Quiz Your Characters: Find out what makes them tick

The characters in your novel have a heavy responsibility. They have to come up with witty dialogue, have interesting lives, and make snap decisions in difficult situations--all while looking fairly good and carrying the story. I don't think I'd want to trade places with mine!

To make characters that are more than cardboard thin, you have to get to know them. One way is to fill out any number of character questionnaires. Completing the exercises in Donald Maass' Fire in Fiction is also highly recommended (and I'll get to take his workshops again at a writing conference this spring!). 

But I stumbled on another way to go deeper with your character. Take a personality test in their name. I got the idea from Fae Rowan over at Writers in the Storm. Her post, Meyers-Briggs: a tool for authors and other humans, details using a psychological survey on your character, and how to analyze the results. She even has a link to a free online test you can use.

Anything that helps a writer deepen their knowledge of their characters is a plus.

And now, just for fun, here are some questionnaires for you. Pick your favorite and find out more about yourself:

Did you find out anything fun about yourself? Have you ever given your character a questionnaire?


  1. Debbie,
    No time to take one of those oh-so-fun questionnaires right now. I'm wading into book #2. But the movie character one is appealing.
    My favorite way to develop characters was devised by author Susie May Warren. She compiled a lot of it into her "Book Buddy," and teaches it at her Storycrafters retreats.

    Link for The Book Buddy, if you're interested: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-book-buddy/18839660

  2. I looove the idea of doing a personality test in my characters' names. :)

  3. Another great post! I love how you put these together. Today's was fun:)

  4. @Beth- thanks for the link! I'll definitely check it out.

    @Trisha- I hope it deepens your characters. The Fire in Fiction is highly recommended, too.

    @Leah- Most days I have no idea what I'm going to blog about when I sit down at the computer. But I've got all kinds of things bookmarked, and it's fun to see what catches my eye. :)


  5. I love filling out character dossiers because is is so helpful in learning more about the character. Another great thing to do is write about your character's ordinary day, in detail, from the time they get up. You'd be surprised how many rich ideas this brings up!

  6. What a great idea, Charlotte! I keep meaning to write a post on the day of 'take your child to work day', to encourage others to think through their day through the character's eyes. It's funny what you discover in an ordinary day!




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