I created Chuck for one of my short stories, written for uni. Following is a character study I wrote for him.
If you’re not familiar with a character study, it’s used to develop a character’s background and personality traits. From these elements the character’s mannerisms and dialogue come to life.
Some character studies are complex, some are very basic. I like to keep mine short and to the point. This gives me more ‘wiggle room’ in the story.
He had been Chuck most of his life. Charles was his father’s name, and the less he remembered about that man, the better. Chuck remembered Daddy’s huge fists and the indelible marks they left. But he remembered his mother much more, whose solicitous yet indifferent fingers crept to places he preferred not to think of, but could not avoid.
Chuck’s stutter and southern twang caused people to look down on him, even though he towered physically over them. His schooling had been the streets and a succession of foster homes; places where survival of the fittest was the credo and the only philosophy he required.
Chuck didn’t fit in. Naturally he gravitated to solitary roles, places he could be his own man–no complications with relationships or body language, as foreign to him as a cellphone to a neanderthal.
Chuck was a truck driver now and good at it. He tamed his mighty beast on the primal tarred veldt, his whip the double shift, country and western anthems his habitual companion. He worked the long highways like a corner beat, with scars as evidence; his belly peeped from under his t-shirt like a misshapen eye, Rip Van Winkle beard and Garth Brooks t-shirt decorated with spilt drink and dried food scraps.