Characters usually present themselves to me by name first. Once a name comes to mind, I start envisioning my character. I imagine their features, I hear their voices, I think about what their habits may be, how their minds think and countless other things. A great way to get to know your character is to set up a questionnaire. Below is a list of questions that may help you get to know your character better. Try asking your character these twenty questions and see if you discover anything new about them.
1. What is your age?
2. Do you have any siblings?
3. Are your parents alive? Are they married? Are they divorced?
4. If you were sent to a deserted island what three things would you take?
5. Do you have a hidden talent?
6. Do you have a habit you wish you could break?
7. What features do you like the most about yourself?
8. What feature do you dislike the most about yourself?
9. Do you have a hobby?
10. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
11. What kind of music do you like?
12. What is your biggest pet peeve?
13. What is your favorite food?
14. Do you have a passion and if so what?
15. Do you consider yourself and introvert or extrovert?
16. What is your idea of a perfect day?
17. Who is your favorite author?
18. What would the first thing be on your bucket list?
19. If I asked you to write an entry in your journal what would it be about?
20. Tell me something no one else knows about you?
Building a character is fun but takes time. Your reader needs to feel like they know the character intimately and in order for that to happen you must first know the character intimately. Why not give this list a shot and see what you come up with. Are there any questions that you ask that I haven’t listed? If so leave a comment and let me know. I’m always looking for new questions to ask my characters.