100 Questions to Develop a Detailed Character
Ever have trouble deciding what side of an argument your character will take? Do you have trouble remembering small details about your character, and often change them accidentally in the middle of a story? Try this list of one hundred questions to solidify your knowledge of your character. Feel free to use this and post it as its own deviation. Just please link it to me in a comment if you do. Try to answer the questions in as much specific detail as possible. This is for you, so there is no use in cheating on it. I would suggest doing two for each character: one for the beginning of your story, and one for the end, to reflect the changes that happen.
1. What is your character's name? Do they have a nickname?
2. Is your character male or female? What is their sexuality? What role does it play in your story?
3. How old is your character? Does their age matter to them emotionally or socially?
4. How tall is your character? Does it affect them negatively, positively, or neutrally?
5. What is your character's body shape? Are they physically fit? What challenges or advantages does this present?
6. Describe your character's facial features. What color are their eyes and hair? Be specific!
7. Do other people find your character physically attractive? Why or why not?
8. What sort of clothing does your character wear? What colors are common? What does this style reflect?
9. Does your character have any physical or mental disabilities? How does this affect your story? Is it a main point of your plot?
10. What does your character do for money? If they are unemployed, how do they live? Does money matter to your character?
11. Does your character have specified family members? Describe their relationship with their family.
12. What is your character's marital status? Are they involved in a relationship? How is this emotional taxation present in your story?
13. Who are your character's closest friends? How do they know each other? How do they act around each other?
14. Who are your character's minor enemies? Why do they not get along?
15. Who are your character's major enemies? How does this affect your plot? What began the animosity of their relationship? How, if at all, is it resolved?
16. How does your character speak, and what does their voice sound like? How does this reflect their personality, if at all?
17. Is there anything significant about your character's movement? Is it important?
18. Who does your character live with, or do they live alone? How does this arrangement affect your character's lifestyle?
19. What traits does your character value in their friends?
20. What are your character's main pet peeves? Does this play a role in your story?
21. Where does your character live? Are they happy? Describe the scenery. How does this affect your story?
22. What is your character's opinion of the society they live in?
23. Briefly summarize your character's childhood.
24. What are your character's darkest secrets?
25. Has anyone close to your character died in the past? How did your character deal with this? Did it have a lasting impact?
26. What is your character's social status? Are they happy with it?
27. Is your character a hero, a villain, or neither? How do they see themselves, as opposed to how others see them?
28. Is your character conservative and disapproving of change, or liberal and willing to accept?
29. It is said that every character has a fatal flaw. What is your character's?
30. What are your character's special talents? Are they supernatural, or normal? Can few other people do them?
31. What specific activities does your character lack skill for? What challenges does this present?
32. What are your character's major wishes in life? These are not goals, simply things they wish would happen without work.
33. When your character looks in the mirror, what do they think of themselves? Is it positive or negative?
34. What is your character's most precious material object? What would happen if they lost it? Why is it so important?
35. Is your character more creative, or more logical?
36. What are your character's small flaws? Do they cause annoyance or disdain for your character? What are your character's opinions about them?
37. Is your character envied? By whom? Who does your character envy?
38. Does your character deceive others often? Do they attempt to deceive themselves? How and why?
39. What is your character's faith? Briefly describe their religion, if it exists. Are they polytheistic or monotheistic? Do they see God(s) as all-powerful, or helpers in the course of fate?
40. Describe your character's uncommon beliefs. Do they believe in fate? Karma? Multiple heavens and hells?
41. Is your character well known or little known? Why?
42. Is your character more optimistic, or more pessimistic?
43. Does your character have a lot of hope? Are there points in your story in which they lose hope?
44. What traits make your character unique? Do they have special abilities, or a unique facial feature? Be specific.
45. Is your character moody or even? Is there a cause? What are the consequences?
46. What is your character's mental capacity? Are they brilliant, or slow to learn?
47. Does your character sport charisma to influence others? How do they use this? If not, how does it affect them?
48. What is your character's first memory? Why? What was its impact? Was it good or bad? Describe it in detail.
49. Are first impressions important to your character? How does your character judge by them? Does your character go out of their way to make a good first impression on others?
50. How does your character view authorities? How do they react to taking orders?
51. What are your character's goals? Long term? Short term?
52. What does your character do when they need to relax? Does it work? Does it affect those around them?
53. What events in your character's past have left major effects? Why and how? Are they good impacts, or bad?
54. What major changes has your character gone through recently? How do the people around them react to this?
55. What are your character's bad habits? Are they major, like smoking and drinking, or minor, like chewing their nails?
56. What is your character a perfectionist about?
57. Who are your character's distant family? Does this play a role in your story?
58. What recent events have strengthened or weakened your character? What do they think of their changes?
59. Who were your character's childhood friends? Do they play a role in your story? How?
60. What major things does your character ignore? Purposefully? Or are they simply ignorant?
61. What are your character's major fears? How does this challenge them?
62. What does your character want that is unusual?
63. What does your character like that is unusual?
64. What is your character's favorite color? Does this reflect their personality? How?
65. Is your character ahead of their time? Behind? At the correct pace?
66. Does your character have much free time? What do they do with it?
67. Does your character have goals that are unattainable?
68. How does your character dream while they are asleep? Vividly? Rarely? Do they frequently have nightmares? Describe some of their dreams.
69. Does your character have health problems? Do they need medication or medical care? How does this challenge them?
70. What are your character's inner fears? Do they tell people about them? Why or why not?
71. What is your character's taste in food? Is this specific to the setting of your story? How does it affect your story?
72. Is your character more selfish, or more generous?
73. What is your character's stress level? Why? What do they do to resolve it?
74. What effects do social pressures, like money and the media, have on your character?
75. Is your character interested in a more lavish lifestyle, or simple?
76. What weather does your character prefer? Why? How do they react when that weather is not present?
77. What is your character's favorite time of day? Why?
78. Of what importance are holidays to your character? Which holidays?
79. What odd traits belonging to your character tend to drive people away? Why?
80. What "walls" are built by your character to accommodate the common phrase, "sometimes you build walls not to keep people away, but to see who cares enough to tear them down," and what effect does this have?
81. Does your character place significant value in common sense? Does your character have a lot of common sense?
82. What is your character's taste in music? Why? Do they make music?
83. Is your character satisfied with their life? Why or why not?
84. What motivates your character to make changes and move forward in life?
85. What are your character's least favorite activities?
86. List several activities that your character will refuse to do and explain.
87. What does your character do to relieve boredom?
88. Is your character more lazy, or more studious?
89. Is your character more athletic and active, or more lazy?
90. Is your character social, or a loner?
91. Does your character attempt to hide their emotion? If yes, how well do they execute their goal? If not, why? What do other people think of your character because of this?
92. What does your character find beautiful? What does your character find ugly?
93. What are your character's redeeming traits?
94. Is your character easily distracted? If so, why, and what challenges does this present? If not, how does this help them?
95. How does your character interact with nature? Why?
96. What are the major lasting effects that your character will tend to have on other people, if any?
97. How self-centered is your character? Why? What do other people think of this?
98. Does your character judge people, and on what premises? Race? Gender? Age?
99. Briefly summarize the major events in the time line of your character's life.
100. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what is your character's role in the story?