On my Arvon Foundation course in early October, we had a workshop on characterisation led by Mavis Cheek and Paul Sussman. They showed us how well we must get to know our main character(s) if we want to ensure they are fully-developed. Ask them questions!
Here are a few they suggested…
1. What is your character’s name?
2. Are they comfortable with it?
3. When were they born?
4. Where were they born?
5. What do they do for a living?
6. Is your character married?
7. If so, to whom, and since when?
8. Where does your character live now?
9. Where have they lived?
10. Where would they most like to live, and why?
11. How many brothers and sisters do/did they have?
12. How do/did they get on with them?
13. Who were/are your character’s parents / guardians?
14. What jobs did/do they do?
15. How does/did your character get on with them?
16. Does your character have children?
17. If so, how old are they, and how do they get on with them?
18. Which family member is your character closest to now?
19. Describe a representative memory from your character’s childhood