Character Interview

It is the characters that are the story. They are the ones that lead the action, the conflict, the drama. It is the characters that drive the plot and perhaps even elucidate the theme the author is bringing forth. Get to know and understand your characters. Protagonist and antogonist, obviously, but the supporting characters are integral as well. Know them inside and out.

Here is a long form template you can use to interview your characters. I use all or part of this when begining a story. I have devloped a short form character interview which I will share later. For now, see what you thnk of this. Also, there are tons of similar ideas for character development on the internet. Explore them.

Character Interview

Name:

Background:

Birthday:

Place of birth:

Parents:

What was important to the people who raised him:

Siblings:

Economic/social status growing up:

Ethnic background:

Places lived:

Current address and phone number:

Education:

Favorite subject in school:

Special training:

Jobs:

Salary:

Travel:

Friends:

How do people view this character:

Lives with:

Fights with:

Spends time with:

Wishes to spend time with:

Who depends on him and why:

What people does he most admire:8

Enemies:

Dating, marriage:

Children:

Relationship with God:

Overall outlook on life:

Does this character like himself:

What, if anything, would he like to change about his life:

What personal demons haunt him:

Is he lying to himself about something:

Optimistic/pessimistic:

Real/feigned:

Morality level:

Confidence level:

How is he viewed by others:

Typical day:

Physical appearance:

Body type:

Posture:

Head shape:

Eyes:

Nose:

Mouth:

Hair:

Skin:

Tattoos/piercings/scars:

Voice:9

What people notice first:

Clothing:

How would he describe himself:

Health/disabilities/handicaps:

Characteristics:

Personality type (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy):

Strongest/weakest character traits:

How can the flip side of his strong point be a weakness:

How much self-control and self-discipline does he have:

What makes him irrationally angry:

What makes him cry:

Fears:

Talents:

What people like best about him:

Interests and favorites:

Political leaning:

Collections:

Food, drink:

Music:

Books:

Movies:

Sports, recreation:

Did he play in school:

Color:

Best way to spend a weekend:

A great gift for this person:

Pets:10

Vehicles:

What large possessions does he own (car, home, furnishings, boat, etc.)

and which does he like best:

Typical expressions:

When happy:

When angry:

When frustrated:

When sad:

Idiosyncrasies:

Laughs or jeers at:

Ways to cheer up this person:

Ways to annoy this person:

Hopes and dreams:

How does he see himself accomplishing these dreams:

What’s the worst thing he’s ever done to someone and why:

Greatest success:

Biggest trauma:

Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to him:

What does he care about most in the world:

Does he have a secret:

If he could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be:

He is the kind of person who:

What do you love most about this character:

Why will the reader sympathize with this person right away:

How is the character ordinary or extraordinary:

How is his situation ordinary or extraordinary:11

Core Need:

Corresponding psychological maneuver (delusions, obsessions,

compulsions, addictions, denials, hysterical ailments, hypochondria, illnesses,

behaviors harming the self, behavior harming others, manias, and phobias)

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