Structure

I recently found these character interview suggestions. A useful way of getting to develop and getting to know the characters you’re writing. It’s given me some structure to my character planning and has helped me to think more deeply about who it is I want in my story. My characters are now on their way to being well-rounded and quirky, no longer just names on a page.

  1. Name:
    What do they like about their name:
    What does their name mean to them:

  2. Background:
    Birthday:
    Place of birth:
    Parents:
    What was important to the people who raised them?
    Siblings:
    Economic status growing up:
    Ethnic background:
    Places lived:
    Current address and phone number:
    Education:
    Favourite subject in school:
    Special training:
    Jobs:
    Salary:
    Travel:

  3. Friends:
    Who they live with:
    Who they fight with:
    Who they spend time with:
    Who depends on them and why:
    Who admires them:
    How do others see them:
    Who are their enemies:

  4. Dating:
    Single or married

  5. Overall outlook on life:
    Religion:
    Do they like themselves:
    What would they change about their life:
    What demons do they have:
    Are they lying to themselves:
    Are they an optimist or a pessimist:
    Are they real or feigned:
    What is their morality level:
    What is their confidence level:

  6. Typical day:
    Physical appearance:
    Physical build:
    Posture:
    Head shape:
    Eyes:
    Nose:
    Mouth:
    Hair:
    Skin:
    Tattoos, piercings, scars:
    Voice:
    Clothing:
    What do people notice first:
    How would they describe themselves:

  7. Health:
    Disabilities or handicaps:

  8. Characteristics:
    Personality type:
    Strongest character trait:
    Weakest character trait:
    How can their strongest trait be a weakness:
    How much self-control and self-discipline do they have:
    What makes them angry:
    What makes them cry:
    What fears do they have:
    What people, places, situations do they avoid:
    What are their talents:
    What do people like about them:

  9. Interests and favourites:
    Political views:
    Collections:
    Food and drink:
    Music:
    Books:
    Movies:
    Sport/recreational in school and now:
    Colour:
    Childhood daydreams:
    Current daydreams:
    Way to spend a weekend:
    A great gift for them:
    Pets:
    Vehicles:

  10. Typical expressions when:
    Happy:
    Angry:
    Frustrated:
    Sad:
    Afraid:
    Most used facial expression:

  11. Idiosyncrasies:

  12. Laughs at:

  13. What annoys them:

  14. How to cheer her up:

  15. Hopes and dreams and how do they see themselves accomplishing these:

  16. Worst thing they’ve done to someone:

  17. Greatest success:

  18. Biggest trauma:

  19. Biggest embarrassment:

  20. Cares about most:

  21. Secrets:
    If they could do anything, what would it be:
    They are the kind of person who…:
    What I love most about them:
    Why will the reader sympathise with her right away:

  22. How are they ordinary or extraordinary:

  23. How is their situation ordinary or extraordinary:

  24. What is their core need:

  25. What is an anecdote:

  26. Their history:

K.M. Weiland. (2011). Outlining Your Novel: Map out your way to success. PenForASword Publishing: United States of America

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