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50 Questions to Ask Your Characters

In the writing book for young writers Spilling Ink (which I love, by the way!), the authors introduce the idea of having a "slumber party" with your characters. Basically, the idea is to sit down with your characters and ask them a series of questions. Jot down what you notice about them and everything they tell you.

The purpose is to really become best friends with your character. It will show how they react to certain situations, talk, etc. This exercise is perfect for when you're trying to find your character's voice. It works well to do it even later in the book to help fill gaps you didn't even notice were there.

These 50 questions will help you get a clear idea of your character's appearance, morals, quirks, and motives. Basically, by the end of your sleepover, you're going to know everything about your main character...which will really help improve your writing! Here are 50 questions to help you pull off the best writing sleepover. Pull out your writing utensil of choice and follow these instructions. Remember...write everything down!


First, sit down with your character and really take in their appearance. Jot down everything you notice.

  1. What are the basics of your character's appearance? Their hair, eye, and skin color, etc.

  2. Now give their features a little backstory. What traits did they inherit from their relatives?

  3. What traits might they be insecure about?

  4. What features are their favorites?

  5. What sort of clothing is your character wearing?

  6. What does their clothing reveal about them? For example, comfy clothing might portray their l