Character Questionnaire

This character questionnaire belongs to Gail Carson Levine. It’s in her book, Writing Magic. It’s probably one of the most helpful things I have ever come across. Just fill it out- definitely for your main character- but also for any other characters that seem a little blurry.


Nickname, if any:

Kind of being (human, animal, extraterrestrial, fantasy or fairy-tale creature):




Occupation, if applicable:

Family members:


Best friend:

Describe his/her room:

Way of speaking:

Physical characteristics (posture, gestures, attitude):

Items in his/her pockets or backpack or purse:


Favorite sports:

Talents, abilities, or powers:

Relationships (how (s)he is with other people):



Good points:

What (s)he wants more than anything else:


I added the history part at the end myself. Just explain the character’s background a little bit. What has happened in his/her life up until this point?

Notice how the character’s motive is in red. This is because it is SUPER IMPORTANT. Your character drives the story. If (s)he doesn’t have a good reason for doing whatever it is (s)he’s doing, then why do we care?

The characters are the MOST IMPORTANT part of the novel. Trust me. It’s not the plot. It’s not the setting. Even if you have a really weak storyline, people will still keep going if you have good characters, because they’ll want to know what happens to them. They’ll want to hear about every aspect of their lives. It’s after you get your readers hooked on your characters that you can stick in descriptions, because by then, your readers will care. Make your characters unforgettable.

It’s also really important to be on the lookout for unlikeable protagonists. I started a book and couldn’t get past the first chapter because the main character was a whiny teenager who complained about every little thing. It got on my nerves to the point where I dropped the book. There are obviously exceptions to every rule, but in general, you don’t want your protagonist to be annoying. If you’re writing a story where (s)he changes throughout the story from a brat to a nice person, don’t let him/her be too bratty at the beginning. And if (s)he has to be, then make sure you stick something in there that makes the reader keep going, an incentive for the reader to get past that point.

Basically, this is what you should get out of this:


I can’t stress that enough. If you’ve got a villain, make us really hate him. You can control your readers with your characters. You can make them cling to the book and never want to let go. Do it.

16 thoughts on “Character Questionnaire

    1. Gail Carson Levine, the one who came up with this questionnaire, wrote an entire book about writing novels called Writing Magic, creating stories that fly. The questionnaire is from that along with a lot of other useful tips and writing projects.

  1. Superb post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!

    1. I can certainly do a post on creating characters, but I think you would find it even more beneficial to read WRITING MAGIC by Gail Carson Levine. It’s well written and offers help not only with characters, but also with things like coming up with good beginnings and writing effective dialogue. There is even a chapter dedicated to naming your characters! I highly recommend this book if you are looking to write fiction.

  2. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What
    host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link
    to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  3. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    Nevertheless think of if you added some great graphics or videos
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips,
    this site could certainly be one of the most beneficial in its niche.
    Terrific blog!

  4. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

    After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write
    again soon!

  5. Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us
    therefore i came to give it a glance. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m
    bookmarking and you will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and brilliant style and design.

  6. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web address
    and thought I should check things out. I like what
    I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page for a second time.

  7. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around
    your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss
    feed and I hope you write again soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.