The All-Inclusive Character Questionnaire You’ve Been Waiting For

I’m in the third revision of my novel right now. I’ve done all the major revisions of the text and finished all those nasty structural edits. All that’s left for me to do is go back to the beginning, look everything over again, and smooth it all out. Does this work for my character? Does this make sense in the continuity I’ve created? Do I even know how to word anymore?

No one knows.

Ever since I got serious about writing, I’ve collected these character templates. Right now, I’ve got about three of them for each of my characters. And it gets kind of tiring having to fill things out twice or three times just to get all the bases covered. So I decided to make my own comprehensive, all-inclusive character template. This includes not only my previous three character templates, but some of the other questions and things I’ve discussed in previous blog posts. And I thought I’d share it for all you guys—you know, just in case you were in the mood to fill out a 100+-question character questionnaire.

ALEX’S BONA FIDE, ALL-FRILLS INCLUDED CHARACTER TEMPLATE

 

BASICS

  • Full/Legal Name:
  • Preferred Name:
  • Nicknames:
  • Age:
  • Birthdate:
  • Location:
  • Nationality:
  • Gender:
  • Sexuality:
  • Income Class (e.g. middle class, upper class, etc.):
  • Occupation (if applicable):

APPEARANCE

  • Face Claim/Celebrity Lookalike:
  • Height:
  • Body Type/Build:
  • Face Shape:
  • Eye Color:
  • Eye Attributes (e.g. large, protuberant, etc.):
    • Glasses (yes/no):
  • Hair Color:
  • Hair Length:
  • Hair Texture (curly, straight, etc.):
  • Typical Hairstyle:
  • Skin Tone/Skin Attributes (e.g. tanned, freckled, etc.):
  • Predominant/Unique Physical Attribute(s):
  • Distinguishing Marks (e.g. scars, birthmarks, etc.):
  • Tattoos/Piercings (if applicable):
  • Scars:
  • Physical Disabilities (if applicable):
  • Clothing Style:
  • Typical Jewelry:

QUIRKS

  • Favourite Music:
  • Favourite Books:
  • Favourite Movies/TV Shows:
  • Hobbies:
  • Talents/Skills:
  • Inabilities (e.g. dancing, cooking, etc.):
  • Common Expressions:
  • Favourite Curses/Insults:
  • Defining Gestures/Movements:
  • Speaking Style:
  • Physical Quirks:
  • Quirks/Eccentricities:
  • Bad Habits:
  • Dreams/Ambitions:
  • Fears/Phobias:
  • Insecurities:
  • Things Character Is Proud Of:
  • Catchphrase/Motto:
  • Pet Peeves:
  • Beliefs:
  • Political Views:
  • Religion:
  • Superstitions:

PERSONALITY TRAITS

  • Character Archetype:
  • Optimist or Pessimist:
  • Introvert or Extrovert:
  • Temperament (easygoing, easily angered, etc.):
  • Positives Traits:
  • Virtues:
  • Greatest Source of Strength:
  • Negative Traits:
  • Character Flaws:
  • Greatest Source of Weakness:
  • Soft Spots:
  • Biggest Vulnerability:
  • Vices:
  • Guilts:
  • Darkest Secret:
  • Motivations:
  • Stakes:
  • Conflicting Wants and Needs:
  • End Game:
  • Fatal Flaw:
  • Breaking Point:

RELATIONSHIPS

  • Parents:
    • Relationship with Parents:
  • Siblings (if applicable):
    • Relationship with Siblings:
  • Children (if applicable):
    • Relationship with Children:
  • Extended Family:
    • Relationship with Extended Family:
  • Closeness to Family:
  • Spouse/Partner (if applicable):
    • Relationship with Spouse/Partner:
  • Ex-Partners (if applicable):
  • Friends/Allies:
    • Relationship with Each:
  • Enemies (if applicable):
  • Other People’s Opinions of Character:
  • Character’s First Impression:
  • Character’s Attitude toward Others:
  • Most Important Person in Character’s Life:
  • Most Influential Person in Character’s Life:

BACKGROUND/HISTORY

  • Childhood/Family Life:
  • Hometown:
  • Education:
  • Accomplishments:
  • Failures (in character’s mind):
  • Regrets:
  • Secrets:
    • Deepest/Darkest Secret:
  • Best Thing That Has Happened to Character:
  • Worst Thing That Has Happened to Character:
  • First Memory:
  • Fondest Memory:
  • Most Painful Memory:
  • Most Embarrassing Memory:
  • Defining Memories:

Do you have any other questions to add to this list?

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