There are two ways you can use 20 Questions to create or develop a character.
Option A: Take a character you've been working with, perhaps one from your current work-in-progress (WIP). Answer these twenty questions as quickly as possible about your character. Then write a short scene with that character, using this new-found knowledge.
Option B: (my personal favorite) Use a coin-toss to select one option from each pair. That's your character. Now write.
The 20 Questions are:
- Male / Female
- Old soul / Young at heart
- Left brain / Right brain
- Glass half-empty / Glass half-full
- City / Country
- Big spender / Penny pincher
- Loves water / Can't swim
- Glasses / Tattoo
- Dogs / Cats
- Hybrid car / SUV
- Bites nails / Always manicured
- Chocolate syrup / Hot sauce
- Coffee / Tea
- Overgrown garden / Plastic plants
- Always tells the truth / Lies when necessary
- Organic food / Fast food
- Straight hair / Curly hair
- Soft-spoken / Loudmouth
- PBS / Reality TV
- Motto: "Do or die" / "Look before you leap"
Homework: Use this technique for one of your existing characters or create a new one. Now write a short scene with that character, where at least three of these details are revealed. This can be something completely new or an extension of a piece you're already writing.