Character Questionnaire

If you wish a character to be interviewed by Pat Bertram, please answer ten to fifteen questions  and submit them in the reply section below along with whatever links you’d like included. Be sure to answer in your character’s voice, give interesting answers that will entice people to read your book, and mention the title of the book and who wrote it. If an answer to a question is yes or no, please explain why. (Example: Do you run away from conflict? Yes. Why? I don’t like fighting. See, there was this time in third grade where I got in a fight and . . .) Detailed responses are more interesting than terse ones. Feel free to include your own questions. The character interviewed does not have to be the hero. Even if you don’t want your character interviewed, asking your characters these questions will help you profile them.

  1. What is your story?
  2. Who are you?
  3. Where do you live?
  4. Are you the hero of your own story?
  5. What is your problem in the story?
  6. Do you have a problem that wasn’t mentioned in the story?
  7. Do you embrace conflict?
  8. Do you run from conflict?
  9. How do you see yourself?
  10. How do your friends see you?
  11. How do your enemies see you?
  12. How does the author see you?
  13. Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
  14. What do you think of yourself?
  15. Do you have a hero?
  16. Do you have a goal?
  17. What are your achievements?
  18. Do you talk about your achievements?
  19. Do you keep your achievements to yourself?
  20. Do you have any special strengths?
  21. Do you have any special weaknesses?
  22. Do you have any skills?
  23. Do you have money troubles?
  24. What do you want?
  25. What do you need?
  26. What do you want to be?
  27. What do you believe?
  28. What makes you happy?
  29. What are you afraid of?
  30. What makes you angry?
  31. What makes you sad?
  32. What do you regret?
  33. What is your biggest disappointment?
  34. What, if anything, haunts you?
  35. Are you lucky?
  36. Have you ever failed at anything?
  37. Has anyone ever failed you?
  38. Has anyone ever betrayed you?
  39. Have you ever failed anyone?
  40. Have you ever betrayed anyone?
  41. Do you keep your promises?
  42. Are you honorable?
  43. Are you healthy?
  44. Do you have any handicaps?
  45. Do you have any distinguishing marks?
  46. What was your childhood like?
  47. Do you like remembering your childhood?
  48. Did anything newsworthy happen on the day you were born?
  49. Did you get along with your parents?
  50. What in your past had the most profound effect on you?
  51. What in your past would you like to forget?
  52. What in your past would you like others to forget?
  53. Who was your first love?
  54. Who is your true love?
  55. Have you ever had an adventure?
  56. What is the most important thing that ever happened to you? Why?
  57. Was there a major turning point in your life?
  58. Was there ever a defining moment of your life?
  59. Is there anything else about your background you’d like to discuss?
  60. What is your most closely guarded secret?
  61. What is your most prized possession? Why?
  62. Do you have any hobbies?
  63. What is your favorite scent? Why?
  64. What is your favorite color? Why?
  65. What is your favorite food? Why?
  66. What is your favorite beverage? Why?
  67. What is your favorite music? Why?”
  68. What is your favorite item of clothing? Why?
  69. Name five items in your purse, briefcase, or pockets.
  70. What are the last five entries in your check registry?
  71. What are the last three books you read?
  72. If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?
  73. If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?
  74. What makes you think that change would be for the better?
  75. If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?
  76. How do you envision your future?

38 Responses to “Character Questionnaire”

  1. CMK Says:

    I am working on the questions yet, but Pat?
    I could write a whole new book around this list of questions! ;)
    CMK

  2. DellaniO. Says:

    What a great idea! I can see a lot of potential with this. Thank you and be looking for some of the same on Writer’s Sanctuary in the near future

  3. Surya Sunder Dey Says:

    I’d need time to complete this. But I guess our Lord James McLarren (Jamie to friends) deserves a hearing.

  4. Pat Bertram Says:

    Surya Sunder Dey: I’d love to hear what Jamie has to say! Will post the interview a couple of days after I receive it.

  5. Kathleen Peacock Says:

    Is it sad that I can’t wait for the weekend so I can sit down and interview my new characters?

  6. Pat Bertram Says:

    Looking forward to your interview, Kathleen.

  7. Luna Says:

    Can i use some of those questions to make my own interview and if not, where can I find some question for myself to use? ^__^;

  8. Kenna Says:

    This is neat, Pat – thanks for the prompt. I’m going to do this . . . just may take a little time.

