I stoled this from Tumblr.
Several months ago I [unblockingwritersblock.tumblr.…
posted the original Character Development Checklist
, because why wouldn’t
you need dozens of random questions about your character?
In my humble opinion, there’s no such thing as too many questions. How can we ever know too much about our characters? The reader might not see it, but everything the author knows will mold the characters and the story. How can that be a bad thing?
Which is exactly why I added dozens of questions to the original character sheet. Check out a link to the first one above, and scroll below for an updated version
So I'm going to do a series of these, first up is Shadow from The House of Claw
- Character’s Name (first, middle, last) Shadow Drakkenheart (no middle names in Karama)
- Character’s Nickname(s) The Dark Prince, The Prince of Shadows, The Shadow of Guilt
- Name pronunciation It's a word, it's in English.
- Origin of name Subconsciously I really, really like The Shadow, like from comics and radio plays.
- Age 29
- Ethnicity Drakken Elf
- Sex/Gender Male
- Sexual orientation Straight
- Hair color A soft black
- Eye color Brilliant green
- Height 5'8
- Weight 132
- Scars 3 on his back, from a bad encounter with some bounty hunters
- Tattoos One on his right hand, a wolf's head encompassed in a circle in black ink
- Birthmarks None
- Piercings His ears ARE pierced but he doesn't wear earrings.
- Right/left handed/ambidextrous Right
- Glasses/contacts None
- Clothing preferences Whatever is there in the morning, but he does prefer dark colors
- Accessories None really, he tries to keep from attracting attention.
- Style Roguish pirate you could say. Privateer really.
- Trinkets None
- Favorite possession His swords
- Equipment His magical abilities and his swords, twin cutlasses.
- Grooming habits It's a good day if he runs a comb through his hair.
Family and Relationships:
- Parents Edward and Sarah (he doesn't know their last names. It's actually rather unlikely that they had any, most rural communities don't have such formalities)
- Siblings Raphel is his step-brother
- Grandparents Unknown
- Marital Status Single
- Significant Other Eventually, Cassandra
- Children Epilogue spoilers!
- Pets None
- Friends Stranger, the griffin crew of the Cloudchaser, Aryll Levenwerth of the Harmonian Liberation, Dragan Whitesteed, Wolf Westerly, Cassandra and many more he makes along the way!
- Enemies Prince Raphel Moonskar, King Ragnar Moonskar and the entirety of the Claw Nation.
- Close relatives None
- Non-close relatives Raphel, lol?
- Ancestors Unknown
- The religion they follow (if any) The Karman pantheon, with special attention to the Wind God Rhuk
- Beliefs That tying pieces of glass and feathers or bells to the masts will bring fair winds from Rhuk, who likes the jingle they make in the wind.
- Superstitions That speaking ill of the dead will make them come to haunt you.
- Virtues Shadow has a fucked up sense of morals. He's not amoral, but he's also no paladin. He'll say he doesn't like killing but he kills Claw soldiers without blinking and has killed innocents. It's more that he has certain lines he won't cross, ever. Like raping women or killing children. But then again, those are lines most people wouldn't cross.
- Country of Birth Karama, the world of floating islands
- Place of Birth (State, city, etc) A small island on the Harmonia/Claw border
- First Language Karman (yeah, yeah it's commontongue)
- Cultures Shadow grew up in what was essentially Nazi Germany, and was groomed to be the future leader of that country. That country is The Claw Nation. Society there is very regimented, and as a royal he was brought up to be a paragon of everything Claw stood for. This included killing people who disobeyed, sending inhabitants of small islands into slavery and looking down upon griffins and anyone else who wasn't a perfect example of 'the might of humanity'. As much as he was brought up that way, recent events have led to him trying to forego all that he was taught.
- Traditions He doesn't really have any, he forgot where he came from and doesn't want to celebrate anything Claw related.
- Highest Education Royal
- Degrees N/A
- Home-schooled/public school/private school Home schooled
- Favorite subject Dark type training
- Favorite teacher Slade Nightschild, master Dark Magician of the Imperial Claw Army
- Least favorite subject Politics
- Least favorite teacher Emma Rexworth, who taught Etiquette.
- Average grade Royals don't get grades
- Study habits Lol, what study habits?
