Posted in For Writers

NaNoWriMo Prep: A Nifty Way to Get To Know Your Characters

This was posted over on the NaNo forum and it’s both fun and helpful: Know Thyself. It’s a questionnaire you answer about your characters. The idea is to answer quickly, but the script that runs it goes pretty fast, so use the Pause button for any answers that are more than one word. It seems almost too simple to be useful, but I’ve done it for two of my three main characters so far and both times I discovered tiny but crucial things about them that will definitely influence certain parts of the book. It’s also a good, albeit subtle, way to test out your characters to see if their personalities and traits are consistent or inadvertently contradictory (like when they only do certain things because you, the author, poked them with a sharp stick and made them behave that way for the sake of your wobbly plot.) LOL! I don’t know how many questions there are because I usually run through about 100 before I bail out and click “Finish”. (At which point you can use Ctl-A then Ctl-C to select and copy your results, to paste into your notes.)


Ainy Rainwater has been writing and publishing short stories, essays, and novels in various genres for about 30 years. She lives in the greater Houston area with her husband and rescue dogs. She enjoys reading, writing, playing guitar and percussion, gardening, knitting, tea, baking and other kitchen improvisations, daydreaming, and wasting time online. Her novels are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, and other bookstores. She is presently working on a chick lit fantasy series as well as a number of side projects, including a sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships, a science fiction novel published in March 2016. Her most recent fiction and works in progress are regularly posted to her subscribers on Patreon. She is also known for the digital pop which she makes under the name Gymshoes. "Everest Sunrise" was featured in the documentary What It Takes. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita she released an EP of songs, A Tropical Depression, the profits of which go to benefit the American Red Cross. Gymshoes albums are available from iTunes, Amazon, and other online stores. For more about Gymshoes music, please see, which has liner notes, links to social media, streaming music, and much more. You can find the author on Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and Twitter. She occasionally contributes to the group food blog, The Usual Suspects: and posts short miscellaneous things on The Mighty Microblog: A Truant Disposition, is Ainy Rainwater's official author site.

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