When you’re writing a novel, it’s essential to get to know your characters beyond their hair and eye colours; if you want your characters to act in a way that is true to themselves, you need to know what that means. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of questions to answer about each of your main characters. You can download the list for free here as a PDF.
Name/nickname:Age (how do they feel about their age? how old do they feel?):
Age (how do they feel about their age? how old do they feel?):
Height, weight, build, ethnic background:
Birthmarks and scars:
How do they feel about their body?
State of physical fitness (how/do they work out?):
How do they dress? (do they dress to get attention?):
Parents, siblings, children:
Who are they close to?
What is their living situation? Where, with whom, are they happy there?
Who are their closest friends and worst enemies? Why?
Marital status and shape of the relationship – are they in love? Have they ever been in love?
What is a quality they love in the opposite sex? What quality do they hate in the opposite sex?
What is a quality they most value in their friends?
Are they shy or outgoing?
Who is the most important person in their life?
How do other people see them? How do other people treat them?
Where and how did they grow up?
Where did they go to school?
What did they like/hate in school?
What are their best and worst memories?
What are the most impactful events from their past?
What are their biggest successes, failures, and regrets?
What are their short-term and long-term goals?
Where do they work? Do they love or hate their job? How is the commute? How much money do they make? Does it support how they live their life? How do they deal with money? Do they have debt?
What is their dream job?
What is their relationship like with their boss and with other authority figures?
What do they want most in the world?
What are their religious beliefs?
What do they like/dislike about themselves the most?
Do they have any secrets? Who knows their secrets?
What is their biggest fear?
What makes them laugh?
What makes them cry?
What is their most treasured possession?
When are they happiest and most miserable?
What makes them angry?
What are their hobbies?
What would they do with unexpected free time?
What is their motto?
How do they deal with confrontation and conflict?
What would make them lie or break the law?
How do they deal with change?
It can be a lot of work to develop well-rounded, interesting characters, but this worksheet will get you on the right track!