Writing Mini-Lessons: Main Character Questionnaire


“Fiction is not a dream. Nor is it guesswork. It is imagining based on facts,
and the facts must be accurate or the work of imagining will not stand up.”

~ Margaret Banning

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly
perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”

~ Virginia Woolf

“Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story.
If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy
in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.”

~ Leslie Gordon Barnard

The lists of dilemmas you created for your fictional narratives are intriguing.  Working from a plot premise you like and that holds promise, one you’re interested to imagine will help ease the challenges to come as you write fiction.  A problem is one of two scaffolds that will guide you as you build your fictional narrative; the other supporting scaffold is your main character.

A main character questionnaire will help you develop a person you can become when you write your story and someone your readers can connect to as they read.  The questionnaire is designed right from the start to urge you to develop details of character, toward facts. Consider your one chosen problem and then “become” your main character as you complete the main character questionnaire below.

Main Character Questionnaire

  1. What’s your name?
  2. How old are you?
  3. What’s the problem you’re facing?
  4. What’s your family background?
  5. Where do you live?
  6. What do you like to do?
  7. What’s different about you?
  8. What do you care about? What do you want?
  9. What do you fear?
  10. What are your dreams?
  11. Who are the important people in your life?
  12. What are the important things in your life?
  13. How will you change through confronting your problem? Possibilities:
  14. What will you understand about yourself and your world at the end of the story?  Possibilities: