121 Questions to Ask Your Character when Writing a Book

Every author goes about writing their book in a different way. Some jump straight in and let their imagination roam free with the story. Other authors create in-depth, detailed characters and then allow the story to write itself around them. Whichever way you write, coming up with interesting, relatable and realistic characters is difficult, so here are 121 questions to ask to build your character. Obviously, you don’t have to answer them all, just pick and choose those which are relevant. If there are any more that you can think of, let me know in the comments section! πŸ™‚

Personal Information

  1. What is their name?
  2. Why did their parents/you give them that name?
  3. What is their date of birth?
  4. Where were they born?
  5. Does your character have a nickname? If yes, what does their nickname mean/where did it come from?

Family and Relationships

  1. What is their mother’s name?
  2. What is their father’s name?
  3. Where was their father born?
  4. Where was their mother born?
  5. What is their father’s occupation?
  6. What is their mother’s occupation?
  7. What is your characters relationship status? If they have a partner, what is his name? What is his date of birth? Profession? Where was he born? How long have they been together?
  8. How many romantic relationships has your character had?
  9. Does your character know lots of people?
  10. What is their best friend’s name?
  11. Does your character have any children? If yes, how many? What are their names? How old are they?
  12. Do they have any siblings? If yes, how many? What are their names? How old are they? Are they close? Where do they live?
  13. Do they have a large circle of friends or a small group of close ones? Who are their friends?
  14. Is your character considered to be popular amongst their peers?
  15. Does your character have a reputation? What is it?

Childhood, Memories and Experiences

  1. What is your characters fondest memory?
  2. What is the worst thing that has happened to your character?
  3. Have they moved around a lot? If so, where have they lived before?
  4. Has your character ever lost someone that they love?
  5. What did they want to grow up to be when they were younger?
  6. Did they go through any phases in their youth? Goth/gamer…
  7. What is their worst injury/illness they have had?
  8. Have they travelled much of the world? If so where have they been to? What is their favourite country they have visited and why?
  9. What was the first major historical event in their lifetime? E.g. World War 1, September 11th etc… How did they affect them?
  10. Has your character ever been arrested?

Career and Education

  1. What is their occupation?
  2. What is your characters work ethic like?
  3. Is your character responsible with money? Do they have savings?
  4. Did your character go to sixth form? What A-Levels did they get?
  5. Did they go to college? What subjects did they take?
  6. Did your character go to university? What did they study?
  7. What date did they leave school?
  8. What date did they graduate?
  9. What is your character annual income?
  10. What does their resume look like?
  11. Did your character have a favourite teacher?
  12. Who did you take/took you to prom?
  13. What groups did you take part in at high school/college/university?
  14. What were your characters school years like?
  15. Did they enjoy their educational years?

Personality

  1. Is your character an introvert or an extrovert?
  2. Are they a night owl or an early bird?
  3. Who do they idolize?
  4. What three things would your character take to a desert island?
  5. Do they find it difficult to sleep?
  6. What is their worst fear?
  7. What does your character consider to be their biggest mistake?
  8. Do they take pride in their appearance?
  9. Is your character disciplined or reckless and impulsive?
  10. How would friends and relatives describe them in one sentence?
  11. Do they have a positive outlook on life and try to see the best in things, or are they pessimistic and negative?
  12. Is your character brave, strongminded and capable of standing up for themselves, or are they shy, vulnerable or easily mislead?
  13. What is their vocabulary like? Do they use big words or are their sentences often poorly structured?
  14. Do they have any bad habits?
  15. Do they want to change something about themselves?
  16. If your character was granted three wishes, what would they wish for?
  17. If your character was granted three wishes, what would they wish for?
  18. Does your character find it easy to make friends?
  19. If you know about Myers Briggs 16 Personalities, what is their personality type?
  20. Do they prefer spring, summer, autumn, winter?
  21. Where and what is your characters dream home like?
  22. Is your character organised and tidy or bad at timekeeping and messy?
  23. Does your character take pride in their appearance?
  24. Is your character positive natured or pessimistic?
  25. Does your character like horrors, or romance?
  26. Is your character in control of their emotions, or are their emotions in control of them?
  27. Does your character deeply feel empathy?
  28. Is your character romantic and sentimental?
  29. How do they respond to traumatic situations?
  30. Does your character want to get married?
  31. Does your character want children?
  32. What annoys them?
  33. Who would your character die for?
  34. Do they have any deep, dark secrets?
  35. Do they believe in zodiac signs? If so, what star sign are they?

Appearance

  1. Does your character wear/carry/have an item that is special or unique to them? Like Harry Potter and his glasses.
  2. How tall are they?
  3. What is their body type? Athletic, slender, curvy . . .
  4. What colour is their hair?
  5. What colour are their eyes?
  6. What is their stand out feature? Captivating eyes, elven ears, button nose, long legs? What is the first thing you notice about them?
  7. How do they dress? Do they follow fashion or have a unique style?
  8. Are they considered attractive?
  9. What is your characters most worn item of clothing?
  10. Are they confident with their appearance? Do they want to lose/gain weight or change anything?
  11. Have they ever had or would have/want cosmetic surgery?
  12. Does your character have any tattoos? If so, what are they?
  13. How do they keep their nails?
  14. Do they wear makeup? Is it heavy or natural? Are they skilled?
  15. Is their hair naturally straight or curly?

Hobbies and Interests

  1. What are your character’s hobbies?
  2. What kind of music does your character listen to?
  3. What is their favourite colour?
  4. What was your characters favourite subject at school?
  5. What is their favourite food?
  6. What is their favourite book?
  7. What is their favourite film?
  8. Does your character have a signature scent? If so, what does it smell like?
  9. What is your character’s dream?
  10. Does your character like to learn? Are they creative? Academic?

Lifestyle

  1. Do they drink alcohol? If yes, how often? Does it impact their life?
  2. Do they have any health problems?
  3. Does your character have any pets?
  4. Do they have a favourite place to get breakfast/lunch/dinner/drinks? Where is it and why?
  5. Are they or their family religious?
  6. Where does your character live?
  7. What kind of house does your character live in?
  8. What car does your character drive?
  9. Does your character have any rituals?
  10. Do they visit a gym or have a workout schedule?

Dialect

  1. What is your characters first language?
  2. Can your character speak any other languages?
  3. Do they have a characteristic phrase?
  4. Does your character have an accent?
  5. What are the characteristics of their voice? Are they softly spoken or loud and sharp?
  6. Does your character use profanities?

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