Character Development Questions

A series of questions to help all you writers and roleplayers develop better characters. This list is short compared to some lists, but in general it's supposed to be the type of questions you don't see every day, but that you really should answer.

  • What all gives your character a sense of fulfillment or purpose in life? How effective is it?
  • If your character had superpowers, how would xe use them for others? For xirself?
  • How does your character behave when insulted? When threatened?
  • What job does your character want right now?
  • When does your character think that violence is justified or deserved?
  • Which common rules of etiquette or morality does your character disagree with?
  • What behavior/behaviors does your character have that xe most like to change or lose?
  • Which personality traits does your character have that xe like to change or lose?
  • Which personal rule/rules does your character have difficulty following?
  • Which personality trait/traits in other people annoy your character the most?
  • Which personality trait or fault would your character refuse to accept in a romantic partner?
  • If your character could spend a weekend anywhere, where would it be?
  • Which facts about xirself does your character feel are the most important?
  • Which facts about xirself does your character prefer to keep hidden?
  • What lie is your character most likely to tell?
  • What do other characters most frequently complain about concerning your character's personality and/or behavior? Does your character agree or disagree?
  • What are your character's religious/eschatological views? How seriously does xe take them? Do they differ from those of most people in your character's culture, and if so, how?
  • What are your character's views and positions on issues considered controversial within xir culture/region?
  • What events in your character's life lead xir to having the ethics and views xe has today?
  • Which beliefs or views is your character irrationally attached to and will defend against all observations and logic?
  • What would it take you make your character question or re-evaluate xir core values and beliefs?
  • What does your character's ideal world look like? Would xe really be happy living in it?
  • What actions has your character taken that xe regrets or questions? Does xe have any justification for them, and if so, what?
  • What does your character dislike about xirself that has nothing to do with xir physical appearance or being shy, awkward, or clumsy?
  • What sort of people believe or would believe that your character is a hero? What sort of people believe or would believe your character is a villain?
  • How far would your character go to realize xir dreams and ambitions? At what point(s) would your character draw a line?
  • Assuming your character does not work alone all of the time, how does xe try to get others to work or cooperate with xir?
  • Where are your character's grandparents? Where are xir second cousins, third, and fourth cousins on both xir mother and father's side of the family? How does your character feel about them? How do they feel about your character?
  • What was your character interested in, even obsessed with as a teenager? How did your character view the world at large throughout xir teen years? What did your character want out of life? How did all of this evolve and change as your character reached adulthood?
  • How does your character look back on interests and viewpoints held at these points? What has your character retained from this time? What has your character discarded? What has your character come to see in a different way?
  • What are a few costumes your character would consider wearing for Halloween? Why?

Also, take a look at:

Simple Ways To Fill Out & Humanize Your Character
Phlebotinum-Development Questions
Character Creation & Development Theory (Or, How To Make Characters 101!)
Writing Character Profiles & Bios - Tips & Advice

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