15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters

15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters

Use our list of 15 questions authors should ask characters to make them more believable.

How well do you know your character? 

We spend a lot of time creating characters.

We think about names, where they live, who they love, and whether or not they have a phobia or a personality disorder.

We give them character traits and think about their body language.

Then, we place our protagonist in conflict with an antagonist in order to write a novel. We plan an inciting moment, and plot our scenes.

But how much do we really know about the psychological motivations of our important characters?.

[Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.]

15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters

Here are 15 questions you should be able to answer about these characters in your novel.

  1. What would mentally destroy your character?
  2. How does your character feel about his mother and father?
  3. When did your character feel completely loved and accepted?
  4. What would have to happen to make your character speak out, or, defend a stranger, in public?
  5. What does he lie about?
  6. Does your character need friends?
  7. What physical thing does your character fear most?
  8. If your character could choose to spend his last day alive with one person (dead or alive), who would he choose?
  9. What is his defining strength?
  10. Is he able to work for someone else?
  11. Does your character have a positive or negative body image?
  12. Who, or what, would your character die for?
  13. Does your character have a plan for tomorrow? Next week? Next year?
  14. Is your character resilient enough to change?
  15. What would your character think if he could see you now?

A character’s personality is made up of patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make him unique. These psychological personality traits remain fairly consistent throughout life. If you want to make your characters memorable, it’s a good idea to get to know them better.

Download your free list here: 15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters

More Resources: 9 Useful Character Questionnaires For Writers

by Amanda Patterson

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, read

  1. The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks
  2. Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language
  3. 7 Essential Things to Remember about Very Important Characters

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Posted on: 8th July 2014