Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Character Bio Questions

To help in simplifying the character development process, Sonny Calderon has put together a series of questions that you can use to get the creative juices flowing and really dig deep into who your characters are. Download the file on the bottom of the post for offline reference.

By Sonny Calderon
  1. What does she think of her father? What does she hate / like about him? What kind of influence did he have on her?
  2. Her mother?
  3. Her brothers, sisters?
  4. What type of discipline did she receive at home? Strict? Lenient?
  5. Was she overprotected? Did she feel rejection or affection growing up?
  6. What was the economic status of the family? Any adverse situations? Divorce, illness, alcoholism, etc?
  7. What was the religious atmosphere of the family? How does she herself feel about religion?
  8. Is she smart, intelligent, slow-witted?
  9. From what grade did she graduate? How does she see herself - as smart, intelligent, uneducated? How does this education and intelligence manifest itself in her speech, vocabulary, pronunciation?
  10. Did she like school, teachers, schoolmates? What was she interested and involved in most? What are her political interests?
  11. What does she do for a living? How does she see her profession? What does she like about it or hate about it?
  12. Did she ever travel? Where? Why? What does she remember of her time abroad?
  13. What were her deepest disillusionments in life?
  14. What are her manners like? What is her type of hero? Whom does she hate?
  15. Who are her friends? Her life mates? Her cohabitators? What is her type of ideal partner?
  16. What does she want from her partner? What does she think and feel about sex?
  17. What are her hobbies and interests?
  18. How is her imagination? Daydreaming a lot? Worried most of the time? Living in memories?
  19. What does her room look like? Her taste? Her furniture, hair, clothes, the quality of her house?
  20. What role does she play at home? What role would she like to play?
  21. Does she take drugs, drink? Does she feel self-righteous? Revengeful? Does she always rationalize her errors? How does she accept disasters and failures? Does she like to suffer? Does she like to see others suffer?
  22. When facing new things is she basically negative, positive, suspicious, hostile, enthusiastic? What does she find stupid? How is her sense of humor? Is she aware of herself, her weak spots, idiosyncrasies? Is she capable of self-irony?
  23. How badly does she want to get what she claims are her life objectives? How does she pursue them?
  24. How is her health? What does she do for it?
  25. What is her self-image like? How does she feel about her weight, size, figure? What kind of walk does she have? Does she want to be visible or invisible? Does she want to be younger, older, more important, etc.?
  26. How are her gestures? Vigorous, weak, controlled, compulsive? Is she energetic or sluggish?
  27. Is her voice shrill, weak, strong? What kind of pitch and rhythm?
  28. Do you like her? Hate her? Why do you need to write about her? Why should people be excited about her?
  29. What does she think of children in general? Children of her own?
  30. What are her weaknesses? Real or imagined, known or ignored?
  31. What does she fear most?
  32. What is her life dream?
  33. Does she drive? What kind of car? What does she listen to when driving?
  34. What kind of music does she listen to?
  35. What kind of food does she like?
  36. What does she read?
  37. Does she watch TV? Which shows?
  38. What movies does she like?
  39. What does she do for fun?
  40. What does she say to herself when she's absolutely alone?
  41. What does she dream about (literally, when she's asleep)?
  42. Would she rather get her way by lying or by telling the truth?
  43. Does she feel a sense of joy about her daily life or drudgery?

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