Cabinet of Curiosities – Creating convincing characters

Knowing everything there is to know about your character makes writing for them much easier and if people start asking questions about your character you’re able to answer them with ease. The questions below really help my group and I to organise our thoughts about our character and to make sure we knew him inside out.

Vital Statistics

  • Name – Jacques O’ Brien
  • Nickname – Jay
  • Reasons for name – French Mother, Irish Father.
  • Age – 17
  • Sex – Male
  • Nationality – French/Irish
  • Disabilities – N/A
  • Glasses/contact lenses – N/A

Personal Appearance

  • Height – 6ft.
  • Build – Slim/toned.
  • Weight – 12st.
  • Complexion – Fair.
  • Colour of hair – Dark brown.
  • Quality of hair – Thick.
  • Usual hairstyle – Unkempt.
  • Colour of eyes – Green.
  • Facial features – Stubble.
  • Distinguished features – Sort of big…ish nose.
  • Scars/birthmarks – Scar on shin.
  • General health – Healthy.
  • Style of dress – Causal, jeans + t-shirt (not overly fashion conscious).
  • Grooming – Well groomed

Early Childhood

  • Birthplace – Dublin.
  • Father’s parenting style/occupation – Supportive, doesn’t like that Jacques surfs – thinks it’s a waste of time but because Jacques loves it he’s fine with it, mechanic.
  • Mother’s parenting style/occupation – Left early in Jacques life, had postnatal depression, moved to her mother’s in France. Photographer.
  • Siblings – N/A
  • Relationships with family members – Close with dad and has a good relationship with aunty.
  • Family feuds – Dad still loves mum but tells Jay she is dead.
  • Financial situation – Comfortable.
  • Happiest memory – Youth surfing championship.
  • Childhood traumas – Leg accident.
  • Childhood even that still affects him – Girl goes up to him when he has his leg accident while surfing, she is now his girlfriend.

Biographical details

  • Education – Standard education.
  • Occupation – Worked in two seasons for 6 months.
  • Successes/achievements – Youth surfing UK champion.
  • Failures – Not making the football team.
  • Obstacles in life – Not having a mum.
  • Special skills – Fluent in French.
  • Talents – Amazing guitarist.
  • Geographical history – N/A.

Personal life

  • Past key relationships – N/A.
  • Marriages/divorces – N/A.
  • Sexual orientation – Straight.
  • Past convictions – N/A.
  • Hobbies – Surfing, playing guitar.
  • Favourite food/drinks – Lasagne, Soufflé, Vimto, Miwadi.
  • Philosophy in life – Carefree.
  • Religion – Christian.

Present situation

  • Marital status – N/A.
  • Quality of marriage – N/A.
  • Children – N/A.
  • Occupation – Works at two seasons.
  • Relationship with work colleagues – Good.
  • Issues at work – N/A.
  • Quality of home life – Good.
  • Typical daily routine – School, home, socialising. (On the weekend – working, surfing).
  • Type of car driven – None.

Secret life

  • Phobias – Claustrophobia and heights.
  • What is the worst thing that could happen? – Memory loss.
  • What is the best thing that could happen? – Professional surfer.
  • Addictive behaviour – N/A.
  • Personal detail most ashamed of – Initial coldness towards aunty.
  • What he would most like to change about himself? – Finds meeting new people difficult.
  • What he wants most from life – To have a mum.
  • Personal goals – To have a family.
  • Personal strengths – Committed/reliable.
  • Sexual transgressions – N/A.
  • Compulsions – N/A.
  • Obsessions – N/A.
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