This is a great way to flesh out characters that you are holding in your mind. Put them down on paper, especially in any genre that you want to use for writing. I typically write fan-fiction for Star Wars, Shadowrun, and Fantasy, so I will usually take the character sheets for either Star Wars (either D20 or World of Darkness) and 3rd or 4th Edition Shadowrun, or 3.5 AD&D and I will make a character using those sheets to be able to tell everything about a character in statistic form. All this allows me to do is look at a character and be able to answer the questions:
“What would this character be able to do in situation X.”
“How would this character react if he were faced with problem X”
This allows a writer to step into the shoes of the character in my mind and be able to say, “No, he wouldn’t be able to do this at all,” or “No, he has no knowledge of this particular field at all.” This also works for descriptions of the character’s physical traits, such as tattoos and scars, styles of clothing worn, outward appearance, hair and eye color, physical build, height, weight, how old the person is, vs. how old they look. How their worldview affects their decision-making processes. What motivators drive their worldview. Anything that provides a character’s outward appearance or describes his personality traits and qualities.
Until next time.