Many of you have probably seen those character sheets with the numerous questions about the different aspects of your characters. When you look at all those questions, you are probably wondering why you need to know all of that stuff about your character if none of it is even going to be mentioned in your story.
I mean, why do you need to know the MBTI personality, or RPG alignment, or what your character’s favorite food is? It’s not going to be required, so why use it? Well, some of it is actually necessary, while others not as much.
Why They’re Useful
Yes, we have established that a lot of the questions won’t ever be talked about in what you’re writing. But the thing is, you will know this about your character and it will help you write them in a much deeper way. While your character might not go to their favorite restaurant to have their favorite dish in your story, it will still make your character feel more real.
Favorite memories, least favorite memories, favorite toys as a kid; these are some more of the questions that will help develop your characters even better. Each experience they have in their past, before the story started, molds who they are and what they hold dear to their hearts. Just like your memories do.
What to be Cautious Of
For me, personality quizzes and alignments are not necessary, but I do know that they are quite useful to some writers. They do provide you with a guideline as to which actions your character are most likely to take and behaviors they will most likely exhibit.
However, I do caution against staying too rigid to the personality alignment. Real people don’t fall into one particular category and stay there, so why should they? With the number of people in this world, they are over 8 billion different personalities, each with their own grouping of behaviors and actions. While many have similar personalities, they are not the same. Just like real people, don’t define your characters with one label. They are dynamic and deep, so go out and give them that depth.
What are your favorite questions about your characters?