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Jamie Cortland

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Building Characters
By Jamie Cortland   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, April 25, 2008
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2008

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A questionnaire for all fiction authors
for the forming characters

Recently, I was asked by an aspiring writer how I formed my characters or if I used a questionnaire. While writing my first novel, I soon found that it was a must to have a questionnaire. Otherwise, half-way through your work, your hero who is 6'4" with dark wavy hair and  sapphire blue eyes may suddenly be 5'11" with sandy hair and green eyes! Following, is the questionnaire that I use.

1. Name... make a list, then choose the best name for your character.  If you have a problem thinking of names, browse through a baby naming book or a telephone directory. 

2. Nationality

3. Physical description to include hair, eyes, nose, mouth, shape of face, complexion, height,  weight, scars, tatoos, most striking feature, least attractive feature.

4. Temperament

5. Pet Peeves

6. Best Quality

7. Least desirable quality

8. Family

9. Friends

10. Enemies

11. Romantic Interests

12. Quirks

13. Physical Disabilities

14. Education

15. Religion

16. Politics

17. Hobbies

18. Sports

19. Clothing...What does he/she sleep in?

20. Describe his or her home, mode of transportation

 21. Career

22. What doe he/she want?

23. What prevents him/her from obtaining it?

Hint:  A book on zodiac signs will assist you in building characters. For instance, one born Mar. 21-Apr. 19,  is born under the Sun sign of Aries. He or she could be described as energetic, foolhardy, courageous, competitive, ambitious, an innovator, and  a pioneer. Aries is not diplomatic, but he is headstrong, independent, excitable, and may be belligerent. He suffers from headaches, migranes, and anxiety, etc.  Recommend Book:  "Timing is Everything; Astrology is the Key" by Wes Alister for sale at Author's Den,, or the author at 


Web Site: Weslynn McCallister, Author

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Books by
Jamie Cortland

What Lies Within

What Lies Within


Never Trust a Stranger

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Skin Deep

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Apache Springs

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Prophecies of the Ancients

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Shifting Sands

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Early Access to Automated External Defibrillators by Craig Hartpence

This manual is a step-by-step guide to establishing a Public Access Defibrillation System in a Business, Church, or any event where people gather. This new technology is saving liv..  
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Definitions of some Mathematical Terms for 11-18 year-olds (Hardcover) by Brainard Braimah

The publication is an important resource for classroom practitioners for Mathematics. It is intended for teachers to explain clearly most of the Mathematical concepts learners will..  
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