Skip to main content

7 Essential Questions to Ask you Main Character

We don't live in a question and answer world. We live. We react to problems, take action in certain events. The way we live, act, react, speak, shut up, and even help people are huge part of who we are. In order to truly get to know our characters, we need to go beyond the fill-in-the-blank worksheets. As writers, we need to completely uncover what makes are characters who they are, and if there is no depth, then it's our job to create it.


Is your main character "normal" enough to relate to your reader? Data from Star Trek The Next Generation was unlike all the characters in the show because he was an android, but he faced normal struggles that helped viewers relate to him. Although not human, he was enough life one to be a likable character.

Does your main character have a unique element, a curiosity factor to keep your reader interested? Data wanted to know what it was like to be human. This makes viewers curious. As Data learns and explores things that make us human, how is an android going to view those things?

Does your main character have flaws that make them relatable and not just "human?" Data wasn’t even human, but he struggled with fitting in, dealing with bullies, deciding his future. Data was rude, inconsiderate, thoughtless at times, and he wasn’t even human at all. But these struggles and flaws made him relatable.

Where--or with whom--does your main character feel the most at home? Data felt comfortable around a small group of the crew that understood his desires and struggles as an android. His actions around these people are different from the actions he takes around people that don’t understand as well.

Where--or with whom--does your main character feel the loneliest? When Data was around people who failed to understand his desire to become like human, he struggled to communicate and confide personal information.

How does your main character handle large scale problems? When the Enterprise was at stake, Data handled the problem with logical, mathematical analysis. Yes, this is because he was an android, but he was also always willing to sacrifice himself. This was characteristic of Data and the viewers knew that it was part of what defined him.

How does you main character handle small personal problems? When they find the problem? When someone else points out the problem? Data constantly looked at himself for ways to improve when things went wrong. He continually looked to himself as a source of the problem and the solution. Again, an attitude that characterized Data.


Every character is going to be drastically different, but these questions should help you dig deeper in what defines them. Your answers to these questions will also help you write when you get to certain points of conflict or plot twists. You’ll have a solid idea of what actions your character is going to take.


~ Alyson  



Popular posts from this blog

How to Create a Fact Manual for a Book Series {Peek into My Next Story}

I started my current story, Ideal Lies, last year, and this time, I decided to make it a trilogy. This story is a mix between dystopian and utopian.

10 Weird Things Writers Do ... And Are Perfectly Okay

Writing a Book With Two POVs and a Linear Timeline

I've never been one to write an "easy" story.

Even the project I'm working on now, one I began almost four years ago, was one of complex construction. Mainly, this book was made up of two side by side points of view. Two different characters told two different stories that only intertwined at crucial points throughout the plot. Before I even began, I knew that it would be a difficult story to write without causing mass confusion. 
I'd never written a story anything like this before (and even now, I'm editing to change one of the storylines completely), but I knew one thing:  {My time-line could never back-peddle.}

This would prove an annoying decision, but one that drastically improved my story. Every story is different, but I can outline the logistics of what I did to make this linear timeline possible. 
First, decide your primary main character. With two stories, not just two perspectives on the same story, your story will appear to have two main characters. You…