Character Questions: Part 1

Good characters are like onions; you have to peel back the layers to get to their core.

You can quote me if you want.
Image result for onion

Building characters is my favorite part of writing; in my opinion, if you don't have good characters, you don't have a story.

Here are 8 basic questions I ask myself about my characters (next week I'll post 8 more in-depth questions):

  1. What is your character's name? 
  2. Favorite flavor (sweet, salty, sour, astringent, spicy . . .?)
  3. Favorite food?
  4. Least favorite food?
  5. Favorite color?
  6. Favorite article of clothing?
  7. Favorite type of music? (The music you listen to says a lot about you! You can have fun with this question. Think about the stereotypes and then turn them on their heads! Why not have a teenage girl who adores 50s folk music? Or an old guy who really likes rap? Or an old lady who loves Taylor Swift? Or a new mom who will listen to nothing but jazz?)
  8. Does weather both him/her? What is his/her favorite kind of weather? Least favorite? (Okay, that was kind of a three-in-one.)
I'm even going to give you an example!

This character is one I've mentioned before: the Princess in Shining Armor.

  1. Her nickname is Skipper (I can't give away her actual name because you're not supposed to know that until the end of the book).
  2. Her favorite flavor is astringent.
  3. Her favorite food is chocolate.
  4. Her least favorite food is calamari (although she hates any kind of seafood, both for its taste and its texture).
  5. Her favorite color is green.
  6. Her favorite article of clothing is an old, discarded pair of brown lace-up boots that used to be her father's.
  7. She doesn't really listen to music, but if she did, it would be something stirringly classical, like John Philip Sousa marches.
  8. Weather doesn't really bother her. She prefers sunshine because you can get more things done in it, but she loves thunderstorms too.
I hope these questions are useful!

I also have an announcement to make: I read 14 books in July.

Usually I only read four or five books per month, so this was . . . wow! I think blogging is actually pushing me to read more because I can show off everything I've read. It's fun.

So, let's talk! Which character questions do you like best? Are there any I missed? And how many books did you read in July?


  1. 14 books is a lot! Great job!

    I don't know where I found it, but I downloaded this HUGE character sheet with all sorts of questions you can answer about your character. I wrote down all of the items onto paper so I can work on it with my characters for my NaNoWriMo novel, and there's a total of 255 items on it! Things like greatest achievement, favorite book, shoe size, any degrees they have, blood type, etc. Not all of the questions are relevant for all characters, but it's a lot. I need to find a sheet like that for worldbuilding.

    1. Wow, that sounds amazing! There are tons of helpful tips and articles on Pinterest. You should check out She has some great tips for worldbuilding.

  2. Congrats on reading 14 books!

    I think my favorite character questions are 1. What do they want? 2. What are they willing to do to get it? 3. What are they afraid of?

    1. Those are awesome questions! I'll be doing a part 2 next week for those deeper kinds of questions.


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