Yay for Character Questions for Students (Young and seasoned)— Oh yeah. In these character questions, writers will get to know their characters a little better. They’ll answer easy questions about the character’s life and interests as well as tougher questions about the character’s beliefs, preferences, and friends. Plus, there are loads of character development bonuses for you, too. Enjoy!
For those who are just beginning to write stories, creating compelling characters can sometimes be the hardest part of the job.
Plus, new writers are often tempted to give generic character descriptions or to model their characters entirely from people they know in real life.
While it’s important for writers to reflect reality, each character should also have his or her own identity. I mean, the best authors know their characters extremely well—and the best characters have strong identities, traits, and personalities that are cohesive and fully formed.
There are loads of bonus character writing resources here, including:
A Few Words on Using a Character Questionnaire
While writers might not ultimately use some of these details in their stories, this valuable exercise is still a great way for aspiring writers to get to know their characters.
These character development writing prompts — also called character interviews — are all excellent for writers of all ages from young writers to seasoned ones. Read on and check them out. I’m sure you’ll love them!
Whether or not a writer needs to know what their character’s favorite movie is, this deep level of knowledge will inform the rest of the their writing. After writers get to know their characters with these character questions, take a look at this excellent list of prompts that focus on putting those characters into new and unexpected situations.
31 Character Questions for Writers
These writing prompts are designed for students and writers of all ages who are interested in writing their own stories. In this month-long exercise, writers will focus extensively on developing their characters before they even begin to write any stories.
- What does your character do all day? Does he or she have a job or go to school? What type of job does your character have—or what school subject does he or she enjoy most?
- What is your character’s favorite holiday? Why?
- What is your character’s favorite type of music? Why?
- How does your character sound when he or she laughs?
- Who is your character’s best friend? How did they meet? What do they do together?
- What is a typical outfit for your character? Are clothes important to him or her? Why or why not?
- Is your character an only child or does he or she have siblings? How does your character feel about this?
- Does your character have a pet? Why or why not? If so, what type of pet?
- What would your character do if he or she had an extra $100 per week?
- What is your character’s favorite color? Does he or she own many things in this color?
- What is your character’s greatest fear? How does this impact his or her life?
- Does your character play any sports? Why or why not? Is he or she talented or clumsy? What types of sports does he or she enjoy?
- What are some common phrases that your character says often? What do they mean?
- What is your character’s favorite food? Why? Does he or she enjoy it often?
- What are your character’s parents like?
- Does your character want to have kids someday or does he or she have kids already? Why or why not? If your character has kids, what are they like?
- Does your character prefer to spend time indoors or outdoors? Why or why not?
- Write about three different things that your character is thankful for.
- Write about three different things that can always make your character laugh.
- What does your character’s bedroom look like?
- What is your character’s greatest dream?
- What is your character’s favorite game? Is it a board game or a video game or a sport? Is he or she good at it? How long has your character played the game?
- Where did your character grow up? What is the city like?
- Where does your character want to live someday? Does he or she want to stay in the same city or move far away?
- Write about three things that your character believes.
- What is your character’s favorite movie?
- What does your character like to do for fun? Does he or she have much free time?
- If your character’s best friend described him or her, what would the friend say? Write about at least three separate qualities and explain the reasoning behind each.
- When your character is sad, what does he or she do? Why?
- Is your character an early bird or night owl? Does this affect his or her life at all?
- What is your character’s favorite store? Does he or she like to shop? Why or why not?
I hope you enjoyed this list of character development writing prompts.
A Couple More Useful Writing Resources
- 20 Free, Fun, and Fabulous Character Writing Prompts for Every Genre
- 22 Fanfiction Prompts (explore a type of writing that uses the world and characters of an original work in order to create something new)
More Character Details to Include
While you may not be writing your next novel, you do want to remember to include details such as:
- Character flaws
- Your characters’ strengths
- Backstory details
- Quirks, weaknesses, or behavior traits that make your character memorable
- Childhood details
Ok…now, let’s explore some character development writing prompts.
