This NaNoWriMo Preptober season, I’m use this round of questioning for my character interviews.
It seems like a lot of questions, and surely it isn’t necessary for every single character to have, but I’ve found that – more often than not – this list is a goldmine for learning the motivation behind character reactions.
Questions For The
Use these questions to lay out the basic framework of who your character is, where they come from, how they carry themselves, and how they respond to life.
What is your character's full name?
Does your character have a nickname?
What does your character look like?
What distinguishing physical features do they have?
Does your character have scars or birthmarks?
Who is in your character's family?
Who are their friends?
Who are they closest to and why?
Who do they wish they were closer to and why?
Where was your character born?
Where have they lived?
Where do they call home nowadays?
Where does your character go when upset?
Where do they go when they're proud?
What is their biggest fear?
Who have they told this to and why?
Who would they never tell this to and why?
Does your character have a secret?
Who knows their secret and how/why do they know it?
Does your character have a sense of humor?
If so, what makes them laugh? If no, why not?
Has your character ever been in love?
If so, when and how did it go? If no, why not?
What is in your character's refrigerator right now?
What is in their bedroom? Their driveway?
What type of shoes does your character wear?
What does their childhood kitchen smell like?
Why does that smell resonate with them?
What is your character doing on Saturday's at noon?
What is your character's strongest childhood memory?
Why is it so powerful and lasting?
Where does your character like to go for a night out?
What do they wear on their outing? What do they do?
Questions For The
Use these questions to interview your characters – one at a time – and learn from their perspective as to why they roll how they do.
What is your greatest achievement?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What is your current state of mind (pre/post novel)?
What is your favorite hobby?
What is your most treasured possession?
What occupation do you wish you had?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What is your favorite journey or adventure?
What is your most complimented feature? Least?
When and where were you the happiest?
What is it that you most dislike?
When was the last time you were afraid?
When was the last time you felt proud?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Which living person do you most despise?
What is your greatest regret?
Which talent would you most like to have?
Where would you like to live?
What do you think is the lowest depth of misery?
What is the quality you most like in a man? A woman?
What is the trait you most despise in a man? A woman?
What do you most deplore in yourself? In others?
What do you most value in your friends? Family?
Who is your favorite character in fiction?
Whose are your heroes in real life?
What living person do you most admire?
What do you think is the most overrated virtue?
On what occasions do you lie?
Which words of phrases do you most overuse?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
How would you like to die?
If you were to come back as anyone or thing, what would you be?
What is your life motto?