My 90CDQ

We all know we talk to our characters, but sometimes talking doesn’t quite cut it. Half the time I don’t know what we should talk about and the weather seems to offer itself right up. If you have the same problem, or simply find yourself repeating the age old “demanding author Vs. obstinate character” conversation, then perhaps this list of questions can be of assistance to you.

This is an edited version of Rich Taylor’s 100 Character Development Questions list (posted by Laura Cushing). Some of the questions included, I felt, were not applicable and almost inappropriate for Christian writers. So I’ve taken out the “unapplicable” questions and added a few of my own.

Do realize that, with a list like this, it is imperative that you allow your character to answer these questions. I understand that situations arise where a character may be unwilling to reveal information, when that happens (for it will happen) you may do one of two things. (1) Ignore the question and allow your character to breathe again or (2) you, the author, may answer the question for your character. I implore you and you character to remain 100% honest with your answers. Lies will truly get you nowhere.

That being said, on with the questions!


Personal Questions

1. What is your real, birth name? What name do you use?
2. Do you have a nickname? What is it, and where did you get it?
3. How old are you?
4. What’s your real birth date?
5. What do you look like? (Include height, weight, hair, eyes, skin, apparent age, and distinguishing features)
6. How do you dress most of the time?
7. How do you “dress up?”
8. Do you wear any jewelry?
9. In your opinion, what is your best feature?
10. What city do you live in? In what country?
11. Where do you live? Describe it: Is it messy, neat, avant-garde, sparse, etc.?
12. Do you travel much? Where? How often? In what weather? With who?
13. What is your most prized possession? Why do you value it so much?
14. What one word best describes you?
15. What is your style of fighting?

Familial Questions

1. What was your family like?
2. Who was your father, and what was he like?
3. Who was your mother, and what was she like?
4. What was your parents marriage like? Were they married? Did they remain married?
5. What were your siblings names? What were they like?
6. What’s the worst thing one of your siblings ever did to you?
7. What’s the worst thing you’ve done to one of your siblings?
8. When’s the last time you saw any member of your family? Where are they now?
9. Did you ever meet any other family members? Who were they? What did you think of them?
10. Are any of your family members dead? Who? How? When? How did it affect you?

Childhood Questions

1. What is your first memory?
2. Any non-family member adults stick out in your mind? Who were they, and how did you know them? Why do they stick out?
3. Who was your best friend when you were growing up?
4. What is your fondest, childhood memory?
5. What is your worst childhood memory?

Occupational Questions

1. Do you have a job? What is it? If no job, where does your money come from?
2. Do you enjoy your job? Why/why not?
3. What is your boss or employer like?
4. What are your co-workers like? Do you get along with them? Any in particular? Which ones don’t you get along with?
5. What is something you had to learn that you hated?

Likes & Dislikes Questions

1. What hobbies do you have?
2. Who is your closest friend? Describe them and how you relate to them.
3. Who is your worst enemy? Describe them and why you don’t get along.
4. What type of places do you hang out in with your friends?
5. What annoys you more than anything else?
6. What would be the perfect gift for you?
7. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
8. What time of day is your favorite?
9. What kind of weather is your favorite?
10. What is your favorite season?
11. What is your favorite food? What is your least favorite food?
12. What is your favorite drink? (Coffee, Water, Beer, Wine, etc.)
13. What’s your favorite animal? Why?
14. Do you have any pets? Do you want any pets? What kind?
15. What do you find most relaxing? (Not as in stress relief, but as something that actually calms you down.)
16. What is your favorite recreational activity? (riding, dancing, ect.)
17. What habit that others have annoys you most?
18. What kind of things embarrass you? Why?
19. What don’t you like about yourself?
20. How would you like to look?

Romance Questions

1. Do you currently have a lover? What is their name, and what is your relationship like? What are they like? Why are you attracted to them?
2. Do you ever want to get married and have children? When do you see this happening?
3 What was your most recent relationship like? Who was it with?
4. What’s the worst thing you’ve done to someone you loved?
5. Is there something between you and the person you love? What/who is it? How can you overcome it/them?

Morality Questions

1. What one act in your past are you most ashamed of? What one act in your past are you most proud of?
2. Have you ever been in an argument before? Over what, with who, and who won?
3. Have you ever been in a physical fight before? Over what, with who, and who won?
4. What do you feel most strongly about?
5. What do you pretend to feel strongly about, just to impress people?
6. What trait do you find most admirable, and how often do you find it?
7. What is your religious view of things? What religion, if any, do you call your own?
8. Do you think the future is hopeful? Why?
9. Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure? Which is more valuable? Why do you feel this way?
10. What’s the worst thing that can be done to another person? Why?
11. What’s the worst thing you could actually do to someone you hated?
12. Are you a better leader or follower? Why do you think that?
13. What is your responsibility to the world, if any? Why do you think that?
14. Is it okay for you to cry? When was the last time you cried?
15. What do you think is wrong with MOST people, overall?

Miscellaneous Questions

1. What is the thing that has frightened you most? Do you think there is anything out there that’s scarier than that? What do you think that would be?
2. Has anyone or anything you’ve ever cared about died? How did you feel about it? What happened?
3. What was the worst injury you’ve ever received? How did it happen?
4. How ticklish are you? Where are you ticklish?
5. What is your current long term goal?
6. What is your current short term goal?
7. Do you have any bad habits? If so, what are they, and do you plan to get rid of them?
8. If you were a normal person, what would you do with your life? What occupation would you want, and how would you spend all your time?
9. What time period do you wish you had lived in? Why? (Looking at this as an attempt to change history doesn’t count.) What appeals to you about this era?
10. How private of a person are you? Why?
11. If you were to gain an obscenely large sum of money what would you do with it?
12. What would you wish for if you found a genie?
13. What do you do when you are bored?
14. What is the most frightening potential handicap or disfigurement you can conceive? What makes it so frightening?
15. What’s your favorite weapon?

~ by R.S.Sharkey on March 4, 2011.

One Response to “My 90CDQ”

  1. Hey, thank you for taking the time to re-do these questions! I just had a lengthy interview with one of my characters and learned a lot about his history and some of his personality. ;)

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