- Special education His specific magic type training. Raphel underwent training for fire types
- Graduating year 74th year of The Peace
- Occupation Privateer
- Salary He keeps 30% of what he captures
- Employment history He's been a Harmonian Privateer for about 3 years before the start of the book
- Work space The Cloudchaser, a Caravel class ship
- Mode of Transportation Airship
- Total income Numbers are not my strong suit, and his varies because he keeps 30% of the prizes he takes.
- Boss Aryll Levenwerth
- Hours 24/7
- Experience Eh, I guess you could say a lifetime
- Co-worker relationships His crew loves him
- Rank Captain
- Work ethic He works hard, mostly because if he focuses on work he can't focus on his own problems
- Rent or Own He owns the ship, most ships in Harmonia are privately owned and rented out by the governments of various islands.
- House, apartment, etc Airship!
- Mode of transportation Airship!
- Living space The captain's quarters
- Address Wherever the Cloudchaser is docked right now
- Hometown He doesn't have one, the one he did have was burnt to the ground by Claw.
Inner Workings Of Your Character:
- Secrets That he's the runaway, once-step-son of King Ragnar Moonskar of the House of Claw. He purposely wears gloves to conceal his tattoo so people don't know.
- Fears Dying and being sent to Null because there wasn't one God to love him. (Having a God 'love' you is like being blessed. Because of what he's done none of the Gods will give him their blessings so he is, essentially, doomed to an eternity in the realm of Null when he dies.)
- Worries That someone will see his tattoo and start asking questions.
- Eating Habits He eats like an Avquid (more bird-like pegasus)
- Food preferences He loves waffles.
- Sleep preferences He gets sleep when he can, but nightmares follow him like hungry wolves. Most of the time he just passes out in his cot from exhaustion.
- Work preferences He likes to bury himself in his work, it gives him something to do that isn't dwelling on the past.
- Book preferences Shadow and books are two things that don't mix. I legit used to have him finding out about his past by picking up a book in a library but I couldn't actually see him ever going in a library for any good reason so I had to change that part of the story.
- Music preferences He likes the upbeat folk music his friend Dragan Whitesteed plays.
- Introverted/extroverted Pretty introverted. He doesn't talk to strangers at all about anything other than business, and it would take him a long time to warm up to anyone. It was a bit easier with the griffins, they never judged him on his past. But then again he had the very influential Stranger vouching for him.
- Optimist/pessimist Depends on his mood. He tries to be optimistic, but he's a realist more than anything.
- Hobbies Practicing his Drakken form, flying lets him think.
- Pet peeves Anyone asking about his tattoo, people touching whatever is on his desk. It's organized chaos.
- Prejudices While he is working towards being more tolerable, the idea of same sex couples still unnerves him. All that Claw upbringing.
- Proud of The Cloudchaser, he's proud that he owns that ship and makes a good living with it.
- Biggest vulnerability His past. There are people who would kill him for it. Sometimes he doesn't think he'd bother trying to stop them.
- Embarrassed by Tiffany mollycoddling him in public.
- Worst memory Any one of the times he burned a village to the ground.
- Best memory First kiss with Cassandra.
- Earliest memory Earliest, earliest are images of his mother and father, earliest Claw memories are playing hide and seek with Raphel
- Fondest memory Meeting the crew of the Cloudchaser
- Skilled at Swordplay and dark magic
- Unskilled at His Drakken form. He still can't talk in it, something most Drakkens his age should be able to do.
- Attitude Cocksure
- Obsessions Finding a way to remove his tattoo
- Stresses Someone finding out about his past, someone he loves getting hurt, getting killed, being captured by Claw, etc, etc.
- Addictions Smoking. He'll chain-smoke when he's really under pressure.
- Handicaps (physical) None
- Handicaps (emotional/psychological) The bad memories from his Claw days, his past in general.
- Allergies None
- Medical history Unless you call having a memory spell placed on you medical I'd say he's fairly clean as far as health goes.
- IQ Like average? What's average...140?
- Temperament He can be a bit short, he has very little patience and can be grouchy at times.
- Attitude You already asked this, cocksure
- Perception and outlook on life Kinda null at the moment. He sorta lives in the moment, doesn't think too far ahead.
- Desires Cassandra, and to get the freaking tattoo removed.
- Regrets Claw
- Soft spots Hugs.
- Verbal quirks He curses. Then again he is a sailor
- Physical quirks His features are slightly more angular than a pureblood human.
- Gestures I dunno, just normal gestures.
- Work habits He does tend to bury himself in work instead of facing his own issues
- Sleeping habits Sleep is for the weak. Unless he is asleep then it's like trying to wake the dead.
