As writers, we focus a lot on the plot of a book, on the important parts that shake up the whole story. We strive to make it intricate, to spice it up with many plot twists and make it unique. Unfortunately, this is not enough to make a great story. The reason why the best-loved books are such is because the characters are so alive, you get to know everything about them and almost become friends with them. Sometimes a simple plot with few focal points but with characters who can live it to the full is enough.
To create characters that the reader will love and that will make your book a best-seller, you actually have to understand who they are and how to make them special. How do you know your characters?
In this article, I have gathered the best questions to ask your characters to get to know them better. I have divided them into four categories: birth, appearance, personal questions and relationship with others.
Some go into a lot of detail because if you don’t really know them, you certainly can’t introduce them to someone else (the readers).
(Of course you don’t have to use all these details in your story, some will only serve you to get to know your beloved characters.)
Questions to ask your characters before starting to write
- What is your name?
- Do you have a nickname? Who calls you that?
- How old are you?
- Where do you live?
- Do you have sisters/brothers?
- What colour are your eyes?
- What colour is your hair? How long is it?
- What colour is your skin?
- What ethnicity are you?
- How do you usually look? Relaxed? Determined? Sad?
- How tall are you?
- Are you underweight, normal weight or overweight?
- What shape are your lips?
- How do you usually dress?
- What was your favourite game as a child?
- What is your favourite colour? Why?
- What are your economic conditions? Has it always been like that?
- Is your world dangerous for you? Are you discriminated against in any way?
- What do you desire most of all?
- What are you most afraid of?
- Is there an object you always have with you?
- Do you have a favourite food?
- Do you have a favourite book?
- Do you have a favourite song? What is your genre?
- Do you have a job? What is it?
- What do you think about yourself?
- What do you think about your friends?
- What are your values?
- What are your beliefs?
- Do you often laugh? Why?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Do you have a secret? Which one?
- What keeps you awake on sleepless nights?
- Do you have any trauma?
- How do you feel about silence?
- What do you find disgusting?
Relationship with others
- What is your relationship with your family?
- How do you behave with children?
- What is your reputation?
- How do you treat those who treat you badly?
- How do you treat those around you?
- Do you trust others? Why?
- Do you enjoy being in company?
- Do you like being alone?
- Do you live with anyone? With whom?
- Do you go to school? Where? With whom?
- Do you have friends? Who are they?
- Who did you grow up with?
- How do you react to criticism?
- Do you want a romantic relationship?
- How do you behave in a romantic relationship?
- How do people react to your presence?
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