Last year at this time I suggested a 28 day character development challenge, developed from similar exercises I had seen going around sites like Tumblr and deviantArt. I focused the exercises on my Skyrim story’s protagonist, Elspeth Sigeweald. It was a lot of fun and really helped me get to know the character better. This year I am doing it again and using another original character from that story.
The challenge begins in on the first of February and the questions for each day are below (although these can be taken in any order and applied to as many or as few characters as you like).
Day 1: Basic/General Biography
Day 2: Relationships (Parents/Guardians)
Day 3: Marriage and Children, feelings about, aspirations toward, overall philosophy
Day 4: Alternate Universe: Your Character as Hero, or Not
Day 5: Happiest Childhood Memory
Day 6: Religion and/or Spirituality, specific beliefs and/or feelings about in general
Day 7: Relationships [with any NPC or other character of your choice]
Day 8: Sex and Romance, feelings in general, first time, other notable experiences, etc.
Day 9: Deepest Kept Secret(s)
Day 10: Coping Mechanisms (How does your character deal with the world when it’s shitty?)
Day 11: Hardest Thing Your Character Has Ever Had to Do
Day 12: Dear Past Me (Write a letter from character in the present to your character at some point in her/his past)
Day 13: Weaknesses, vices, and/or bad habits
Day 14: Relationships [with any NPC or other character of your choice]
Day 15: Modern Day Playlist (make a play list of songs that remind you of your character or your story, or share stuff you listen to while you write, your character’s entrance music, exit music, relationship music, etc.)
Day 16: Inheritance (what would your character do with a large inheritance)
Day 17: What is your character’s patronus and why (don’t limit yourself to Skyrim animals if you don’t want to)?
Day 18: TARDIS: What time period would your character have liked to have lived in, what events witnessed (for information go the Imperial Library, UESP)
Day 19: What would someone have to do to become friends with your character? To become enemies?
Day 20: What happens in Riften, stays in Riften. (“What actions has your character taken that he regrets or questions? Does he have any justification for them, and if so, what?”)
Day 21: Relationships [open question, pick any NPC(s) or another story’s protagonist or General Adama, I don’t care. If they don’t already have a relationship, imagine how they would get along]
Day 22: Dear Future Me (What does your character want to know)
Day 23: What is your character’s alignment? Yeah…that alignment. We’re all nerds. There are online quizzes and everything.
Day 24: Everyday shit (What does a day-in-the life look like? What does their living space look like? What does their wardrobe consist of? How do you account for things like bathing in your headcanon? What sorts of things have you added to the world to make it more interesting, this can be mods or just imaginings–depending if you are role playing or doing a fiction)
Day 25: Favorites (Food, plants, alchemy ingredients, weapons, types of armor, places to visit, etc.)
Day 26: If your character would change one thing about his/herself, what would it be?
Day 27: Your character can have a dinner party with anyone from the present game or in Tamriel’s history. Who do they invite? Feel free also to include any gods from any pantheon, characters from other stories, or anything you think would fit your particular character.
Day 28: Relationship with creator. How do you feel about your character? What do you like? Dislike? Imagine how your character feels about you.