The internet is full of helpful lists of questions to ask a blind date so you can get to know them. But have you ever thought about using these questions to get to know your characters?
After all, you’re about to embark on an intimate journey with this person, much like a dating relationship. You need to know more than just height, build, hair colour and eye colour. Just because they’re not actually real doesn’t mean these aren’t important things to know. And even if you never use these details in your writing, they will inform how you think about your character, resulting in a more multi-faceted picture.
Here are a few questions you could ask on a blind date with your character.
1. What’s your biggest goal in life? (Most important question you will ever ask your character!!)
2. What was your childhood like?
3. Who is your best friend and what is he/she like?
4. Have you been hurt before, and how have you responded?
5. What do you look for in a partner?
6. Do you have a nickname, and how did you get it?
7. What are your hobbies?
8. Would you break the law to help someone you care about?
9. Do you have someone you confide in, or do you keep it all to yourself?
10. If you could have any job, what would it be?
11. What is your relationship like with your family?
12. If today was your last day, how would you spend it?
13. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
14. Who do you admire the most and why?
15. How would your friends describe you in three words?
16. What do you think about love?
17. What impact do you want to leave on the world?
18. What would you consider deal breakers?
19. Are you easily convinced, or a skeptic?
20. What would you die for?
This is in no way an exhaustive list. I hope this will serve as a starting point when it comes to getting to know—really know—your character. Feel free to add your own questions in the comments below. :)
Erin is the author of Otherworld and Across the Deep, winner of the 2014 Free Publishing Contest for Fiction. She has also authored several short stories and novellas. She graduated from Redeemer University College and lives in Barrie, Ontario with her husband Kevin and four children.
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