How well do you know your character?
We spend a lot of time creating characters. We think about names, where they live, who they love, whether or not they have a phobia or a personality disorder. We decide to place our characters in conflict with an antagonist in order to write a novel. We plan an inciting moment, and plot our scenes, but how much do we really know about the psychological motivations of our important characters?
Here are 15 questions you should be able to answer about these characters in your novel.
- What would mentally destroy your character?
- How does your character feel about his mother and father?
- When did your character feel completely loved and accepted?
- What would have to happen to make your character speak out, or, defend a stranger, in public?
- What does he lie about?
- Does your character need friends?
- What physical thing does your character fear most?
- If your character could choose to spend his last day alive with one person (dead or alive), who would he choose?
- What is his defining strength?
- Is he able to work for someone else?
- Does your character have a positive or negative body image?
- Who, or what, would your character die for?
- Does your character have a plan for tomorrow? Next week? Next year?
- Is your character resilient enough to change?
- What would your character think if he could see you now?
A character’s personality is made up of patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make him unique. These psychological personality traits remain fairly consistent throughout life.
If you want to make your characters memorable, it’s a good idea to get to know them better.
If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.
© Amanda Patterson
If you enjoyed this article, read
- The 12 Most Basic Character Building Blocks
- Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language
- Seven Essential Things to Remember about Very Important Characters