Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Best Questions to Ask Your Characters


One of the most important things to get right in any novel is your characters. Without interesting, layered characters that intrigue and excite your reader it doesn’t matter how fantastic your story is, they simply won’t be able to care about what happens - and if your readers don’t care, they will probably give up on your book altogether.
When it comes to creating great characters, there is nothing more important than feeling like you know them inside out. Without intimate knowledge of your characters, it will be difficult to keep them consistent and believable.
No detail is too insignificant when it comes to finding out about your characters, so spend time making sure that you truly know them. It’s the little things you discover, the quirks and idiosyncracies that come to you as you do this that will bring your characters to life and make your readers fall in love with them.
Getting to know your characters is a fun part of the writing process, and the best way of doing this is to talk to them! Asking your characters questions will help you to try to understand them, and you may find their answers even surprise you!
So what are some of the best questions to ask your characters? Let’s take a look:
What makes you most happy?
What frightens you?
What do you love and hate about yourself?
What trait can’t you stand in another person?
Who do you admire more than anyone?
When do you feel it’s OK to lie?
How quickly do you fall in love?
What is your most treasured possession?
When were you happiest?
What is your greatest talent?
What are you most passionate about?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
How important is friendship to you?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
How important is money to you?
Do you care what other people think?
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Where would you most like to live?
Do you have any regrets?
What do you love to do?
What is your motto?
How would you like to be remembered?
So there you have it, some interesting and thought-provoking questions to help you honestly get to know your characters.
When it comes to finding the best questions to ask your chapters, try to get as deep and as interesting and personal as you can. Don’t go for the obvious questions (you already know the answers to these after all)! Remember, no question is too weird or personal, your characters can’t get offended and the more strange, in-depth and intimate knowledge you have of them the more interesting and complex they will become in your story.

As a child I was often trying to write a fictional story, but was never aware then of this process. Even today, it is still new to me. Now after seeing this, I feel  too nervous to ask questions to someone who isn't real. I'd feel like a was a little kid talking to an imaginary friend. LOL!! But it might not be a bad idea to try, maybe just once. 

I've already established a few things about the main character in my diary novel I have started. He's good at art, and is more of a loner. A great deal of the plot revolves around his anxiety about having to get braces, and how he feels once he's "behind bars," as he describes it. He hates the great-niece of the old man across the street.

How many of you have done this process with characters in your novels? If not would you do it now?


  1. Character matters a great deal to me, particularly if I am reading fiction.
    They need to behave in a congruent way and have depth. And these questions would undoubtedly help.

  2. Good questions. I made a note of them. I often don't really get to know my character until the second draft.