My characters have a mind of their own. Not a bad thing at all, really, except when they want to take off on a detour that doesn't support the plot. I did extensive character interviews before beginning this novel, so each of their personalities are well-defined in my head. It makes the conversations fun and easy to write - most of the time.
Every now and then a character has their own idea - one I hadn't planned on including. The strange thing is, I'm finding they are usually right, and I'm not. When I'm stuck or confused, I pull out their character sheet, and sure enough, their needs, flaws, desires and worldview support the words and action they wish to take. My job is to make sure it supports the logline and sticks to the plot. It's a puzzle, and I love creative problem solving.
I've looked at quite a few character interviews and worksheets. Some are intricate and others are bare-boned. I keep mine simple by using the following format:
• Character name and physical description
• 5 important facts
• List of hobbies
• Personality traits
• Character Flaw
• Needs of character
• Desires of character
• Worldview before inciting incident
• Worldview after inciting incident
I like this format because it usually fits on one page and is easy to read. A necessary thing for this easily-distracted brain! What tools do you use for character plans? I'd love to know!