In the wonderful writing book, What If?, there's an exercise on character development where you ask yourself the below questions about your character and then yourself. I'm not sure what the point of asking yourself the questions is--maybe just to show you how much you know about yourself and therefore how much you ought to know about your characters? In any case, here are the answers for me.
1. Characters name: Christine
2. Characters nickname: So many! She never liked the name Christine/felt at home with it, so she embraces nicknames. CJ, Bug, Ceej, Chris, Chrissy (as a kid). One day she hopes someone will nickname her CeCe.
3. Sex: F
4. Age: 27
5. Looks: Gorgeous! Just kidding: 5'2", petite frame, light brown straight hair, shoulder-length at the moment with layers. Blue eyes.
6. Education: BS in communications, currently pursuing an MA in Literature and Creative Writing and an MFA in writing
7. Vocation/occupation: editor
8. Status and money: comfortable
9. Marital status: Married
10. Race/ethnicity: White
11. Diction, accent: None really. She lost her Long Island accent when she moved to Boston, and never got a new one. She slips into her old accent sometimes when she's tired or drunk (wawtah for water...)
12. Relationships: She likes relationships. Thrives on them, actually, and tries to cultivate them vigorously with the people who she meets and really clicks with. Has had to prune away some older friendships when they didn't grow with her.
13. Places: Grew up in N.Y., moved to Boston for college and stayed. Spent a semester in London and LOVED it. Loves to travel and see how different people live.
14. Possessions: Too many of them, though she's not into stuff for stuffs sake. Her favorite possessions would, oddly enough, be electronics: her laptop (which is sadly dying), her camera. Has lots and lots of books. And shoes.
15. Obsessions: Many.
16. Beliefs: That learning to be aware of your feelings is the best thing you can learn to do. That reading can make you a better person. That having a community of like-minded people around her keeps her sane. On her good days, that we're all doing our best and we should help each other out whenever and however we can.
17. Sexual history: I'll leave this to the reader's imagination. ;)
18. Ambitions: To publish a novel, to publish short stories, to teach writing, to not have to work full time in an office, to have lots of dogs, to calm down.
19. Religion: More spiritual than religious. Has a tough time truly believing in anything, though she definitely believes in something, though that something may be undefined.
21. Fears: conflict, being taken advantage of, being in pain
22. Attitudes: Liberal
23. Flaws: perfectionist, overly sensitive, not able to always process emotions before acting, often running late (lately)
24. Strengths: Not afraid to work hard towards a goal, open minded, kind, willing to help others, responsible, flexible
25. Personal preferences: Warm weather over cold, walking over driving, being outside over inside, quiet over noisy, wine over beer, staying in over going out.
26. Astrological sign: Cancer
27. Talents: Standing on her head.