Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Questions I Ask My Middle Grade Character

I’m one of those people that saved all my journals. My earliest entry was written at the age of seven, when I wished for someone from the Babysitters Club to babysit me and signed off the entry with “From your friend Lorna. Also I want a dog that can talk and I will keep it in my room but it can play outside too. I just do not want anyone to know my SECRET.”

I consider myself lucky that I have kept these journals, because whenever I’m creating a new middle grade character, I refer to my junior high entries I like to call The Wonder Years. It’s been a while since I’ve been in middle school, so these entries really take me back.

However, if you haven’t kept your journals and you need a refresher as to what a middle grader thinks about, these are the questions I always ask my characters to get me started on writing their profiles.

1.     What do you look like?
2.     What does your voice sound like? What kind of language/catchphrases do you use?
3.     Where do you come from?
4.     Who are your parents? What is your family life like?
5.     Who is your best friend? What does friendship mean to you?
6.     What do you daydream about?
7.     What do you want to be when you grow up?
8.     What do you love most about school? What do you dislike most about school?
9.     What is the best thing that can happen to you right now? What is the worst thing that can happen to you right now?
10.  If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?