Character Development: Writing Prompts for Students
Good characters are the backbone of any good story plot—but creating an interesting, complex character out of thin air is easier said than done. That’s why it’s so important for fiction writers to really spend time getting to know their characters: what they like, their pet peeves, and the secret thoughts they would never share with anyone else.
These “create your own character” writing prompts for high schoolers give students a starting point to practice effective character development, be it their protagonist or antagonist, their main character or a secondary character.
Each prompt offers a single, general quality or situation that students can base a character sketch on. (Think motivation!)
The key here is for students to take the character they immediately picture when they see the prompt—for instance “a daredevil” or “the youngest of seven siblings”—and then unpack who that person is and what makes him or her tick.
Encourage your students to ask themselves questions about the characters like “What is the character’s greatest fear?”, “Who is the character’s best friend?”, or “What annoys this character more than anything else?”.
At the end of the exercise, these character development writing prompts will help your students better understand the process of creating their own compelling characters—and give them some unique personalities to continue writing about if they so choose!
32 Character Development Writing Prompts and Topics
Use these character development prompts as the basis from creating some great characters. From funny quirks to unique personality traits, you’ll no doubt experience some good character development practice by using these prompts in your writing practice!
- Create a character sketch of someone who is getting to know his or her self for the first time.
- Create a character sketch of someone who is preparing to move to a new city.
- Create a character sketch of someone who doesn’t like animals.
- Create a character sketch of someone who is a very talented musician.
- Create a character sketch of someone who is very concerned about the environment.
- Has just ended a six-year relationship
- Who is a new parent
- Who is always the life of the party
- Who is anxious when they meet new people
- Learning a skill he or she should have learned a long time ago
- Who is a daredevil
- Doesn’t get along with his or her parents
- Really loves Christmas
- Is a successful politician
- Has just received an athletic scholarship
- Create a character sketch of someone who is afraid of heights.
- Create a character sketch of someone who is the youngest of seven siblings.
- Create a character sketch of someone who has trouble expressing his or her thoughts.
- Who is struggling to make a big decision
- Who suffers from a severe food allergy
- Is best friends with his or her next-door neighbor
- Goes for a run every single morning
- Wants to be an astronaut
- Who has recently come into a great sum of money
- Is fighting with a close friend.
- Only sleeps three to four hours each night
- Who believes they can see into the future
- Is obsessed with a particular TV show
- Who is a professional surfer
- Create a character sketch of someone who has just gotten his or her first pet at the age of 32.
- Is trying to get a big promotion
- Who loves mountain-climbing and hiking
I hope you enjoyed this list of character development prompts.
Now, let’s explore some…
Bonus List of 29 MORE Character Questions
If for some reason the character questions and character pro prompts above were not enough to inspire you, then check out this list of character development questions.
- Full name
- Physical appearance
- Facial features
- Physical traits
- Hair color
- Eye color
- Favorite song
- Any tattoos, piercings, jewelry, birthmarks, scars…
- Pet peeves
- Distinctive characteristics
- Profession or professional aspirations
- Introvert or extrovert
- Biggest secret or any dark secrets
- Overachiever or underachiever or somewhere in between
- Best memory
- Proudest moment
- Greatest regret
- Most embarrassing thing
- Favorite place
- Romantic partner or romance desires
- Interesting life circumstances to point out
- Character backstories essential to your story
- Important friendship(s)
There are loads of important questions to answer about your character here. These essential and basic questions are key to developing a deep, believable character. Have fun with this and let your answer help bring your characters to life.
A Few Closing Thoughts
With the right practice, you will quickly find themselves developing complex characters that excellent narrative and interesting character arcs that move the story along (think fictional characters such as Harry Potter, Hermione, Voldemort, and so forth…).
Use these character writing prompts and character writing exercises to show your writers how to avoid flat characters and create dynamic characters instead. Plus, you’ll show them just how fun it can be to create their own characters for any genre of their choice.
Until next time, write on…
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