1. Who is the character? Who does the character want to be? What makes your character/s come to life? What sort of person is your character; you need to dig deep to see how a real person would behave and react in the circumstances you are putting your characters in.
2. Where does your character/s come from?
3. What is the place the character ends up in? How is the character going to change on the way to that place?
4. How will the community change because of the problem/s the character is facing or trying to solve/sort out?
5. How far and in what direction is the story going to push the character?
6. Who is the storyteller in the story?
7. The characters need to be put in the situations that will allow them to go outside of their comfort zone.
8. The character is the one that needs to change, not the world around them.
9. What is your hook? (a hook — what the story is about, have it clear in your mind.) By the way, the hook should be right on page one.
10. What matters in the story? It must be something important for the character to fight for.
11. The things have to go wrong for the character to grow and change. Don’t let your characters off the hook; give them conflict and provide them with a challenge. Keep your characters stuck in one place if this is what they need. How far do you must push your character to get what they want? Look for ways to push your characters off the edge.
12. Let go of your story and let the character manage it.
13. Write the real troubles (what is going to happen to your character); give your characters a real conflict to make it believable for your audience.
14. How do you, the writer, see the character?
15. Your character must want something. What will it be? Often, they may think that they want something, but they end up with something else.
16. The place/space the characters operate in should be very simple, and it needs to keep getting smaller and smaller to keep the pressure on your character’s urgency.
17. General means bullshit. You must give specific to your characters.
18. What motivates your character’s actions? What will move the character beyond their threshold? What has to happen to your character before they do something about their situation?
19. How are you going to put the critical moments for the characters on paper?
20. How is your character going to behave under pressure? Ask yourself how you act under pressure.
21. Your character/s act in a certain way because of all the things that happened to them in the past; that shaped their personality.
22. If you make your characters too lovely, too neutral, or undefined; it will be not challenging enough for the audience.
23. Remember that your characters must be consistent.
24. What is the character’s weakness?
25. How do the characters want to be perceived and how does their surrounding see them?
26. If you feel stuck with your characters, try to do the Hot Sitting where you ask your character’s number of questions.
Asking the following questions of the character/s it will help you push/move your story forward.
1. What does this character want that they can’t have?
2. What are they fundamentally doing wrong?
3. What is their flow / how are they like you and me?
4. At the start of the story, my character is…
5. In the middle of the story, my character is forced to do…
6. At the end of the story, my character is…
7. What is your character’s life like before we meet them in the opening sequence?
8. What is your character’s secret?
9. What funny stuff does your character do?
10. When was the last time your character lost their temper?
11. What are the specific moments of their lives?
12. How do they carry themselves?
13. What is the character good at?
14. What are they afraid of? What is their biggest fear?
15. How committed are they to do the simple everyday tasks?
16. What do they love doing?
17. What do they hate?
18. What triggers your character’s e happiness?
19. What are the opposites in your characters regarding values?
20. What shapes your character’s values?