Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ask Your Characters Inappropriate Questions.

Like, those odd, personal things you talk about with your best friend. Or what you only reveal when you're tipsy. Things that are gross, taboo, or just plain random.

It helps to know these things about your characters, even if you don't include them in your book.
The dirty little secrets that aren't kosher to talk about or admit in polite company are what truly define a person.

Like, if they found a wallet on the ground, would they take the money inside?
Would they poo in a public restroom or at school/work?
Read someone else's diary/email?
Help someone who's dropped a pile of papers?
Do they take home the mini shampoo and soap from hotel rooms?
Believe in God?
Watch porn?
Eat expired food?
Have they ever stolen a magazine from a waiting room or shoplifted candy?
Are they open to trying new things... sexually?
Have they ever coveted a friend's significant other... or cheated on theirs?
Talked on the phone while on the toilet?
Would they hit a car and drive away if no one saw?
Pop a squat outside?
Get plastic surgery?
Lie to a priest?
Dine and dash?
Have an abortion?
Give money to a homeless person?
Tell their best friend to buy an ugly outfit?

Playing this game of Truth gives you some fun insights into who your characters REALLY are.

For more ideas for questions, check out this week's Postsecret.
(That's where I got that entertaining porn postcard.)

If you're feeling ambitious or artsy, you can even make a collage of Postsecret postcards that apply to your character. Or, like me, you can think "Wow that's a cool idea" ... and then laugh your butt off at the thought of actually having time to do something like that.

Have any other questions to add?


  1. This is such a good idea. I'm totally going to have an awkward conversation with my MC now!

  2. Ah, geez. Those are some hard-hitting questions. Wonder how they'll answer.

  3. this was a great idea. I never really thought to go that deep inside my characters brain! Thanks for the exercise!

  4. Awesome idea! My characters are about to get REALLY uncomfortable!

  5. Hehe so glad you guys like the idea! I often got frustrated when people advised me to ask my characters their favorite color and favorite movie. Sure, they're fun to know, but not half as juicy and revealing!

  6. I've done this before, having very odd conversations with my characters. It's amazing the things you find out.

  7. I love this post. I love the questions in it. I love your ideas. I love this post!

  8. A great, if somewhat icky, idea. =o)


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