- Annoying habits The smoking
- Irrational habits Like not stepping on cracks? He doesn't really have any of those things on him.
- Eating habits Like a horse. A starving horse.
- Healthy habits Yeah, nah. Tiffany has to bug him to brush his teeth.
- Unhealthy habits Smoking, not sleeping, getting into bar fights to blow off steam.
- Mannerisms Just, the stuff I listed above. He is introverted, he doesn't readily talk about his life.
- Drinking habits He's not really that much of a drinker. Unless he's looking to get into a bar fight then he gets drunk enough to think it's a good idea.
- Vices Smoking, a seeming need to get his ass kicked.
Objects Kept In - And Why:
- Their closet A few clothes. Usually clothes that conceal himself. He hates being noticed, brings more trouble than it's worth. One dressy uniform and some rain gear as well.
- Their bedroom Covered in maps and charts and cigarette butts. He barely sleeps and will probably light his bed on fire at some point.
- Their purse/bag He doesn't carry a bag with him unless he's going deep inland.
- Their fridge There's no fridge on an airship.
- Their car No cars in Karama
- Their desk Maps, coffee cups and ashtrays. Also a buried scryglass that links back to Aryll who gives him orders.
- Their pockets A small bag of money, usually Ivory Tokens that the Coalition uses. I.D. Papers for Coalition territory. A pack of cigarettes and a matchbook.
- Their junk drawer Probably more burnt out cigarettes.
- Their glove compartment No cars
- Their backpack Same as bag
- Their locker No lockers on a ship. Well, his footlocker has a few scant valuables like one book on Drakken lore and some more maps and charts and some fake IDs.
- Their car trunk No cars
- Their wallet The money back thing
- Their suitcase Same as bag
- Favorite book He doesn't really read. He has one book on Drakken lore and it's really the only book he's ever liked.
- Favorite movie No movies here
- Favorite hobby Flying in Drakken form. It's freeing.
- Favorite animal Dogs. They're loyal and don't judge.
- Favorite color He doesn't really know. He wears a lot of black but Claw's uniforms are black so it's more conditioning than him liking it.
- Favorite season Spring. Not too cold, not too hot. Good winds.
- Favorite food Waffles.
- Favorite drink A nice dry ale.
- Favorite time of day Sunset. He likes being able to see the sun and stars at the same time.
- Favorite song Carry on Along. It's a song his friend Dragan Whitesteed wrote with his band and it's about wandering the world n' such.
- Favorite music genre Kind of a folk rock type sound.
- Favorite memory His mother's face.
- Favorite band Dragan's band which is undergoing name renovation.
- Favorite words Mostly words I don't want to repeat here.
- Favorite subject Swordplay.
- Favorite number 52
- Favorite TV-show No TV
- Favorite place The Cloudchaser.
- Least favorite book Most of them.
- Least favorite movie NA
- Least favorite hobby Uh...chess? He doesn't judge things like that.
- Least favorite animal Children. Children are animals. Also spiders.
- Least favorite color Anything overly bright or garish.
- Least favorite season Winter. It's cold and the days are short. Everything feels wrong and it's mostly overcast.
- Least favorite food Anything green and healthy.
- Least favorite drink Milk.
- Least favorite time of day Morning. He likes sleeping.
- Least favorite song The Claw National Anthem.
- Least favorite music genre Classical, probably.
- Least favorite memory Any of his Claw memories.
- Least favorite band NA
- Least favorite words Sorry.
- Least favorite subject Math.
- Least favorite number NA
- Least favorite TV-show NA
- Least favorite place The Harmonian Coalition Consulate. He hates people staring at him.
- Talents Proficient at swordplay and inherent dark magic. Able to take on Drakken form at will.
- Political preference He's allied with the Harmonian Coalition.
- Strengths He's loyal to the people he serves, and always tries his best.
- Flaws He has a less than perfect past which does haunt him, as well as makes him a target.
- Prized possessions His sword and his ship.
- Special/favorite memories His meeting Cassandra.
- Time and date of birth Spring, during the fifth month of the 57th year of the Peace.
- What they love Cassandra
- What they hate Claw
- Social class Captain of an Airship
- Sports/clubs He's only into betting on Avquid Racing.
- Blood type NA
- Posture Royal, but he slouches from time to time.
- Speech impediments None
- Spending habits He's actually fairly good with money.