Developing characters or what is known as characterisation is one of the basic structures of a story, besides the plot and setting. There are a number of questions that a writer has to ask him/herself before he starts developing the characters in a plot. Here are a number of questions that any brilliant writer should raise about each characters.
- What do you look like in terms of personality, dressing, language, cultural cues and preferences, education and exposure?
- What do you like to wear in relation to the weather, occupation, culture and personal taste and style?
- How do you like to interact and socialize?
- What was your place in the family growing up?
- What are your fondest childhood memories and what are you most proud of as a kid? What did you find terribly embarrassing as a kid?
- What was your first closest friends like? What kind of neighbourhood did you grow up in and what did it instil in you?
- What ‘crowd’ were you in during your high school/college years?
- What did you want to be when you grow up, and did you end up following that path? If you changed your dream career, why?
- What are hobbies/ music/pastime did you prefer growing up?
- What annoys/frightens/worries/amazes you or makes you laugh?
- What seasons of life have you enjoy most? What are your most embarrassing memories?
- What is your views on alcohol/ smoking/partying? Do you drink?
- What do you feel most passionately about? What is it that makes you come alive?
- What traits do you find most admirable and attractive in others? Why do you consider that admirable? Do you have the same traits?
- Do you want to save the world, & help others explore new frontiers or just a job that makes money?
- When are you a leader and when are you a follower? What kind of leadership are you most comfortable with?
- What breaks your heart about the town/region/world that you live in?
- Do you consider goals important? Do you have any long term goals?
- Do you have immediate concerns and what are your short term goals?
- What are your top 4 bad habits?
- If you could have lived in another decade/time/season which would it have been?
- What do you do when they’re bored/tired/demotivated?
- What do you think happens after we die and how does that shape how you live now?
- If you were to come into lots of money what would you do with it?
- Who is/was the love of your life?
Well-developed characters ought to be engaging, relatable, creative and intriguing to your readers. Don't forget to grab your free worksheet in the library, sign up for the newsletter for the new password!
What do you use to develop your characters? Let me know in the comments below!