Day 11 Word Count Target: 18,337
Sometimes the best way to get to know our characters is to 'interview' them and see what answers they present us with. Typically when I do this, I don't get answers to all of the questions up front, and that's okay. The details may present themselves during the course of writing, as the details become available or necessary.
For a potential list of 'interview' questions, I offer the following; any questions they can answer up front can give you more to work with as you write...and might even spawn subplots for your story you were unaware existed!
1. Does your character have siblings or family members in their age group? Which one are they closest with?
2. What is/was your character’s relationship with their mother like?
3. What is/was your character’s relationship with their father like?
4. Has your character ever witnessed something that fundamentally changed them? If so, does anyone else know?
5. On an average day, what can be found in your character’s pockets?
6. Does your character have recurring themes in their dreams?
7. Does your character have recurring themes in their nightmares?
8. Has your character ever fired a gun? If so, what was their first target?
9. Is your character’s current socioeconomic status different than it was when they were growing up?
10. Does your character feel more comfortable with more clothing, or with less clothing?
11. In what situation was your character the most afraid they’ve ever been?
12. In what situation was your character the most calm they’ve ever been?
13. Is your character bothered by the sight of blood? If so, in what way?
14. Does your character remember names or faces easier?
15. Is your character preoccupied with money or material possession? Why or why not?
16. Which does your character idealize most: happiness or success?
17. What was your character’s favorite toy as a child?
18. Is your character more likely to admire wisdom, or ambition in others?
19. What is your character’s biggest relationship flaw? Has this flaw destroyed relationships for them before?
20. In what ways does your character compare themselves to others? Do they do this for the sake of self-validation, or criticism?
21. If something tragic or negative happens to your character, do they believe they may have caused or deserved it, or are they quick to blame others?
22. What does your character like in other people?
23. What does your character dislike in other people?
24. How quick is your character to trust someone else?
25. How quick is your character to suspect someone else? Does this change if they are close with that person?
26. How does your character behave around children?
27. How does your character normally deal with confrontation?
28. How quick or slow is your character to resort to physical violence in a confrontation?
29. What did your character dream of being or doing as a child? Did that dream come true?
30. What does your character find repulsive or disgusting?
31. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most comfortable.
32. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most uncomfortable.
33. In the face of criticism, is your character defensive, self-deprecating, or willing to improve?
34. Is your character more likely to keep trying a solution/method that didn’t work the first time, or immediately move on to a different solution/method?
35. How does your character behave around people they like?
36. How does your character behave around people they dislike?
37. Is your character more concerned with defending their honor, or protecting their status?
38. Is your character more likely to remove a problem/threat, or remove themselves from a problem/threat?
39. Has your character ever been bitten by an animal? How were they affected (or unaffected)?
40. How does your character treat people in service jobs?
41. Does your character feel that they deserve to have what they want, whether it be material or abstract, or do they feel they must earn it first?
42. Has your character ever had a parental figure who was not related to them?
43. Has your character ever had a dependent figure who was not related to them?
44. How easy or difficult is it for your character to say “I love you?” Can they say it without meaning it?
45. What does your character believe will happen to them after they die? Does this belief scare them?
And sometimes, character motivation helps too:
Do you interview your characters or do you 'make it up as you go along'? Mostly I make it up as I go, but I do like to have a few traits and some info to go on as I begin writing.