most calm they’ve ever been?
Arriving at college. Once everything was unloaded into his dorm room and his Papa said goodbye, Lucas just went... peaceful for a few minutes. And then he went to dinner with his new roommate and tried to make friends.
13. Is your character bothered by the sight of blood? If so, in what way?
Yes. It’s an unpleasant reminder of... last night.
14. Does your character remember names or faces easier?
Both/neither? Lucas has a good memory for faces but he always has a name associated with the face.
15. Is your character preoccupied with money or material possession? Why or why not?
No, because he hasn’t had to worry about it much. Also, being preoccupied with money or material possessions is closely connected with being preoccupied with status (to him), and Lucas is avoiding being like his Papa that way (not a conscious choice. yet.) If you asked him, he’d say he wants to maintain the same lifestyle he grew up with, but he doesn’t have a concrete career or goal in mind to do that.
16. Which does your character idealize most: happiness or success?
17. What was your character’s favorite toy as a child?
His stuffed octopus. Until Papa substituted in a football. He didn’t really have a favorite after that.
18. Is your character more likely to admire wisdom, or ambition in others?
Wisdom. He feels he’s lacking that.
19. What is your character’s biggest relationship flaw? Has this flaw destroyed relationships for them before?
Lucas is insecure. He’s grown up with a particular image of how he’s supposed to be around girls / women (macho) and that doesn’t come naturally to him. So, when he tries to fake it, he worries everyone can tell he’s faking. When he doesn’t fake it, he worries that people think he’s not a man. He thinks he’s supposed to want to get with every woman and perform with single one of them who’s willing.
It’s sabotaged things from ever getting started for him.
20. In what ways does your character compare themselves to others? Do they do this for the sake of self-validation, or self-criticism?
Lucas compares himself to how other guys (particularly guys in his frat) act around women and it’s totally for self-criticism. He’s half disgusted (okay, mostly disgusted), half ‘damn it, how do I act that confident / macho.’
21. If something tragic or negative happens to your character, do they believe they may have caused or deserved it, or are they quick to blame others?
Oh, definitely with the self-blame and thinking he deserved it.
22. What does your character like in other people?
Confidence. Being kind. Reaching out and helping others. The ability to have deep discussions on various topics and the ability to sit back and listen.
23. What does your character dislike in other people?
Arrogance. Anger. Being a bully. Trying to win every conversation.
24. How quick is your character to trust someone else?
Slow. He’s not sure he’s every trusted someone completely, and now he has more to loose.
25. How quick is your character to suspect someone else? Does this change if they are close with that person?
Also slow. But it doesn’t really change if he’s close with that person. Actually, it might be faster — since he’s close, he has more opportunities to see behaviors that would make him suspicious.
26. How does your character behave around children?
Responsible. Where’s their parent(s) and do I need to watch out for this child until they get here. Keep in mind, Lucas is only 19ish, so ‘children’ is pretty much anyone younger than seven.
27. How does your character normally deal with confrontation?
Avoidance. Go quiet, withdraw, say what you need to or nod to get the other person to drop it.
28. How quick or slow is your character to resort to physical violence in a confrontation?
Very slow. He avoids, avoids, avoids, until physical violence is already on the table / happening. In which case he’ll try to back-up the person he thinks is in the right and run away if the violence is only directed at him.
29. What did your character dream of being or doing as a child? Did that dream come true?
Lucas isn’t sure anymore what he wanted to do/be as a child. Papa has had him working towards college and a financial Wall Street job since he started school.
30. What does your character find repulsive or disgusting?
The smell of rotting flowers. Dead fish.
31. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most comfortable.
Snuggling with Pria or Eric on the couch, watching a movie, when they’re the only one’s in the house.
32. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most uncomfortable.
Scenario 1: Verbal fights or confrontations.
Scenario 2: Being naked and about to start having sex. He’d like to get over that.
33. In the face of criticism, is your character defensive, self-deprecating, or willing to improve?
Well, criticism feels like a confrontation, so Lucas is avoidant and self-deprecating in order to placate the person giving the criticism.
34. Is your character more likely to keep trying a solution/method that didn’t work the first time, or immediately move on to a different solution/method?
Depends on the problem to be solved, but if he’s the one to notice it didn’t work and if it is possible, he’d like to immediately try the solution/method a second time to understand what he did wrong.
35. How does your character behave around people they like?
Relaxed and a bit tactile. He’d like to have some part of body in contact with someone, not necessarily skin-to-skin, although if he’s really comfortable skin-to-skin is really nice. Otherwise, he’d like the pressure to reassure his hindbrain they’re there. He’s not consciously aware of any of this. And is a bit touch starved.
36. How does your character behave around people they dislike?
Withdrawn. If at all possible, he’d like to leave or ignore them.
37. Is your character more concerned with defending their honor, or protecting their status?
Honor, if you define honor as integrity and acting ethically.
38. Is your character more likely to remove a problem/threat, or remove themselves from a problem/threat?
39. Has your character ever been bitten by an animal? How were they affected (or unaffected)?
Not something he’s experienced.
40. How does your character treat people in service jobs?
As kind and briskly as possible. They don’t get paid enough to deal with what they deal with (he knows, he’s worked service jobs in high school) and if he can get the heck out of their way, their day with not suck just a little bit more.
41. Does your character feel that they deserve to have what they want, whether it be material or abstract, or do they feel they must earn it first?
That would involve knowing what he wants. But if you ask him about it abstractly, he’d tell you he has to earn it.
42. Has your character ever had a parental figure who was not related to them?
God no, Papa would have put up with that.
43. Has your character ever had a dependent figure who was not related to them?
No, not yet.
44. How easy or difficult is it for your character to say “I love you?” Can they say it without meaning it?
Difficult. He hasn’t been in a situation where he’s really needed to say it without — he’s not entirely comfortable saying it to his parents, but they’re not the demonstrative kind. He’s comfortable saying it to his siblings. And he hasn’t been in a relationship long enough that it’s come up.
45. What does your character believe will happen to them after they die? Does this belief scare them?
Lucas is culturally Catholic and is now pretty sure he’s going to Hell when he dies. And yes, this scares the crap out of him, but he’s really not sure what else would have been the right thing to do.