Step one in discovering who your characters are is completing a set of character development questions. As fiction writers we’ll usually have an idea for a character. This character idea may be based on someone who we observed in everyday life or even someone we created in our mind. But to create a character that guides your story, you need to know who they are and their authentic reactions to situations and people. Knowing this before you write your book makes the writing so much easier! Below you will find a sample of character development questions. These are the basic questions you can ask of your characters to really get to the heart of who they are. [Source: Gotham Writers’ Workshop’s Writing Fiction]
Character Development Questions
What is your character’s name? Does the character have a nickname?
What is your character’s hair color? Eye color?
What kind of distinguishing facial features does your character have?
Does your character have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did he get them?
Who are your character’s friends and family? Who does she surround herself with? Who are the people your character is closest to? Who does he wish he were closest to?
Where was your character born? Where has she lived since then? Where does she call home?
Where does your character go when he’s angry?
What is her biggest fear? Who has she told this to? Who would she never tell this to? Why?
Does she have a secret?
What makes your character laugh out loud?
When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?
These are great questions to get you started. If you are want to get to know your characters better, I suggest expounding on these questions. Really test the limits and learn more and more! You may not use all of this in your book, but it will help you to get to know your characters better. Please share your responses to the character development questions in the comments section below.