Discover your characters with a dating questionnaire

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Do detailed character worksheets intimidate you? They do me. I’m fine for a half dozen questions, but when we get into two pages, single spaced, I start thinking about Tweeting, checking Facebook, or even [gasp] cleaning the top of my desk.

I write both romance and women’s fiction, and in getting to know my characters, I’ve found it useful to use a dating questionnaire similar to what the on-line dating services provide. You know, ten quick-and-simple questions that will get you into the skin of your character quickly. After all, when you’re seeking love, you consider your most basic needs. You can quickly by-pass the mundane info about hobbies and favorite topics and colors of shoes and get to the heart of the matter, revealing basic needs can illuminate the soul of your character.

Try my method. Please let me know how it works for you, and thanks for stopping by!


 1. It’s Saturday night. In a perfect world, Mr. Perfect would pick you up for a dream date. What time of day would it be, and what would you do?

2. Have you ever had a near-death experience? Or one that simply terrified you? What is your worst nightmare?

3. Do you remember laughing so hard you cried? What made you laugh?

4. What was the name of your favorite pet, and what do/did you love most about him/her?

5. If you were to direct a movie about yourself, what actress would you have portray you, and why?

6. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

7. When your best friend does this, it drives you crazy: __________________

8. In the heat of an argument, what do you most want to walk away with when it ends?

9. Your best friend loves this about you: _________________________

10. What makes you so angry/determined/outraged that you would speak publicly before a hundred people and try to make them care/move them to action?

Did this help your character work? If so, please add a comment!



Filed under The Writing Life, Writing Craft

3 responses to “Discover your characters with a dating questionnaire

  1. Bournemouth is still one of the best places to be in the Uk if you are single and into dating, small enough not to be lost in the crowd, but big enough to find romance!

  2. In the early days of online dating sites were filled-with online profiles of people who are thieves, con artists and fraudsters.

    • redplume

      Oh, reality TV stars-in-the-making. The network talent scouts would want to see those profiles, lol. Thanks for dropping by, icfny.

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