Today I read an interesting and beneficial blog post from Steven Harper, on Writers Digest.
This author went into great detail about questioning your characters to create a rich back story. If you know everything about them; you can bring them alive in your novel.
In part of the post he mentions filling out the questionaire on the next page.
I never found this mysterious 'next page' to which he was referring. I googled it, searched ask.com for it and even searched out writing tips hoping to find his. The closest I came was a webinar he taught a few months back.
I hope that writersdigest.com will respond to the inquiries on this post for the questionaire, but in the meantime...
Through my research I have located a few questions from different classes and blog's that may be helpful.
1. Where, when, and why was character X born?
2. What birth order does character X have in his/her family dynamic?
3. What relationship does he/she have with mother/father/sister(s)/brother(s)? With any other important family member(s)?
4.What are the most personality defining experiences he/she had before this novel?
5. Who did she/he rely on when disaster struck?
6. Who does he/she celebrate with? How Do they celebrate?
7. What makes he/she angry/scared/happy/frustrated/worried/sick?
8. Name her/his reactions to each emotion.
9.What makes he/she act out of character?
10. What was his/her worst/best/relationship?
11. What was his/her first heartbreak? How did it scar him/her?
12. What or who is his/her phobia/passion/hero/nemesis?
13. Does he/she have any allergies or medical conditions?
14. Does he/she have a pet? Is he/she an animal lover/hater?
15. What isolates him/her from support/help/enemies/danger?
There are any number of helpful questions you can ask your characters but these 15 covered the most ground.You will not need all of this information for your character when you write the novel. However, you will need to know your character sooo well that his/her actions and reactions are compelling.
To find more about character interviews or building compelling characters do an internet search for those topics and include the term 'writing' in the search. There are also a number of twitter author's you can follow who give great writing advice.
Brian A. klems
I didn't think I needed to do character interviews until a good friend of mine recommended it to me. I couldn't find a voice for one of my characters until i buckled down and did the interview. Imagine my surprise when she started talking to me, and I found her voice.
Give it a try, and then let me know how it goes.Here's wishing you great writing, and even better learning.