One of the family's favorite board games is called "Imaginiff..." Basically, you choose a list of people you're familiar with (family members, neighbors, close friends, etc.) and as you move around the board, you draw cards that begin with the phrase, "Imagine if..." Filling in the name of a person from your list, the players choose an answer from a list of six choices. They don't have to be right; this game is all about appearances and perception. Which got me thinking (always a dangerous thing, I know.)
What if I used these questions for my characters? Oh, the fun I could have delving a little deeper with the more bizarre rather than the typical, "What's his deepest fear?" type stuff. Here's a sample of Imaginiff questions and answers for your own character study. Remember! You must choose an answer from the list provided. I hope you learn something from these. (Otherwise I wasted an afternoon of my time and a perfectly good Thursday!)
IMAGINE IF (Your character)...
1. ...were the chorus of a song. Which would (s)he be?
a. "You're so vain, you prob'ly think this song is about you."
b. "I can't get no satisfaction."
c. "How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the waggly tail?"
d. "Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong."
e. "Red, red wine, stay close to me."
f. "Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!"
2. ...were an invention. Which would (s)he be?
a. Penicillin. (Hmm...that brings up some interesting insight into your hero, doesn't it?)
d. Atomic bomb
e. Blow dryer (Please don't pick this for your heroine unless you're writing about a crack whore.)
3. ...were on a ten hour car trip. Which would upset him/her the most?
a. Being stuck behind a little old lady traveling at 30 MPH
b. Running over a bunny rabbit
c. Children fighting in the back seat
d. A small scratch on the paint work
e. Sound system breaks down
f. Mobile phone goes out of range
4. ...spent a relaxing day alone. What would (s)he do?
a. Go shopping
b. Surf the 'net
c. Watch TV
e. Enjoy the great outdoors
f. Work on the tan
5. ...were a piece of jewelry. Which would (s)he be?
a. Diamond ring
c. Stud in nostril
6. ...had a garden. What would be its predominant feature?
b. Manicured lawn
e. Native trees
f. Gnomes and fountains
7. ...were an animal? Which would (s)he be?
a. Sheep dog
c. Koala bear
8. ...were a dessert. Which would (s)he be?
a. Fresh fruit
b. Port and cigars
c. Cheese and coffee
d. Banana split
e. Brandied kumquats
9. ...were at a construction site. What would (s)he be doing?
a. Setting up cones
a. Setting up cones
b. Taking a coffee break
c. Drawing up the plans
d. Getting fired
e. Doing something with a jack-hammer (I just know someone's gonna have something to say about this choice. Don't let me down, kids!)
f. Complaining about working conditions
10. ...could keep only one of the following. Which would (s)he choose?
e. Blow dryer (There's that crack whore again!)
f. Wine collection
11. ...were a cliche. Which would (s)he be?
a. Wolf in sheep's clothing
b. Born with a silver spoon in the mouth
c. Burning the candle at both ends
d. At one with nature
e. Look what the cat dragged in
f. A sight for sore eyes
12. ...were the subject of a photograph. What form would it take?
a. Police mug shot
b. Pulling a funny face
d. Sporting pose
e. Seated, formally dressed
f. Cover of The Enquirer
13. ...had to select a way of dying. Which would (s)he choose?
a. Peacefully in sleep
b. Hit by a golf ball
c. Fighting in war
d. Murdered by a jealous lover
e. TV falls into bubble bath