The Character Interview as a Writing Tool
When writing a novel it is important to know your characters, and it makes life easier to get to know them early in your writing. There may be things in your character's past that you will not write in your book, but will still influence how the story plays out. One way to glean this information is to interview your characters and ask them some questions about their childhood, events or people who made an impact on their lives and their present circumstances.
Ask all your characters these questions and let them answer in first person. Free write what comes to mind without self-editing. You can add questions of your own. This will help your story line develop and give voice to your characters. Keep these interviews in a file so you can refer to them later as your story evolves.
Character Interview Questions
- What do you do for a living?
- Are any other people living with you? Who are they?
- Tell me about your parents. How well do/did you get along with them?
- What was your birth order? How many siblings did you have? Older? Younger?
- Who else was in your family while you were growing up? How did you get along with them?
- What were three things you liked to do when you were a child?
- What were you afraid of when you were a child?
- How did you respond to the physiological and psychological changes in your life as a teenager?
- What makes you happy now?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What would you change about yourself if you could?
- What is it that you have never told anyone?
- What do you want? (This is the key to your story!)
Can you think of other questions you want to ask your characters? Share them with us in the comments box.