Friday, 19 April 2013

Q is for Questions

Surprisingly I managed to think of three Qs I could write about - Query letters, Quotes and Questions.

I feel entirely unqualified to write about query letters since I've never actually written one, and while I could write about my favourite quotes from books I've read, I decided to go with questions instead.

When I create a character I'll often start off with a list of questions I ask myself about the character. Sometimes I'll write them down, most of the times I won't, but my basic list is:

What's their name?
What's their age?
What's their nickname/other name that they're called? (eg, Mrs So-and-so, Captain Whatsit)
What do they look like?
Do they have any mannerisms or habits? (Do they bite their nails, or play with their hair, or doodle while they talk?)
What do they want? (Could be as big as rule the world or as simple as to be left alone)
What's in the way of getting what they want?
Who are their friends?
Where do they live?
Do they have any special possessions?

There are other questions that might be added to the list depending on what genre I'm writing. In a sci-fi or fantasy that might be 'what species are they?' or 'what magic do they have?', or in a supernatural is might be 'how did they die?' or 'what is their special vampire-killing talent?'

Does anyone else have lists of questions they use to flesh out characters?


  1. I don't necessarily write down questions, but I do kind of go through the process in my head of giving my character, er, character! I make a mental note of their idiosyncrasies so I know how to make my people interesting.

  2. Sometimes I actually get out a role-playing character sheet and build a character that way :D Sometimes I turn to random generators and either try to answer a bunch of random questions (after I have the basics, of course), or get random words as writing prompts for a character sketch.
    Cheers! :) happy A to Z!