If you’re anything like me, your characters mean a lot to you and except for not actually living and breathing in the real world, they are as real as fictional beings can get…to you and your readers.
Even if you are just beginning to mold and shape your characters, asking them questions may help you find out things about them you hadn’t even imagined yet.
I was searching around tonight for interesting ways to attract readers to my books and I found a few interesting articles on creating or borrowing questionnaires you can use to interview the characters in your books.
You don’t want to give too much away in these questionnaires, so you’ll have to pick and choose questions that your sometimes wayward characters won’t answer with spoilers or be forced to answer, “no comment.”
Here is an interesting list I found. It was out there for public consumption so have at it and by all means, have fun with it!
This questionnaire was invented by the noted French author Marcel Proust. These questions are frequently used in interviews so you may pretend you’re interviewing your characters.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
- What is your current state of mind?
- What is your favorite occupation?
- What is your most treasured possession?
- What or who is the greatest love of your life?
- What is your favorite journey?
- What is your most marked characteristic?
- When and where were you the happiest?
- What is it that you most dislike?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What is your greatest extravagance?
- Which living person do you most despise?
- What is your greatest regret?
- Which talent would you most like to have?
- Where would you like to live?
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- What is the quality you most like in a man?
- What is the quality you most like in a woman?
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
- What is the trait you most deplore in others?
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
- Whose are your heroes in real life?
- Which living person do you most admire?
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- On what occasions do you lie?
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- What are your favorite names?
- How would you like to die?
- If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
- What is your motto?
9 thoughts on “Interviewing Your Characters is a Fun Way to Create Interest in Your Books”
Your post caught my eyes, as this is one of the first steps I take in creating a character. I am an actor. Acting and writing rely so much on one another, this method should and can be applied to both developments. Great post, love the questions, they dig deep.
Thank you Erik. I agree! I decided last night when I wrote this that I was going to begin interviewing all of the characters from my first two novels and even my third as yet unpublished novel. I think I’ll do it as a weekly feature. If all goes well, I may find out so much that I’ll need to write another novel based on each character. 😉 The possibilities are endless.
It’s so true. The possibilities are endless in what will come out in the answers. I’m working on a novel loosely based off my own life experiences in the past year or so. It will be interesting to hear the character version of myself will have to say 🙂
That’s wonderful Erik! I wish you intriguing answers and much success!
Sorry: got interrupted. The humor in this, for me, is that WE are our characters in dreams, so probably in books, also. If all our characters are aspects of US, then we’re interviewing OURSELVES. What happens when one of US doesn’t want to tell the truth, reveal the secrets, be open? LOL
I suppose then it wouldn’t be a very interesting interview. Unless of course your character or that part of yourself is a pathological liar, a secret agent or some undercover lover lol 😉
Well, conducting character interviews (like writing) could be quite illuminating if you believe in animus/anima, the “shadow,” and other unconscious personae’s arising to SPEAK!
Wow Sally. Maybe we are all just filled with other persona’s and artists/writers are just more astute at pulling them to the surface. Sometimes I do feel a bit split down the middle and even diced up when I write.