    Maybe I’ll even post – we’ll see how it turns out . . .

  9. Pat Bertram Says:

    Kenna, please do let me post it. I’d love to read it.

  10. amydetrempe Says:

    What a FUN idea!!!!!

  11. Julietwaldron Says:

    Okey dokey–will set to work on this one–absolutely a keeper for writing any kind of genre–all the character development stuff is included in one list! You definitely qualify for “fearless leader.” :)

    …Wish I had a tenth of your energy!

  12. Joyce Norman Says:

    Pat, how do I get these questions posted? Didn’t see a place to answer them here. Great idea! Really deepens some characters I know and write about!

    Thanks,

    Joyce Norman
    ja329@bellsouth.net

  13. Helen Says:

    My novel is about two chapters away from the finish (if you don’t count the rewrites yet to be done) I think this list of questions is great and I shall use them on my hero – who knows what she will reveal to me! LOL

  14. June Says:

    What a wonderful exercise. I am in the process of editing my completed novel for the fourth time. I can see that these questions could help me here. I will post when I am done.

    Thanks Pat.

  15. Rod Marsden Says:

    I am getting it together now…How a character might answer your questions would have to do to some extent where he is in the book. I will keep that in mind. Thanks. This is shaping up to be a big help.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      The questionnaire work best when you answer in the voice of your character and when you volunteer information that wasn’t asked. I’m looking forward to posting your interview!

  16. Viola Russell Says:

    In what form do you want these? Do you want them via e-mail? The questions are intriguing, and I’d love to write in my last protagonists’ voice.

  17. Wanda Hughes Says:

    I’m loving this questionaire and I’m going to use it when I begin writing again. You’re da’bomb, Pat.

  18. Rebecca Forster Says:

    Pat, is this where we are supposed to leave the answers to ALL those questions? Just want to make sure before I make this long, long list and make you crazy :) Thanks.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Rebecca, yes this is where you are supposed to leave your answers. You’re not supposed to answer all the questions, though. Just 10 to 15 if you’re doing an author interview, or 15-30 if you’re doing a character interview.

  19. Kim Babcock Says:

    Master Chief Davis also doesn’t know how to spell very well.

  20. Chuck Collins Says:

    I’m going to take you up on the Character Interview. A very good exercise! Stand By!

  21. YOUR SHELF LIFE » Promoting your Book – Create Interest in Your Characters with Character Interviews and Videos Says:

    [...] book and interviewing yourself. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check my friend Pat Bertram’s blog. She offers a number of questions you can “ask” your character and will post your [...]

  22. Donna Says:

    Pat, Charles, Lord Danvers, has agreed to grant us an interview. As a matter of fact, I’ve already recorded it before his lordship flew off in his aerostat with his man Hardy. Where do I send it? I don’t have your e-mail address.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Donna, I’m delighted he agreed to do the interview. You can post it here as a comment. It’s easiest that way since they are all in one place and in the order received. You can copy and paste it from a document. Thank you.

  23. Eileen Schuh Says:

    I know that it seems weird to post your interview answers here, but it worked wonderful for me and my abrasive heroine, Katrina. Pat has a handle on this process. What fun!

  24. deekrull2011 Says:

    This is great pat. I have done a few author internet interviews and on my blog I have allowed my readers t meet some of my characters, but this is a great way to continue my blog about my book. I have lots of characters in my book.

    Thank you for this opportunity,
    Dee

  25. Una Tiers Says:

    Hi Pat:
    Can I go with the character interview?
    Una Tiers
    Judge vs Nuts

  26. Colleen Cross Says:

    What a great list! Thanks for posting it.
    Colleen

  27. Guy Harrison Says:

    And thank you for posting these questions. This is a great blog you have.

  28. Una Tiers Says:

    How far ahead are you booked on character interviews Pat? I have the interview prepared and am waiting for the link to buy.
    Thanks
    Una Tiers
    Judge vs Nuts
    2-20-12

  29. How To Do an Online Interview « Bertram's Blog Says:

    [...] here to find the directions for my Author Questionnaire. Click here to find the directions for my Character Questionnaire. And click here to Let me post your excerpt!) Share [...]


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