Still having trouble with the process of writing your characters? Are you stuck with caricatures or soulless avatars instead of forming whole, authentic characters?
Why not try giving your characters an interview?
Yes. Like a job interview.
This is one of the more common tools used by screenwriters to help them write their characters. Through this method, you can immerse yourself deeper into your characters and answer the interview questions through their voice. This helps you have an idea of who your character is, from their appearance to their preferences, and even down to their tiniest nuances sometimes.
Ready to interview your characters? Here are 55 questions that you can ask them:
- What is their overall physical build?
- What clothes do they usually wear?
- What is their hairstyle?
- Tattoos or piercings?
- Do they have anything that they always carry around wherever they go?
- Do they have physical scars? Where? And how did they get them?
- Do they have any physical handicap? Is it genetic or from an accident?
- What is their skin color?
- What is their sexual preference?
FAMILY AND BACKGROUND
- Who are their parents and what do they do?
- Who are their siblings?
- Where do they live?
- What was their childhood at home like? Was it lenient, strict or abusive at home?
- What was their childhood out of home like? How did they get along with the other kids at school or in the neighborhood?
- What’s their job?
- What’s their current financial status? Rich, poor or getting by?
- What’s the one thing they did that they are most proud of?
- What’s the one thing they did that they are most embarrassed of?
- What languages do they speak? And how do they speak; formal? Casual? Street talk? Do they have an accent?
- Do they have vices of any kind?
- What’s one thing about them that they wouldn’t want anyone to know?
- How is your character’s relationship with his/her parents? His/her siblings?
- Any members of the extended family that your character is particularly close with
- Who is their best friend?
- Who is their sworn enemy?
- Who is one person that your character wants to emulate the most?
- Who is your character’s mentor?
- Is your character an animal lover? Does he/she have a pet?
- Who is your character’s love interest, or man/woman of their dreams?
- How does your character show affection? Through words or actions?
- Favorite music?
- Favorite movie or show?
- Favorite books?
- Favorite food?
- Favorite alcoholic drink? (if your character drinks alcohol)
- Favorite cigarette? (if your character smokes)
- Favorite drug? (if your character is a junkie)
- Favorite celebrity, or ultimate crush?
- Favorite foreign place to visit?
- Favorite sports?
- What’s their dream job?
- What are their religious beliefs?
- What are their political beliefs?
- What are some hobbies they do on their day off?
- What’s something that they are currently trying to learn?
- What is something that if they see on the market, they will immediately buy, no questions asked?
- What is their ideal life in the future?
EMOTIONS AND PERSONALITY
- Are they soft-spoken or expressive?
- Are they optimistic or pessimistic?
- What is their zodiac sign?
- What’s their deepest regret?
- What’s the most painful event they have ever experienced?
- What is their deepest fear?
- What event will drive them to do something completely out of their comfort zone?
- What’s one thing that they want more than anything in the world?